28 February 2015

VANILLA PINWHEEL PASTRIES

Few things are as good as warm vanilla pastries for breakfast, with a mug of tea or a cup of coffee. The cottage cheese cuts down on the amount of fat in these pastries, and it gives them a rich and moist texture. Crunchy on the outside and perfectly soft and fluffy on the inside. But the most important part about these pinwheels is the vanilla.
If you use the whole vanilla beans (as directed in the recipe), you will get a stronger aroma. When you cut the bean in half, you expose more of the surface area to the milk, which gives so much more flavour. By any means, if you cannot get whole vanilla beans or you want a milder flavour, use a good vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. They are best served fresh and hot from the oven, on their own or dusted with a bit of icing sugar, or possibly with a fruit sauce.


Ingredients:
400 grams plain flour
2 teaspoons dried yeast
100 grams sugar
100 grams cottage cheese
50 ml vegetable oil
1 egg
150 ml warm whole milk
1 whole vanilla bean
1 beaten egg (for brushing)

Preparation:
First take the whole milk, pour it in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and put it over low heat, just to warm it up slightly. Split the vanilla bean in half, scrape the seeds and put them in the saucepan with the milk, then put the beans as well. Turn up the heat and let the milk come to a boil. When it comes to a boil, remove it from heat, cover it and let it cool down slightly. This way the vanilla will permeate the milk, and it will cool down enough not to kill the yeast.
When the milk is nearly ready to be used, sift the flour twice, put it in a large bowl, add the yeast and sugar, and whisk well. In another bowl, cream together the cottage cheese with the egg, then add the oil and blend well using an electric mixer. Remove the beans from the milk, make a well in the centre of the flour, add the cheese mixture and the warm milk and mix the dough, first with a wooden spoon, then with your hands, until a dough forms. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead it for another 5 minutes, to make it smooth and elastic. If the dough sticks to the board or your hands, add another tablespoon of the flour. Put the dough in a large bowl, cover it and let it rise, in a warm spot, for about an hour.
When the dough has risen, gently knead it on a floured work surface, and divide it into 8 equal parts. Shape each part into a ball, then let them rest for about 10 minutes. Roll each ball of dough into a circle about 20 cm (8") in diameter. Roll it up into a tight roll, then roll it further using your hands, into a very long rope shape (about 35 cm/14" in length). Shape the dough into a pinwheel, tucking the ends underneath, so the pastry doesn't unroll during the baking. Arrange them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and let them rise for the second time (about 30 minutes). Just before baking, brush them with a beaten egg and bake in a preheated oven, at 190˚C (375˚F) for 12-15 minutes. Serve warm. Yields 4 servings. ©Tina Vesić
SLATKE RUŽICE SA VANILOM I SIROM

Sastojci:
400 grama brašna
2 kašičice suvog kvasca
100 grama šećera
100 grama belog sira
50 ml ulja
1 jaje
150 ml toplog punomasnog mleka
1 šipka vanile
1 umućeno jaje (za premaz)

Najpre sipati mleko u šerpicu debljeg dna, pa staviti na tihu vatru, da se zagreva. Šipku vanile podeliti na pola, sastrugati seme i staviti u mleko, a zatim staviti i samu šipku vanile. Pojačati vatru i pustiti mleko da provri. Kada provri, skinuti s vatre, poklopiti i ostaviti da se hladi. Na taj način će vanila zamirisati mleko, a mleko će se istovremeno dovoljno ohladiti da se može koristiti dalje u pripremi pužića.
Kada je mleko gotovo spremno za dalje korišćenje, prosejati brašno dva puta, staviti u veliku činiju, dodati kvasac i šećer i dobro izmešati žicom. U drugoj činiji mikserom umutiti sir sa jajetom i uljem. Izvaditi šipke vanile iz mleka, napraviti udubljenje u brašnu, pa dodati sir i mleko i mešati, najpre varjačom, a zatim rukama, dok se ne formira testo. Radnu površinu pobrašniti, pa mesiti testo još najmanje 5 minuta, dok ne postane mekano i elastično. Ako se jako lepi, slobodno dodati kašiku brašna u toku mešenja. Staviti testo u veliku činiju, pokriti krpom i ostaviti da raste na toplom oko sat vremena.
Naraslo testo kratko premesiti na pobrašnjenoj dasci, pa ga podeliti na 8 jednakih delova. Oblikovati svaki deo u lopticu, pa ih ostaviti da odmaraju oko 10 minuta. Svaku lopticu razvaljati u krug prečnika oko 20 cm, pa ih urolati u čvrst rolat. Nastaviti sa rolanjem umotanog testa rukama, da se napravi dugački valjak (oko 35 cm dužine). Umotati testo spiralno, podvlačeći krajeve ispod spirale, da se ne bi odmotali u toku pečenja. Poređati ih na pleh obložen papirom za pečenje, pokriti krpom i ostaviti da rastu još 30 minuta. Pre samog pečenja ih premazati umućenim jajetom i peći u unapred zagrejanoj rerni, na 190˚C, 12-15 minuta. Služiti tople. ©Tina Vesić

22 February 2015

HONEY RUM BRAIDS

Honey and rum are a great dessert combination. The sharp taste of rum is pleasantly cut by the richness and sweetness of the honey. If you like, you can glaze the braids with honey right after they come out of the oven. That will give them more sweetness and flavour, as well as glossiness.
Do not be tempted to add more rum to the dough, though, because it will turn out too bitter. They are excellent hot from the oven, but I do recommend letting them cool down a tad, so the rum doesn't overpower the taste.

Honey rum braids tinascookings.blogspot.com

Ingredients:
400 grams plain flour
2 teaspoons dried yeast
½ teaspoon salt
150 ml warm milk
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons rum
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preparation:
Sift the flour twice, then take out about 100 grams (about 3/4 cup) and put the rest of the flour in a large bowl. Add the yeast and salt and whisk well. Whisk the egg until lighter in colour, then slowly drizzle in the warm milk, whisking the whole time. Add the honey, vanilla and rum and blend well. Make a well in the centre of the flour, pour in the wet ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and knead the dough for at least 5 minutes, adding the reserved flour as you knead. The dough should be smooth and elastic. Place it into a large oiled bowl and let it rise in a warm spot for at least an hour, or until doubled in size.
When the dough has risen, gently knead it on a floured surface to release all the air, then weigh it and divide it into two equal parts. Divide the dough parts into how ever many strands you like and braid them together. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Place the braids on a large baking sheet lined with baking paper and let them rise for another 30 minutes. Just before baking, brush them with the oil and bake in a preheated oven, at 200˚C (400˚F) for 15-18 minutes. Yields 4 servings. ©Tina Vesić
PLETENICE SA MEDOM I RUMOM

Sastojci:
400 grama brašna
2 kašičice suvog kvasca
½ kašičice soli
150 ml toplog mleka
3 kašike meda
2 kašike tamnog ruma
1 veliko jaje
½ kašičice vanile
3 kašike ulja

Brašno prosejati dva puta, odvojiti oko 100 grama sa strane, a ostatak staviti u veliku činiju. Dodati kvasac i so, dobro promešati i ostaviti sa strane. Jaje dobro umutiti žicom, pa polako dodati toplo mleko, muteći žicom sve vreme. Na kraju dodati med, vanilu i rum i dobro sjediniti. Napraviti udubljenje u sredini brašna, dodati toplo mleko i mešati varjačom dok se ne formira lepljivo testo. Premestiti testo na radnu površinu i mesiti rukama najmanje 5 minuta, postepeno dodajući brašno odvojeno na početku. Testo bi trebalo da bude glatko i elastično. Staviti testo u nauljenu činiju i ostaviti da raste na toplom mestu najmanje sat vremena, ili dok se ne udvostruči.
Kada je testo naraslo, premesiti ga na pobrašnjenoj radnoj površini, pa ga podeliti na dva jednaka dela. Svaki deo podeliti na tri ili više delova (u zavisnosti od željene pletenice). Svaki deo oblikovati u dugačku traku, napraviti pletenicu od njih na željeni način, a krajeve podviti ispod testa. Ponoviti postupak sa drugim delom testa, pa pletenice lagano preneti na veliki pleh obložen papirom za pečenje. Ostaviti pletenice da rastu još 30 minuta na toplom, pa ih pre samog pečenja obilno premazati uljem. Peći u unapred zagrejanoj rerni, na 200˚C, 15-18 minuta. ©Tina Vesić

16 February 2015

SPICED CHOCOLATE MUFFINS

Rich and tender chocolate muffins, full of warm spices are a great brunch or tea time treat. This is a classic chocolate muffin recipe, with a light chocolate flavour, along with the hint of cinnamon and cardamom. If you do not want the spiciness in your muffins, simply omit cinnamon, cardamom and the cayenne, but I recommend you do try it. It simply brings out the flavour of the muffin, without dominating it. This is one of my favourites and a great go-to chocolate muffin recipe. And the best part - they are done in under 30 minutes.

Spiced chocolate muffin tinascookings.blogspot.com

Ingredients
150 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cardamom
a pinch of cayenne pepper
150 grams sugar
1 egg
4 tablespoons whole milk
50 grams butter
4 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons hot water
50 grams dark chocolate, finely chopped

Preparation:
Sift together the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and spices, then place them in a large bowl and set it aside. Beat together the egg with the sugar with an electric mixer on high, until lighter in colour, about a minute, then add the milk, reduce the speed and mix until combined. Dice the butter into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the oil and the sifted cocoa powder, and melt it all together over medium heat. Do not let it boil.
Add half of the dry ingredients to the egg and yogurt mixture, along with half of the cocoa. Beat the batter with an electric mixer on low until barely combined, then add the rest of the dry ingredients and the cocoa. Drizzle in the hot water, mixing constantly on low. Finally, add the dark chocolate and mix briefly. The batter will be thin. Divide it evenly between 8 standard-sized muffin cups (lined with paper liners) and bake immediately in a preheated oven, at 200˚C (400˚F) for about 12-15 minutes. Check them with a toothpick to make sure they don't overbake. Yields 12 servings.
ČOKOLADNI MAFINI SA TOPLIM ZAČINIMA

Sastojci:
150 grama brašna
1 kašičica praška za pecivo
½ kašičice sode bikarbone
½ kašičice cimeta
¼ kašičice kardamoma
prstohvat kajenskog bibera
150 grama šećera
1 jaje
4 kašike punomasnog mleka
50 grama maslaca
4 kašike ulja
2 kašike gorkog kakao praha
4 kašike vrele vode
50 grama crne čokolade, sitno seckane

Prosejati brašno sa praškom za pecivo, sodom bikarbonom i začinima, staviti u veliku činiju i ostaviti sa strane. Mikserom mutiti jaje sa šećerom na najjačoj brzini, dok masa ne postane svetla i kremasta, dodati mleko, smanjiti brzinu i sjediniti sve. Maslac naseckati u šerpicu debljeg dna, dodati ulje i prosejan kakao prah. Sve otopiti na srednje jakoj vatri, ali paziti da ne provri.
Dodati polovinu suvih sastojaka umućenoj masi, kao i polovinu kakao praha i maslaca, pa mutiti samo dok se ne sjedini. Dodati drugu polovinu sastojaka i opet mutiti kratko. Sipati vrelu vodu u tankom mlazu, muteći sve vreme, dok se sve ne sjedini. Na kraju dodati seckanu crnu čokoladu. Masa će biti retka, ali to je u redu. Podeliti je na 8 korpica za mafine i odmah peći u unapred zagrejanoj rerni, na 200˚C, 12-15 minuta. Proveriti čačkalicom i paziti da se ne prepeku.

10 February 2015

MUD CAKE TRUFFLES

When it comes to delectable chocolate desserts, truffles are in my top ten favourites. And so is mud cake. So why not enjoy both? These are made with dark cocoa powder and dark chocolate, glazed by tempered bittersweet chocolate. It really doesn't get better than that in chocolate world. They do take a bit of prep time, but they are worth it.

Mud cake truffles tinascookings.blogspot.com

Mud cake truffles tinascookings.blogspot.com

Ingredients:
For the truffles
100 grams sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
120 grams flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
120 ml whole milk
50 ml oil
60 ml hot water
100 grams cooking chocolate
100 grams orange marmalade
150 grams butter
For the decoration
400 grams bittersweet chocolate

Preparation:
Sift together the flour with the cocoa powder and baking powder, and set it aside. In a large bowl, add the egg, sugar and vanilla and whisk vigorously for about a minute, until the batter becomes thick and pale. Add the milk and the oil, whisk briefly, then add the dry ingredients and whisk until well blended. Slowly drizzle in the hot water, a bit at a time, whisking constantly. Blend well and pour the batter in a greased and floured cake pan (23 cm, 9"). Bake in a preheated oven, at 200˚C (395˚F) for 15-18 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then take it out and place it on a wire rack to cool completely. The cake needs to be completely cool before making truffles. You can make it at least 3 hours earlier, up to night before.
When the cake is well chilled, crumble it up with your hands until you get fine crumbs. Melt the chocolate with the butter (in a double boiler or in the microwave) and set it aside for about a minute. Place the cake crumbs in a large bowl, add the orange marmalade and half of the chocolate and start mixing with an electric mixer on low. Keep mixing on low while slowly pouring in the rest of the melted chocolate. Increase the speed and mix for about 30 seconds more, to completely blend the batter.
Let it cool down for about 5 minutes and prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Using a small cookie scoop (about a tablespoon of the batter), take out the batter and roll it gently between your palms to shape the truffles. Place them on the lined baking sheet and put them in the fridge for at least 4 hours, up to overnight. When ready to decorate, melt and temper the chocolate and dip the truffles one at a time. Place the dipped truffles back on the paper and let the chocolate set. Serve immediately or keep in a plastic container. Yields 35 truffles.
MUD CAKE KUGLICE OD ČOKOLADE

Sastojci:
Za kuglice
100 grama šećera
1 kašičica vanile
1 jaje
120 grama brašna
2 kašičice praška za pecivo
4 kašike nezaslađenog kakao praha
120 ml punomasnog mleka
50 ml ulja
60 ml vrele vode
100 grama crne čokolade
100 grama marmelade od narandže
150 grama malaca
Za dekoraciju
400 grama crne čokolade

Prosejati brašno sa kakao prahom i praškom za pecivo i ostaviti sa strane. U veliku posudu staviti jaje, šećer i vanilu, pa mutiti žicom minut-dva, da masa postane svetla i gusta. Tome dodati mleko i ulje, kratko promešati, pa dodati suve sastojke i mešati dok se sve ne sjedini i ne dobije se gusta masa. Polako sipati vrelu vodu, mešajući žicom sve vreme. Masu sipati u pobrašnjeni i podmazani kalup za tortu (23 cm) i peći u unapred zagrejanoj rerni, na 200˚C, 15-18 minuta. Ostaviti koricu u kalupu 10 minuta, a zatim je prebaciti na žicu za hlađenje da se ohladi u potpunosti. Važno je da korica bude potpuno hladna pre pravljenja kuglica, tako da je napraviti barem 3 sata ranije ili čak prethodne večeri.
Kada je korica ohlađena, izmrviti je rukama u potpunosti, staviti u veliku činiju i ostaviti sa strane. Čokoladu i maslac otopiti na pari ili u mikrotalasnoj, pa staviti sa strane da se malo prohladi. Mrvicama kolača dodati marmeladu i polovinu otopljene čokolade, pa mutiti mikserom na najslabijoj brzini dok se masa ne poveže. Dodati ostatak čokolade i mutiti, postepeno pojačavati brzinu. Na samom kraju mutiti najjačom brzinom oko 30 sekundi, pa ostaviti da se masa hladi oko 5 minuta.
Pripremiti veliki pleh i obložiti ga papirom za pečenje. Kašikom zahvatati masu i dlanovima oblikovati kuglice, te ih ređati na pleh. Ostaviti ceo pleh u frižider na najmanje 4 sata (ili preko noći), kako bi se kuglice stegle. Kada su kuglice ohlađene, otopiti čokoladu i pripremiti je za glaziranje, glazirati jednu po jednu kuglicu i ređati ih nazad na pleh. Ostaviti da se čokolada stegne i služiti (35 kuglica).

05 February 2015

HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE SAUCE

Chocolate sauce is my absolute favourite topping for ice-creams. Rich, smooth, with just a hint of rum, the sauce is perfect to serve over any dessert, including cakes, profiteroles, churros, or even puddings. It is really easy to make, takes only 10 minutes to put it together, cook and serve. But two things are important to know when making this sauce. Do not skip the sifting because you may end up with lumps of cocoa powder in the final product. And do not add more cornflour, even if it seems runny while it's piping hot.

Homemade chocolate sauce tinascookings.blogspot.com

Homemade chocolate sauce tinascookings.blogspot.com

Ingredients:
250 ml sweetened condensed milk
100 ml heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons high quality unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons corn starch (cornflour)
2 teaspoons icing sugar
½ teaspoon rum

Preparation:
Pour the sweetened condensed milk in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the heavy cream and whisk it together. Sift in the cocoa powder and the cornflour, along with the icing sugar and whisk everything until well blended. Place the saucepan on the stove (medium high heat) and let it heat up slightly, then whisk it vigorously again. When it gets warmer, start whisking. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and let it boil for about 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly. Do not step away from the stove, because the sauce might burn. When the sauce is cooked and slightly thickened, remove it from the heat and add the rum. Whisk well and let it stand for about 15 minutes. Stir it well and pour it into a clean sterilized jar with a tight-fitting lid and keep it refrigerated. Yields about 1 1/2 cups of sauce. © Tina Vesić
Note: The sauce will thicken as it cools down. If you want a thinner sauce, add 2-4 tablespoons of water while the sauce is coming to a boil.
DOMAĆI SOS OD ČOKOLADE

Sastojci:
250 ml slatkog kondenzovanog mleka
100 ml mlečne slatke pavlake
4 kašike kvalitetnog gorkog kakao praha
2 kašičice gustina
2 kašičice prah šećera
½ kašičice ruma

U šerpicu debljeg dna sipati slatko kondenzovano mleko i slatku pavlaku i dobro ih sjediniti žicom. Prosejati kakao, gustin i prah šećer u to, pa dobro izmešati žicom. Staviti na srednje jaku vatru i pustiti da se blago zagreje pa još jednom dobro izmešati. Pustiti da provri i početi sa stalnim mešanjem. Kuvati 2-3 minuta, stalno mešajući žicom, dok se sos ne zgusne blago. Ne ostavljati sos na šporetu bez mešanja, jer će zagoreti. Kada je sos skuvan, skinuti s vatre i umešati rum. Ostaviti 15 minuta da se blago prohladi, promešati dobro i sipati u sterilisanu teglicu (350 grama). © Tina Vesić
Napomena: Sos će se dodatno zgusnuti kako se hladi. Za ređi sos, dodati 2-4 kašike vode dok se masa zagreva (pre nego što provri).