Archive for June, 2008

Viennese Bread


When I red my second challenge  for DB’s, I was a bit disappointed as I was hopping to make something “pretty”, but the feeling was about to be changed 😉 . This challenge was another technique to learn, and talking about the flavors… citrus and cardamom  are great combination, with a hint of cinnamon and grape, plus apple bites.. I was drooling even before I made the bread 😉

Kelly & Ben, our hosts included the challenge with a video  for guidance,  I watched it and it seemed too easy to follow, as I started to work on my dough then  I  realized that it was NOT EASY AT ALL! It’s summer here in the desert, no air-co, everything became quickly warm, anyhow, the show still went on.

To make a long story short, my conclusion is: to be able to eat half of the bread by my self was worth the hard work to make it. 🙂

I made two kind of breads, one with apple and “selfmade” green grape jam, and the other one is fresh strawberry with chocolate.



For the dough (Detrempe) 

  • 1 ounce fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 2 large eggs, chilled
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the butter block (Beurrage)

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour


Combine yeast and milk in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed.  Slowly add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice.  Mix well.  Change to the dough hook and add the salt with the flour, 1 cup at a time, increasing speed to medium as the flour is incorporated.  Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until smooth.  You may need to add a little more flour if it is sticky.  Transfer dough to a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Without a standing mixer:  Combine yeast and milk in a bowl with a hand mixer on low speed or a whisk.  Add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice and mix well.  Sift flour and salt on your working surface and make a fountain.  Make sure that the “walls” of your fountain are thick and even.  Pour the liquid in the middle of the fountain.  With your fingertips, mix the liquid and the flour starting from the middle of the fountain, slowly working towards the edges.  When the ingredients have been incorporated start kneading the dough with the heel of your hands until it becomes smooth and easy to work with, around 5 to 7 minutes.  You might need to add more flour if the dough is sticky.

1.    Combine butter and flour in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle and then beat for 1 minute more, or until smooth and lump free.  Set aside at room temperature.
2.    After the detrempe has chilled 30 minutes, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.  Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 18 x 13 inches and ¼ inch thick.  The dough may be sticky, so keep dusting it lightly with flour.  Spread the butter evenly over the center and right thirds of the dough.  Fold the left edge of the detrempe to the right, covering half of the butter.  Fold the right third of the rectangle over the center third.  The first turn has now been completed.  Mark the dough by poking it with your finger to keep track of your turns, or use a sticky and keep a tally.  Place the dough on a baking sheet, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3.    Place the dough lengthwise on a floured work surface.  The open ends should be to your right and left.  Roll the dough into another approximately 13 x 18 inch, ¼-inch-thick rectangle.  Again, fold the left third of the rectangle over the center third and the right third over the center third.  No additional butter will be added as it is already in the dough. The second turn has now been completed.  Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
4.    Roll out, turn, and refrigerate the dough two more times, for a total of four single turns.  Make sure you are keeping track of your turns.  Refrigerate the dough after the final turn for at least 5 hours or overnight.  The Danish dough is now ready to be used.  If you will not be using the dough within 24 hours, freeze it.  To do this, roll the dough out to about 1 inch in thickness, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze.  Defrost the dough slowly in the refrigerator for easiest handling.  Danish dough will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Makes enough for two braids



  • 4 Fuji or other apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Toss all ingredients except butter in a large bowl.  Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until slightly nutty in color, about 6 – 8 minutes.  Then add the apple mixture and sauté until apples are softened and caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes.  If you’ve chosen Fujis, the apples will be caramelized, but have still retained their shape. Pour the cooked apples onto a baking sheet to cool completely before forming the braid.  (If making ahead, cool to room temperature, seal, and refrigerate.) They will cool faster when spread in a thin layer over the surface of the sheet.  After they have cooled, the filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Left over filling can be used as an ice cream topping, for muffins, cheesecake, or other pastries.

Makes enough for 2 large braids

1 recipe  Dough (see below)
2 cups apple filling, jam, or preserves (see below)

For the egg wash:  1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk

1.    Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.  On a lightly floured  surface, roll the Danish Dough into a 15 x 20-inch rectangle, ¼ inch thick.  If the dough seems elastic and shrinks back when rolled, let it rest for a few minutes, then roll again.  Place the dough on the baking sheet.
2.    Along one long side of the pastry make parallel, 5-inch-long cuts with a knife or rolling pastry wheel, each about 1 inch apart.  Repeat on the opposite side, making sure to line up the cuts with those you’ve already made.
3.    Spoon the filling you’ve chosen to fill your braid down the center of the rectangle.  Starting with the top and bottom “flaps”, fold the top flap down over the filling to cover.  Next, fold the bottom “flap” up to cover filling.  This helps keep the braid neat and helps to hold in the filling. Now begin folding the cut side strips of dough over the filling, alternating first left, then right, left, right, until finished.  Trim any excess dough and tuck in the ends.

Egg Wash
Whisk together the whole egg and yolk in a bowl and with a pastry brush, lightly coat the braid.

Proofing and Baking
1.    Spray cooking oil (Pam…) onto a piece of plastic wrap, and place over the braid.  Proof at room temperature or, if possible, in a controlled 90 degree F environment for about 2 hours, or until doubled in volume and light to the touch.
2.    Near the end of proofing, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Position a rack in the center of the oven.
3.    Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan so that the side of the braid previously in the back of the oven is now in the front. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake about 15-20 minutes more, or until golden brown.  Cool and serve the braid either still warm from the oven or at room temperature.  The cooled braid can be wrapped airtight and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze for 1 month.


Coca Cola Cupcakes


I have this love and hate relationship with coca-cola, as I usually don’t drink soda/pop, but I never can resist the charm of the “coke” (sound so kitch, but what ever 😉 ). When I was pregnant with my first child for the first 3 month I couldn’t drink anything (not even water) but coke, so I used to let the bottle open to take out the gas,  thinking the whole time that it would be bad for the baby, but in the other hand when the girl got to drink , she got to drink.

This recipe I took it from NIggela’s book “How to be a domestic goddess”


  • 200 gr flour
  • 250 gr caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 175 ml Coca-Cola
  • 125 gr butter
  • 1 egg
  • 125 ml buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons Coca-Cola
  • 225gr icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Preaheat the oven to 180’C and In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, bicarb and salt. Beat the egg, butter-milk and vanilla in a measuring jug. in a heavy based saucepan, melt the butter, cocoa and coca-cola, heating it gently. Pour into dry ingredirents, stir well with a wooden spoon, and then add the liquid ingredients from the jug, beating until it is well blended.

Pour into a 12-bun muffin tray and bake for 40 minutes or until a tester come out clean.

Sieve the icing sugar and set aside. In a heavy-based saucepan, combine the butter, Coca-cola and cocoa and stir over a low heat until the butte has melted. remove from the heat, add the vanilla, and spoon in the sieved icing sugar, beating as you do so, until you’ve got a good spreadale but still runny icing.

Pour icing over the cake, while the cake is still warm, and leave till cool before transfering to the plate on which you’re serving it.


The Chief of the club tagged me with music meme… to tell the truth I was a music addict before, but now I’ve slowed down, try to leave my “addiction” behind.  Now, music is like a box of gourmet chocolates, I only “eat” it every now and then.

But, nevertheless I have my all time favorites:

  • ONE by U2
  • Desert Rose by  Sting and Cheb Mami
  • Silencio by Ibrahim Ferrer

I also sing “Old mc Donald” and  “Twinkle-Twinkle little star” almost every day with my two munchies 😉




Coffee Macarons with Dark Chocolate Ganache

What’s for breakfast today? Macarooooooon…. qiqiiiq, I’m SAHM with a baby and a pre-schooler (on holidays) I need the sugar boost every morning 😉 , actually I wanted to make this, but my dh forgot to buy pistachio last night (although I specifically asked him to please bring some pistachio home, after work 😦  )

So I made a turn to this, trying to expand my “macaron making skill”… daring another recipe… I think once you succeed, you’ll be coming back for more.

I made sure that the white eggs “aged” well, leaved them over night AND zapped them in the microwave for 10 secs, I don’t have oven thermometer, but I try to touch the door of my gas oven just to make sure if its warm enough. I also  literally watch my macarons from the beginning I baked them in (like a child looking behind the candy shop window), making sure that they showed their “legs” in 5 minutes ( I red somewhere, that if they don’t, you can stop baking because it means that your macarons are doomed)

I’m happy with the legs, but not so much with the dof  (un-smooth) top shell’s surfaces.

The process of learning still going on…

Tropical Punch

Summer time... Summer heat, when I need something  to “cool off”, this is my perfect choice.

I am in a  tropical island, under the coconut trees, on a hammock, beside the sea, drinking this tropical punch..and then… suddenly I wake up!!!…oh no, where am I? In the dessert??? Ah… Thank God I still got the “drink” 😉

This is also my entry for the fruit of the month – AFAM: Coconut, host by Tasty Palettes



  • 400 ml Coconut milk
  • 400 gr Jack fruits
  • 200 gr Lychee
  • 200 gr Fruits cocktail
  • 200 gr Sweet condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp Grenadine syrup
  • 200 ml Sprite
  • Ice cubes


Mix all the Ingredients together in a big bowl, chill, drink with a couple of ice cubes



Another simple middle-eastern recipe, perfect for light lunch, crispy Arabic bread, crunchy sauteed almonds , the tasteful onions,  a hint of sourness of sumac and moist with olives oil… yum…yum…

I’m sending this for the entry of AWED: Middle Eastern Cuisine , host by Siri and Dhivya.

Recipe for the bread, you can find it here,


  • 100 gr Almonds or peanuts
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 2 tbsp Olives oil
  • 2 tsp Sumac
  • Salt


  1. Saute onions with 1 tbsp olives oil until just soft,  (for non vegetarian you can add chicken fillet), season with salt, mix, remove from the heat, mix with sumac set aside. Heat oven  180′ C
  2. Fried the almonds with the other tbsp of olives oil until golden brown.
  3. Add the sauteed onions and almonds (with all of the oil) on top of the bread, put in the oven for 5 minutes.
  4. Eat while warm


Rose Macarons with Vanilla Yogurts Butter Cream

Like Arfi said, that we in the KBB have been struggling with macarons,  thank’s to Dita, who made this as an informal challenge for us.

I wanted to make it actually for two reasons, first  because I miss Paris… it has been like what??? 7 years since last time… it used to be one of my favorite weekend getaways when I lived in Holland, secondly I miss my only sister,  last time I met her, was in London, before she departed for her honeymoon to Italy, almost 1 and half years ago… My baby sister (27 years old, not so “baby” anymore but still a baby sister to me 😛 ) loves Macarons.

So this pictures of macarons have 2 titles too, one : My sister and Me, two : Paris & Me 😀

As for the recipe I used  “the one” from  Tartellete’s , but I “studied” many recipes and watched a couple of movies to  prepare my self for the “battle” 😉 It’s my first time, it’s far away from perfect, even from the same batch I put half  on the silpat, came out with legs, the other half on baking paper they cracked…. and piping it out, I know for sure I need a lot of practices in that area too 🙂 but for the mean time I just enjoy those macaroon’s legs 🙂

Oh… and, I used rose water flavor for the shells and simply vanilla and a tablespoon of hard yogurts (lebaneh) to give a bit of sour taste to the butter cream.


UPDATE: I’m sending this as my entry to the Mad for macarons in May, because I think Helen of Tartelette should get a present for allowing us all to use her recipes 🙂


My favorite cake of all time 😉 , un-modified, simple but real TIRAMISU, the Italian way. A good kick-up to start the day …yeah, I ate it for breakfast.


  • 250gr mascarpone cheese
  • 2 eggs (separated)
  • 1 package savoiardi
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 espresso cups of  italian coffee (cooled)
  • cocoa powder (unsweetened)



Poor espresso into shallow flat bowl and let it cool down.

Separate egg yolks and whites.
In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until creamy quite white, then whip in the mascarpone and mix gently.

In a second mixing bowl, beat eggs whites and whip until stiff and fluffy

Gently fold beaten and mix mascarpone cream with egg whites just  to blend.

Dip each savoiardo in the bowl with espresso. To get the right amount of espresso on the savoiardi, pull it out before they become too soft.

Arrange a layer of dipped savoiardi across the bottom of the pan. Then spoon a layer of egg/mascarpone cream across the layer of savoiardi. Use about 1/2 of the mascarpone mix.

Dip another layer of savoiardi and lay them on the mascarpone mix. Put the remaining mascarpone mix on it.

Dust  top with the cocoa powder

Refrigerate for at least 5 hours before serving.


This is non-foodie related, but just to let you know that she is my favorite sweet, my “cookie” :), asleep while I was making the tiramisu.