Thursday, 14 November 2019

In Search of the Superior Babka - Cinnamon vs Chocolate

The two contenders, resting


Oooh I have a winter treat to share.

Chocolate babka
... and the cinnamon

One of my favourite “bits” in Seinfeld is where they get stuck in the bakery buying babka and lament that they don’t get the “superior” babka – aka chocolate (compared to cinnamon). I obviously had to test them both out. For science.



Did I need to make two full size babkas for two people? No. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

The superior babka really depends on your tastes. Chocolate is a really rich dessert-y treat, cinnamon is a slightly sweeter delight. Both are amazing fresh. Both are amazing toasted. If you wanted to toast a slice or two and dollop vanilla icecream on top I think that would be ridiculous.



… but sorry Seinfeld, cinnamon is the superior babka in my house.


Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Oatmeal Choc Chip Cookies




Oooh, autumn is here and these cookies are a lovely cold-weather treat. These are so chunky and fluffy and like something  you'd get in a decent hipster coffee shop. 

I made two versions, one with 200g flour and one with almost double, 350g. The ones with less flour were a lot more sticky and they flattened right out. I prefer them with a bit more risen, cakey texture.

I was keeping these nut-free but this recipe would be AMAZING with the addition of a little coconut. Or, coconut and dried cranberries and leave off the chocolate. Or walnuts and maple syrup. Yum yum yum. Lots of options.



makes about 2 dozen cookies

Thursday, 3 October 2019

White Boule




I don’t know about you, but I have never had the patience to even read to the end of a recipe for a sourdough starter. Needless to say, I haven’t attempted to make my own.



Buuuut this recipe uses a mini starter which is easy to prep, doesn’t take weeks of feeding, and gives a chewy, tangy, delicious white loaf. Too delicious. Fresh from the oven, it’s perfect. A few days in, toasted and slathered with peanut butter – also perfect.



The weather is turning colder, and the smell of freshly baked bread always cheers me up. If you have a day where you're hanging around the house, I can think of no better recipe to make.


Saturday, 14 September 2019

Kharcho




Roll up, roll up for my second favourite Georgian dish. It's an amazing and filling meaty soup. There is a chill in the air, the internet is full of pumpkin spice lovers and people who make fun of them, so I think we can say it’s coming into autumn. And this soup is a perfect autumnal soup.



I have mentioned my love of Georgian food earlier, and this is another gem from the Georgian cookbooks. It’s a strong, herby, beefy soup with rice. Mine turned out a little bit more like a stew than a soup but it’s still delicious. Could be fixed with less rice or more water, but I liked it just the way it was.


Saturday, 7 September 2019

Georgian Walnut Chicken




Okay, strap yourself in for some former Soviet delicacies! I am just back from a holiday in Russia and I ate A LOT. And discovered Georgian food. And I’m in love. Russian food was lovely, but Georgian food was a complete surprise. It totally wasn't on my radar as a top cuisine, but I enjoyed everything I ate in the many Georgian restaurants we frequented. They have this beefy tomato rice soup called kharcho which is incredible (and coming up on the blog!), and these amazing dumplings called khinkali! Which I might not make because they looked like they would be difficult to put together.



But my favourite thing was this walnut chicken stew dish which is flavourful, warming, delicately spiced and super-duper delicious. So, as I always do, I got home and immediately googled some recipes and got the basics down. And I added a few spiced additions just to get it close to the one I had in St Petersburg.



This is super easy to make, with an incredible creamy sauce (always my favourite part of any meal). You can easily double the paste ingredients to allow you to make this again quickly. Because you will want to. Because it’s delicious.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Cheesy Stuffed Chillies





Ooh, I like all of these things. A bit of spice, a bit of cheese, some delicious smoky spices.



These are a great little side/snack. The original recipe called for jalapenos which I couldn’t find. So I got padron chillies which are a little smaller and just with a little spice kick. I think bigger chillies could be better because you can stuff more delicious couscous filling in them. You could even use sweet peppers if you have a spice-hater at home.



Versatile, easy, quick, yummy, veggie!

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

White Chocolate Chunk Cookies - New and Improved!




I told you guys I'd give it another bash! Here's a little middle of the week pick me up.



I have modified one of my all time favourite recipes - the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, as it has the perfect texture that I was looking for. I did a little tinkering with the recipe and I think I have struck gold! To me, this is about as close as I'm going to get to the correct flavour and texture. 



The only thing that needs improved is the white chocolate - ideally I'd have something thicker than 2 chocolate buttons but thinner than a chunk from a chocolate bar. I tried a few with 3 chocolate buttons and that is almost perfect! But then you're into a second bag of giant chocolate buttons. 



Experimentation is fun! And delicious.