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Lemon Berry Gateau

Celebrate summer with this rich and creamy gateau

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Strawberry Lemonade Cheesecake Bars

Delicious bite-sized cheesecakes

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Mont Blanc

Try this Japanese chestnut cream cake


I am on a mission to test different Middle Eastern desserts for a restaurant (because their chefs won't touch baking with a ten foot pole for some reason) and this was yesterday's endeavour:

M'hencha (Almond Snake), filo pastry filled with an almond paste.

Recipe and more pictures under the cutCollapse )

Yesterday, I was asked to make a Middle Eastern dessert. My reaction was a bit "Oh, no!" because Middle Eastern sweets are often too sweet and too flowery for me. I researched, settled on something that sounded more nutty than rose-watery, went to buy the ingredients and had to find that half of them were sold out. Shopping for these things the day before Eid was probably (certainly) a bit daft.

So I went home, researched some more and found a recipe that didn't call for anything that I didn't have already!

What can I say? I love it! It tastes very much like a German Bienenstich but without the prep time for the yeast dough!

Not a flower in sight, easy and soooo scrummy:

Recipe for Arabian Honey CakeCollapse )
My Great-Aunt Helen passed away just over 9 years ago last month. She was well known for her wonderful cooking and housekeeping as she kept my grandmother's home while she worked (and thank goodness too because my grandmother couldn't make grilled cheese.)

Aunt Helen would NOT give up her rice pudding recipe and I am desperate to make it for my brother for New Year's. The one time I caught her making it she made me run to the store for a can of Sweetened Condensed Milk.

The Description:
1) The rice pudding was baked in long-low flat aluminum foil pans (easy cleanup.)
2) She always made two, one with a custard on top and one without.
3) The rice pudding was not very "wet".
4) The flavor was absorbed in the rice, there was not much "pudding" surrounding the rice itself.
5) The RP was scoop-able and the rest of the rice pudding didn't fall in on itself.
6) She always used black raisins in it.

The most "visually" accurate image I have found is from and I am attaching the link. Can anyone think of how to get the same consistency with sweetened condensed milk?

Anyone know how to make an egg custard for the top?

I made these with extra pastry from yesterday's Cinder Banoffee Pie. It only had a little bit of sugar in it so I figured it would be fine for something savoury, and I thought the mixed spice would go well with something Middle Eastern. I've also just discovered harissa paste and smoked paprika, both of which are ambrosically delicious, and would never turn down an opportunity to use both of once; so, I decided to adapt this Daily Telegraph* recipe for chermoula squash as a pie filling. No pictures, because I didn't have the skill inclination to fold them into nice neat pie shapes, so they just looked like brown blobs. There was, however, much more to them than met the eye; inside they were sweet, spicy, golden and delicious.

Recipe and ingredients under cutCollapse )

*Please don't think I'm a Conservative! I'm a card-carrying Guardian-reading leftie, but I use a lot of Telegraph recipes. This is because I believe it's a good idea to challenge my political beliefs by reading right- as well as left-wing news sources, but in practice I find all the right-wing news and comment articles too soul-destroying to read much of, so I mostly just read the food section. But it still counts.

Originally posted by pinchofcinnamon at Baklava

It seems that I found something strong enough to heal a broken heart, which is almost magic. I only made baklava a couple of times and I'm not going to pretend I know everything about it. There are people who learn to make baklava throughout their lives and hopefully I'll once have good talk with one of them. But right now I can say for sure that you can make it very well from the very first attempt and enjoy both the making and the eating just extremely. Read more...
This is what happens when I go crazy on eggplant at the farmer's market and forget to buy chips or bread. (The wine is, of course, optional.)


Recipes (with almost step-by-step pictures) under the cuts. Please note: for the baba ghanoush, the ingredient proportions is almost entirely a "to taste" thing. I measured very, very little.

The baba ghanoush:Collapse )

For the crackersCollapse )

I don't know about you guys, but when I think of layers, I think of baklava. It's one of my favorite sweets (mostly because of the honey). I love all types of baklava, but after visiting Istanbul and tasting a pure pistachio version almost exactly a year ago, I can't have them any other way. I kind of botched this version up because I used toasted and salted pistachios, so the flavor didn't come through so clearly. But I still really do like this recipe and the baklava was really, really tasty. 

pistachio baklava

If you'd like to see more pictures, the recipe, and a little blabbing about my trip in Istanbul (with some photos of the place), please visit my post on this baklava at The Moveable Feasts.

You can also find the recipe below under the 
lj cut.Collapse )
Originally posted by pinchofcinnamon at Baba ganoush (eggplant hummus)

Once we were discussing the Lent with my friend Leo. It turned out that he keeps the fast so I asked, what he eats at this time. He just said "hummus" and I thought "of course!". Can there be any problem with getting through the Lent once you know about hummus? That must be one of the most nutritious and at the same time delicious, almost addictive vegan foods on earth. With all my love to hummus and to eggplants one day I had to start making baba ganoush. Read more...
juicy blood orange syrup cake

Use up winter's beautiful citrus before it's gone and try out this cake--it's worth it. You candy up some thin slices of any type of orange (clementine, satsuma, navel) but I used blood oranges. You place the jewel-like slices on the cake and after it's baked, glaze it with the syrup that you candied the oranges in. It's beautiful and really delicious. I've made it twice already!

Find more pictures of this beauty at my blog, The Moveable Feasts.

You can also find the recipe under the
lj cut.Collapse )

Baklava Scrolls

Pirate Dreams
Posted on 11/29/2011 by cakecrumbs
There were so many middle eastern desserts I was wanting to try for this month's challenge, so I resolved to do two and then choose which to enter. In the end I only found time for this first one: baklava.

I have to admit to not being a huge fan of baklava. I find often they are soggy masses of sugar-dripping pastry that I don’t find as appealing as everyone else seems to. Then once I had baklava in a scroll form. I loved it. I’m not sure why it made such a difference, but I am now a fan. A big fan.

So I decided that when I made baklava for the first time, I was going to try my hand at a scroll.

Time to unravel the scroll...Collapse )
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