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?

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?

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?

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?

Chocolate Tiramisu

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.

You can see the whole show on YouTube at AZ Entertainment.

Ingredients

  • 250 g (1 1/3 cup) dark chocolate (70% dark chocolate)
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) boiling water
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) marshmallow + 50 g (1/2 cup) for decoration
  • 300 ml (1 1/4 cup) heavy cream
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 350 ml (1 1/2 cup) cold coffee
  • 500 g of store bought ladyfingers
  • 170 g (1 cup) raspberries

CHOCOLATE TIRAMISU

Preparation

  1. First brew coffee so it can cool off before assembly. If you want, add vodka and pomegranate syrup to the cooled coffee.
  2. Over double boiler melt chocolate with marshmallows, butter and boiling water.
  3. When you get a smooth, consistent mixture transfer it to a large bowl and whisk it to cool it down or leave it aside until it cools before assembly.
  4. In a stand up mixer whip the cream and vanilla extract to medium peak.
  5. Fold the whipped cream in the cooled chocolate mousse.
  6. Assemble in a glass bowl.
  7. First layer: ladyfingers dipped in coffee. Don’t hold them in coffee for too long, they will soak and get soggy.
  8. Second layer: chocolate mousse
  9. Third layer: raspberries
  10. Repeat the layers and add marshmallows on top.
  11. Keep in the refrigerator until serving.

What is your favorite dessert for sharing/Valentine’s Day?

Chocolate Magic Custard Cake

This is one of those magical chocolate desserts that melt in your mouth! The name fits perfectly, it is very moist and it tastes almost like chocolate mousse!

Try it out and dig into the chocolate heaven 🙂 It pairs excellent with berries and citrus, I of course chose strawberries 😀

Chocolate Magic Custard Cake

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250 g (1 ¼ cup) granulated sugar
  • 110 g (½ cup) unsalted butter
  • 65 g (½ cup) all purpose flour
  • 40 g (⅓ cup) cocoa powder
  • 500 ml (2 cup) milk, lukewarm
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar for dusting

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 160 °C (320 °F).
  2. Cover the baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Separate egg whites and yolks in two separate large bowls.
  4. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff and set aside.
  5. Melt the butter in the microwave.
  6. Whisk egg yolks, vanilla extract and sugar until creamy.
  7. Add melted butter and mix for half a minute.
  8. Add the flour and unsweetened cocoa powder. Mix with a spatula until incorporated well.
  9. Pour the milk gradually and continue beating.
  10. Add in the egg whites, one third at a time and gently fold in with spatula.
  11. Pour this liquid batter into the baking pan and bake for 60 minutes.
  12. Let it cool and when it comes to room temperature chill for an hour.
  13. Slice it in the size you like and dust with powdered sugar right before serving.
  14. Keep it in refrigerator until you finish it all.

What is a magical cake that you adore?

Nutella Brownies

These are the brownies to try even if you don’t like Nutella. Or brownies.
But you do. Otherwise, I’m really confused about what you’re doing here. 😛

These brownies are fudgy, moist and delicious. I tried many brownie recipes before I adapted this one to perfection so it’s not too sweet but still sweet enough 😀

Without further ado, please enjoy 😋

Ingredients

  • 170 g (1 cup) dark chocolate
  • 170 g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) extra dark chocolate
  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 150 g (1/2 cup) Nutella
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 10 g (1 tbsp) vanilla sugar
  • 100 g (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 25 g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 175 °C (350 °F).
  2. Cover the baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Melt both chocolates with butter in the microwave or over double boiler.
  4. Stir in the Nutella.
  5. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer beat the eggs and sugars on medium-high speed until light and thick, about 3 minutes.
  6. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula.
  7. Add the flour, cocoa, and salt, folding gently until combined.
  8. Pour the batter into the baking pan.
  9. Bake around 35 minutes. Do not over bake, rather under bake in this case.
  10. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

Which recipe did you adapt to your liking and how?

Jam Pockets

The dough for these jam pockets is flaky and soft, just like puff pastry. Unlike puff pastry, you can make this dough easily and fast, and you will get an amazing result 😀

Filling can be jam, Nutella or some other spread you enjoy! You can even do savory, why not?!

Jam Pockets

Ingredients

  • 250 g (1 1/3 cup) all purpose flour
  • 250 g (1 cup) butter, softened
  • 250 g (1 cup) cottage cheese
  • pinch of salt
  • favorite jam (I had homemade plum jam for these beauties)

Preparation

  1. Knead the dough from flour, butter and cottage cheese.
  2. Wrap it in a cling wrap and let it rest in the fridge for an hour.
  3. Roll the dough 4 mm thin and cut into squares.
  4. Fold the the square edges inside and fill the middle with your favorite jam.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven on 200 °C (395 °F) until the pockets get golden brown.

What is your favorite type of dessert? Which dough do you like the best?

Nesquik Cake

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.

Nesquik Cake

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 6 eggs
  • 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

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 180 °C (355 °F).
  2. Separate egg yolks and egg whites in two large bowls.
  3. With electric mixer mix egg yolks with sugar until foamy.
  4. Add oil and milk in egg yolk mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl (flour, baking powder and Nesquick).
  6. Add dry ingredients in the egg yolk mixture.
  7. Separately mix egg whites until stiff and mix in lightly with spatula to the batter.
  8. Pour the batter in a baking pan.
  9. Bake for 20-25 min.
  10. Meanwhile, prepare the cream.
  11. 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.
  12. When the cake is done, make holes all over it with a fork. They allow the cream to settle into the cake.
  13. Pour the hot cream on the still warm cake.
  14. Chill in the refrigerator over night before serving.

What was your favorite cake when you were a kid?

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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!

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 360 g (2 cup) chocolate chips

Preparation

  1. Warm up the oven to 160 °C (320 °F).
  2. Cover the baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl sift the flour, add salt and baking soda.
  4. In a separate bowl, with electric mixer, mix both sugars, melted butter, egg, yolk, and vanilla extract. Stir until creamy.
  5. Add flour mixture and all mix well until combined.
  6. Finally add chocolate chips.
  7. 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.

What are your favorite cookies?

Semolina Pudding

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.

Ingredients

  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 4 tbsp semolina
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa or chocolate powder
  • grated chocolate for decoration

Preparation

  1. Pour the milk in the small saucepan and heat it on medium to high temperature until it boils.
  2. Lower the temperature to medium low and add semolina and sugar. Whisk it intensively until it thickens. Remove from the heat.
  3. Divide it in two equal parts. In one part mix in the cocoa powder.
  4. 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…

Decorate with some grated chocolate 😀

What is your favorite childhood dish?