Saturday, 18 October 2014

Cinnamon sticky buns

Nothing beats Cinnamon sticky buns hot out of the oven filling your home with the smell of sweet things to comeThis recipe is the best I ever tried, the dough is soft and flaky and gooey top is divine. 

Tip: If you want to enjoy the sticky buns first thing in the morning prepare the buns to the point of cutting the dough and putting them in the goo in the pan, then cover and place in the fridge overnight. Take the buns straight from the fridge and place in a cold oven. Set the temperature to 180 degrees Celsius and bake for 45 minutes. By the time the oven gets to temperature, the buns will have raised the perfect amount.

1 ¼ cup milk, body temperature 
7-10 gr instant dry yeast
¼ cup sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
3 ½ cup all-purpose flour
¾ tsp salt

½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup maple syrup

Filling & Assembly
⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

For the dough, measure all the ingredients into a bowl and stir with a spoon, or blend in a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment until evenly combined. If mixing by hand, turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes, or if in a mixer, knead for about 3 minutes. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 90 minutes to 2 hours.

For the goo, add the butter, brown sugar and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until melted and the mixture is bubbling. Pour this into a greased ~23-x-30 cm pan the prepared pan and set aside.

Filling & Assembly
1. For the filling, stir the brown sugar, cinnamon and melted butter together and set aside. 
2. Turn the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out into a rectangle about 0.5 cm width. Brush the entire surface of the dough with the filling mixture. Roll up the dough from the longer side and then cut the roll into 15 pieces. Place these into the prepared pan on top of the goo, evenly spaced, cover with plastic wrap or tea towel and let rise for an hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Uncover the risen sticky buns and bake them for 40-45 minutes, until they are a rich golden brown. Cool the buns for 15 minutes in the pan and invert to serve.

Bon Appetit!

Friday, 26 September 2014


For me some dishes are associated with a memories, so this "Medovnik" cake reminds me of a wonderful time we spent in Prague and even takes me back to the beautiful architecture of old town, smells, tastes ...

Cake Layers Ingredients:
4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) honey
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups all-purpose flour

1. Add 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup honey and 2 Tbsp unsalted butter to a medium sauce pan and melt them together over medium/low heat, whisking occasionally until sugar is melted (3-4 mins). Don’t put them over high heat or they may scorch to the bottom.
2. Remove from heat and while it’s still hot (not boiling), add in the beaten eggs in a slow steady stream while whisking vigorously until all of your eggs are incorporated (whisk constantly so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs).
3. Whisk in the baking soda until no lumps remain, then fold in 3 cups flour 1/2 cup at a time with a spatula until the dough reaches a clay consistency and doesn't stick to your hands. Mine took exactly 3 cups flour.
4. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces roll out the dough when is still warm (cover with cling film to prevent from drying out)
5. Roll each piece out into a thin circle (very thin, straight on the parchment paper you will be baking on). You can sprinkle the top with a little flour to keep the dough from sticking to your rolling pin. Take a ~23cm plate or form to cut a circle, keeping the scraps for later.
6. Bake each layer for 4-5 min. at 180 degrees Celsius.
7. Bake the scraps from which you'll make a crumbs later .

For the cream:
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp (40 gr) corn flour
250gr dulce de leche (варёная сгущёнка)
1 Tbsp honey
250 gr unsalted butter at room temperature

To make the cream:
In a saucepan, heat the 1 1/2 cups of milk, but don't boil.
In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup of milk with the eggs and corn flour until smooth. Slowly whisk the egg yolk mixture into the warm milk; bring to a simmer over moderate heat, whisking constantly until very thick, 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. Whisk in the butter and dulce de leche .

To assemble the cake:
Top each cake layer with about 3-4 tbsp of cream and spread it around evenly. Repeat with all the cake layers. As you place the layers on top of each other, some of the frosting will come out of the sides. Spread it out evenly over the sides. Sprinkle the crushed cake layer scraps over the sides and on a top of the cake.

Leave the cake in the refrigerator for about 8 hours or overnight. Enjoy!!!

Tbsp = table spoon
Tsp = tea spoon

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

As I promissed....

Here are the recipe of Shepherd's pie and Crumble, as I promised in one of my previous posts.

Shepherd's pie

Olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
500g minced lean lamb
1 large onion, finely grated
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp tomato puree
Handful of thyme sprigs, leaves picked
1 spring of rosemary, needles chopped
250ml red wine
300ml chicken stock
1kg Desiree potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
50g butter
2 egg yolks
Parmesan, for grating
Olive oil
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Pan-roasted carrots
2 sprigs of rosemary
Small handful of thyme sprigs
1 garlic clove
500g medium sized carrots, peeled and trimmed
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Few knobs of butter

Shepherd's pie
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C

2. Heat the oil in a large pan until hot. Season the mince and fry in the oil over moderate to high heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir the onions into the mince then add the chopped garlic in as well. Add the tomato puree and herbs and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in the red wine and reduce until almost completely evaporated. Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer until the sauce has thickened
3. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain .

Mash a potatoes, then beat in the egg yolks, followed by about 2 tbsp grated Parmesan. Check for seasoning.
4. Spoon the mince into the bottom of a large ovenproof dish. Using a large spoon, layer the mashed potato generously on top of the mince, starting from the outside and working your way into the middle. Grate some extra Parmesan over and season. Fluff up the mash potato with a fork to make rough peaks. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown
5. For the carrots bring a pan of water to the boil with the rosemary, thyme and garlic. Boil the carrots in the water for 3 minutes to soften slightly, then drain and pat dry. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan then add the carrots and some seasoning. Brown the carrots all over until just tender, adding the butter towards the end of cooking

Apple and blueberries crumble

Ingredients Crumble:
250g plain flour sieved,
pinch of salt
150g unrefined brown sugar
160g unsalted butter, cubed at room temperature
Knob of butter for greasing Filling
450g apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm/½in piece
150g blueberries

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
Place the flour and sugar in a large bowl and mix well. Taking a few cubes of butter at a time rub into the flour mixture. Keep rubbing until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
2. Place the fruit in a large bowl. Stir well being careful not to break up the fruit.
3. Butter a 28cm ovenproof dish. Spoon the fruit mixture into the bottom, then sprinkle the crumble mixture on top.
4. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until the crumble is browned and the fruit mixture bubbling.
5. Serve with thick cream or custard.

I'm usually serving the crumble with cream anglaise:
250ml milk
250ml whipping cream
70gr sugar
5 egg yolks
Vanilla pod

1. In a bowl stir together the sugar and yolks until well blended.
2. In a saucepan heat the cream, milk and vanilla pod just to the boiling point.
Remove from heat and whisk a few tablespoons of the cream and milk into the yolk mixture. Then, gradually add the yolk mixture back into the cream and milk , whisking constantly.
3. Gently (on low heat) heat the mixture, stirring with spoon, until thickening. Be careful not to bring the mixture to boiling point.
4. Cool down and serve with the crumble.

Bon Appetite!!!

Saturday, 29 March 2008

From French to English...

What is British Cuisine?!
it's not so rich in taste as French Cuisine, but no doubt worth attention :-)
I'm going to tell you about some British dishes.

What about some fries early in the morning???!!!
It's eggs, bacon, sausages and beans (all fried) on breakfast. And if you hadn't got enough fries, you may have a potato fries as well. For that kind of breakfast I'll not be used to.

The next one is Jacket potato with choice of different toppings.
Jacket potato it's baked potato,skin on, cut in cross and topped for example with ham and cheese or baked beans in tomato sauce, or may be shrimps with mayo.

And here come FISH AND CHIPS. Deeply fried fish and chipped potatoes.
You may go on England streets and smell the fried fish. It is just everywhere. Only this smell makes me feel bad.

Shepherd's pie or Cottage pie - it's a traditional English dish made from minced meat and covered with mashed potato.
That's could be nice dish on your lunch, I have tried it today and it was quite tasty. The recipe will come later.

And finally it's Crumble for the desert - fruits covered with crumbled dough.
Apple and blueberry crumble is very popular, it's usually served with custard, cream or ice cream. I already made it several times, and it's very nice, since I like fruit deserts with ice cream. But I never have time to take a picture, it goes fast :-).


So, as far as we live here, in UK, I'm trying some local dishes, e.g. being a part of community :-)
I think the Jacket potato could be a nice option when you have nothing in the fridge:-)
Simply, put the potato in microwave, it's ready after .. minutes, cut the cross, grade some cheese and put for another 30 second to the microwave, and your magic meal is ready to eat!!!

And, of course, I completely forgot about porridge!
Even in "The Hound of the Baskervilles" by Arthur Conan Doyle (at least in it's Russian version)
Mr. Barrymore was serving the porridge to Sir Henry Baskerville :-)
Studying in Cordon Bleu, I was drinking my morning cup of coffee and watching some guys in suits ordering porridge!

As I already told, the recipes will come in my next posts.
And for now it's three days to go till my Israeli vacation.
I finally could sit on the beach and eat the light and tasty Israeli breakfast!

Sunday, 9 March 2008

The cold war

I'm wondering if the Pastry chefs and Cuisine chefs are living in piece!?

When I was studying Cuisine the chefs were joking about Pastry and Pastry chefs.
For example: "The Pastry chef is a failed Cuisine chef!" .

When I was studying Pastry, the cuisine chefs were asking me :
"Don't you miss the real thing?". When I was answering : "Oh, Yes, I do" - they were very pleasant :-).
On the other side the Pastry chefs were always joking about Cuisine.
Pastry is a exact "science" - there is a recipe and if you do something wrong, you fail.
The Pastry chef was saying "It's not Cuisine here, you can't put in the pan a bit of this, a bit of that and get something nice, you should be very precised!"

What I think about all this it's following:
For me Cuisine, as I already told in my previous posts, is more exciting and interesting thing to do, I think there are more place for the fantasy, trying new flavours and tastes.
But I still think that it's not easy at all to be a good pastry chef. Yes, there are a lot of Pastry chefs that work in bakeries, shops and etc., but there are not so many of them that are really good, exactly the same as in Cuisine.
My point is - you should be good in what you are doing and never mind what it is.
(very philosophic sentence :-) )

See you in the next post!

Friday, 7 March 2008

Sugar work

Here it came - three weeks of sugar work!
At the first lesson I thought: "OK, That's enough!"
We were doing poured sugar, modeling with sugar and finally blown sugar.
The nice thing about it that I couldn't taste it, and came back to my healthy eating!
Actually you can do anything from sugar. As our chef says:
"You can do anything!
Oh, yes, anything!"
You just should cook the sugar with water and glucose syrup to 165 degrees C, and then add some colours and do anything! Anything??? Oh, yes, anything.
Well, this cooked sugar is pretty warm, I would say it's hot, and you should work it by hands.
And again, as chef says: "It's slightly warm, think about something nice, everything is in your head!".
When you work with cooked sugar you should wear the gloves, to protect the sugar from you (from the moisture of the body) and not to protect you from sugar:-).
The chef said : "If your gloves sticking to the sugar, it can happen to your skin too! It's slightly warm!"
At the end of the day I couldn't feel my fingers.
But then I found myself enjoying what I was doing, because again it was something beautiful at the end.

Take a look

Saturday, 16 February 2008

British curiouses

Living in England, I can't stop wondering about some strange things, that I face here.
I just want to share with you some of them.
One evening, we were going out with my husband.
Actually it was a first time that we left our daughter with babysitter here in England.
So we were on our way to a party, when we got closer to the restaurant my husband started to look after the parking place, and began to move slowly. After couple of cycles, and 10 minutes later, we still were without a parking… But no despair – we have continued to look. Couple of minutes later, we have noticed that there is a police car that is following us.
As we found a parking, the policeman got out of his car straight away to my husband and told him:"Why didn't you stop? Did you see I was following you, didn't you?" My husband answered, that he didn't know that he was supposed to stop if and only if the police car is going with sirens. In our home country, if the signal lights of the police car are on – it means that this police car is on duty and it doesn't mean that "the car in front of me, please stop!!!". "Why were you going so slowly - continues the policeman – Have you been drinking, haven't you? Let me check your breath!" - telling my husband to take the air off and smelling it :-). Realizing that my husband is not drunk he wished us pleasant evening and left.
When I'm talking with Britons (sometimes it happens :-) ), they hear my foreign accent, ask what my name is and with no doubt ask me: "Are you Polish?" - With a bit of defiance.
There are a lot of Polish people came to UK, after Poland became the part of EU.
And, I suppose Briton's don't like that fact. Then I'm saying "NO, I'm from Israel" - and I see how the respect grows in his/her eyes :-).

A couple of weeks ago we were celebrating our daughter 5th birthday.
We invited a dozen of children and a Clown to our house. We and the children had a good time and when I was feeding them I have offered a food to the Clown as well. He said: "No, thanks, but I'll really appreciate if you'll organize me some "Doggy bag". My husband was near, and I see the confusion in his eyes, then he (my husband) said to the entertainer: "I don't think that this food is good for the dogs, it's quite spicy and contains salt, which is not good for the dogs". The Clown laughed and explained that the "Doggy bag" it's a take away lunch bag :-).
So that day, we have learnt some slang expression as well.
Putting aside these curiouses, I'm started to think about my final exam.
We were given a list of 25 ingredients, from which we supposed to make a restaurant dessert. Everything is good, but one ingredient - rhubarb. I never cooked the rhubarb.
I only have a memory from childhood of some smooth rhubarb compote that I didn't really like. Rhubarb is very popular here in UK, and there are many British (means not tasty) desserts :-) contain it. But what this ingredient is doing in our French culinary school???
That's what I'm going to find out in a few next weeks, and make a Fantastic dessert for my final!!!

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Towards the end...

There is only one month till the end of my studies :-(
At the beginning it seemed to be so long - one and a half year, and that's it - the end.
I almost did what I wanted (still no chef hat :-) ), and it's time to think what I really want to do.
Here in UK there are only few professions highly payable - IT, bankers and probably plastic surgeons :-).

Chefs get a ridiculous low salary, may be till they open their own place.
But I still have a choice - to be a chef or to go back to the boring but highly payable IT.
To be honest my dream is to open my own place, but very small and exclusive. It could be even in my house (eventually we'll have a big house :-) )
Recently I saw a nice German movie "Eden" - about a chef, whose life is all around food and the food was his only passion till he meets a woman ...
And he had the restaurant at his house, which has only three tables. I find it very nice, except of the fact that the chef himself was very fat, which I don't want to become :-). Besides, it's not in fashion now to be a fat chef. Since my other "small" dream is to study for personal trainer, I'll very sporting one :-)

Another hard decision to make is to stay in UK or to go back to Israel.
A couple of weekends ago I was in Israel, only for three days and the circumstances were not so joyful. But it was very nice to be there, to go to the sea, meet the family. And the weather was so sunny and warm, I just want to go back! The problem is that my husband has another opinion then myself, and since we are a family we should find some compromise, hope it will be more on my side :-).
Meanwhile, at the school it was a week of restaurant style desserts and the week when we were preparing a tea party for thirty guests. It was very nice experience. During the first demonstration of the restaurant desserts chef said "You should look for the artist inside yourself, and some of you should look very deep :-) !".
I was hardly looking for my artist and finally found one.
See the pictures:

Lemon mousse , Chocolate fondant, Lemon tart

Apple parfait, Ricotta cream , Lemon mousse

Passion fruit mousse

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

The Showpiece

As a part of chocolate work we were doing a chocolate showpiece.
Each term the patisserie chef thinks out of some theme for Superior students showpiece.

Before this term I was looking at showpieces that other students made and just wondering how beautiful they are, and I couldn't beleive that it has been made of chocolate!

Lately, the Ratatouille movie just came out to the screens, and we were lucky to be at Superior Patisserie course in this time. Ratatouille was chosen to be our showpiece.
There are very colourful characters - the chef, Linguini, food critic, Remy the rat and etc.
I'm not a big fan of chocolate, and in the beginning of working on it showpiece, I thought that it's going to be boring, but as a nice surprise it wasn't.

It was exciting, enjoying and again - nice to see as part by part it is growing to something beautiful.

And here are pictures.