Archive | June, 2010

Cherry Cake

29 Jun

Like small jewels

The last cherry dessert I made was Clafoutis aux cerises and as I said in the previous post, it has a good taste but wasn’t completely satisfying. Since I don’t accept average results, I kept searching the internet for another recipe that contains cherries. Because I love cherries. And because I want one cherry recipe that will be successful. I found one, this time it’s not a clafoutis, it’s a simple cake… enough with the clafoutis for this season!!

Yummii.....

Folding the cherries in the batter told me that the cake is going to be perfect. And it was. The lemon zest gave the cake a unique lemony flavor, combined with the sweetness of the cherries, it was savoury, yummiiii….

So fluffy...

Eating the cake while it’s still warm or after a while gives the best freshest flavours and aromas. Actually you can taste the lemon zest.

The recipe is courtesy of joy of baking.

Source: Patricia Wells,  The Provence Cookbook.

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In Our Garden…

28 Jun
small plum tomatoes

Small Plum Tomatoes

Tomatoes Plant

Many beautiful things are happening in our home garden at the village. Trees are growing, plants are developing, flowers are blooming, and us enjoying the nature.

Blackberries Blooming

My parents spend the summer at the village away from the hotness of the city, they take care of the new plants and trees we have in the backyard. The garden is quite large, not all the space is used because it needs some organization that requires a certain budget, time and effort.

Unripe Prickly Pears

Figs Tree

I’ll share with you some photos of the Cactus Fruit and the Figs when they are ripe and ready to be eaten. The season should start in August. As well as for the Grapes.

Watermelons Growing

Yellow Watermelon

 The plantations are enough to be taking care of properly by mom and dad; and enough for us to enjoy eating them. We have planted different kind of basic vegetables in our garden. Tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, coriander, mint, basil, corn cobs, watermelons, spring onions, avocado tree (still young). And many fruit trees, wild and domesticated.

Young Pomegranates (the season is due in Autumn)

Wild Pear Tree

 Every weekend I go to the village, first of all, because it’s quiet, peacefull, clean, away from the chaos and the pollution of the city. And because I love being close to nature. And because I enjoy working in the garden. Watering the plants and trees, cultivating some ripe fruits and vegetables and sometimes participating and helping my parents in planting a new plant. Digging, and preparing the soil to receive a new member.

Grapes in a tender stage

The most enjoyable time we spend is when we, the family, are all gathered in the backyard, sitting in the garden enjoying some comfort food. Or doing some barbecue. Or just hanging out and relaxing. Enjoy the photos.

We use the Sumac mixed with dried thyme and roasted sesame to form a paste called "Zaatar". We also mix it with olive oil.

Basil Plant - Not Edible. It gives a great smell when you shake it.

Edible Basil Plant

To end this post by this beautiful rose and this cedar that I planted 3 years ago; it was a small baby cedar and now it is growing and flourishing… Its name is Tina.

A Rose

Tina The Cedar - 3 years old

Chocolate Chip Banana Cake

23 Jun

The second cake I baked was a chocolate chip banana cake. This one was a favourite since everyone loves chocolate. And the combination of banana and chocolate is the best. This cake is perfect to be eaten along with a cup of fresh juice or a cup of coffee. I searched on the internet for the easiest recipe. I found this one on About.com. Enjoy.

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Lemon Cake

23 Jun

As I said in a previous post, my husband planned for a dinner gathering with his collegues and he asked me to prepare two cakes for dessert. It was my pleasure, of course, to bake these two cakes. I enjoy baking. Whenever there is a gathering, I try to prepare something sweet.

This lemon cake is extremely refreshing, tangy, sourish. It has a strong, sharp, lemony flavor. The texture is soft and rich. It’s a new thing for me to eat lemony cakes or tarts. I wasn’t used to its sourness. I like to try different recipes of one cake to see which one is the best.

The feedbacks of my husband’s collegues about this lemon cake were positive. They liked it and I liked it alot. It has a distinctive taste. It is delicious.

I found the recipe on the foodnetwork and it is Courtesy of STAR olive oil.

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Clafoutis Aux Cerises

22 Jun

I love cherries and being baked in a “crêpe” alike batter is great. Weeks ago I searched for a recipe on the internet for the cherry clafoutis, they were many, and i chose one from a certain blog. The result wasn’t satisfying at all.

Last week , while reading the ELLE magazine, I went through a “clafoutis aux cerises” recipe in “les fiches-cuisine ELLE” and have tried it one evening during the past week-end. The result was satisfying, ( first thing we did the morning after was eating a piece of this clafoutis) although I think it could be much better. The recipe is so simple and easy.

The cherries gave a tangy and sourish flavour to the clafoutis. The texture was soft but not fluffy, I think it shouldn’t be!! As you can see in the photo, the crust has puffed up, this one was fluffy… 

Today I was reading one of my favourites blog, she has posted a clafoutis aux cerises recipe. I said, well, maybe this one will give me an even better result, maybe I ‘ll try it. Sure my family will say ” enough with these clafoutis!!!” but I can’t help it, I have to try it until I’m completely content about it. If I’ll bake this new recipe, I’ll share it with you for sure.

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Aish Al Saraya

21 Jun

The past weekend was full with baking. I like to bake and cook when i’m at the village, away from the chaos and hotness of the city, feeling the freshness and the calmness of the nature.  I love nature. I love being surrounded by trees. First, on friday evening, I did a cherry clafoutis, which i’ll be posting tomorrow, and on saturday morning I did one of our oriental Lebanese traditional sweets, Aish Al Saraya, which i like a lot since it’s light, fresh suitable for hot days. And on Sunday night, of course before the World Cup game, I managed to bake two cakes for a dinner gathering my husband has organized for his collegues. He asked me if I can bake something nice for him, and with pleasure I agreed. I’ll be posting few pictures about these two recipes in the coming days.

Last week I helped my mom preparing this dessert, Aish Al Saraya, stayed beside her watching every step, which ingredients she was using. And this past weekend i did it all by myself with no guidance, except for my husband’s help, after all, it is my first time preparing this dessert.  

 

“Aish” in Egyptian means bread, and “Saraya” means something close to palace, castle. This dessert is composed of white soft bread, milk and sugar. We usually use white soft toast or sometimes the crumbs of soft buns. The soft inner portion of the buns is perfect for this dessert because it can absorb very nicely the hot caramelized sugar. We also use powdered-milk because it thickens very well. I did not try it with full-fat fresh milk this time, to see if it’ll have a different result, but maybe next time.

I recommend you to try this dessert because it is so delicious, and light. The texture is fluffy, rich and creamy. And tell me what you think about it.

Eating this dessert after two days resting in the fridge is much more savoury, of course, if there were any left!!! the bread and the cream will be more blended, the cream will make the bread well soaked, softer, juicier, flavorfully… just yummiiiiiiii……….

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Madeleines Marbrées

15 Jun

Tonight my husband and I are going to watch the World Cup game at our friends’ place. And what a gathering would be without food!!! They will prepare the sandwiches and I thought of baking something sweet.

These marbled madeleines are perfect with a cup of juice. Of course I tasted one, well, two, and I liked it, it is sweet, soft, spongy and chocolatey. But I didn’t experience any awakening like Proust did upon tasting a madeleine dipped in tea. I just enjoyed it. And the madeleines were nicely hump-backed with a dark golden color.

After few bakings you get to know how to deal with the batter inside the oven regarding the heat.

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Coconut Macaroons

14 Jun

I love coconut. My mom used to bake for us the Coconut Macaroons years ago when we were little kids. This recipe is so simple quick and easy, it can be done at the last-minute. Specially if you have some leftover shredded coconut. You will have to use your hands to mix the ingredients and I find it a pleasant work to do, feel food with your hands.

This recipe is courtesy Food Network Magazine. These small macaroons are delicious and perfect not only for an afternoon snack with a cup of coffee but to be nibbled all-day long.

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Chocolate Chips Muffins With Cranberries

11 Jun

Yesterday i thought that i needed something sweet to have with my morning coffee… since the pancakes are consumed… small muffins would be perfect. I didn’t follow any recipe… i just whisked what i have together, some leftover chocolate chips and dried cranberries i bought from Istanbul. Et voilà!

At the last minute, after i poured the batter in the muffins tray, I inserted 4 whole cherries with their petioles in 4 muffins just to see how it’s gonna taste. I wanted to add some lemon zest because it gives an extra flavor, i searched the fridge for one but didn’t find any.

But what i did not tell you yet is that the combination of cherry and chocolate is great. I enjoyed alot eating the muffin with the cherry inside, one bite with a bit of cherry and some traces of chocolate… yummiiiii… This I did not expect….. I will definitely do it again. Bake something that has cherry and chocolate. It kind of reminded me of black forest cake…

Go for the recipe…

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Mulberry Cake

7 Jun

Since i was a child, I remember that mulberry tree which is next to our home at the village and that has been there for ages and been feeding us mulberries for a long time. There are a wide ranges of mulberries, different kinds and names but the one we have has a sweet, juicy and soft taste. Now it’s the mulberry season.

Picking mulberries is quite messy. But I like to do it myself. Getting inside the tree, sometimes using a ladder or even climbing on the trunk to reach some branches that hold a bunch of large yummi mulberries that have been waiting up there for someone to pick them. What a delightful thing to do, “baking” a contact between you and the tree, the branches poking you however you move trying to reach the fruits. And if you don’t pay attention, usually you can’t, you’ll get purple color all over you clothes, your hands, sometimes your face. But its a lovely thing to do.

I have never eaten mulberries other than fresh-raw therefore i don’t know how they taste in cakes or pies. So i wanted to bake something. I didn’t follow any recipe. I came up with the ingredients and measurements. And the result wasn’t disappointing. The cake was simple, sweet and soft.

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