23 October 2014

PUMPKIN ORANGE JAM

Another way of using fresh pumpkins - jam. This one is enriched by oranges, limes, Cointreau and spices. Although it is a pumpkin jam, the pumpkin flavour is not dominant. When you first taste it, you get that zesty orange punch. But after that first taste, you see that there is pumpkin, lime and warm spices. And that is what makes this jam so perfect, it's quick and easy to make and it is a real pumpkin treat.


Ingredients:
400 grams pumpkin puree
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
150 ml fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons orange zest
150 grams sugar
100 ml water
3 teaspoons unflavoured gelatine
3 tablespoons cold water (for the gelatine)
1 teaspoon Cointreau

Preparation:
Take a heavy-bottomed saucepan and pour in the fresh orange and lime juice, water, sugar and the orange jest. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat and let it boil for 2 minutes. After that, add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon and cloves. Stir it in very well and let it come up to a boil. While the jam is heating up, sprinkle the gelatine over the cold water and let it bloom. When the jam mixture comes to a rolling boil, stir it constantly and very carefully, because it might splash, for about 5-6 minutes, until it slightly thickens up. Remove it from the heat after 5 minutes, being careful because it will still be very hot and might bubble up.
Take a few teaspoons of the piping hot jam and add them to the bowl with the gelatine. Mix well, then pour it back to the saucepan and mix vigorously. Let the jam cool down for about 15 minutes, then add the Cointreau, mix well, and pour it into sterilized jars. Let the jars cool to room temperature, then put them in the refrigerator overnight. Yields about 400 grams of jam.
Note: This jam has a bit runnier consistency than regular jams, so if you like thicker jams, simply add another teaspoon (to teaspoon and a half) of gelatine.
PEKMEZ OD BUNDEVE I NARANDŽE

Sastojci:
400 grama pirea od pečene bundeve
½ kašičice cimeta
¼ kašičice mlevenih klinčića
150 ml svežeg soka narandže
2 kašike svežeg soka limete
2 kašičice narandžine korice
150 grama šećera
100 ml vode
3 kašičice želatina
3 kašike hladne vode (za želatin)
1 kašičica Cointreau likera

U šerpicu sa debljim dnom sipati sveži sok narandže i limete, vodu, šećer i koricu narandže. Dovesti do vrenja na srednje jakoj vatri i pustiti da vri 2 minuta. Nakon toga dodati pire od bundeve, cimet i začine. Dobro izmešati da se masa sjedini, pa pustiti da ponovo počne da vri. Dok se masa zagreva, pripremiti želatin - izmešati ga sa hladnom vodom i ostaviti da nabubri. Kada pekmez počne da vri, mešati stalno (i pažljivo) 5-6 minuta, da se džem blago zgusne.
Skinuti s vatre (pažljivo, jer će i dalje ključati) i uzeti par kašičica vrele mase, sipati u želatin i dobro izmešati, pa sve sipati nazad u šerpicu, dobro sjediniti i ostaviti da se hladi oko 15 minuta. Na samom kraju dodati Cointreau, izmešati i sipati u sterilisane tegle (dobije se oko 400 grama pekmeza). Pustiti da se tegle ohlade do sobne temperature, pa staviti u frižider preko noći.
Napomena: Ovaj pekmez je nešto ređi od standardnih. Za gušći pekmez dodati još kašičicu (ili kašičicu i po) želatina.

20 October 2014

MINI CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

This mini chocolate cheesecake has three chocolaty layers, starting with a chocolate base made with dark cocoa powder. The filling combines melted dark chocolate with the rich Mascarpone cheese and smooth heavy cream, and has a texture that resembles a rich chocolate mousse. Finally, the topping is the lovely Ganache, made with semi sweet chocolate. The flavour of filling and the topping will depend greatly on the chocolate you use, so make sure you use a good quality chocolate. The cheesecake is a miniature, with only four small slices to serve, but it's a real showstopper.


Ingredients:
For the base
50 grams butter
75 grams cookie crumbs
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons icing sugar
For the filling
100 grams Mascarpone cheese
50 grams dark chocolate
50 ml heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon icing sugar
For the topping
50 grams dark chocolate
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Preparation:
First make the base for the cheesecake. Beat the softened butter until light and creamy, add the icing sugar and cocoa powder and blend well. Add half of the cookie crumbs, combine well, add the heavy cream and the rest of the cookie crumbs and blend completely. Put the ring of a mini spring form pan (12 cm, 5") on a small serving plate, close it, transfer the batter to it and press it evenly on the bottom and about half way up the sides. Set the pan aside for the time being, it doesn't have to be refrigerated while the filling is prepared.
For the filling, melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler (or in the microwave) and set it aside to cool. Whisk together the Mascarpone and the icing sugar until creamy, add the cocoa powder and mix again. Drizzle in the melted chocolate and mix well. In another bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form, then gently fold it in the cream cheese batter. Pour the filling over the base, level it and put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
When the filling has cooled down and started to firm up, make the topping. Melt the dark chocolate with the heavy cream in a double boiler, to make a thick Ganache. Let it melt and blend completely, then remove it from heat and let it cool down for about 15 minutes. Take the cheesecake out of the fridge, pour the topping, level it and return the cheesecake to the fridge for at least 4 more hours, preferably overnight. Serve with chocolate syrup, additional whipped heavy cream and fresh fruit. Yields 2 servings.
MINI NEPEČENI ČOKOLADNI CHEESECAKE

Sastojci:
Za podlogu
50 grama maslaca
75 grama mlevenog keksa
2 kašike slatke pavlake
2 kašike gorkog kakao praha
2 kašike prah šećera
Za fil
100 grama Maskarpone sira
50 grama crne čokolade
50 ml slatke pavlake
1 kašika gorkog kakao praha
1 kašika prah šećera
Za preliv
50 grama crne čokolade
2 kašike slatke pavlake

Najpre napraviti podlogu za cheesecake. Omekšali maslac penasto umutiti, dodati mu prah šećer i kakao prah i dobro sjediniti. Zatim dodati polovinu mlevenog keksa, umutiti, pa dodati slatku pavlaku i ostatak keksa. Prsten malog kalupa sa odvojivim ivicama (12 cm) staviti na sredinu malog platoa, zatvoriti ga i ravnomerno utisnuti masu na dno i uz stranice kalupa. Dovoljno je utisnuti masu do polovine stranica, nije neophodno da ide do vrha. Kalup ostaviti sa strane, nije neophodno da bude u frižideru dok se pravi fil.
Za fil, najpre otopiti crnu čokoladu (na pari ili u mikrotalasnoj) i ostaviti je da se prohladi. Umutiti  Maskarpone i prah šećer žicom, dodati kakao i lepo sjediniti. Sipati otopljenu i prohlađenu čokoladu, pa dobro sjediniti žicom. U posebnoj posudi umutiti slatku pavlaku u čvrst šlag, pa lagano umešati u mešavinu sira i čokolade. Fil sipati preko podloge, poravnati i ostaviti na 4 sata u frižideru.
Kada se cheesecake fil ohladio i počeo da steže, napraviti preliv. Otopiti čokoladu i slatku pavlaku (na pari ili u mikrotalasnoj) da se lepo sjedine da bi se dobio gusti Ganache krem. Ostaviti da se krem hladi 15 minuta na sobnoj temperaturi, da ne bi otopio fil. Kada se prohladio, izvaditi kolač iz frižidera, ravnomerno premazati Ganache kremom i vratiti u frižider na još minimalno 4 sata (najbolje bi bilo preko noći). Služiti uz čokoladni preliv ili voćni preliv, šlag, sveže voće.

16 October 2014

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE CUPCAKES

October is the pumpkin month, so there's no better time to enjoy the pumpkin goodness. These cupcakes are best of both worlds - rich chocolate muffin and creamy pumpkin cheesecake filling. You can top them with freshly whipped cream, for some extra indulgence. Serve them chilled with a tall mug of latte.


Ingredients:
For the muffins
120 grams all purpose flour
20 grams unsweetened cocoa powder (4 levelled tablespoons)
3 teaspoons baking powder
100 grams icing sugar
100 grams butter
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
200 grams plain yogurt
For the cheesecake filling
100 grams Mascarpone cheese
100 grams pumpkin puree
50 grams instant vanilla pudding powder
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the topping
250 ml heavy whipping cream
few drops orange food colouring (optional)

Preparation:
First make the cheesecake filling, because it will need a bit of time to firm up. Beat together the room temperature cream cheese, pumpkin puree, icing sugar and the instant vanilla pudding powder, then add the spices and blend well. Let the filling sit in the fridge for about 15 minutes, then divide it into 10 pieces (scant tablespoon per piece) and place each piece on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Keep them in the fridge while you make the muffin batter.
For the muffins, cream together the room temperature butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes on high), then add the pumpkin puree and blend well. Sift the flour twice with the baking powder and cocoa powder, then add it to the butter batter in a few additions, alternating it with the yogurt. Divide the batter into two parts, evenly fill half of the 10 muffin cups (line or spray the muffin tin), put the filling in the centre of each muffin cup, then evenly pour the rest of the chocolate batter on top. Bake them in a preheated oven, at 200˚C (395˚F) for 12-15 minutes (carefully check them for doneness so they don't get dry). When they are completely cool, decorate them with freshly whipped cream. Yields 10 cupcakes.
CHEESECAKE MAFINI SA BUNDEVOM

Sastojci:
Za mafine
120 gr brašna
20 gr nezaslađenog kakao praha (4 ravne kašike)
3 kašičice praška za pecivo
100 gr prah šećera
100 gr maslaca
2 kašike pirea od bundeve
200 gr jogurta
Za cheesecake fil
100 gr Mascarpone sira
100 gr pirea od bundeve
50 gr praha za instant puding od vanile
2 kašike prah šećera
1 kašičica đumbira
½ kašičice muskatnog oraha
¼ kašičice cimeta
Za dekoraciju
250 ml slatke pavlake
par kapi narandžaste boje za kolače (opciono)

Najpre napraviti cheesecake fil, jer mu treba malo vremena da se stegne. Mascarpone umutiti sa pireom od bundeve, prah šećerom i prahom za instant puding, dodati začine pa dobro umutiti još jednom. Staviti u frižider na 15 minuta, a zatim zahvatati kašikom masu i oblikovati u 10 jednakih kuglica. Kuglice poređati na pleh obložen papirom za pečenje i držati ih u frižideru do stavljanja u mafine.
Za mafine najpre umutiti omekšali maslac sa prah šećerom dok masa ne postane kremasta (oko 5 minuta najjačom brzinom), dodati pire od bundeve i dobro sjediniti. Brašno dva puta prosejati sa praškom za pecivo i kakao prahom, pa dodati u masu od maslaca iz par navrata, naizmenično sa jogurtom. Masu podeliti ravnomerno na pola, pa sipati polovinu u 10 korpica za muffins, staviti po kuglicu fila u sredinu, te preliti drugom polovinom čokoladne mase. Peći u unapred zagrejanoj rerni, na 200˚C, 12-15 minuta (proveriti čačkalicom pažljivo, da se mafini ne bi presušili). Kada su potpuno hladni, dekorisati ih sveže umućenom slatkom pavlakom.

12 October 2014

CHOCOLATE BEETROOT CAKE

Beetroot is a very versatile vegetable. It can be used for both sweet and savoury dishes. The roots are usually eaten grilled, boiled, roasted, even raw and shredded, as a salad. When boiled and pureed, it is a great addition to cakes, because it makes them moist and tender. It does turn the whole batter pink, but you cannot taste the beetroot in cakes. With a simple cream cheese frosting, this is a great fall dessert.


Ingredients:
For the cake
250 grams cooked beetroots, pureed
250 grams all purpose flour
200 grams sugar
200 ml oil
20 grams unsweetened cocoa powder (4 levelled tablespoons)
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
For the icing
100 grams cream cheese
100 grams softened butter
100 ml heavy whipping cream

Preparation:
Cook the beetroots, drain them well and puree them completely. Mix 250 grams of the pureed beetroots with vanilla and oil. In another bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar until pale and thick (about 5 minutes on high), then mix in the beetroots. Sift the flour with the cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda, and gently fold it in the beetroot batter. Pour the batter in a well greased and floured pan (23x30 cm; 9x11") and bake in a preheated oven, at 180˚C (350˚F) for 20-25 minutes. While the cake is baking, make the icing by creaming the softened butter with the cream cheese, then folding in firmly whipped heavy cream (I added a few drops of red food colouring, but that is optional). Let the cake cool completely, spread on the icing and serve. Yields 12 servings.
ČOKOLADNA TORTA SA CVEKLOM

Sastojci:
Za kolač
250 gr kuvane cvekle, pasirane
250 gr brašna
200 gr šećera
200 ml ulja
20 gr nezaslađenog kakao praha
3 jaja
2 kašičice vanile
1 kašičica sode bikarbone
1 kašičica praška za pecivo
Za fil
100 gr krem sira
100 gr omekšalog maslaca
100 ml slatke pavlake

Cveklu skuvati, dobro ocediti pa izmeriti 250 gr i dobro je propasirati. Dodati vanilu i ulje i izmešati, pa ostaviti sa strane. Jaja dobro umutiti sa šećerom, dok masa ne postane svetla i gusta (oko 5 minuta), pa lagano umešati cveklu i ulje. Prosejati brašno sa praškom za pecivo, sodom bikarbonom i kakao prahom, sipati u prethodnu masu i dobro izmešati. Posudu u kojoj će se torta peći (23x30 cm) dobro namazati maslacem i posuti brašnom, sipati masu i peći u unapred zagrejanoj rerni, 180˚C, 20-25 minuta. Za fil, dobro umutiti omekšali maslac sa krem sirom, pa umešati čvrst šlag od slatke pavlake (može se dodati i par kapi crvene boje za kolače). Ostaviti tortu da se ohladi potpuno, ravnomerno namazati fil od krem sira i služiti.

09 October 2014

SOFT CORNMEAL DINNER ROLLS

Cornmeal is made from dried maize and it is a fairly common staple food. It can be ground to a range of consistencies, from very fine to coarse. My experience has shown that cornmeal, when used in combination with plain flour, gives the final baked product a richer taste. These rolls are a great alternative to a plain dinner roll, and they are great as a sandwich or even split in half and toasted.


Ingredients:
300 grams all purpose flour
100 grams finely ground cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
250 ml warm water
2 teaspoons instant dried yeast
1 egg
2 tablespoons oil

Preparation:
Mix the yeast with the sugar, pour in the warm water, mix well and let it sit in a warm spot for 10-15 minutes, to activate the yeast. Sift the flour with the cornmeal, add salt and mix well; also whisk together the egg with the oil in another bowl. When the yeast has activated, make a little well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour it in along with the egg and oil.
Mix with a wooden spoon until the dough starts to come together, then proceed to knead the dough with your hands for at least 5 minutes, until you get a soft dough that doesn't stick to your hands (add another tablespoon or two of flour more, if needed). Oil the bowl, lightly oil the surface of the dough, cover it with a kitchen towel and let it sit in a warm place for at least an hour, or until doubled in size.
Flour your counter well, turn out the risen dough, gently knead it and then divide it into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, arrange them on a greased and floured baking pan, cover with a towel and let them rise for another 30 minutes. Bake in a preheated oven, at 200˚C (395˚F) for 18-20 minutes and serve warm.
MEKANE POGAČICE OD KUKURUZNOG BRAŠNA

Sastojci:
300 gr brašna
100 gr kukuruznog brašna
1 kašičica šećera
1 kašičica soli
250 ml tople vode
2 kašičice suvog kvasca
1 jaje
2 kašike ulja

Kvasac izmešati sa šećerom, preliti toplom vodom i ostaviti na toplom 10-15 minuta, da se kvasac aktivira. U međuvremenu prosejati obe vrste brašna, dodati so i dobro izmešati; a u drugoj činiji dobro umutiti jaje sa uljem. Napraviti udubljenje u sredini brašna, pa sipati aktivirani kvasac, kao i umućeno jaje. Mešati varjačom dok testo ne počne da se formira, a zatim mesiti rukama najmanje 5 minuta dok se ne dobije mekano testo koje se ne lepi za ruke (dodati kašiku-dve brašna ukoliko je neophodno).
Nauljiti činiju a zatim nauljiti i testo, pokriti krpom i ostaviti ga na toplom najmanje sat vremena, da se udvostruči. Dobro pobrašniti dasku, premestiti naraslo testo i lagano da premesiti, pa podeliti na 12 jednakih delova. Svaki deo oblikovati u lopticu i ređati na podmazan i pobrašnjen pleh, pokriti krpom i ostaviti ponovo na toplom, najmanje 30 minuta. Peći u unapred zagrejanoj rerni, na 200˚C, 18-20 minuta i služiti tople.