dessert

Lemon Pie

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As I said before baking is not my strongest suit, but I refuse to give up! I will bake something that looks at least halfway decent. Now I got a KitchenAid machine it shouldn’t be complicated at all right? My friend was coming over for dinner and I decided to make a desert as well, and what could possibly go wrong with lemon bars right?!! However it does get quite hard when you do something wrong with measuring the ingredients. I had to start over twice, just because I didn’t properly calculate how much I needed. STUPID, STUPID, STUPID! Luckily the 3th time I finally managed to do everything right and the lemon bars turned out great! You just have to make sure that the eggy-lemon mixture is evenly distributed when you put it in the oven, otherwise some parts will have a lot of lemon mixture and others won’t have any at all!

The other reason why I’m sharing an extra recipe this week is because I wanted an excuse to share this amazing song with you guys that has been stuck in my head for ages.

So I hope you enjoy this song and this great recipe!

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This recipe is for 12 people

Ingredients: 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced, 1¾ cups, plus 3 tablespoons, all-purpose flour, ⅔ cup powdered (confectioners’) sugar, plus more for dusting at the end, ¼ cup cornstarch, ¾ teaspoon salt, 4 eggs, 1⅓ cups granulated sugar, 1½ teaspoons lemon zest, about 2 lemons, ⅔ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 4 lemons, ¼ cup whole milk, 2 tablespoons lemon flavored liqueur, optional

  1. Line your baking dish with parchment paper.Let about a cm of paper hang on either side, this will allow you to easily pull out the bars once they are baked and cooled.
  2. In a large bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the 1¾ cups of flour, ⅔ cup powdered sugar, the cornstarch, and ¾ teaspoon salt.Turn the mixer on low, to avoid the flour flying everywhere, and mix until evenly combined.
  3. Add the diced cold, very cold, butter into the dry ingredients. You can use two forks, a pastry blender, or the mixer to do this. Try not to use your hands as the heat that you generate will warm up the butter, and we want cold butter.
  4. I use the mixer and it works perfectly. Cut in the butter until it resembles course crumbs the size of peas. You’ll know it is ready when you squeeze the crumbs and they hold together tightly. Pour the crumbs evenly between the two baking dishes, if using, or the one 9×13 dish.
  5. Pat the crumbs down using your hands into a ¼ inch thick crust. Press it into an even layer and allow the crust to come up the sides slightly. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  6. While the crust is chilling, preheat the oven to 350° F. After half an hour, bake the crust until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  7. In the meantime, while the crust bakes, assemble the filling. In a large bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar. Whip on high until the eggs have become thick and pale in color, about 5 minutes.
  8. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons flour, and lemon zest and whisk to combine. Stir in the lemon juice, milk and lemon liqueur if using, mix once more.
  9. Once the crust is golden brown, remove it from the oven and reduce the temperature to 325° F. Stir the filling once again and pour it onto the warm crust.
  10. Bake until the filling is set (it doesn’t move when you jiggle the pan) about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Using the excess parchment paper as handles, pull out the lemon bars gently and place on a cutting surface.
  11. Peel off the parchment paper. Using a serrated (bread) knife cut the bars into even squares. If you wipe the knife after each cut it will make the process easier and less messy for you.
  12. Dust the bars with powdered sugar for garnish and serve immediately.

18.Belarus: Kotleta Pokrestyansky and Baked Apples with Honey

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Belarus also being reffered to as White Russia, I asked a lot of people what they think about if I say White Russia and they don’t have no idea! These are some of the answers I got: 1. “Next to Ukraine and Russia right?” 2.”White Russia was in the Sovjetunion!” 3. “Aren’t they the same as Russia, isn’t it a province or something?”. Nobody seems to have a clue about what’s been going on in Belarus in the present. Where does that name even come from “White Russia”? Thank god for Google I found the answer! It’s actually pretty funny! Flax is the plant from which white clothes were made and it grows in Belarus ,during the Tsarist regime, and that is how Belarus got its name.

  • In Belarus every year people find the most treasure (compared to the rest of Europe)
  • Birch sap – one of the favorite drinks of Belarusians. It is sold in packs and large glass jars. In the village people harvest birch sap every spring.
  • Belovezhskaya Pushcha (Please dont ask me how to pronounce this because I don’t have a clue!) is the largest ancient forest in Europe
  •  No Street Food If you are hungry in Brussels and don’t want to spend 30 Euros on mussels, there will always be a kebab nearby. The Berliners joke that their national dish is now a döner, which completely pushed out currywurst. But the Berliners still had currywurst in the beginning and then döner; the residents of Minsk have neither döner nor currywurst. (what do they eat after clubbing? Here in The Netherlands it’s almost tradition to eat street food after clubbing!)

I found a playlist with Belarussian Rockbands I really like them!

So about the Belarussian cuisine, I was quite surprised about this one! I made 2 Belarussian recipes this week! a main cours and a dessert or sweet treat. Especially the dessert was sooo good, and it’s really cheap and easy to make!

Kotleta PokrestyanskySo Kotleta Pokrestyansky is basically pork chops with a very nice mushroom sauce! This recipe makes enough for 4 people

Ingredients: ounces mushrooms sliced, 2 garlic cloves choppe, 1 knob of butter, 1/2 cup sherry wine, 1/2 cup chicken stock or 1/2 cup pork stock, 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarchpork chops

Melt half of the butter in a frying pan and add the mushrooms and garlic. Keep stirring until the mushrooms start to shrink and soften. Add the sherry, the stock, the cornstarch and a little salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for five minutes. Meanwhile, melt the rest of the butter in another pan. Brown the pork chops on both sides, then pour the sauce over the chops. So really really easy right?!

Baked Honey Apples Ingredients: 4 apples, good quality honey, icing sugar (optional) Scoop out the core from each apple, leaving the rest of it whole. Pour honey into the hollows of each apple where the core was.Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. The texture should resemble the apple slices in a pie. Sprinkle over the icing sugar although you don’t really need it! It’s sweet enough with the honey! I will definitely make this again for my friends! My mom loved this so much she almost licked her plate! YES IT’S THAT GOOD!

That’s it for Belarus for now! Hope you liked it please comment below if you have any suggestions or other belarussian recipes! Speak to ya next week!

14. Bahamas: Coconut Rum Cake

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Bahamas yet another Caribbean destination I wish I could go. The Bahamas consist of 700 small islands but only 30 islands are populated. millions of tourists visit the Bahamas each year.

  •  The great Blue Hole Dean (the deepest in the world) is located in the Bahamas. It is located on Long Island. You can enter the water on the knee – and suddenly fail at 202 meters, that is how much of its depth;) This is the place where many freedivers are attempting to break the world record.
  • Nassau – the capital of the Bahamas. The city itself is very modern, which combines cutting-edge building designs and old colonial architecture.Nassau was formerly a small village, founded by pirates. (Well that speaks to my imagination!) But nowadays there are plenty of colorful buildings that surround the harbor and the Portside promenade.
  •  The historical fact! Bahamas were the base of pirate ships. Been there, Francis Drake, Mary Read, Anne Bonny (yes, there are female pirates!) And other well-known pirates.

Rumcake

Well this is some cake! My mom absolutely loved it! I think she ate about half of it over the weekend the nice thing is that it stays very smooth, normal cake gets very dry after a few hours but this one just keeps it’s great texture!

Ingredients cake : 3 cups (420 g) All Purpose flour, ½  teaspoon baking powder, ½  teaspoon baking soda,  teaspoon salt, ¼  teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 225 g unsalted butter, at room temp, 400g granulated sugar, 3 large eggs, 2 large egg yolks, at room temp, 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract, ¾  cup (180 mL) canned Thai coconut milk

Ingredients rum syrup: ¾  cup canned coconut milk (actually … just use the rest of the canned coconut milk),6 tablespoon sugar, ½ cup dark rum

Preheat your oven to 180C or 350F.  Spray a pan with baking spray with flour.In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.  Set aside.Beat together the butter and sugars, – allowing the batter to become light and fluffy (approximately 5 minutes) In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla.  Slowly drizzle the mixture into the creamed butter, scraping the sides as needed.  Once the eggs are completely incorporated, gently stir-in one-third of the flour mixture, then about half of the coconut milk. Mix in another third of the flour mixture, the rest of the coconut milk, and the remaining third of the flour until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  And bake for 55 to 60 minutes – until the cake is set in the middle.

While the cake is baking – open that bottle of rum and start working on the syrup

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the remainder of the coconut milk, and the sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  It shouldn’t come to a boil.  Remove the syrup from heat and add the dark rum.  Whisk everything together.  Set aside until the cake comes out of the oven

Spoon about two-thirds of the syrup over the cake – allowing the coconut-rum to macerate the cake.  It’ll smell pretty amazing already at this point.  It only gets better.

And I found this AMAZING song it might not be from the Bahamas, but it sure reminds me of the Bahamas!

Stick Homey Apple Toffee Pie

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This weekend I was feeling a little down, and to cheer myself up I baked a impressive apple pie! Apple pies always bring back sweet memories for me. When I was little we lived in a house in the woods, so we could were always building camps, and pretending we were witches in the wood. (I miss that house so much!) We had a few apple trees in the garden, my babysit or mom and I we always baked apple pies in the fall. And then the whole house smelled like pure happiness, because that is what apple pie smells like, happiness and warm cozy fires. But I decided to pimp up the apple pie recipe I had and give it my own twist to make it even better (I said better not healthier :P ). I found this really funny song about pies not apple pies but nonetheless I couldn’t resist to share it with you guys.

apple toffee pie

Ingredients crust: 170gr butter, 200gr brown sugar, 100 gram of white caster sugar, 1 egg, 250gr plain flour, 1tablespoon of cinnamon.

Ingredients filling: 4 sour apples (I used Granny Smith but you can us Bramleys aswell), 100 gr caster sugar, knob of butter, handful of dairy toffees (I used Werther’s Original), raisins (this is optional, you could let the well in brandy for a few hours)

Peel the apples, remove the core and dice them into small pieces. Dump the chopped apple into a saucepan with the suger butter and a splash of water. Heat to a bubble a let it cook for 5 minutes so the apple gets soft. Don’t forget to stir from time to time. When the apple has gone soft. Let it cool.
Beat the butter and white and brown sugar until it starts to go smooth, crack in the egg and beat again. Fold in the flour and the cinnamon. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, one a little bigger the other and let them cool in the fridge for about an hour.
Roll the dough on to a floured surface until it has about the thickness of little less then 1 cm. Lay on piece of the dough in pie dish, make sure the sides of the pie are steady. Lay in the chilled apple mixture (and optional raisins). Scatter the toffees over the pie, (I like it sticky so I put on a few extra). Lay the other rolled out piece of dough over the pie. Put into a preheated oven of 180C for 30 minutes.