Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I hope all of you are getting ready for Halloween, I know I am!  Last night I made some cupcakes to bring to work - here is a little taste.  It was hard to decide what exactly to bake since there are so many things out there (many of which require meticulous planning) but I went with the old fave instead.  If you baked something cool, please feel free to forward your pictures and recipes, I would love to see them.

Anyway, I hope you all have a very spooky Halloween!!! =)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Slight Re-vamp

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to let you know that I am in the process of fixing my step by step pictures for the site.  By fixing I mean, color correcting, cropping, etc so that they are a little easier on the eyes.

I have only gotten half way but am trucking along, so please bare with me as I update this.  Unfortunately this means no new recipes probably for this week. 

Either way, see you soon with a new, better look! 

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jabocni Strudel!

Thats right, Apple Strudel!  Another hit from the Slovenian dessert world.  I made this one a couple months ago but somehow forgot about it until now.  This one is pretty similar to the Jabocna Potica (Apple Potica) but with a very different dough.  My dough didn't turn out as flaky as it probably should have.  I believe that this is due to using my power mixer instead of hand kneading.  Basically I think I over did it with the mixer and the dough came out hard, rather than soft and flaky.  That's just a note for any of you who (like me) are lazy about kneading dough. =)

On to the recipe!


350g dough (pre-made or homemade)

For homemade dough:

*NOTE: I haven't tried this dough recipe yet, I can't seem to find the recipe I DID use either - so if this one turns out well for you, please do let me know!

300g sifted flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter
20 ml hot water
2 eggs
salt to taste

Apple Filling:

1 to 1.5 kg of apples (the more sour the better, I used Granny Smith apples)
lemon rind
1 tablespoon of rum
80g sugar
20 ml sour cream
120g butter
50g bread crumbs
100g raisins (optional)


Sift the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl.  Dissolve butter using the hot water.  Beat in your eggs.  Add this to the flour and mix.  Place on a floured surface and knead well for 10 minutes or until dough is pliable.  Set aside and let rest for one hour.

Take a table cloth or clean sheet (I did not do this, but it will help you  to roll up your strudel once it's filled).  Make sure the cloth is long enough to hang over the sides.  Now dust it with flour and place the dough in the center.  With a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to make a circle. Slide your hand below the circle of dough and let the dough rest on the back of your hands with your palms down. Now pull the center gently toward you.  Stretch and pull the dough as you walk around the table. The dough should be as thin as tissue paper or as thin as you can get it.

Now for your filling.  Wash, peel and de-core your apples.   Grate your apples and place them in a bowl.  Add the lemon zest, rum, sugar, sour cream and if desired, raisins.  Set this mixture aside.  Take your butter and fry the breadcrumbs lightly and then add this mixture in with the apples.

Now you can add the mixture onto your spread dough making sure it is even.  Roll up the strudel by gently lifting the cloth from both sides (you may need help) and place your strudel in a well greased baking pan.  Bake it in the oven at 350F for about one hour, or until the dough is lightly browned.

Everyone seems to have a different method of cooking strudel.  I am not sure which is the best, but this is one way.  As I always seem to say, if you find a better recipe please pass it along and I will try it out on the site.

In case you were wondering, I put some left over lemon rinds on top of the dough before baking - not exactly artistic but I didn't want to throw it away haha.

Thanks !!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Red Velvet Cupcakes!

Hello again!

I am back with some more tasty treats for the holidays! If you read the last post about the Raspberry Cupcakes, I mentioned my new Martha Stewart cupcake book. This Red Velvet recipe also comes directly from there. I first tried this cupcake at Starbucks earlier this year when they had them as part of their Valentine's day specialties. It was AWESOME! I had many a sugar rush at work from these little guys, much to the dismay of my poor co-workers. This recipe is very much like the ones there, although not exactly. Either way well worth trying!


2 1/2 cups cake flour (Not self rising type), sifted
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon red gel-paste food coloring
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/3 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioners sugar, sifted
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat your oven to 350F. Line your standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together the cake flour, cocoa, salt and set aside.

With an electric mixer set to medium-high speed, whisk together the sugar and oil until they are combined. Add eggs, one at a time making sure each one is mixed in before adding the next. Now, mix in your food coloring and vanilla.

Reduce your mixer speed to low and start to add your flour. Add it in three batches, and in between each batch add half a cup of butter milk until its all integrated. In another small bowl or container, mix together the baking soda and vinegar (it will foam). Add this mixture into the batter and mix it on medium for 10 seconds.

Your cake batter is now ready to be added to the cupcake pan. Make sure you add the same amount to each cupcake - 3/4 full. You can now place the tins in the oven to bake, make sure you rotate the tins half way through baking to ensure even cooking. After about 20 minutes they should be done, test with a toothpick to make sure.

Now before you do anything else, get these guys onto a rack or somewhere where they can cool while you make the icing. You don't want to be putting icing onto hot cupcakes.


With your electric mixer on medium-high, beat butter and cream cheese until its fluffy (a couple of minutes). Reduce the speed to low and add sugar a 1/2 cup at a time, followed by the vanilla. And your done!

This icing can be refrigerated for up to 3 days (according to Martha). After your done you can ice these guys which ever way you like. I also put some red sprinkles on after I iced them, but that's up to you.

Not many pics of the process on this guy unfortunately, I was in a bit of a hurry, but here are a few anyway featuring my special helper Sebastian. Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Raspberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

What a mouthful! But a good one at that ;) This little recipe I took from a new cookbook I got (thanks to a recommendation from Louise!) by Martha Stewart. The book is called 'Cupcakes'. If you are at all interested in making all different kinds of cupcakes you should definitely pick up this book. I will be posting a couple different recipes from it in the next week.

Here's the recipe,


1 1/2 cups finely ground graham crackers
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups plus 5 tablespoons sugar
1 container (6 oz) fresh raspberries
2 pounds (4 cups) cream cheese, room temperature
pinch salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
cupcake papers


Preheat your oven to 325F. Line your muffin tin with cupcake papers and set aside. Take your graham crackers, butter and 3 tablespoons of sugar and mix them together. With a spoon or whatever utensil you want, press 1 tablespoon of the crust mixture firmly into the bottom of each lined muffin paper. Once your finished, put the tins in the oven and bake for about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Process raspberries in a food processor until smooth (about 30 seconds). Pass the puree through a sieve into a small bowl, and get as much liquid out as possible. You can throw out the solids. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of sugar.

With the electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese until it's fluffy.

Now set your mixer to low speed and add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of sugar in a steady stream. Add your salt and vanilla and mix until everything is well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each one.

Your filling is now ready for your muffin tins! Spoon in about 3 tablespoons of filling over your crust in each cup. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of raspberry puree on each cake. Now comes the fun part! With a toothpick or other such device, swirl the raspberry sauce through the filling in whatever design you like!

Place each tin in a roasting pan filled with enough hot water to come 3/4's of the way up sides of the cups. You may have to do this in several batches (I did). Half way through baking, rotate the pan so you ensure even cooking. Bake for about 22 minutes or until filling looks set.

Once they are done, just put them on a wire rack to cool. Once they are fully cooled down, make sure you put these in the fridge for at least 4 hours so they finish setting.

And that is it! Hopefully you enjoy these guys, they are pretty easy and look nice too!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello all! Hope you all had an awesome Thanksgiving (in Canada)! We didn't gorge ourselves too badly but were definitely satisfied with our turkey festivities. In light of the holidays up here, I have decided to dedicate the next 3-4 recipe posts on more 'Canadian' or North American style desserts. I made a couple this holiday weekend but also some others from the last couple of months I thought I could share with you all. Hopefully you guys enjoy these as much as I did!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Jabocna Potica!

Jabocna Potica or the best English translation I can come up with, 'Apple Roll' is a Slovenian treat that is sweet, but not over powering and can be eaten just about anytime! Some people eat it as a dessert, others as an afternoon snack, etc. Potica is usually made with walnuts. When we went to Slovenia I never saw the apple version until I saw it in a recipe book that Sebastian's grandmother gave me and it looked super good!!! This recipe is really relatively easy, the only area I seemed to have trouble in was when it came to baking. That was only because I used the wrong temperature(DOH!). Don't ask how that happened haha. Either way, it still turned out awesome and I will definitely be making this one again!


500g / 2.2 cups flour
100g / 0.45 cups butter
4.2 tbsp sugar
1 cup milk
2.5 tbsp yeast
3 egg yolks
1 flat tsp salt
1 tbsp rum
lemon or orange peel

1 kg shredded apple
150g / 0.65 cup sugar
6 tbsp cream
2 eggs
lemon peel


Place your sieved flour somewhere warm in order to heat it. I used the vent on my oven and turned it on low. Put yeast into a small bowl, add 2-3 tbsp of warm flour, 1 tbsp of sugar and 1 tbsp lukewarm milk. You may need a little extra milk or enough to be able to stir everything together. Put this mixture somewhere warm (same place as your flour probably) and let it rise.

In the meantime, beat together the rest of the milk, egg yolks, sugar, salt, lemon/orange peel. Then heat up the mixture. Add melted butter and rum. Gradually pour into heated flour. Then add yeast mixture. Make into a dough and knead until dough is no longer sticky.

Cover dough with a towel and keep warm so it will rise. After it rises, roll out the dough. Brush on mixture of cream and 2 egg whites beaten until they are a thicker consistency. Afterwards, pour on a mixture of breadcrumbs, apples, sugar, cinnamon and grated lemon peel. Spread it out evenly leaving room on the edges.

Carefully roll the dough into a cylinder. You might need a hand with this.

Take your pan and make sure it is greased and dusted lightly with breadcrumbs and place your potica inside. Let it rise again in the pan. Put it in the oven to bake for 1 hour at 335f.

That's basically all!! Once it is done, you can flip the pan around and cut it into small slices.
This little 'cake' tastes great and I hope you guys enjoy it also!