November 30, 2011

Hazlenut Mousse Cake

It's been ages that I had a spoon of store bought hazelnut spread, well actually, I haven't bought a jar ever since I've prepared it myself. Frankly, I do not like it at all, because it has such a strange almost rubber like consistency, and you can hardly taste the hazelnut. The homemade hazelnut spread I do not prepare often, because it is just so hard to resist, but I had these cakes for such long time on my mind, and now I just had to bake them!

for the hazelnut mousse:
100 g hazelnut
100 g dark chocolate
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 egg yolk
200 g heavy cream

for the pistachio sponge:
40 g almond flour
40 g ground pistachio
35 g sugar
18 g flour
2 eggs
50 g egg whites
40 g sugar
150 g dark chocolate (60% cocoa) for glazing
coarsly chopped roasted hazelnut for decoration

Roast hazelnut until golden and with a help of a kitchen cloth rub off its skin. Ground coarsly together with the sugar oil and cocoa powder. Stir it into the molten chocolate among the egg yolk. Whip heavy cream and fold it into the hazelnut-chocolate mixture. Fill it into 5 hemisphere silicon molds and chill for 4 hours, then put it into the freezer for 30 minutes. Whisk together the flour, ground almond and pistachio with 35 g of sugar and the eggs. Beat egg whites with the rest of the sugar until it makes stiff peaks. Fold beaten egg white to the egg yolk mixture and spread it on a baking paper covered sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes on 170°C. Cut out 5 circles with a round cookie cutter and place one frozen hazelnut mousse on top and freeze for another 15-20 minutes then glaze it with molten chocolate and decorate with coarsly chopped hazelnut.
Instead of coating it with molten chocolate you might want to use this chocolate glaze.

November 29, 2011

Pikeperch-Salmon-Spinach Roll with Marinated Lentils and Vermouth Sabayon

Well, I must confess that I am not really a spinach fan, however if there is only a small portion on the plate and you almost not sure if it is indeed spinach, well then it is okay. Besides, that spinch soup was also really very nice. Luckily, I was able to defeat that trauma that was caused by a huge mountain of hot spinach with a tiny fish filet and some overcooked potatoes. Of course I was not able to eat it...

4 pikeperch filets à 200 g
200 g salmon
100 g spinach + 2 handful of leaves
150 g cream
100 ml fish stock
100 ml vermouth
1 shallot
1 twig thyme
1 egg yolk
salt, pepper
100 g green lentil
250 ml vegetable or chicken stock
1 onion
1 garlic clove
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

In a big pot bring water to boil and cook spinch leaves for about 20 seconds, then pour ice cold water over it and dry with kitchen towels. Puree half of the pikeperch filets with 100 g spinach, cream, season. Place the blanched leaves onto a plastic foil in a form of a rectangle and smear the previously mixed fish farce onto the leaves. Place sliced salmon and pikeperch on one side and roll it up. Roll it in tin foil and poach fish roll for 15-20 minutes in simmering water. For the sabayon cook fish stock together with the vermouth, thyme, shallot and reduce by half. Sieve and whisk it together with an egg yolk and beat it until foamy over a bain marie. Season with salt and pepper. Cook lentils in vegetable or chicken stock together with an onion, bay leaf and garlic clove. Sieve and marinte with olive oil, dijon mustard and white balsamic vinegar and season if needed.

November 28, 2011

Tarragon Scented Mandarin Parfait with Cranberry Sauce

Tarragon has already proved a couple of times that it indeed has its place in a dessert. Besides I think it is just perfect with oranges, so therefore it was soon clear how to give that extra kick to this mandarin parfait. Though it is great treat on its own, if you want to serve it as a dessert, well then this lukewarm cranberry sauce is just the right choice.

100 ml mandarin juice
3 eggs
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
70 g sugar
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
200 ml cream
200 g cranberries
130 g sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla pod
100 ml port wine

Zest 3-4 mandarins with a fine grater, then cut them in half and press out the juice. Separate the eggs and whisk togther the egg yolks with 40 g of sugar, the orange liqueur, the mandarin juice and zest. Over a bain-marie whisk them together and beat until
it is creamy, then set aside. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until half stiff. While that bring 30 g of sugar with 30 ml of water and the dried estragon to the boil. Sieve and pour hot syrup into the egg whites while whisking. Whisk until it is stiff an shiny. Fold in the beaten egg whites to the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the beaten cream and freeze for 3-4 hours. In a small saucepan heat sugar until molten, stir in cranberries and pour port wine over it. Add the vanilla seeds, pod and the cinnamon stick and cook for 10 minutes.

November 25, 2011


Meanwhile I have been baking cookies for two weeks, though not for the family, but this is another story. However, in order to be on the safe side, I've decided to make a test bake as well, also to know about how many cookies I can produce from each portion of the different doughs. While baking I had the idea to try another version of the Swiss brunsli with chocolate, instead of cocoa powder. What a winner! Just love it and frankly, you can not stop eating those!  However there are a few things you should consider, when baking brunsli, otherwise you won't be happy! The most important is to use unpeeled almonds, just like when baking cinnamon stars, otherwise it just taste yuck! Stick to the baking time, otherwise the cookies will be hard and sticky, you sure do not want that! I have also figured out, that it is totally unnecessary to beat the egg white with sugar, in fact it might even lead to an unwanted result, just simply beat it until stiff with a pinch of salt. Even the order of mixing the ingredients makes a difference! The best results you get when folding the molten chocolate into the beaten egg white, and the mix it together with the almond-sugar. Though everyone in the family requests for macaron this Christmas and among some other traditional sweets I did not want to bake any cookies, these here have changed my mind!

200 g sugar
250 g ground almond
100 g dark chocolate (60% cocoa)
2 tabelspoons flour
2 egg wites
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 220°C.  Beat egg white with a pinch of salt until stiff. While that melt chocolate over bain marie. Mix together ground almond, sugar and flour in a bowl. Fold melted chocolate into the beaten egg white, then fold it into the almond mixture. Roll out dough 1 cm thick between two sheets of foil and with a help of a cookie cutter (about 4 cm) cut it in any shape you desire. Bake for 4 minutes, but not longer then 5-5 1/2 minutes, depending on your oven of course.

Spicy Dark Chocolate Truffles

Well, I am not exactly into making pralines, bon-bons or truffles from scratch, because I am simply not patient enough when it comes to such tasks. However, these truffles are very easy to prepare and believe me they disappear even faster!

250 dark chocolate
125 g heavy cream
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon gound cloves
50 g butter
chopped pistachio, cocoa powder and ground hazelnut for coating

Chop chocolate, while that bring heavy cream to the boil, then pour it over the chopped chocolate and stir with a wooden spoon until it is well incorporated. Stir in the cold butter and the spices. Chill for about 30 minutes, then roll truffles and coat them in anything you desire.

November 24, 2011

Roasted Yellow Beetroot Soup with Gravlax

Last winter beetroot and I became good friends, very good friends. You might want to have a look on the past recipes with beetroot. Well, since then our relationship seem to grow and grow so expect a bunch of new beetroot recipes to come this season! Even now, while writing this post, two new ideas came to my mind! What can I do?! I am pretty obsessed with beets and I do not mind it at all. Now I am here with a spicy soup cooked using roasted yellow beets and served with gravlax. I must say that I do not like salmon, but once in a while it is indeed worth to take such products to give yourself a new chance.


500 g yellow beetroot
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon sichuan pepper
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1000 ml vegetable or chicken stock
salt, pepper
500  g salmon with skin
100 g coarse sea salt
50 g sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 bunch of dill

Peel and dice baked beetroot, onion and slice garlic. Heat one tablespoon butter and sautee onion for a few minutes, add spices (in a cheesecloth, so that it is easier to remove), grated ginger and garlic, then stir in beetroot and sautee for a few more minutes. Pour stock over it and cook for 20-25 minutes, then remove the spices, and blend everything in a mixer together with a tablespoon of butter. For the gravlax mix together the salt, sugar and fennel seeds and place about 3 tablespoons of it into a glass dish, then put the fish the skin side down. Cover the salmon with the rest of the salt mixture, lemon zest and chopped dill. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place canned items on top and refrigirate for 2 days.

November 23, 2011

Spicy Buns with Dried Cranberries

Slowly, it is about time to start thinking and planning for the coming holiday season, after all this weekend it is already the first Sunday of Advent. I must confess that my kitchen has already been scented by Christmas flavours for weeks, because I had the opportunity to create some recipes for a French gastronomy site. Yesterday, they have already published the interview with me among with some of the recipes. Well, this one is not yet online there, however I could not wait any longer and just had to share these buns with you. A few days ago, I had the idea of baking buns with buckwheat flour and I have already seen them in front of my eyes even before I had the slight idea of the recipe. I must say the cranberries harmonise perfect with clove. I am completly fond of the combination, almost obsessed, but you will see that early enough in the recipes that are on the way to the blog. These buns are amazingly spicy and are just perfect with butter and cup of hot chocolate for breakfast during the holiday time.


100 g buckwheat flour
150 g all-purpose flour
10 g fresh yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
30 g butter
125 ml milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 pinches of ground anise
1 pinch ground star anise

Sift buchwheat and all-purpose flour and crumble yeast into a mold. Sprinkle sugar over the yeast and pour melted butter and lukewarm milk over it. Add the egg and the spices and start kneading. As soon as the dough comes together knead in dried cranberries. Let the dough rise over room temperature until it has dubled its size. Cut the dough in 6 equal portions and form buns, flour the top and press any shape onto its surface with a help of a fondant cutter. Bake in the 200°C preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden.

November 22, 2011

Calf's Liver with Honey Cookie-Hazelnut Crumbs on Pumpkin Puree (with Brown Sage Butter), Port Wine Quinces, Marsala Sauce, Balsamic Vinegar Onions and Brussel Sprouts

What a gorgeous discovery! I am absolutely thrilled about that small, grey-blue squash in the background. Though I have forgotten what kind it is, but I anyway have to go back to get some more and then I'll write it down.

Although it is pretty ugly and it is not very easy to peel it tastes amazing! In fact, you could have knocked me down with a feather, when I tried a spoonful! Wow, so amazing! For the first time I had a squash with such an incredible flavour. I was lazy to heat the oven, so I simply cooked it in some stock, then pureed with a bit of cream. Right before serving I stir in some brown sage butter. Anyway, I can't wait to make the most out of the oven-baked squash. But now, back to the dish that's been on my mind meanwhile for three weeks, but I had no opportunity to cook it. I am not really a fan of meat in combination with fruits, however live is a exception, may it be served with apple, pear or quince. This time I picked quinces and poached in port wine together with lemon and orange zest and some spices such as cardamom, coriander, clove, nutmeg.

The crumble is made with these cookies, simply fried in some butter and mixed with coarsly chopped hazelnut. The sauce is similar to this Swiss speciality, however cooked with Marsala instead of Cognac. The balsamic onions were not cooked for long, as I wanted to have them a bit crunchy. The result was a very harmonic main that is for sure going to be repeated this winter a few more times!

November 21, 2011

Lavender Scented Potato Soup

Yesterday evening, I believe that I was still awake, though it might be that I have already been sleeping, I had a great idea for a potato soup. However, when I tried to remember what it was, I just couldn't. I should have written it down, as I actually always do, but now I missed the moment. Anyhow, I wanted to cook a potato soup, no matter what! After all I have many different varieties in my pantry and it is so cold outside! So nothing is better than a bowl of comforting hot soup on such a foggy afternoon. First, I had the idea to flavour it with vanilla, but that is just boring, right? Therefore, I decided to try it with lavender, it seemed to be an exciting option, especially combined with black cumin.

400 g potatoes
100 g celeriac
1 onion
1 tablespoon butter
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon black cumin
1/4 teaspoon lavender
900 ml vegetable or chicken stock
salt, pepper

Sautée chopped onion in butter, add diced celeriac, potato, spices and bay leaf and sautée a few more minutes. Pour stock over it and cook for 15 minutes or until soft. Remove the bay leaf, puree and season with salt and pepper.

November 18, 2011

Coconut milk rice with beetroot syrup, orange and pomegranate seeds

Well, actually I am not a milk rice fan at all, if it comes to such kind of treats I prefer semolina cooked in milk with loads of cinnamon sugar on top, though I must say that porridge is also a great alternative. Yesterday afternoon while cleaning I was listened to a Jamie Oliver cooking show, where he served milk rice with fruits and crispy almonds. I loved the idea of the almonds, and I had the immediate urge to try it. It is very simple and easy to make, drain some sliced almonds in water, sprinkle powder sugar on it and bake in the oven. Usually, visual amenities or the smell of something makes one to crave for it, however in this case I just could not resist the sound that the almonds made while shaked in the roasting tin. Later on the "milk rice mood" came over me, so I made a small portion with coconut milk and served it with beetroot syrup, oragen filets and pomegrante seeds.


100 g coconut milk
100 g milk
50 g short grain rice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon sugar

Bring coconut milk and milk to the boil, add rice and spices and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes. Whisk egg yolk with sugar until pale and stir it into the milk rice. Put it back to the turned off stove and stir for a minute or two. For the syrup melt about a tablespoon sugar, pour 50-70 ml beetroot juice over it, reduce until thick and stir in filets of an orange, season with some cardamom.

November 16, 2011

Spicy clarified Butter Poached Seabass coated in Rapeseed with Caramelised Radicchio and Orange "Huileyon"

For several months I have been planning to unite rapeseed oil and rapeseeds in one dish. If I am not wrong, I had the first idea somewhen in spring and wanted to combine it with tiny red radishes, but then I did not find the opportunity to do so. However, today the roasted rapesseeds turned to be one of the main ingredient in this fish dish, after all that beautiful piece of seabass is coated with it. The actual plan was to serve it among an orange beurre blanc, well orange, because I served caramlised radicchio with it, that is just great in combination with citrus fruits. So a simple and light starter was born, however if you want to turn it into a main, serve fennel or salsify puree among it. Instead the beurre blanc I decided to make a "huileyon" that is actually a sauce Hollandaise, but prepared with oil instead of clarified butter. The idea was born in the mind of a friend, who has a gorgeous blog in Hungarian, and some time ago has also started to post in English. Go check out his truly amazing dishes! Ah and the fish in my dish was poached in clarified butter infused with cardamom, sichuan pepper, star anise and some mace.

2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 egg yolks

zest of 1/2 an orange
70-90 ml rapeseed oil
salt, pepper

In a heavy bottomed saucepan bring white wine to the boil and reduce until there is only about 1/3 left. Remove from the heat and let it cool. Stir in egg yolks and orange juice and beat it over simmering water until pale and creamy. Remove it from the heat and whisk in rapeseed oil, only adding a little at once. Season with salt, pepper, orange juice and stir in orange zest.

November 15, 2011

Chocolate Banana Loaf

Well, it is a fact that I am completly obsessed with onions and tomatoes, and I always buy far too much, but I do not mind that at all. After all there is no such thing like "enough onions", therefore I always have at least 5 different types in my pantry, and as far as tomatoes are concerned, those we only enjoy when they are in season. But there is something else! I tend to buy far too often and too many bananas. I can not tell you why, I have no explanation for that. In fact I have realised that I am not so much a banana fan, at least when it comes to eating it raw. Besides except for my mom and our dog, noone else likes them in the family. But on the other hand, I've learned to love chocolate-banana in combination. As once again, I ended up with a big bunch of bananas I decided to bake this spontaneous cake, just to save the day. After all, you are never wrong with a slice of cake should it be with or without bananas!

( makes 2 16x9 cm cake form)
150 g dark chocolate
75 g butter + 1 tablespoon
3 eggs
80 g sugar
100 g banana (peeled)
2 tablespoons white rum
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons flour
2 pinches ground clove
2 tablespoons pecan nuts


Cut banana in thin slices and sautee in one tablespoon butter with 30 g of sugar. As soon as it is soft and puree like add rum and reduce, then set aside. In water bath melt chocolate and butter. Whisk egg yolks with 20 g of sugar until pale, then stir in the molten chocolate mixture. While that beat egg whites with 30 g of sugar. Stir in flour, baking powder, ground clove and coarsly chopped pecan nuts into the batter. Fold in beaten egg whites and pour batter into two baking forms that are covered with baking paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes on 180°C.

November 14, 2011

Pumpkin Sunchoke Gnocchi Gratin

Last week, I had the idea to prepare sunchoke gnocchi, and I was thrilled about this "new" idea. However, then I realised that last year I have already prepared some, though then it was a sweet dish. Even now, I wanted to include beetroot in a form of a sauce or something, but then I decided to make a simple gratin with pumpkin.

550 g sunchoke
60 g ricotta 
1 egg
200 g flour
250 g pumpkin
100 ml mlik
100 ml cream
1 pinch of cinnamon
2-3 sage leaves
1 piece of cheddar
salt pepper

Cook sunchoke, peel and puree in a mixer. You should end up with about 400 g of sunchoke puree, stir in the ricotta, egg and flour. Bring salted water to boil, reduce hit so that it simmers. Pipe gnocchi in the simmering water and as soon as they swim on top they are ready to be served. Butter oven-proof dish and put gnocchi into it. Puree baked pumpkin with milk, cream, sage leaves, salt, pepper and a pinch of cinnamon. Pour it onto the gnocchi and toss it together. Sprinkle grated cheddar on top and bake for 15-20 minutes over 200°C.

November 2, 2011

Beef & Beer Stew

There is no such thing like a good timing for a cold, however it would have been great, if it waited another week, after all, I've had so many plans! Of course a cold can not keep me away from cooking, however it makes no sense to experiment with new ideas. After all meanwhile it is the third day that I can't taste or smell anything. Therefore I thought to cook something with an intense flavour for lunch. I had the spontaneous idea of a beer and beef stew with cep polenta. The fact, that the beef was not actually a typical stewing meat did not bother me at all, I was just too eager to cook something flavourful. Well, unfortunatly, I've hardly tasted anything, so I must cook this soon again, once my taste buds are working again!

300 g stewing beef
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 carrot
2 celery stalks
1 tomato
1 onion
1 garlic clove
300-400 ml dark beer
1 bay leaf
2 twigs thyme
2 allspice berries
1 clove
1 small piece of cinnamon
handful of small onions
salt, pepper

Season diced meat and sprinkle with cornstarch and fry in hot oil, then set aside. Deseed and remove the skin of the tomato and sautee in oil together with the rest of the chopped vegetables and garlic. Add meat, spices and herbs, pour beer over it and cook it in the preheated oven over 160°C for 2 1/2-3 hours. Abour half an hour before the stew is ready add the peeled onions and season the stew before serving if necessary.

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