Tort Marcinek

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Last month we celebrated my daughter’s 6th birthday. Time flies! I still remember the day she was born as if it was yesterday. Continue reading “Tort Marcinek”

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Cheesecake House aka Witch’s Hut ;)

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Today I’m sharing another one of my childhood favorite desserts. We call it in polish CHATKA BABY JAGI [ hatca bubi yugi] , which would translate as Witch Yaga’s Hut 馃槈 I have no idea who came up with this name 馃檪 However, if you look at it, you will not be surprised that the name stuck with this cake. Maybe it doesn’t sound too appetizing but it tastes delicious. I think the person who came up with this recipe, really liked the story of “Hansel and Gretel“. This is a fairy tail that I remember my mom used to read to me as a bad time story when I was a little girl. The fairy tail was written by Grimm Brothers and originated in Germany. 

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In case you’re not familiar with it 馃槈 ,  It is a story about a brother and sister who are left in the woods by their evil step mother. The kids wander around the forest unable to find the way back home when they see a house made out of chocolate and candy. Hungry kids start eating it and all of a sudden the old witch comes out of the house and catches them. She takes them inside the house and lets them eat as much candy as they want so they become really fat and then she can EAT them. As any other fairy tail this one has happy ending as well. The kids are able to escape and find their father. They all live happily ever after 馃檪

It is a really interesting fairy tail. I will make sure to read it to my daughter when she gets a little older  馃檪  

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In the meantime I made the dessert that was inspired by that story 馃檪 

This is a very easy dessert to make. It takes few minutes to prepare but it does have to chill in the fridge for couple of hours. Minimum of 4 h should be fine but preferably overnight. This dessert reminds me of my childhood. I used to make it with my mom as a small girl. It鈥檚 a fun dessert for kids because you can tell them the story of Hansel and Gretel while you make it 馃檪 The kids can also decorate it from outside if they want to. 

I haven鈥檛 made it for years but recently I was craving it and I decided to prepare it. My proportions were a little off since I haven’t made it in a long time. I did make couple of mistakes but the recipe I will give you is the adjusted one. If you don鈥檛 make the same mistakes I did, it will come out PERFECT.

First of all, make sure that your butter and cream cheese are at room temperature. I did not wait long enough for my butter to get to the room temperature and as a result it didn’t mix well with the cream cheese. When you look at the pictures, you can see that my cocoa filling has small bits of butter. It still tastes good but it doesn’t look as pretty as it should.

Second, I used too many tea biscuits, and as a result there was not enough cream to fill the inside of the cake. I fixed it by adding some heavy cream inside. I quickly whipped heavy cream with few tbsp. of confectioner sugar and filled the inside. I’ve noticed that some people put candy or even fruits inside. Chocolate truffle candy or any other would work. That鈥檚 why you see on my picture the white circle inside the cake 馃槈 I used 7 rows of cookies. (7 X 3). With this recipe, 5 rows would be enough.  

 Ingredients:

  • 2 boxes of cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup confectioner sugar
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 1/2 cup cool whip
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 2 boxes tea biscuits
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)

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 For the chocolate covering

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp. of butter
  • 2 tbsp. of heavy cream or milk

 How to make it:

  1. Mix together the butter and cream cheese using hand mixer or food processor. Add the cool whip and powdered sugar and mix until incorporated. 
  2. Divide the cream in half and add cocoa powder to one half.
  3. Lay out 5 x 3 row of the tea biscuits on the aluminium foil (see pictures below)
  4. Spread half the mixture over the biscuits. The mixture is pretty thick so spreading the first layers will require a little patience. Just make sure to put small amount of cream all over the biscuits and then slowly and gently spread it making sure the biscuits stay aligned. I started with the white cream first but you can do the chocolate one. It doesn’t matter
  5. Lay the second layer of biscuits and the cream
  6. Close the house by pulling the aluminium foil up and making it into a shape of a triangle
  7. Leave it in the fridge for an hour before you cover the house with chocolate
  8. After an hour, prepare the chocolate covering by melting chocolate chips with butter. You can do it in the microwave or on the stove top using a double broiler. Add a little milk or heavy cream to help the mixture come together and make it not too thick so it’s easier to cover the cake
  9. Let the chocolate cool for few minutes and then spread it over the cake
  10. You can decorate it using coconut flakes or sprinkles or leave it as it is like I did
  11. ENJOY!!!

 Step by step pictures

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Caramel Puffed Rice Cones

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This was my favorite dessert when I was a little girl and I still love it today 馃檪  It is also a very popular Polish dessert. We call it “SZYSZKI” in polish [pronounced schischky], which means cone, because it looks like a pinecone 馃檪
We used to make SZYSZKI with my mom for different family occasions and holidays. Now, I make it almost every week because my daughter LOVES them so much. They are gone in minutes. Even my husband (who is not a big dessert person)  likes to eat them.

The best part about making those cute caramel cones, is the fact that they take literally minutes to make and require only 4 ingredients 馃檪

So to make this yummy dessert you will need:

  • 250 gram of caramel candy  (I use cow tales but Nips also work great, or any other caramel candy)
  • 2 tbsp. of butter (use a little more butter if you are using Nips as they are a little hard)
  • 2 cups puffed rice
  • 1 tbsp. of cocoa powder

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Traditionally szsyszki are made without cocoa powder but I think it adds a nice flavor and looks pretty. I eat with my eyes so it is important to me that the food looks good 馃檪

It is very quick and simple to make. If you have last minutes guests and nothing sweet to serve with tea or coffee, this is your go to dessert. Just make sure to always have caramel candy and a big pack of puffed rice on hand. (like I do) 馃槈

To make it just melt the candy and the butter in the pot. Add a little bit of milk to help the mixture come together. Once you have a smooth mixture like that:

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Add the cocoa powder and mix until well incorporated.

Add the puffed rice and stir well

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Start making the cones. Make sure to make your hands wet by inserting them into cold water. To make it into a cone shape, form your hand into a cone and squeeze it a little on top. The mixture will be hot, so be careful, don’t burn your hands 馃槈

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 ENJOY !!!!

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[yumprint-recipe id=’2′] 

Prune Cake

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I went to the veggie market聽the other day聽to buy some fruits and vegetables and I saw delicious prunes. They looked so juicy and nice I could not say no to them. When I brought them home I was not sure what to make with them :/聽I know they are delicious on their own but I like to cook and experiment with new flavor so I decided to transform them into something yummy. I immediately thought of some kind of cake. And whenever I want to make a cake I think of my aunt (my mother鈥檚 sister) who is the best baker I know!!! She can make all kinds of delicious cakes and is very creative. Unfortunately, she lives in Poland so I don鈥檛 get to enjoy her baking too often. I love when she shares her recipes with me though. So I called her and I told her I have some prunes and want to make some nice cake. She gave me this recipe.

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The cake came out light and fluffy, the prunes became soft and juicy. The combination of soft and a little bit sour prunes with a sweet cake made a great combination of flavor. The cake is very easy to make. I鈥檓 not the best baker but this cake came out great.

 

INGREDIENTS: (for 8inx8in baking dish)

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 陆 tsp. of baking powder
  • 陆 聽cup of milk
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 7-8 prunes cut into a bit size pieces

 

To make it:

First you need to mix the butter with sugar until smooth. I use the hand mixer to do it. 聽Now here is a great trick I learned from someone a while ago. I usually forget to take the butter out before making the cake or I simply have no patience to wait until it becomes room temperature. If you have the same problem here is a solution. Just take a stick of butter and grate it. By grating the butter it becomes smaller and softens right away. Isn鈥檛 it a great tip?!?! 馃檪 聽Thanks to whoever taught me that. It comes in really handy:). 聽 Ok, after I mix the butter with sugar I add eggs one at the time. Then I add flour mixed with baking powder and milk until I get a nice聽silky and smooth batter.

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I transfer the batter into the baking dish and sprinkle the prunes cut into bite size pieces on the top. I push the prunes a little bit inside the cake.

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Then聽I bake it at 325 for approximately 40 minutes. Check the cake at 30-35 minutes to make sure it is not burning. The best way to check if the cake is done is to insert a toothpick. If it comes out clean the cake is ready.

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Sprinkle powdered (confectioners) sugar all over the top and enjoy!!!

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Try it warm with some vanilla ice cream on the side. Delicious 馃檪

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Thanks for reading 馃檪 Please give me聽your feedback by leaving a comment and If you liked the recipe please聽SHARE it with your family and friends 馃檪

Walnut Cake

 

 

Autumn聽is already here which means the days are getting shorter, less sunlight, more rainy days…… While I love this season because of the spectacular views outside with the trees turning into magnificent colors and all those amazing creations that only nature can do….聽I can’t help to feel depressed at times due to the lack of sunshine and vitamin D deficiencies. However, there is one thing that cheers me up during those聽rainy days. 聽This walnut cake is one of my guilty pleasures and perfect聽way to put a smile on my face when the weather is far from perfect. Hope you try this recipe and let me know what you think. Feel free to share your ways to deal with those long evenings and lack of sun during the Fall season.

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3聽tbsp. of honey
  • 2 tsp. of baking soda melted in 2 tsp. of warm milk

Preheat the oven to 350F

Put all the ingredients into your food processor and process until it comes together.

Transfer on the floured counter and form a ball.

Divide the dough into 3 equal parts and roll it out on the parchment paper.

Bake each piece separately for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

*Note: One piece will bake with the walnut topping on top. Recipe below.

To make walnut topping:

  • 陆 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp. of honey
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 stick of butter

Melt the butter, add the sugar and whisk until smooth.

Add the honey and chopped walnuts and stir all together. Cook it for a minute and then聽turn the heat off and let it cool a little bit .

Prepared walnut mixture put on the top of the (unbaked) third layer of聽the cake and bake together.

Caramel聽filling

You can buy ready made caramel filling in the can. Available usually in the Spanish section of my local supermarket.

Or if you can’t find it

Boil 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk for 2.5-3h. The milk has to be sweetened so when it cooks it thickens.聽You have to boil the聽CANS !!! (Don’t open them and pour the milk out and then boil).

Make sure that the cans are completely covered with water. Also keep checking on them because the water evaporates. If there is not enough water the cans will explode and make quite a mess in the kitchen. (yes it happened….one of my friends was making the cake and she forgot to check on the water. She started hearing explosions and the whole kitchen was covered in caramel. She had to clean everything and paint the walls. Now she knows to pay attention to her cans of milk 馃檪 )

Next, Spread the first can of the boiled sweetened condensed milk on the top of the聽first layer of the cake, cover with the second layer and spread the second can.

Put the聽last layer, that was baked with walnuts on top. Let it set in the聽fridge for 3-4聽hours so the caramel can set. (The hardest part of making that cake for me is waiting聽馃槈 )

ENJOY !!!!!

If you like the recipe please leave聽a comment. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at mytastyadventures@gmail.com