Croatian Apricot and Plum Dumplings

I can’t imagine a better dessert that includes potatoes. Some Croatians would disagree with me about these dumplings being a dessert. It’s still a subject of debate as many Croatians eat them as main course and not as a dessert. In other words, they just eat dessert for main course. I still prefer to have couple of soft, warm, sweet dumplings after a meal 😉

Variety of similar dumplings can be found in Eastern and Central Europe, with savory or sweet fillings. In Croatia, we usually make them with plums or apricots in the summer during the apricot and plum season. They are topped with breadcrumb and butter mixture, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. You can also serve them with sour cream as well.

Ingredients

for 16 small dumplings

  • 800 g (1.75 lb) potatoes, cooked in shell
  • 200 g (1 1/2 cup) all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 16 apricots or plums (pitted)
  • 100 g (1 cup) breadcrumbs
  • 120 g (1/2 cup) butter for the topping
  • sugar to taste
  • cinnamon to taste (or not at all, read Z’s note at the end)

I made them LIVE on AZ Entertainment’s show Savour The Flavour back in 2015.

Preparation

  1. Wash the potatoes well and cook them in the shell.
  2. Cool the cooked potatoes for 5 minutes before peeling, but don’t get them too cold as it will be harder to peel the skin off.
  3. Peeled potatoes immediately mash, add egg and butter, stir well, season with salt and add the flour.
  4. Knead the dough until compact.
  5. Pour dough on a lightly floured surface, roll out and cut into equal squares.
  6. At each square place the halves of pitted fruit, put some sugar and cinnamon (optional) on and form dumplings with hands.
  7. Place the dumplings into a pot of salted boiling water, stir gently and allow them to cook. After about 10 min dumplings will pop up to the surface and then cook them for another 5-6 minutes.
  8. During this time, in a small non stick pan, melt the butter and fry the breadcrumbs. Add more butter/breadcrumbs until you reach desired consistency.
  9. In a small dish, mix sugar with cinnamon for sprinkling.
  10. Drain the cooked dumplings and place them in a serving dish.
  11. Topped them with fried breadcrumbs and toss gently so that they don’t fall apart.

Serve hot dumplings sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon and dig in!

Z’s note:
I personally find that cinnamon takes away from the apricot flavor and never use it. People often also like to put sour cream on top, when serving. What I like to do is serve dumplings, with sugar, cinnamon and sour cream separately. People then season them as they please and two people rarely do it the same way 🙂

What is your favorite dumpling filling?

Cheese and Spinach Quiche

Spinach season is on the way!

Spinach is thought to have originated in ancient Persia (Iran). It made its way to China in the 7th century when the king of Nepal sent it as a gift. Spinach has a much more recent history in Europe than many other vegetables. It was only brought to that continent in the 11th century, when the Moors introduced it into Spain. In fact, for a while, spinach was known as “the Spanish vegetable” in England.

Spinach was the favorite vegetable of Catherine de Medici, a historical figure in the 16th century. When she left her home of Florence, Italy, to marry the king of France, she brought along her own cooks, who could prepare spinach the ways that she especially liked. Since this time, dishes prepared on a bed of spinach are referred to as “a la Florentine”.

This is not a typical quiche dough, but it’s absolutely delicious. It is soft and it goes perfectly with the flavors of spinach and cheese.

Cheese and spinach quiche is great for spring Sunday brunch or picnic!

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 200 g (1 1/2 cup) all purpose flour
  • 5 g (1/2 tbsp) baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 120 g (1/2 cup) butter, cold
  • 130 g (1/2 cup) Greek plain yogurt

For the filling

  • 3 eggs
  • 130 g (1/2 cup) Greek plain yogurt
  • 245 g (1 cup) ricotta cheese
  • 500 g (3 cups) cleaned blanched or frozen spinach
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 130 g (1 cup) shredded mozzarella for topping

Preparation

  1. In a large bowl mix flour with baking powder and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix yogurt with the egg.
  3. Add flour mixture to the egg and yogurt, add the crumbled butter and mix until combined.
  4. Wrap the dough in a cling wrap and refrigerate it for 1/2 hour.
  5. In the meanwhile, prepare the filling.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (355 °F).
  7. Simmer the spinach lightly for 5 minutes. Season with minced garlic and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
  8. In a large bowl whisk the eggs with yogurt, cheese and spices.
  9. Roll the dough and place it in a round ceramic pan or a pie pan, leaving the dough on the sides.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes until the dough gets a light crust and then remove it from the oven.
  11. On a lightly baked pastry first lay simmered spinach, then the mixture with eggs.
  12. Top with grated mozzarella.
  13. Bake until golden for another 20-25 min.

Serve with your favorite salad 😄

What is your favorite quiche?

Poppy Seeds Strudel

All the poppy seed lovers, this one is my favorite poppy seeds dessert, ever! Period!

Usually, poppy seeds are used in desserts with yeast dough or shortbread pastry. I love them all, don’t get me wrong, but this one takes the win 😉
If you aren’t already a poppy seed lover, after you try this, you might be. Welcome to the club! 😃

This is an unusual strudel made with very liquid poppy seed batter and phyllo sheets. Since every sheet gets smeared, the cake is very soft, moist and not too sweet. Just perfect.
Poppy seeds are not your typical ingredient. It’s very popular in Eastern and Central Europe, but not in many other cultures. Other cultures usually aren’t very familiar with it or aren’t used to its particular flavor.
This recipe packages it in a way that it’s not only palatable, people can’t stop eating 😋

This is my go to dessert when I need to feed a lot of people, such as when I go to a party or am hosting one of my own. It’s a hit among our multicultural friends here in Canada. Everyone loves it, form our friends from Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Iran to Venezuela and Brazil. Give it a try, you will be pleasantly surprised!

Ingredients

  • 250 g (1 3/4 cup) ground poppy seeds
  • 15 sheets of phyllo pastry
  • 500 ml (2 cups) liquid yogurt
  • 375 g (1 3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 150 ml (1/2 cup) vegetable or similar oil
  • 20 g (2 tbsp) baking powder or two little packages
  • 20 g (2 tbsp) vanilla sugar or two little packages
  • 4 eggs

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 °C (340 °F).
  2. Mix the eggs with both sugars in stand up electric mixer or with hand electric mixer until foamy.
  3. Add oil and mix a bit more.
  4. At the end, add the remaining ingredients: baking powder, poppy seeds and yogurt. Mix until combined. The mixture is extremely liquid, don’t get scared. This is the way it should be.
  5. Grease a large cookie sheet.
  6. Divide the sheets to make three broad rolls (5 sheets for each out of 3 rolls).
  7. Smear the mixture thinly over each sheet. Roll up the sheets flat in the width of 8-10 cm (1/3 pan).
  8. Coat them with oil and bake them for about half an hour until golden brown.

Have you ever cooked or baked with poppy seed? What is your favorite way to use poppy seeds?

Spring Pasta Salad

This is one of those dishes that you make from what you find in the fridge! Fresh seasonable vegetables make this cold pasta salad a perfect lunch or dinner during spring and summer.

I love to use macaroni or penne pasta for these salads, but there are some other fun pasta shapes that would be perfect, like farfalle, cavatelli or rotini. You can make your own unique salad each time changing pasta types and vegetables 😃

Ingredients

  • 250 g (2 1/2 cup) pasta of your choice
  • 100 g (3/4 cup) gauda/cheddar cheese diced or grated
  • 100 g (3/4 cup) cooked ham diced or grated
  • 1 medium tomato, cut in cubes
  • 1 medium cucumber, cut in cubes
  • 1 medium red pepper, cut in cubes
  • 2 spring onions ( leave green parts for garnish)
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) mayonnaise
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Cook pasta as per instructions on the package.
  2. Cut all ingredients and place them in the large bowl.
  3. Mix in cooked pasta with chopped ingredients.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. At the end mix in yogurt and mayonnaise.
  6. Cool in the fridge before serving.
  7. Before serving, garnish with green parts of spring onions.

This salad is also perfect for parties, BBQ or potlucks!

What would be your perfect pasta salad?

Ham Pie, Parisian way – Le clafoutis au jambon de Paris

When I started learning French in grade school, one of the first things I enjoyed was finding French recipes and translating them to Croatian.
When I got older, I enjoyed making them into food 😀

This is one of my favorite dishes to make with leftover ham form Easter. You can serve as breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner 😄

Ham Pie, Parisian way

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 500 ml milk
  • 150 g ham
  • 6 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 8 tbsp grated cheese (cheddar, Gouda or something similar)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 °C (395 °F).
  2. Grease the baking pan with a little butter.
  3. Cut the ham into little squares and place it on the bottom of the pan.
  4. In a big bowl mix butter, grated cheese, milk, flour, salt and pepper.
  5. Add whole eggs and mix well with spatula until the mixture gets smooth.
  6. Pour the mixture on the ham.
  7. Bake for about 35 minutes until golden brown.

Serve with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, avocados or red peppers!

What is your favorite ham dish and why?

French Potatoes

Just like French Salad, the name for this dish didn’t come from France. I imagine (this is not historically verified 😝), that Croats during the Napoleon invasion learned new dishes from Napoleon soldiers and made their own version of french “Potatoes au gratin” which they called french potatoes.

This is another great dish to use up leftover hard boiled eggs from Easter. Also, instead of sausages, you can use the leftover ham or slices of bacon!

Ingredients

serves 2

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 5 hard boiled eggs
  • 2 sausages of your choice
  • 500 ml sour cream
  • 100 ml milk
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • dash of vegetable oil

Preparation

  1. Cook the potatoes in their shells. Let them cool off before peeling.
  2. Slice the cooled potatoes as thin as possible but not too thin so they don’t fall apart.
  3. Boil the eggs until hard boiled.
    Tip: Add 1 tspb of vinegar in the water for easier peeling of the egg shells.
  4. Cut the hard boiled eggs as thin as possible but not too thin so they don’t fall apart.
  5. Cut the sausages, about half a centimeter wide.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (355 °F).
  7. Grease the baking dish with vegetable oil.
  8. Mix the sour cream and the milk in a separate small bowl.
  9. To assemble the dish, first place potatoes, than the eggs and finally the sausages. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Cover with half of the sour cream and milk mixture and repeat the process until you use up all the ingredients.
  11. Season all the layers and sprinkle with a dash of oil at the end.
  12. Bake around 20-25 minutes until you get the golden brown crust on top.

Serve with your favorite salad. Usually we have green lettuce with vinaigrette dressing, but any seasonal salad would go perfectly with this dish.

What is your favorite potato dish?

Celebrating Holi With Mango Badam Halwa

Great new discovery, combining fruit with nuts in a new exciting way! Fudge desserts are not common in Croatia. I like the way they are easy to prepare and you can play with the ingredients for special twists.

We tried this dessert as a part of learning Indian recipes for Holi, a popular ancient Hindu festival, also known as the “Festival of Love”, the “Festival of Colors”, and the “Festival of Spring”, a few years back with our Google+ foodie community. Thanks Anu Nagaraja for this wonderful recipe. It was a pleasant surprise and a combination of mango and almonds was perfect! 😃

Celebrating Holi With Mango Badam Halwa and +Indrani Sen

We followed the recipe closely, except we didn’t use saffron strands.
I don’t know how that affects the taste, but it was great like this… and we ate it all pretty fast!

Ingredients

  • 260 g (1 cup) of mango puree or mango pulp from fresh mango (any sweet mango which is less fibrous)
  • 90 g (1 cup) ground almonds
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp of cardamom powder
  • 6 – 8 each roughly sliced/chopped pistachios and almonds (we used hickory smoked almonds)

Preparation

  1. Peel the mango and cut it into cubes.
  2. In a deep thick bottomed pan cook the mango with sugar on low heat.
  3. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for another minute and then add ground almonds, powdered cardamom and half the quantity of chopped nuts.
  4. Cook stirring well. You will notice that the mixture thickens. Keep cooking and stirring until it begins to come together like a ball but not too firm.
  5. Pour the cooked mixture on a baking sheet.
  6. Spread the mixture using the back of a spoon or a palate knife.
  7. Sprinkle over the rest of the chopped nuts, press them down gently so that they stick on the surface.
  8. Cool completely before cutting into small cubes. We put it in a freezer for an hour.

Before serving garnish with nuts if you like 😃

What is your favorite fudge dessert?

Deviled Eggs with Easter leftovers

Easter passed, you enjoyed coloring the eggs and now you have extra you don’t know what to do with? Fear not, this beauty is not far out of reach 😄

Filling for these eggs is very simple, but flavorful. The trick is in that horseradish. Don’t miss the opportunity to try it. Traditionally, we always have fresh grated horseradish for Easter breakfast, so I like to use it in other Easter dishes. Deviled eggs are perfect way to incorporate it and have no food waste.

You can add other ingredients if you wish. I suggest tuna, capers or olives, anchovies, ham, cheese… the options are endless.

Devilled Eggs with Easter leftovers

Ingredients

  • 10 eggs
  • 50 g mayonnaise
  • 100 g sour cream
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp grated horseradish
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • radishes for decoration

Preparation

  1. Hard boil the eggs. Peel them and cut them in half, lengthwise. Tip: put 1 tbsp of vinegar in the water in which you boil the eggs for easier peeling 😉
  2. Take the egg yolks out carefully and place them in a bowl where you will prepare the filling.
  3. Mash the egg yolks with a fork or through a strainer for more smoothness.
  4. Add all the other ingredients and season to taste.
  5. Fill the egg whites with small spoon and decorate as you like.

I was trying to get the boat look with the radish being the sail! How do you like it? 😃

Tip: Put the filling in a zip bag, cut the edge and make swirls for a fancier look!

What do you like to do with leftovers?

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

One of the most popular cakes in North America is for sure a carrot cake. There are so many different versions and some get pretty complex, but I like mine simple. Why?
I want to indulge in the flavor of carrots, although I don’t have anything against some nuts or pineapple to compliment the cake 😀
Well, that is another story! 😉

Here is my version, moist cake with creamy cheese filling, perfect dessert for Easter. 🥕🐇

Happy Easter!

Ingredients for the cake

  • 350 g (2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 450g (3 cups) peeled grated carrots
  • 300 g (1 1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 350 ml (1 1/2 cups) oil

Ingredients for the cream cheese frosting

  • 140 g (10 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 340 g (3 cup) powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 30 g (2 tbsp) sour cream
  • 450 g (1 3/4 cup) cold cream cheese

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 180 °C (350 °F).
  2. Grease and dust with flour round baking sheet.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
  4. In food processor shred the carrots or grate them manually.
  5. With the electric or stand up mixer beat the eggs with both sugars on medium-high speed until combined.
  6. Add oil in slowly until well incorporated.
  7. With a spatula, stir in the flour mixture and the carrots.
  8. Bake around 30-40 minutes until the cake is done. Test with toothpick by inserting it in the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.
  9. Cool the cake completely before you cut it in half horizontally.
  10. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting.
  11. With the electric or stand up mixer beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy.
  12. Add the confectioners sugar, salt and vanilla and beat until fluffy.
  13. Beat in the sour cream.
  14. With the mixer running on medium speed, add the cream cheese until fully incorporated.
  15. Increase the speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  16. To assemble the cake, place one half of the cake on a serving platter. Spread half the frosting and top with the other half of the cake. Cover the outside of the cake with the remaining frosting.

Decorate the cake as you like. My options were chocolate Easter eggs or Easter sugar cookies. My dear friend Dina made these little minis, aren’t they adorable?

What are you having for dessert this Easter?

Floating Islands

Also known as œufs à la neige or île flottante! The difference between the two dishes is that île flottante sometimes contains islands made of “alternate layers of alcohol-soaked dessert biscuits and jam”. Wink, wink 😉

A few years back I made them live on Google+ Hangouts on AZ Entertainment live cooking show and was so much fun. You can check it out below.

It is also traditionally made in Croatia where we called them Šnenokle in Northwestern region and Paradižot in Dalmatia. The difference being Paradižot has alcohol-soaked dessert biscuits, sometimes with chocolate sprinkles, and Šnenokle won’t get you drunk (except on love maybe) 😁

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 liter (4 cups) of milk
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

Preparation

  1. Cook vanilla bean in milk in a large pot until boiling hot.
  2. Separate egg whites and yolks.
  3. Beat the egg whites with electric or stand up mixer until stiff.
  4. Place the egg whites with large spoon in the boiling milk. Don’t put too many at once as they will double the size. Turn them over in 30 sec. They shouldn’t boil more than a minute.
  5. Take them out and place them in a serving bowl.
  6. Remove the vanilla bean from the milk.
  7. Mix egg yolks and sugar until foamy, add cornstarch and a bit of the boiling milk. Mix until combined.
  8. Stir in the egg yolk mixture in the boiling milk after you cooked all the egg whites. Whisk until the creme thickens.
  9. Pour the cream over the egg whites.
  10. Chill before serving.

Serve well chilled and decorated with grated chocolate.
You can also place the cooked egg whites on sugar cookies soaked in rum.

What is your favorite egg dessert?

Chilli Con Carne

Zvonimir and I are really hooked on this one. It is one of our favorite dishes ever, just can’t get enough of it! The only problem we have is the spiciness – Zvonimir likes it spicy and I don’t 😀

Are you a team spicy or team not so spicy?

Chilli Con Carne

Ingredients

  • 500 g ( 2 cups) minced beef
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • chili powder to taste
  • chili flakes or spice chili for spicy version
  • 250 g (1 1/2 cup) pelati tomatoes
  • 500 g (2 cups) red kidney beans, canned
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • salt, pepper, sweet paprika to taste
  • sour cream/yogurt and shredded cheese of your choice for sprinkling

Preparation

  1. Heat 1-2 tbsp of oil in a large saucepan.
  2. On a medium heat saute the onions until soft. Add the garlic and saute for another couple of minutes.
  3. Add the beef, turn the heat up and saute until the meat gets brown.
  4. Season with salt, pepper, chili powder and sweet paprika.
  5. Stir well, add chopped red pepper and saute for another couple of minutes. Stir well, add pelati tomatoes and water or beef stock to cover all the ingredients.
  6. Cook for about 30-40 minute covered on lower heat.
  7. Add red kidney beans 10 minutes before its done.
  8. Try and season some more if necessary before serving.

Serve with sour cream or yogurt with shredded cheese of your choice. We used low fat sour cream and Gouda cheese.

What is your favorite dish you cannot resist?

Egg Whites Cake

This cake… could not be simpler 🙂 I usually make it when I make Croatian jam cookies as I have leftover egg whites.

You can use many ingredients to elevate this simple cake. Chopped hazelnuts, almonds or peanuts, dried figs, apricots or dates all go great with this dough. You can combine whatever you like, even fresh fruit can be great.

Ingredients

  • 6 egg whites
  • 200 g (1 1/2 cup) icing sugar
  • 120 g (1 1/4 cup) all purpose flour
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) chopped walnuts
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) chopped almonds
  • handful of raisins
  • handful of dried cranberries
  • lemon zest of one lemon

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 170 °C (340 °F).
  2. Grease and flour baking pan of your choice.
  3. In a stand up mixer beat egg whites with sugar until stiff.
  4. Add flour, lemon zest, nuts and dried fruits. Gently fold in with spatula until combined.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Dust with powdered sugar before serving (optional).

One combination I tested had dried cranberries, raisins, chopped almonds and chopped walnuts and the other one dried figs, dates, raisins, chopped walnuts and chopped pecans.

What would be your favorite combination for this cake?

The Cake from town Ston, Croatia

Traditional cake from a place called Ston, Croatia. Mali Ston or Little Ston, a tiny little village at the end of the isthmus that connects the Pelješac Peninsula with the mainland of the Dalmatian coast.

Historically, like many cakes, Stonska Torta was reserved for special festivities like Christmas, Easter, and weddings, as cakes were considered a luxury. Centuries ago when this cake was born, they used pasta for the filling to economize on ingredients.

Travel tip: This little village is also known for the best oysters at the Adriatic!

Cooking Croatian - Celebrating Croatian Cuisine on Foodies+ - Dalmatian region

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 450 g (3 cups) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1-3 tbsp water

For the filling

  • 500 g (5 cup) dried penne or ziti pasta
  • 300 g (1 1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 300 g (1 1/2 cup) ground almonds
  • 100 g (1/3 cup) bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 large eggs
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 10 g vanilla sugar or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250 g (1 cup) unsalted butter

For the garnish

  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 180 °C (355 °F).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour with salt.
  3. In a small bowl whisk the eggs, olive oil and vinegar.
  4. Slowly add the olive oil mixture to the flour, stirring gently with a wooden spoon or spatula. Do not over-work the mixture.
  5. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture loosely comes together.
  6. Let it rest covered with a slightly damp kitchen towel.
  7. Cook the pasta in boiling unsalted water as instructed on package for al dente.
  8. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, combine the sugar, almond meal, bread crumbs, and cinnamon.
  9. In another small bowl, beat the eggs slightly with the lemon zest and vanilla extract.
  10. Grease and dust with flour a spring-form cake pan.
  11. Roll out dough to a circle and place it into the pan, letting the extra dough drape over the sides of the pan.
  12. Spread a handful of well-drained cooked pasta across the bottom.
  13. Sprinkle with two large handfuls of the almond meal mixture.
  14. Pour 1/2 cup of the egg mixture over the top and sprinkle with 1/3 of the butter pieces.
  15. Repeat for all layers to the top or until the ingredients are used up.
  16. After each addition, tap the pan down gently to settle all the layers.
  17. Trim the excess dough from the sides of the pan.
  18. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until crust is slightly brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
  19. Invert the cake onto a serving platter.
  20. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

What is an old traditional cake from the place you are from?

Moroccan Lemon Cake (Meskouta with Lemon)

This traditional Moroccan cake is one of my favorite lemon cakes ever. I love its soft structure and amazing lemon flavor. It goes perfectly with Moroccan traditional mint tea, but I enjoy it with coffee or green tea as well.

Moroccan Lemon Cake (Meskouta with Lemon)

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 300 g (1 1/2 cup) sugar
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) vegetable oil
  • 265 g (2 cup) all purpose flour
  • 15 g (4 tsp) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • fresh lemon juice form one lemon
  • zest from 1 or 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or 10 g vanilla sugar
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (355 °F).
  2. Grease and flour a round baking pan.
  3. Zest and juice the lemon.
  4. In a stand mixer or by hand, beat together the eggs and sugar until thick. Gradually beat in the oil.
  5. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt, and then the milk. Beat until smooth, and then mix in the lemon juice, zest and vanilla.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared pan, and bake for about 40 minutes. Test with toothpick if the cake is ready by inserting the toothpick in the cake and if it comes out clean, the cake is done.
  7. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 7 to 10 minutes. Loosen the cake from the sides of the pan with a spatula, and turn out the cake onto a rack to finish cooling.
  8. Dust with powdered sugar before serving!

What is your favorite citrus in desserts?

Chocolate Roll

Chocolate lovers are going to be thrilled with this Swiss roll. It’s made of chocolate sponge cake, chocolate cream and chocolate glaze. Yes, chocolate everything! As I said, chocolate heaven!

Chocolate Roll

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 5 eggs
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 10 g (1 tbsp) vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
  • 20 g (3 tbsp) cocoa powder
  • 40 g (3 heaping tbsp) of all purpose flour

For the cream

  • 200 ml (3/4 cup) heavy whipping cream
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) dark chocolate
  • 60 g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

For the glaze

  • 100 g (1/2 cup) dark chocolate
  • 60 g (1/4 cup) butter

Preparation

  1. Coat the large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (355 °F).
  3. Separate the egg whites and the egg yolks in two separate large bowls.
  4. Mix the egg yolks with sugar until foamy, then add cocoa and stir. Mix in the flour.
  5. In a separate bowl mix egg whites with a touch of salt until stiff.
  6. Gradually fold stiff egg whites in the egg yolk mixture with spatula.
  7. Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Baked cake together with parchment paper shift on a wet dish cloth and roll.
  10. Now prepare the cream. Heat the cream to a boiling point.
  11. Break the chocolate into small pieces and put it in the hot cream.
  12. Add the butter and mix until you get a smooth mixture.
  13. Allow to cool in the fridge.
  14. Cooled cream mix with electric mixer until it becomes creamy.
  15. Unwrap the cake from the dish cloth and carefully take off the parchment paper.
  16. Coat it with cream and roll.
  17. For the glaze melt the chocolate in double boiler or in microwave, add butter and stir until dissolved. Pour over cake and let it cool off.
  18. Cool in the fridge before serving.

Instead of chocolate glaze sprinkle the roll with some cocoa powder or powdered sugar. Decorate as you wish, I put some chocolate candy 😀

What is your favorite roll cake?