Archive | March, 2011

Cocoa Brownies

28 Mar

I found this recipe on a lovely blog called, the sophisticated gourmet, the author Kamran has an interesting style, and a way to tell a story. These brownies are extremely delicious, as all the family has said. In two days, the container in which I stored the brownies was empty.

I enjoyed these small dark bites topped with slices of strawberries. Yummiiii… the juiciness and freshness of the strawberry combined with the darkness, tenderness and richness of the brownie. You should try it. Un délice.

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Basbousa

14 Mar

This mediterranean dessert is very popular and easy to make. It has different names depending on the region. This is my first time baking this sweet. I decided to make it vegetarian, specially for this fasting period. It is very similar to a dessert called Nammoura, where we also use semolina and sugar syrup. The coconut gives the cake a distinctive flavor.

I liked my version of Basbousa and would definitely do it again with some changes, playing with a recipe is quite interesting.

Basbousa

- 2 cups semolina

- 1 cup shredded coconut

- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

- 1/2 cup sugar

- 3/4 cup canola oil

- 1/2 cup warm water

For the sugar syrup

- 1 cup sugar

- 1 cup water

- squeeze of lemon

- 1 tsp orange blossom water

- 1 tsp rose water

Preheat oven to 190C. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the oil rubbing with your fingers till combined then slowly add the water mixing well the dough. Spread evenly the dough in an oiled round pan and bake for 30 minutes or until it is golden brown. Before the cake is fully baked, in 10 minutes, remove from oven and draw lozenges shapes with a knife and place slivered blanched almonds in the lozenges. Put back in oven for 10 more minutes. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the sugar syrup, put the sugar and water in a saucepan, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture starts to boil and thicken. Remove from heat and add a squeeze of lemon, orange blossom water and rose water. Let cool.

Pour the sugar syrup over the cake and let it soak for few hours before serving.

Enjoy.

Banana Cocoa Cake

11 Mar

It is a quick, easy cake to prepare. Last day, I got a phone call from my cousin and my aunt, they were coming over for a visit. The one thing that passed on my mind is to bake a cake. And quickly. Something sweet to have with coffee. Thought of banana cake with some chocolate chips.

Just to tell you how delicious the cake was, half of it was over when it was still warm, well actually, more than warm. So, after that phone call, I headed to the kitchen and in 20 minutes the cake was in the oven.

Having baked a banana cake different times, doesn’t stop me from baking another one and post about it. In all cases, bananas and chocolate are the perfect combination.

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Knefeh

7 Mar

This Lebanese dessert is prepared at home one week before Easter fasting. It is our tradition, as well as my relatives’. It’s a way to end enjoying sweets and eating meaty and dairy products such as butter. It is a mediterranean dessert, also known in Turkey, Egypt.

There is another Lebanese dessert also called Knefeh, usually eaten at breakfast but it is very different from this one. It is made of semolina and topped with melted cheese, all coated with sugar syrup, eaten with a kind of bread, which I love alot, so incredibly delicious.

But Our Knefeh is made out of thin vermicelli-like dough filled with a mixture of pistachios or walnuts, sugar, orange blossom water and rose water, rolled up and baked.

The method of doing these threads consists of drizzling a row of thin streams of flour-and-water batter onto a turning hot plate, so they dry into threads, which are collected into skeins. I like to call it “hair”.

At our village, long time ago, housewives used to prepare these dough threads at home; my grandmother used to do it, as my father told us. I admire that alot. Imagine homemade dough, plus they used pure, fine margarine, which gives an amazing taste, as my parents tell us.

Nowadays, these hair-noodles are store-bought. And they are just delicious.

So I helped mom preparing the recipe, it’s a very easy dessert to make.

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