Sunday, 29 July 2012

Tapioca Pearls Pudding

So I never had tapioca pearls before, but it always interested me....The texture is still strange for me, but some parts of the world have this dessert for ages. I tried it hot and cold as well, strangely I prefer its hot, but my husband loves it cold. I also experimented with the taste, added pandan essence to one half and coconut to the other.

Tapioca Pearls Pudding

100g tapioca pearls
500ml pineapple and coconut juice
1 tinned coconut milk
half a mango
1tsp pandan essence/Pandanus essence
20g white chocolate
50g creamed coconut

"Pandanus or Pandan essence is and extract made from the leaves of the Pandan (Screwpine) plant. The essence is used in South Asian cooking, primarily for desserts, it is also a naturally green, therefore it is also used to add colour to foods."

Put the tapioca pearls into a bowl and add the fruit juice. Leave it to soak overnight. 

Next day put the tapioca with the fruit juice into a heavy based pan and heat it under a medium heat stirring constantly. As soon as it starts to boil it will thicken, add the coconut milk. Keep stirring until the white pearls become colourless and you have a sticky, jellylike paste (If you find that the pearls still hard, add some fruit juice and keep cooking).

Divide the tapioca pudding into two. To one part add the grated white chocolate and the grated creamed coconut and mix together. To the other part add the pandan essence and mix in until evenly blended.

Until it cools slice up the mango. I cut some slices and chopped the rest of the mango. Put a spoonful of chopped mango to the bottom of the glasses. 
Add one of the tapioca pudding and decorate with the sliced mango.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Curd Cheese and Jam Parcel/ Túrós és Lekváros Bukta

This is the other delicacy that a typical Hungarian children gets for their breakfast before school. It is filling and because of the curd cheese, we had all the Calcium we needed:) Although that isn't the reason we love is more to do with the delicious texture of the dough and the sweet curd cheese filling with the raisins.

Curd Cheese and Jam Parcel/ Túrós és Lekváros Bukta

For the dough(makes about 15 medium one)
500g plain flour
60g fat - preferably but you can use butter instead
1pinch of salt
50g sugar
2 egg yolks
25g fresh yeast-you can use dried as well
300 ml milk

For the filling 
300g curd cheese *more on this at Tricks and Recommendations
1 egg
100g sugar
3-4 tbsp semolina
zest of 1/2 lemon
raisin to your taste, somebody doesn't like it, I usually add in about 100g

any thick jam that is suitable for baking- I usually use prune if I have a home made one

2 eggs
icing sugar to dust

Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm milk with a pinch of sugar, cover it and leave it to rise. Shift the flour into a bowl and rub in the room temperature fat. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and the yeasty milk. Work it together, kneed for 5-10 minutes and shape a soft dough. Cover with cling film and leave it to rise until it doubles in size(approximately 1-2 hours).

In the meantime you can prepare the filling. Simply mix together the curd cheese, egg, sugar, semolina, lemon zest and raisin.

Preheat the oven to 180C.
When the dough is well risen transfer it to a lightly floured surface and kneed it for a couple of minutes. Divide the dough into two (unless you have a massive work surface) and with a rolling pin roll out until it is 0.5-0.8cm in thickness.

Cut out squares (not like me as I was in a rush) and place about 2 tbsp of filling (curd cheese  in one half and jam to the other half of dough)  in the middle of the parcels. Now you can start folding the corners towards the centre, doing one corner, than the opposite side, and the other two. 

As you fold it it is quite likely you will see the filling in the corners, but it is fine, it supposed to be like that. Brush it with the egg wash and bake it in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until it is golden brown in colour. When ready dust it with icing sugar.

Chocolate Rolls/ Kakaós csiga

In Hungary for breakfast before school we often had this "sweets". It could have cinnamon or cocoa powder filling, either way, it gives you all the energy you need for the day. Now that I am older I still love to eat this....maybe because it is DELICIOUS! Only problem you have to make the dough and leave it to rise, so it isn't like you make up your mind and in half an hour you can have it. I will use the same dough for my Curd cheese/Jam filled parcels as well. Size wise it should be bigger than your palm, but it is totally up to you how many layers you roll up.

Chocolate Rolls/ Kakaós Csiga

For the dough(makes about 15 medium one)
500g plain flour
60g fat at room temperature - preferably but you can use butter instead
1pinch of salt
50g sugar
2 egg yolks
25g fresh yeast-you can use dried as well
300 ml milk

For the filling
200g butter-at room temperature
10 tbsp icing sugar
8 tbsp cocoa powder
2 vanilla pod
2 tsp cinnamon

2 egg yolks
200 ml single cream

Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm milk with a pinch of sugar, cover it and leave it to rise. Shift the flour into a bowl and rub in the room temperature fat. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and the yeasty milk. Work it together, kneed for 5-10 minutes and shape a soft dough. Cover with cling film and leave it to rise until it doubles in size(approximately 1-2 hours).

In the meantime you can prepare the filling. Simply mix together the butter, icing sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla seeds and the cinnamon. You should get a thick chocolaty paste.

Preheat the oven to 180C.
When the dough is well risen transfer it to a lightly floured surface and kneed it for a couple of minutes. Divide the dough into two (unless you have a massive work surface) and with a rolling pin roll out until it is 0.5-0.8cm in thickness.

Spread half of the chocolate cream across the whole surface of the dough.

Starting at one end roll up the dough and cut them 1-1.5cm pieces.

Place the dough on a baking sheet, but leave enough space for the dough to rise even further. Repeat the process with the other half of the dough. Leave it to rest for 30 minutes. Brush them with egg wash and bake them in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

When the rolls are light brown in colour, pour over the heated single cream. This will keep the dough soft and the filling won't dry out even days after baking.....well in theory as I never managed to test this statement:)

Put  back to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes until it is golden brown in colour. When ready, leave it to cool and shift some icing sugar on top. Enjoy.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Summer Field Rainbow Cake

It is my sister's 14th birthday!!!!!! As she is staying with me for a month, we had the chance to prepare her cake together! I had this vision before...with the grass, flowers and the butterflies.....that hides a rainbow cake underneath. I have to say it all turned out very well, but I am not truly happy with the cake sponge. I used curd cheese filling and white cake recipe-apparently it is really popular in the US (I never heard about that before). White cake usually used in rainbow cake recipe, as you should leave out the egg yolks, that creates a white sponge-so easier to colour. Anyway I share the recipe...maybe it is just my baking abilities....
I know the food colouring isn't the best for us...but you only have Birthday once a year!

Summer Field Rainbow Cake

Nyári Mezővel borított Szivárvány Torta

For the sponge
290gr plain flour
250g sugar
150g butter/fat
300ml milk
3 tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
1 tsp almond extract
5 egg whites
5 different food colouring

For the filling
150ml coconut milk
400g curd cheese
2 vanilla pod
60g dessicated coconut
85g cream cheese
100ml double cream
4 tbsp icing sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp Amaretto
green food colouring

For the butterflies and flowers
50g Gum paste/Flower paste
food colouring of your choice

For the grass
80g dessicated coconut
green food colouring

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Mix the flour, sugar, butter,milk, baking powder, salt and almond extract. When it is all mixed add the egg whites and mix it again. Divide the mixture to 5 bowls and add the food colouring to each one. Line the cake tin with baking paper and bake each layer for 20 minutes or until the top springs back if you touch lightly with your fingertip.

In the meantime you can prepare the butterflies and flowers. Divide the flower paste to 3 parts. 

Colour two of them and roll them out on a flat surface. Using your butterfly and flower cutters cut out the shapes. Place the butterflies on a folded paper, so when they dry out and harden the wings will hold their shape.

For the cream mix together all the ingredients with an electric mixer.

You can start layering your cake. When all layers are covered with cream I added some green food colouring to the leftover, so when I cover the cake, the outside layer will be green (in case the dessicated coconut wouldn't cover all surface). 

For the grass simply put the dessicated coconut into a bowl and pour on top the green food colouring(as much as it turns the coconut to green) and start mixing with a silicon spoon to cover all shreds. When you are happy with the result, put the grass on top of the cream (the cream should stuck on the surface as it is wet).

Place on top the butterflies and the flowers....and you are ready. Keep the cake in the fridge.

And you can see the smile on her face when she blew out the candle.

Dobos Torte/ Dobos Torta

This cake is my mother's favourite, so on her last day I made this torte for her to take home in the suitcase. By the way the cake survived the journey without any defect. I will give you a short description of this cake, as this is one of best know Hungarian cake.

Dobos Torte/ Dobos Torta

So first some history on the cake itself:
"Dobos torte  (pronounced [ˈdoboʃ]HungarianDobos torta) is a Hungarian cake named after its inventor, a well-known Hungarian confectioner, József C. Dobos (1847–1924) in 1884. It is a five-layer sponge cake, layered with chocolate buttercream and topped with thin caramel slices. The sides of the cake are sometimes coated with ground hazelnutschestnutswalnuts or almonds but the original cake is uncoated, since it was a slice of a big cake. Dobos' aim was to make a cake that would last longer than other pastries, in an age when cooling techniques were limited. The caramel topping helps keep the cake from drying out. The cake is also often called 'Dobos-torta' or 'Dobostorta'.

Dobosh or Dobos Torte (type of cake) was first introduced at the National General Exhibition of Budapest in 1885; Franz Joseph I and his Empress Elisabeth were among the first to taste it. The cake soon became popular throughout Europe as it was different from all others. It was simple but elegant, as opposed to the multi-layer, flaming cakes of the age. Its other secret was its use of fine butter cream, which was very little known at the time; cake fillings and frostings were usually made with cooked pastry cream or whipped cream. The chocolate butter cream and the batter of the cake were both invented by Jozsef C. Dobos.
Dobos Torte is known everywhere in the world and there are more than one hundred recipe variations. It is a commonly made torte in the upscale hotels, restaurants and pastry shops of the world."

So according to the description on Wikipedia it is a 5 layer sponge cake(+the top), but my recipe states I will go with that one...but the end of the day it doesn't really matter if it tastes nice.

For the sponge
8 eggs
170g granulated sugar
150g plain flour
50g butter, melted cooled down to room temperature

For the cream
3 egg yolks
200g sugar
25g plain flour
250ml milk
100g dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa solid)
350g butter at room temperature

For the top
100g sugar

Before you start the sponge you have to prepare the chocolate cream as it needs to cool down completely.
In a pan heat up the milk. In a bowl mix together the 3 egg yolks and the sugar with an electric mixer then add in the flour. Slowly (to avoid lumps) add the warm milk to loosen the mix, then transfer the mix to the pan that you heated the milk earlier. Add the chopped dark chocolate and under low heat melt the chocolate and thicken the mixture. When it is rich and creamy set it aside and leave it to cool completely.

Separate the yolks from the whites. In a big mixing bowl whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt to stiff peaks than add the sugar and mix it again. Add the egg yolks and the butter and mix it again.  Fold in the shifted flour(in 3 lots to avoid lumps). 

Preheat the oven to 170C. 
Now you have two options. Either you draw 20cm circles on to baking paper and spread the 1/7 of the sponge mix on it....this is what I did for years. But this year I invested into two 20cm baking ring, so all I have to do is line a flat baking sheet with baking paper, place the ring on it and pour 1/7 of the sponge mixture on it.
Bake each sponge for 10 minutes or until pale gold in colour.

I guess this is the hardest part for me: to divide the mixture to get exactly 7sponges...and all sponges to be the same thickness. Usually I use lots of baking paper when I do this cake as I leave to rest all 7sponge on its lining.

In the meantime you can prepare your filling. Cut the butter to squares and mix in the cooled, room temperature chocolate cream until well incorporated. 
Now you can start layering the sponges with the cream but leave one sponge out for the top caramel layer.

For the caramel layer heat the sugar in a pan over medium heat. The most important part is just shake the pan as the sugar melts, but never stir. If you stir the sugar you break up the sugar crystals and you will get a rock hard caramel which will be inedible...unless you have metal teeth.

Pour the caramel over the 7th sponge(you should place your sponge on a chopping board, so if the caramel run off the sponge you don't have to replace your worktop) and spread it with a spatula knife. With a big oily or buttery knife cut the top to the desired number of triangles...try not to burn yourself. This is the hardest part, as working with the caramel is tricky and the caramel layer will the centrepiece of the if you ruin it...well anyway the taste is the most important.
When it is ready you can place the triangles on top of the cake. Keep it in the fridge.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Chocolate Cake with Toasted Almonds

I made 2 cakes for my husband's birthday (English people still have the tradition, that you should bring in sweets if you have a birthday-we had the same tradition in Hungary up to age 10 when you left the lower grades of elementary school). Anyway I totally forgot about it, and I needed a quick and light chocolate cake, as few people wouldn't eat the fruits on his workplace. I didn't have time to mess about complicated and complex chocolate cake (I started to bake after 8pm) so I baked this extra quick and light cake(you can use a 23cm round tin as well, but if I bake for a crowd I prefer the square one as it is easier to slice nicely).

Chocolate Cake with Toasted Almonds

For the sponge
6 eggs
pinch of salt
6 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
100 ml vegetable oil/sunflower oil
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp baking powder

For the cream
150g dark chocolate
50g double cream
50g cream cheese
8 tbsp forest/apricot/raspberry jam 

For the cake cover
50g dark chocolate
40ml double cream
1 tsp liquid glucose
100g toasted almonds

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 19X25cm cake tin.
Separate the eggs then with a pinch of salt beat the egg whites until it form stiff peaks. While continuously mixing with an electrical mixer add the egg yolks, then the sugar and the oil(mixing between each addition). 
Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and the baking powder in two lots, carefully folding in the mixture.

 If you rush this step you can ruin your whole cake. Two typical mistakes: not folding thoroughly and you will have small lumps of flour in the ready sponge, or you mix it too vigorously and you break up the air bubbles in the mixture(that you created with the mixer) and it won't rise at all in the oven.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the inserted wooden skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool then take it out from the pan.

For the filling melt the copped chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, then add in the double cream and the cream cheese. 

Divide the cooled sponge to three parts with a cake leveller and start assembling the cake.
Brush 4 tbsp jam on top of the sponge then add half of the chocolate cream and sprinkle over a handful of toasted almonds. Repeat the process with the second level, than cover the cake with the top layer of sponge.

For cake cover, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, then add the double cream and the liquid glucose. Pour over the cake and using a spatula knife cover the sides as well. Sprinkle over the rest of the toasted almonds. On the sides I paced the almonds on one by one to have an even surface(it only takes 2-3minutes).

Keep in the fridge until consuming, but remove 15 minutes before serving, so the chocolate can soften a bit.

The other cake was the standard white chocolate and coconut cream filled red velvet cake for their special request:

Sunday, 15 July 2012

American Pancake /Amerikai Palacsinta

My mum and my sister is staying with us this week, and I asked them what they would like to eat. They said American pancake with maple syrup would be great, as they only saw it on  the telly so far. So here it is on the first day for breakfast:

American Pancake

Ingredients (makes about 15 small pancakes)
200g flour
14g baking powder
20g icing sugar
20g maple syrup
40g melted butter
2 eggs
1.5 dl milk

some oil to grease the pan

Mix the flour, baking powder, icing sugar maple syrup, melted butter and eggs and slowly add in the milk, mixing well between each addition. You will have a thick butter.

Heat a frying pan and with a silicone brush apply a few drops of vegetable/sunflower oil. Pour a big spoonful of batter to the pan and fry each side for 30 seconds.

While cooking cover the ready pancakes with a kitchen foil to keep them warm until the rest is ready.

Serve with maple syrup, butter or jam...

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Cheesy Scones/Sajtos Pogácsa

So Pogácsa is a "national dish" for Hungarians. Ask any Hungarian if they know what Pogácsa is? You will have an ohhhh, áhhhh I love them. That is all you need to know before making this. Pogácsa or Cheesy scones usually requires at least 1-2 hours rise time, but not this one...So you can make this even if you are in a hurry. I got this recipe from a Hungarian blogger (Kriszta konyhája). Enjoy.

Cheesy Scones/ Sajtos Pogácsa

400g flour
250g butter at room tempeature
2dl soured cream
30g yeast
150g grated smoked cheese
2 tsp salt

For the top
2 egg yolks
grated cheese

Preheat the oven to 180C. 
 Mix all ingredients in a bowl to form a dough. 
On a floured surface roll out the dough to 2cm thick and with a cookie cutter cut 3cm rounds.

Transfer them on a baking sheet, then apply the egg wash on top and add a pinch of grated cheese on top.
Bake it for 20-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

In the end I made this batch of Cheesy Scones and a batch of Crackling scones...this is how we went to pick up my mum and my sister from the airport (in case they are hungry:) Typical Hungarian attitude to guests:) By the way at the time when I made the picture the other batch of crackling scones was still in the oven.

Crackling Scones/Tepertős Pogácsa

I found this description at the Hairy Bikers recipe site, regarding the Crackling Scones (as they travelled to Hungary during this season): " These savoury scones are often mentioned in Hungarian fables and folk tales as they as the sustaining food that the young man off to conquer the world takes in his backpack. They're traditionally served with beef gulash soup too."  

The first part it totally correct. We have this lovely type of food across the year( by the way you will receive a small scone in your pack on your school leaving ceremony:) 
But the second part is totally wrong. We would NEVER have these with goulash (gulyás) soup...what is the point? Both pogácsa and goulash soup is filling as they are.

Crackling Scones/ Tepertős Pogácsa

500g flour
250g crackling chopped up (you can have fresh one from your local butcher) can be pork, duck, or goose
30g butter at room tempeature
50g yeast
2 dl milk
1 tbsp sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp soured cream
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper


Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm milk with a pinch of sugar, cover it and leave it to rise.
In a big bowl mix the flour, salt, milk, crackling, butter, soured cream, rest of the sugar and egg yolks. Work it thoroughly and from a dough. Cover with cling film and leave it to rise in a warm place for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 190C.
On a floured surface roll it out to 2cm thick and make some cuts on the surface on the dough. With a cookie cutter cut 3cm rounds out and lay it on a baking tray covered with baking paper.

Cover the top of the scones with egg wash. Bake it for 20-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

In the end I made this batch of Crackling Scones and a batch of Cheesy scones...this is how we went to pick up my mum and my sister from the airport (in case they are hungry:) Typical Hungarian attitude to guests:) By the way at the time when I made the picture the other batch of crackling scones was still in the oven.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Pancakes:Banana and Coconut, Curd cheese and Raisin, Summer fruit and Custard

My husband were moaning all the time, that I don't make pancakes for him.... Well he had a bad day today, so I decided to cheer him up...guess I managed it:) I always made up my batter as I go, but here is my friend's, Kabi's Kitchen batter recipe. I never measured the ingredients so now I tired his recipe and it is like mine:)well the end result. 

Pancakes or Crêpes 

(Banana and Coconut, Curd cheese and raisin, Summer Fruits and Custard)

For the Batter (makes about 20)
400g plain flour
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
500ml milk
250ml sparkling water of soda water
4 eggs
sunflower oil

Sift the flour in a mixing bowl and add the salt and sugar. Make a well in the middle and add the eggs and the milk(add the milk in two portion mixing well in between). Mix it well, and slowly add the sparkling water until it reach the consistency  of thicker single cream. 
Stir it up before you start to make them. Heat up the pan until very hot with some oil and make the first batch of the pancakes. Poor the mixture in the middle of the pan, and with circular motion of your wrist spread it evenly. When the edges start to brown flip it with a plastic spatula or a flat wooden spoon. In order to get out of the kitchen before midnight use at least 2 frying pan/pancake pan...I usually do it with three and create a small production line.

If your pancake is too thick add some sparkling water.


Banana and Coconut filling (enough for 4-8 depending how much you put in)
So this first filling was the winner today, but I guess we never had pancakes with banana or coconut before, so it was new for us. Actually I just mixed these ingredients together not knowing what will be like. But now on it is on my pancake filling list of all times:)
250ml double cream
100g creamed coconut
100g dessicated coconut
 Banana (1 per pancake)

50g dark chocolate
100ml double cream

With an electric mixer whip the double cream to soft peaks. Add in the freshly grated creamed coconut and the dessicated coconut and mix it together.
Slice the bananas. 

Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over boiling water in a pan. When it is melted add the double cream in small portions and mix well between each addition. Depending on the type of chocolate you use, maybe it will need less or a little more double cream, what you looking for is a thick chocolate sauce texture.

Put a layer of coconut cream to the pancakes and arrange the banana slices on top. Fold on the other half of the pancake then add some chocolate sauce on top. 

Curd Cheese and Raisin (Túrós mazsolás)

This filling is undoubtedly Hungarian, and my childhood favourite(mind you there wasn't an awful lot of choice back then: this filling, jam, or cocoa/cinnamon+sugar), but I sill love it.

Ingredients (for about 10 pancakes)
250g curd cheese *More on this topic at Tricks and Recommendations
150 ml double cream
zest of 1\2 lemon
3 tbsp icing sugar
50g raisins( preferably soaked in hot water for 10 minutes before using it)

Whip the double cream to hard peaks with an electric mixer. Add the curd cheese, lemon zest, icing sugar and raisins and mix it.
Well that is it. You can fill your pancakes and roll it or fold it:)

Summer Fruits and Custard

Ok I admit, I committed a sin: I used custard powder, instead making my own one. But I am human and I have a day job, so sometimes I have to make short cuts:)

selection of summer fruits: I used loganberries, strawberries and blackcurrants
custard powder

Clean your fruits and arrange on the pancake. Mix the custard powder with hot water and pour it on top of the pancake.

So these were my fillings for today but you can use anything else like: jam, nutella, nuts,  cinnamon/cocoa powder and sugar mix, lemon juice and sugar, fruits with whipped cream on the top, caramelised fruits with ice cream and coulis, etc.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Melt in the middle Chocolate Puddings

I bought some dariole moulds months ago, but I didn't have the chance to use them yet. So I thought a nice Sunday will be perfect for it. It passed the test, I made these beauties in 30minutes, from start to serve, so I am really impressed with this new quick dessert. Mind you I wouldn't recommend to serve this after a 2 course heavy lunch, actually we had this instead of lunch:) The original recipe is form my favourite book: 1000 Recipes.

Melt in the Middle Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients for 4X175ml dariole moulds or individual pudding basins
45g butter, softened plus extra for greasing
250g dark chocolate, chopped
90g dark muscovado sugar
2 vanilla pods
45g plain flour

Generously butter the sides and bottom of the moulds. Cut a piece of greaseproof paper to fit in the bottom of each and put in position. Set aside and preheat the oven to  180C.

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until blended and smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla. 
Shift the flour in and gently stir in, then stir in the chocolate. 

Divide the batter equally between the moulds: the mixture won't fill them to the tops.

Put the pudding moulds into the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the sides are set, but the centres are still soft when lightly pressed with your fingertips.

With a long tongs remove form the oven and turn each into a serving plate. For me as soon as I turned them on the plate, it just slip out...perfectly behaving pudding:) Serve the puddings hot.

Serve with fresh summer fruits, ice cream or softly whipped double cream, custard...etc

Hints and tips
You can even try to grind in some orange zest, or add a tiny amount of chilli or some crushed cardamom to achieve something extra special for you guests

A Recept Magyarul