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!
For the dough
450 g (3 cups) all purpose flour
1/2 tsp fine salt
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
Preheat oven to 180 °C (355 °F).
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour with salt.
In a small bowl whisk the eggs, olive oil and vinegar.
Slowly add the olive oil mixture to the flour, stirring gently with a wooden spoon or spatula. Do not over-work the mixture.
Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture loosely comes together.
Let it rest covered with a slightly damp kitchen towel.
Cook the pasta in boiling unsalted water as instructed on package for al dente.
Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, combine the sugar, almond meal, bread crumbs, and cinnamon.
In another small bowl, beat the eggs slightly with the lemon zest and vanilla extract.
Grease and dust with flour a spring-form cake pan.
Roll out dough to a circle and place it into the pan, letting the extra dough drape over the sides of the pan.
Spread a handful of well-drained cooked pasta across the bottom.
Sprinkle with two large handfuls of the almond meal mixture.
Pour 1/2 cup of the egg mixture over the top and sprinkle with 1/3 of the butter pieces.
Repeat for all layers to the top or until the ingredients are used up.
After each addition, tap the pan down gently to settle all the layers.
Trim the excess dough from the sides of the pan.
Bake for about 45 minutes, or until crust is slightly brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
Invert the cake onto a serving platter.
Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
What is an old traditional cake from the place you are from?
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.
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
Preheat the oven to 180 °C (355 °F).
Grease and flour a round baking pan.
Zest and juice the lemon.
In a stand mixer or by hand, beat together the eggs and sugar until thick. Gradually beat in the oil.
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.
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.
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.
Years ago, my foodie friend Anna Jane Dalton made this dessert live on Google+ Hangouts. We had so much fun naming it live while we watched Anna Jane prepare it. Finally we agreed on chocolate tiramisu and the name fits perfectly!
I fell in love with it and decided to make it for Valentine’s Day last year. It’s easy to prepare and you will enjoy sharing this bowl of creaminess with your significant other 😀
Originally recipe has vodka and pomegranate syrup mixed with coffee, if you like it spiked up a bit.
This is kids’ favorite cake. The adults love it as much 😀
When my friend shared this recipe with me, she gave me doubled amounts. I was like, 12 eggs?! They love the cake sooo much she always makes a double batch. After I tried it, I understood why. The cake is so moist and creamy you gotta try it to believe it.
For the cake
6 tbsp granulated sugar
6 tbsp all purpose flour
3 tbsp Nesquick
100 ml (7 tbsp) milk
100 ml (7 tbsp) oil
10 g (1 tbsp) baking powder
50 g (1/2 cup) white chocolate for decoration
For the cream
500 ml (2 cup) heavy cream
300 g (2 3/4 cup) dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 180 °C (355 °F).
Separate egg yolks and egg whites in two large bowls.
With electric mixer mix egg yolks with sugar until foamy.
Add oil and milk in egg yolk mixture and mix until combined.
Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl (flour, baking powder and Nesquick).
Add dry ingredients in the egg yolk mixture.
Separately mix egg whites until stiff and mix in lightly with spatula to the batter.
Pour the batter in a baking pan.
Bake for 20-25 min.
Meanwhile, prepare the cream.
Cook the cream to the boiling point (but don’t let it boil), remove from the heat and add broken chocolate pieces. Mix until combined.
When the cake is done, make holes all over it with a fork. They allow the cream to settle into the cake.
Pour the hot cream on the still warm cake.
Chill in the refrigerator over night before serving.
Santa’s favorite cookies (Don’t forget the milk!) 😀
I know it’s not Christmas, but that just means you don’t have to share with big guy with sleigh and flying reindeer 😀 These classic beauties are a must-have in all North American households so we had to try them as well. We were not disappointed. They were soft and chewy, just like Santa likes them!
270 g (2 cup) all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
170 g (3/4 cup) butter, melted
130 g (1 cup) brown sugar
60 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
360 g (2 cup) chocolate chips
Warm up the oven to 160 °C (320 °F).
Cover the baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl sift the flour, add salt and baking soda.
In a separate bowl, with electric mixer, mix both sugars, melted butter, egg, yolk, and vanilla extract. Stir until creamy.
Add flour mixture and all mix well until combined.
Finally add chocolate chips.
With a spoon or an ice cream scoop if you have one, make balls and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes. Don’t over baked them, they will be too hard.
One of my favorite childhood comfort foods, and although you can add lots of different flavors, I like mine simple just made with milk and sugar!
I remembered what my grandmother made me when I use to sleep over at her place without my parents. It made me feel safe and warm and occasionally I still make this for myself when I get nostalgic about my childhood.
125 ml (1/2 cup) milk
4 tbsp semolina
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp cocoa or chocolate powder
grated chocolate for decoration
Pour the milk in the small saucepan and heat it on medium to high temperature until it boils.
Lower the temperature to medium low and add semolina and sugar. Whisk it intensively until it thickens. Remove from the heat.
Divide it in two equal parts. In one part mix in the cocoa powder.
You can add so many different flavors according to your desires: cinnamon, honey, nuts, dried fruits.
Zvonimir’s note: I made this so many times that I developed a variation that combines step one and two. Not only is it quicker to make, it’s also smoother, perfect thickness, with lower chance of lumps. Downside: it takes some practice, so it might take a few tries to get the results you came here for. If you’re up for the challenge (and for the rewards), here’s how it goes. Add sugar before the milk boils (it raises the boiling temperature). As the milk comes close to boil but not yet boiling, lower the heat, (not too low, you still want it to boil eventually). Start slowly adding semolina and stir with a spatula (not a whisk). Keep going at a pace where semolina doesn’t get a chance to form lumps before you stir it away. Keep going until the milk surface starts resisting semolina grains and they start taking longer to sink (you’ll know it when you see it) as the milk comes even closer to boil. At that point stop adding semolina, optionally lower the heat a bit more, depending on your stove, and keep stirring diligently, keeping the semolina from getting stuck on the bottom.
Zvonimir’s extra tips: now if you mastered that and want more, there’s a way to make it even softer while keeping the consistency. Yes, really. I discovered this by accident, like a lot of great things sometimes are, but then played with it and practiced to get the technique right. Do everything the same up to a point when you’re adding semolina, but stop before you put the right amount of semolina into the milk. This would normally make a runnier semolina, so we need to do something to get the thickness back. Add extra fine breadcrumbs that taste as bland as possible, while constantly stirring (the same way you would semolina). The breadcrumbs need to soften and combine with the semolina so you need to cook it on lower heat than usual, for longer. The breadcrumbs you use will make a big difference so experiment with the type/brand (some may affect the aroma), amount, when you add them and the heat. You don’t want them to overtake the semolina. Use a lot less breadcrumbs than semolina. Breadcrumbs are a lot less sticky than semolina and they will make the semolina fluffier and lighter. When you get the technique down, no one will be able to tell what the secret ingredient is 😉 Now wait until you hear about my pancake tips…
This is one of those recipes I got from a friend’s grandmother written in an old notebook. It didn’t even have baking temperature nor time written! Well, in the old days they had wooden stoves and weren’t able to regulate it anyway, so this does make sense 🙂
Combination of chocolate and walnuts with a zesty jam will win you over forever 😀
For the dough
100 g (7 tbsp) butter
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
1 egg yolk
100 g (1 cup) pastry flour
100 g (1 cup) ground walnuts
For the cream
150 g (10 tbsp) softened butter
150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
4 egg yolks
150 g (10 tbsp) melted dark chocolate
5 egg whites
For the chocolate glaze
100 g (6 1/2 tbsp) dark chocolate
50 g (1/4 cup) butter
2 tbsp oil
1 beaten egg
jam of your choice (I used black current jam)
Knead the dough from all the dough ingredients, wrap in cling wrap and let it rest for half an hour in the refrigerator.
Roll the dough and place it in a round 26 cm (10 in) diameter pie pan.
Bake in a preheated oven on 170 °C (340 °F) until baked only half way! (10-12 min).
Meanwhile make the cream. Melt the chocolate either on steam or in the microwave.
In a separate bowl beat egg whites until firm peak.
In a large bowl, mix sugar with egg yolks until foamy, add the butter and the melted chocolate.
With spatula gently mix in previously firmly beaten egg whites.
Take the halfway baked cake out of the oven and spread the jam thinly on the dough.
Pour the cream on the jam. Bake until done, for another 10-15 minutes.
Cool the cake before you put the glaze on.
For the glaze melt the chocolate with butter and oil. Remove from heat and add the beaten egg. This is grandma’s secret touch 🙂
Serving: Sprinkle with some finely chopped walnuts for decoration!
We all have some old recipes passed done from generations before. What’s yours?
When Zvonimir and I arrived to Canada, it was just before Christmas season, and eggnog was one of our first “must try” discoveries. Inspired by the ongoing competition between hot chocolate and eggnog, we decided to make a fusion and end this story in an everlasting love affair 🙂
With Christmas on its way, we thought you might like to try this as a decadent, creamy, winter dessert 😀
2-3 ginger cookies (optional) for a crunchy twist!
2 small vanilla instant pudding (3.4 ounces each)
375 ml (1½ cup) milk
500 ml (2 cups) of eggnog
230 ml (8 oz or 1 cup) Cool whip or whipped cream
200 g (3/4 cup) melted chocolate of your choice
Mix the pudding, eggnog and milk in a bowl for about 2 minutes, then mix in the cool whip or whipped cream (without actually whipping it, confusing, I know).
Put half of the mixture in a glass, add some crushed ginger cookies, and pour the rest of the mixture over the cookies. Serve the mousse in bowls or any way you like.
Melt the chocolate on steam or in the microwave.
Place the melted chocolate on top, cool overnight in the fridge and enjoy eating it the next day.
Tasty cocoa cookies dipped into chocolate and filled with delicious cream that resembles the cream used for cream puffs. This type of cookie is typical for northern and eastern Croatia. These are traditional cookies prepared for many occasions, especially Christmas and weddings. They can also be yellow with cocoa cream.
makes 20 combined cookies
200 g (1 1/2 cup) all purpose flour
140 g (1/2 cup) butter
70 g (6 tbsp) granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp cocoa
150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
100 g (1/3 cup) butter
10 g (1 tbsp) vanilla sugar
60 g (1/3 cup) dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
2 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
Of the ingredients knead the dough, roll out thinly between two sheets of parchment paper and cut into circles. I used shot glass 😀
Bake them between 5-10 minutes in a preheated oven at 180 °C (355 °F). They just need to get a little color. You need to take them out even if they are a bit soft, leave them on the cooling rack, they will later harden. Let them cool completely.
In the meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Melt the chocolate with oil and dip half of the cookies. Let them cool on the rack before connecting them with cream.
For the cream, mix eggs, sugar and vanilla sugar until combined.
Cook the cream in double boiler or on low heat. Steer with spatula. That way the cream doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook the cream until it’s thick. Let it cool off completely. In the cooled cream mix in well-made butter.
Combine chocolate covered cookie with the uncovered one with cream.
Many European countries use poppy seeds in desserts. I use it often because of its specific flavor that I really enjoy. Did you know that poppy seeds are rich source of thiamine, folate, and several essential minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc?
For this gluten free cake, you will need little time to prepare and even less to indulge 😀 Choice of jam is up to you. I used homemade sour cherry jam since sweet and sour complement each other creating a divine taste 🙂
7 eggs divided
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
140 g (10 tbsp) butter at room temperature
2 tsp baking soda
200 g (1 1/4 cup) ground poppy seeds
zest of one lemon
jam of your choice (I used sour cherry jam and it was perfect!)
100 g (1/2 cup) dark chocolate
100 ml (1/4 cup) whipped cream
Preheat oven to 200 °C (390 °F).
Divide eggs in two separate mixing bowls.
Separately whip butter until foamy.
Beat egg yolks with 6 tbsp of sugar until foamy.
Add whipped butter to the egg yolk mixture and mix until combined.
Combine poppy seeds with baking soda and lemon zest and add to the egg yolk mixture. Mix well.
Mix egg whites with 6 tbsp of sugar until stiff.
With a spatula add beaten egg whites to the batter.
Bake in a baking pan covered with parchment paper for about 40 min until golden brown.
Meanwhile, prepare the chocolate glaze. Heat the cream up to boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate broken in pieces. Mix until chocolate is incorporated.
Spread your jam of choice on the baked cake and pour chocolate glaze on top.
Enjoy with your favorite cup of coffee or tea!
Have you ever tried a poppy seed dessert? What was your favorite?