Croatian Jam Pastry

Don’t have a bakery nearby? No worries! These easy-to-make jam rolls will be part of your staple in no time 😉
They will make you drool with whatever filling you choose. I used plum jam for this batch and the flavor was exquisite!

Ingredients

  • 300 ml (1 1/4 cup) sunflower or canola oil
  • 150 ml (3/4 cup) boiling water
  • 10 g (1 tbsp) baking powder
  • 500 g (4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 200 g (1 1/2 cup) powdered sugar for coating
  • 10 g (1 tbsp) vanilla sugar for coating
  • favorite jam or Nutella for the filling

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 °C (395 °F).
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine oil and water.
  3. Add baking powder and mix well.
  4. Gradually add flour mixing with spatula until you form the dough. You can use a stand-up mixer or your hands as well.
  5. Divide the dough into same-sized balls – I got 16 balls from this dough.
  6. On the floured surface roll each ball (with the roller or with hands) until thin and put a tsp of jam on each one.
  7. Roll them and place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
  8. Bake until golden, for about 15-20 minutes.
  9. Hot rolls coat in the mixture of powdered and vanilla sugar.

Note: Cool them off before you eat, for more crunchiness.

What’s your favorite pastry filling?

Yogurt Pie with Berries

A perfect summer dessert needs to be refreshing and light, just like this yogurt pie ☺

My fruit of choice is always tangy berries to balance the sweetness of the cream. This time I used blackberries and blueberries. But strawberries, raspberries, or even cranberries would be an excellent choice.

It’s an easy-to-make and easy-to-eat cake that will accompany any summer day or BBQ.

Ingredients for the dough

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 170 g (3/4 cup) cold butter
  • 300 g (2 1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 10 g (2 1/2 tsp) baking powder

Ingredients for the cream

  • 4 egg whites
  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 600 ml ( 2 1/2 cups) Greek yogurt
  • 400 ml (1 1/2 cup) sour cream
  • 40 g (5 tbsp) all-purpose flour
  • 10 g vanilla sugar (1 sachet) or 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 200 g (1 1/4 cup) of preferred fruit

+ some powder sugar for dusting

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (355 °F).
  2. Combine all the dough ingredients with your hands or in a food processor.
  3. Divide into two equal parts and wrap in cling foil.
  4. The first part of the dough flatten a bit and put in the fridge.
  5. With the second part form a ball and leave in the freezer.
  6. While the dough is resting, prepare the cream.
  7. In the standing mixer or with a hand mixer mix egg whites with both sugars until stiff.
  8. Add the yogurt, sour cream, and flour gently with the spatula.
  9. Mix in about 350 g of berries of your choice.
  10. Roll the dough (kept in the fridge) evenly on a 9×13” baking sheet.
  11. Pour over the cream.
  12. Grate the second part of the dough onto the cream.
  13. Bake for 40 minutes until golden brown.
  14. When cooled, dust with powdered sugar.

What would be your fruit of choice for this pie?

Strawberry Vanilla Cake

Strawberry season is one of my favorite seasons. Since I was born during this season, most of my childhood birthday memories have strawberries in them. Not only in my birthday cakes but also picking them in my grandma’s garden and eating them until I couldn’t breathe any more 😉

This creamy cake is light and fresh, and it will be a perfect addition to your family BBQ dinners or for any other occasion!

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 100 g (¾ cup) cake flour
  • 100 g (½ cup) cold butter
  • 100 g (¾ cup) powdered sugar
  • 10 g (1 tbsp + 1 tsp) baking powder
  • 3 tbsp cold water

For the cream

  • 120 g (1 cup) vanilla pudding powder (3 bags)
  • 1 l (4 ¼ cups) milk
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 540 g (4 ¼ cups) sour cream

For the top

  • 450 g strawberries
  • 1 gelatin sheet

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (355 °F).
  2. Mix all cake ingredients. Add a bit more flour if sticky.
  3. Grease and flour a 26 cm wide round cake mold or cover with parchment paper.
  4. Place the cake batter in the mold and flatten with hands
  5. Store in the fridge until the cream is done.
  6. Cook vanilla pudding with sugar (according to the packaging) in 1 l of milk.
  7. Cool and gently mix in sour cream.
  8. Pour the cream on the cake.
  9. Bake for about 40 minutes.
  10. Cool down before arranging the strawberries.
  11. Prepare the gelatin according to the packaging.
  12. Arrange strawberries on top and pour the gelatin on top.
  13. Cool in the fridge before serving.

Note: You can try different fruit for more variety of cakes!

What is your favorite strawberry dessert?

Kongo Squares

There are some recipes that skip a generation. This is one of those.

I got this cake recipe from grandma Maja, the mother of my Mum’s best friend. She turned 101 this year, and I wanted to keep this amazing cake alive in her honor 🙂

I remember these Kongo squares from when I was just a kid. Every Christmas we could find them on her table. Somehow my Mum’s friend or my Mum never made this cake for us kids, although they made a bunch of other delicious desserts.

The name is unusual, and I don’t know where it came from. It’s made of roasted hazelnuts and coffee, with apricot jam and chocolate glaze. Irresistible if you ask me 😃

Ingredients for the dough

  • 300 g (3 1/4 cup) roasted ground hazelnuts
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 250 g (1 1/4 cup) granulated sugar

Ingredients for the cream

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 5 tbsp strong brewed coffee
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) butter

Ingredients for the glaze

  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) dark chocolate
  • 30 g (2 tbsp) butter
  • apricot jam

Preparation for the dough

  1. Toast the hazelnuts in the oven on 200 °C (400 °F) for 10 minutes.
  2. Grind them in the food processor after they cool down. You can do this step a few days prior.
  3. In the self standing mixer (or with hand mixer) beat the egg whites until stiff. Add sugar and beat until the mixture is very thick.
  4. Add the ground hazelnuts, flour and breadcrumbs to the egg white mixture and mix in slowly with the spatula.
  5. Preheat the oven at 170 °C (350 °F).
  6. Spread the mixture evenly on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes.
  7. After the dough cools down, cut in three equal parts.

Preparation for the cream

  1. While the dough cools down, prepare the cream.
  2. Cook the egg yolks and the sugar in a double boiler until the cream thickens. Add coffee and mix well.
  3. Beat the butter and add to the cooled cream.

Preparation for the glaze

  1. Melt the chocolate and the butter.
  2. Add milk and sugar and mix well until combined.

To assemble the cake, place one piece of dough on a serving platter. Spread half of the cream. Repeat the same with the second layer. On the third piece of dough spread apricot jam and glaze on top. Refrigerate before cutting and serving.

What recipe do you cherish from a few generations back?

Milk Butter Buns

Nothing beats the smell of the freshly baked bread or in this case buns, don’t you agree?

These buns will blow your mind. They are silky soft and milky sweet. I could eat the whole batch myself. 🤤
They are very versatile. You can spread them with your favorite toppings like jam, chocolate or hazelnut spread. You can even try them with savory spreads like cream cheese or hummus. Whatever you choose, enjoy to the max 🙂

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 10 g (1 tbsp) dry yeast
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) lukewarm water
  • 250 ml ( 1 cup) milk
  • 600 g (5 3/4 cup) all purpose flour
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) butter
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg

For the coating

  • 2 tbsp cold milk
  • 1 egg yolk

Preparation

  1. Melt the butter in the milk.
  2. Proof the yeast in the lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar for about 10 min.
  3. While the yeast proves, in a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, salt, egg and melted butter in milk.
  4. Add the yeast and mix until the ingredients combine and a soft dough is formed.
  5. Cover with kitchen cloth until it doubles in size, for about an hour.
  6. When the dough is ready, place it on a floured surface and knead it for couple of minutes.
  7. Divide the dough into 10-12 equal balls.
  8. Roll each ball as thin as possible, then roll it into buns.
  9. Place them onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
  10. Cover them again with the cloth until they rise before baking.
  11. Coat them with the egg yolk and cold milk mixture.
  12. Sprinkle with sesame if you wish.
  13. Bake on 230 °C for 10 minutes until golden brown.

Tip: Make sure the dough is resting in a warm place to double in size.

Serve them in any occasion with anything you like! Or enjoy them plain – they are soft and delicious on their own.

How do you like to eat your buns? 😜

Honey Spice Cookies

Rustic looking honey cookies are one of my favorites. They literally smell like Christmas! Is there anything better? 😄

Perfect with a cup of your favorite tea or coffee, they will make a great addition to every little winter gathering with your friends and family.

Ingredients

  • 100 g (¾ cup) sugar
  • 150 g (1 cup + 3 tbsp) honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp powdered ginger
  • 350 g (2 ¾ cups) all-purpose flour
  • for decoration you can use peeled almonds / quarters of walnuts / hazelnuts

Preparation

  1. Heat the honey with sugar, stirring constantly, over low heat until the sugar has melted completely. Set aside to cool (10 minutes).
  2. In a small bowl lightly whisk the egg.
  3. In a separate larger bowl combine baking soda, spices and flour.
  4. Add the lightly beaten egg, flour and spices to the melted honey and sugar mixture. Mix and combine to obtain smooth and soft dough.
  5. Wrap the dough with cling foil and leave in a fridge over night.
  6. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or place silicon sheet.
  7. With your hands make walnut size balls and place them on a previously lined baking sheet.
  8. Insert peeled almond at the top of each cookie.
  9. Preheat the oven at 180 °C (356 °F).
  10. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container.

Note: It is very important not to over-bake them because they will become hard. Honey spice cookies can be kept in a tin up to 4 weeks. They will get softer with time ☺

What is your favorite cookie and why?

Vanilla Crescents

Let me tell you about a legend of vanilla crescent cookies.

It goes all the way back to 1683.

It was 12th of September.
A long and hard battle between the Viennese and the Turkish army has just ended. Viennese have defended their city and the whole Austro-Hungarian Empire from the Turkish invasion.

They were so proud and happy! To let the Turkish Empire know they are no longer afraid of them, the city’s bakers celebrated by making popular sugary cookies, called kipferl, in the shape of crescent moons that characterized the Turkish flag.

After their defeat, the Turks fled, leaving behind the first sack of coffee beans to reach Vienna. That is how the establishment of Viennese coffeehouses started, in which the crescent cookies found a home.

Ingredients

  • 200 g (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 140 g (1 ⅛ cup) all purpose flour
  • 140 g (1 ⅛ cup) pastry flour
  • 80 g (⅔ cup) powdered sugar
  • 10 g (1 tbsp + 1 tsp) vanilla sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 100 g (¾ cup) ground walnuts or almonds

    +
  • powdered sugar and vanilla sugar mixed together in quantity you desire for coating

Preparation

  1. Rub the butter into the flour making small crumbs.
  2. Add sugar, vanilla sugar and walnuts, then combine.
  3. Add the egg and work together to form a dough.
  4. Leave it to rest in the fridge for at least one hour.
  5. Preheat the oven at 180 °C (356 °F).
  6. Pinch off walnut sized pieces and form crescents.
  7. Sort them on a baking sheet cover with parchment paper or silicon sheet.
  8. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes.
  9. Roll them in icing sugar mixed with vanilla sugar while they are still warm.
  10. When the crescents are cooled,store them in an airtight container where they can stay for several weeks.

Tip: Leave the cookies 1 minute to cool a bit before rolling them into sugar. Although they have to be coated warm, they are very fragile, and this way they are less likely to break.

Do you have any interesting stories about one of your favorite desserts? Share with us 😉

London Bars

London, such a great city with lots of delicious desserts.

Puddings, tarts, custards, pies and a lot of inns. But no bars!

So what is the origin of this cake and where did the name come from?

Our research showed traces of London Bars in Croatia as Londonerice or London štangice, in Hungary as Londoni szelet (just try reading all those names!) and many other places nearby. But no relation to London and British cuisine. 🤨

That’s no reason not to try them, is it?

Ingredients for the dough

  • 200 g (1 ½ cup) of all purpose flour
  • 140 g (1 ⅛ cup) of cold butter
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 4 egg yolk
  • a pinch of baking powder
  • zest of 1 lemon

Ingredients for the filling

  • 200 g (1 ½ cup) granulated sugar
  • 140 g (1 ⅛ cup) of ground walnuts
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 egg whites

Plus:

  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts for sprinkling
  • a few tablespoons of apricot/plum jam for the spread

Preparation

  1. Make the dough by combining all the ingredients.
  2. Leave in the fridge for 30min.
  3. Preheat the oven at 180 °C (356 °F).
  4. Roll the dough and place it in the 9×13 inch baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 15 min.
  6. While the dough is baking, mix egg whites until firm, add sugar and lemon juice.
  7. At the end, with the spatula, gently mix in the ground walnuts.
  8. Remove the dough form the oven and reduce the temperature to 150 °C (300 °F).
  9. Spread the jam on the dough.
  10. Pour the filling on the jam.
  11. Sprinkle with finely chopped walnuts.
  12. Return to oven and bake for another 15-20 min.

Tip: You can sprinkle the cake with ground walnuts instead!

Do you know some other name for this cake?

Coconut Lemon Cake

Get your afternoon tea (or coffee) ready! This cake’s super moist consistency is going to blow your 🧦 off.
This time I complimented it with some vanilla custard 😄

It’s a win-win combination for a hard day’s of work.

If you like coconut or lemon desserts (or both 😉), this cake is a must try! Tangy lemon flavor goes perfectly with exotic coconut. You will be transferred to a tropical beach on a first bite!

Fun fact: coconut can be a fruit, a nut, and a seed. What do you think it is?

Ingredients

  • 150 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) coconut sugar
  • 200 ml (3/4 cup) heavy cream
  • 100 ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) coconut oil
  • 170 g ( 1 1/4 cup) all purpose flour
  • 130 g (1 3/4 cup) desiccated coconut
  • 5 eggs
  • juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 10 g (1 tbsp) baking powder or one sachet

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 °C (375 °F).
  2. Melt coconut oil and cool it of.
  3. In a large bowl mix flour with baking powder, desiccated coconut and grated lemon zest.
  4. Beat the eggs with both sugars in a stand up mixer or with hand electric mixer, until foamy.
  5. Mix in melted coconut oil.
  6. In that mixture add the heavy cream, milk and lemon juice one by one while mixing.
  7. At the end add prepared mixture of flour, desiccated coconut, baking powder and lemon zest. Mix in on low speed until incorporated.
  8. Grease and flour the baking tray or line with parchment paper and pour the prepared batter.
  9. Bake about 40 minutes until golden brown. Do a toothpick check test to see if it’s done.
  10. Cool before serving and dust with powdered sugar.

Serving suggestion: Serve with vanilla custard, ice cream or simple whipped cream!

What is your favorite coconut dessert?

Zagorje Potato Soup

Zagorje potato soup has many variations as each household adds something to make it special and uniquely theirs. Although dried mushrooms are sometimes added to this soup, we made it without them this time.

Main ingredients are potatoes and sour cream, so the fact that we didn’t have mushrooms didn’t affect the taste of this invigorating soup in a significant way.

We started with a recipe from Croatian chef Mladen Marušić and adjusted the measures (his recipe is made to serve 10 people) and ingredients based on those we had available.

If you use dried mushrooms, soak them previously in hot water until soften. If you use fresh mushrooms, clean, wash, and slice them finely.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp of vegetable, canola or sunflower oil for frying
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable, canola or sunflower oil for “zaprška” (browned flour)
  • 50 g bacon/pancetta
  • 1 large onion
  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 100 ml (1/2 cup) white wine
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp ground red paprika
  • 150 ml (10 tbsp) sour cream
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) vinegar
  • 1 l (4 cups) stock or clear soup
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • finely chopped parsley leaves for garnish

Preparation mise en place

  1. Chop the onion finely.
  2. Cut pancetta to strips.
  3. Peal the potatoes and cut them into small cubes.
  4. Cut the red pepper into pea-sized cubes.
  5. Blanche the tomato in hot water for couple of minutes and peel of the skin. Chop it finely.

Preparation

  1. On a medium to high temperature in a large saucepan on oil fry the onion and pancetta until soft and translucent.
  2. Add potatoes and fry them for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the red pepper and fry for another couple of minutes.
  4. Season all the ingredients with salt and pepper and after they are combined add stock or soup. Do a taste test as you season.
  5. Add blanched tomato to the soup, white wine, and bay leaf. If necessary, add more salt and pepper. Allow the soup to cook until all the ingredients soften.
  6. To make “zaprška” (browned flour), in a separate small saucepan heat up 2 tablespoons of oil. Add as much flour as oil can absorb to the hot oil. Fry the flour briefly until it becomes reddish but not burned, then add the ground red paprika and immediately take the frying pan off the heat.
  7. Add this mixture to the soup while constantly stirring. Allow the soup to simmer.
  8. In a separate bowl mix sour cream with a couple of spoonfuls of hot soup to avoid lumps. Add all the sour cream to the soup and remove it from the heat.
  9. Sprinkle with chopped parsley for garnish.
Zagorje Potato Soup

Thank you Croatian Language School, it was a pleasure for Zvonimir and me to make this soup for you 😀

Read all about it on Croatian Language School’s web site: Zagorje Potato Soup. Make sure to check many interesting articles about Croatia and its culture while you are visiting.

Fun Fact

Have a hangover? This soup might help!
People report it helped them and being a really hearty meal, it might be true. This makes it a great brunch idea after partying all night 😉

Let us know in the comments if it worked for you 😜

Jaffa Cake

As kids, growing up in Croatia, Jaffa cookies were something we all were looking for as a treat. Sponge cake with orange jelly, covered in chocolate. Who wouldn’t like that?!

Chocolate with orange is an all time favorite combination and this cake does it justice. 😃
It’s soft and moist, and makes you crave for more 😉
The cake is very juicy and full of orange flavor!

Jaffa Cake

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 100 ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 200 ml (3/4 cup) canola/sunflower oil
  • 200 g (1 1/2 cup) all purpose flour
  • 10 g (1 tbsp or one little package) vanilla sugar
  • 10 g (1 tbsp or one little package) baking powder
  • 2 large oranges
  • 15 g (2 tbsp) cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp apricot or orange jam

For the syrup

  • 100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 100 ml (1/2 cup) water

For the glaze

  • 200 g (1 cup) dark chocolate
  • 125 g (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1 tbsp oil

Preparation

Jaffa Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F).
  2. Grease and flour (or use parchment paper) two round baking pans.
  3. In the standing mixer or in a large bowl mix the eggs with both sugars until foamy.
  4. Add oil and milk and mix for a minute.
  5. Add flour combined with baking powder and mix until incorporated.
  6. Divide the mixture into two equal parts, and in one part mix in cocoa powder.
  7. Pour each batter in a separate baking pan and bake for about 30 minutes until the cakes are done. Do a toothpick test for completeness. Insert the toothpick in the cakes, if nothing stays on it, the cakes are done. Let them cool.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare the syrup. In a small saucepan, cook sugar with water until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
  9. When the cakes are cooled, place the dark cake on the bottom of the round baking pan.
  10. Smear the jam on the dark cake.
  11. In a large bowl, break the light cake into small pieces and pour over the sugar syrup. Add the orange zest of one and juice of two oranges. Mix well. Spread it over the jam.
  12. For the glaze melt the chocolate with butter and oil in a microwave or in a double boiler over steam.
  13. Pour the glaze on top of the cake.
  14. Refrigerate the cake overnight before serving.
Jaffa Cake

What is your favorite chocolate and fruit combination?

Roti John

Have you ever heard about this amazing Singapore street food dish, a sandwich called Roti John?
Azlin Bloor introduced it to us a few years back on Google+. We enjoyed it so much, it became one of our favorite dishes!

Instead of a baguette, we use large buns and serve it with cheese (cheddar, gauda or swiss cheese), chili mayo and ketchup. Any garden salad goes perfectly with this hearty sandwich, but we tried it also with beans and onion salad and it was delicious. 😃

For all about the name, history and the recipe visit Azlin’s blog where you can also find many other interesting recipes from all over the world.

For a special treat, watch us prepare it live on Simply Singapore show on YouTube. It was very entertaining, and we had tons of fun preparing it!

YouTube: AZ Entertainment

Did I mention it’s an egg and beef sandwich with onions and it takes only half an hour to prepare? It’s also a great dish for those who like to hit the gym, if you know what I mean 😉

What is your favorite sandwich?

Carrot and Ginger Soup

This is what I call immunity soup! Blend of garlic, ginger and turmeric makes this soup an immunity booster 😃

Sweetness of carrots and spiciness of ginger make this soup one of a kind. Plus you can always adapt the flavors to your taste by adding/reducing amounts of carrots and ginger.

Carrot Ginger Soup

Did you know that ginger is loaded with antioxidants, compounds that prevent stress? It also helps your body fight off chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diseases of the lungs, plus promote healthy aging. So, enjoy this soup more often!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger (about 2 cm of fresh ginger)
  • 700 ml vegetable stock or water
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp cream or milk (optional)

Preparation

  1. Peel and cut the onion into quarters.
  2. Grate or thinly slice garlic and ginger.
  3. Peel and cut the carrots to 0.5 cm (0.25 in) round pieces.
  4. Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a large pot.
  5. Add onions and simmer until softened.
  6. Add carrots, garlic and ginger and simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  7. Season with salt, pepper and turmeric. Stir well.
  8. Add vegetable stock or water and cook until carrots are softened.
  9. When the carrots are done, check the flavor and season more if necessary.
  10. Take the pot off the heat, blend with hand mixer or in a blender.
  11. For creamier taste, add cream or milk and stir.
Carrot Ginger Soup

Serve with croutons or as-is. Enjoy!

What is your favorite soup?

Croatian Octopus Salad

Octopus salad is one of the most delicious representatives of Croatian cuisine. Seasoned with homemade olive oil and red wine vinegar with a dash of salt and fresh grated black pepper, makes this salad vibrant and refreshing.

As for many dishes, this one also has many combinations. I make mine simple to indulge the octopus flavor to the fullest. Other variants have additions of boiled potatoes or tomatoes. When you visit Croatia, don’t forget to try in many restaurants on Dalmatian coast. In the meanwhile, prepare it yourself! The taste will transfer you to a terrace somewhere on the Adriatic, watching the sunset and enjoying a glass of white wine 😉

Ingredients

  • 1 previously frozen octopus
  • 1/2 red onion, cut in small cubes
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • handful green/black olives
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • red wine vinegar to taste
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • wine cork

Preparation

  1. Put the octopus into a large pot of water along with bay leaves and wine cork and bring to a boil. The wine cork will ensure tenderness of the octopus.
  2. Once it boils, lower the temperature to medium-low and cover the pot. Cook the octopus until tender, depending on its size.
  3. Cooked and cooled octopus chop in small bite size pieces.
  4. Place the octopus on a serving plate and add capers, olives, onion and garlic.
  5. Season with salt, pepper, olive oil and red wine vinegar. Mix well. I like plenty of olive oil for dunking the bread 😃

Serve with lemon wedges and your favorite bread. This salad goes perfectly with bruschetta, garlic bread or focaccia! If you like, garnish with finely chopped parsley.

What is your favorite seafood salad?

Moist Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes

Every kid enjoys their birthday party and having a great birthday cake. In addition to a big birthday cake, birthday cupcakes are mandatory to make that party fun. These chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream are so moist and creamy that one or two won’t be enough 😉

That’s why this recipe makes 24 of them 😋

If you want to make only dozen, just half the recipe for the cupcakes and for the buttercream.

I made these for my nephews birthday when we were back in Croatia and he and his friends loved them so much. Colorful pearls or sprinkles makes them even more appealing. 😉

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 430 g (2 1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 220 g (1 3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 70 g (5/8 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 235 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) vegetable or similar oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 235 ml (1 cup) boiling water

For the vanilla buttercream

  • 450 g (2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 650 g (5 cups) powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 10 tbsp heavy cream

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 175 °C (350 °F).
  2. Prepare 24 muffin tins – grease and flour them or use paper/silicon molds.
  3. In the large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients – sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking power and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl or in a stand alone mixer mix together the moist ingredients – eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.
  5. Add the dry ingredients in the moist ingredients, and mix for three minutes on medium speed.
  6. At the end stir in the boiling water.
  7. Fill each tin about about 2/3 full because they will rise while baking.
  8. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Note: This batter is very, very thin. Don’t worry, the cupcakes will still turn out amazing!

What is your favorite cupcake?