Easy Apple Cake

Delicate and full of apples easy to make cake. Recipe is very similar to famous Russian Apple Sharlotka but with a little of olive oil and baking powder.  Must try!

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Easy Apple Cake

Take sour apples for this recipe.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 servings
Author Natalija

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g sugar
  • 150 g sifted flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 big apples Granny Smith
  • 1 tsp confectioner's sugar (facultatif)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 380 degrees F. Grease and flour a round cake pan or line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar. Add flour and baking powder. Mix well, then add oil and mix last time.
  • Peel and dice apples into small pieces. Lay out the apples on the bottom of the pan.
  • Pour the batter over the apples.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes or until а knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool then transfer to plate.
  • Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.

Sautéed Zucchini

Finely sliced zucchini, sautéed in a pan with olive oil and garlic. In this recipe, they are seasoned with salt, pepper, and freshly pressed lemon juice. Add your favorite fresh herbs before serving.

Sautéed Zucchini

Natalija
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 13 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 zucchini
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
  • Some fresh parsley (dill or mint)
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Cut the zucchini into thin slices.
  • Peel and chop the garlic.
  • In a large pan, heat the oil. Add the zucchini and sauté them for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and continue to sauté for about 3 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Salt, pepper, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Powder with fresh herbs before serving.
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Green Mango Salad (Кalawang)

Green and unripe mangoes can be eaten, and are often delicious. For example, this salad with shredded green mangoes is very popular in French Guyana, and if you like spicy food, you will love this salad! Serve cold, as an appetizer or as a side dish with fish, shrimp, or meat. For a pretty presentation, I serve the Kalawang in individual plates with shrimps.

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Green Mango Salade (Кalawang)

Fresh chili pepper can be substituted with chili powder.
Course Appetizers
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Natalija

Ingredients

  • 2 green mangoes (unripe)
  • 1/2 onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and pressed
  • 1/2 chili pepper seeded and finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon (or lime) juice
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • Some fresh herbs (cilantro, green onion, parsley)
  • 24 prawns (or shrimps) cooked and peeled

Instructions

  • Peel the mangoes with a peeling knife. Shred the pulp and discard the pit.
  • In the salad bowl, toss the mangoes, onion, salt and pepper. Drizzle with lemon juice and oil. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in a refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
  • When ready to serve, transfer the salad on to the serving plates, embellish with fresh herbs, and prawns.

Homemade Olive Tapenade

The homemade olive tapenade is a dip or paste made with olives (black or green), anchovies and capers. This appetizer comes from Provence, France and is great with fresh bread or toast. With the help of a food processor, or blender, this hors d’oeuvre is ready within 5 minutes.

Homemade Olive Tapenade

Natalija
The anchovies are very salty. If you find your tapenade too salty, add more olives or olive oil.
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 200 g black olives pitted
  • 1 Tbsp capers (optional)
  • 20 g anchovies filets in oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 lemon (juice only)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Combine all ingredients in an electric blender. Pulse a few times until finely chopped. The tapenade should have small pieces of olives. Do not over blend!
  • Serve with crackers or fresh baguette slices.
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Vanilla Creme Brulee

Absolutely amazing what a little cream, a little sugar and couple of eggs can turn into….  Perfect restaurant quality dessert. A rich custard topped with a hard layer of caramel.  This Vanilla creme brulee is very easy to make if you follow all the steps correctly.

It will perfectly complete your  cafe gourmand if the crème brûlée is served in small ramekins.

Look at this short video ! 🙂

Vanilla Crème brûlée

Natalija
Use vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean, if you don’t have vanilla bean. You could add 2 Tbsp. of rum into the cream if desired. If you don’t own a blow torch, you can always use your broiler as well. You will need to move the top rack in your oven up as high as it will go.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 min
Total Time 6 hrs 11 mins
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 120 g granulated sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 640 ml whipping cream
  • 6 tsp granulated sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds into the cream. In a medium bowl, combine together sugar, eggs yolks, vanilla and whisk.
  • Add the cream a little at a time and stir. Remove the scum with a tea spoon.
  • Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and pour it into the ramekins. Divide cream mixture among ramekins (about 6 ramekins).
  • Arrange the ramekins in a baking pan with deep sides. And carefully pour water around ramekins so that the water level must reach about 2/3 of the ramekins.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. You will know its ready when the custard is wobbly and jiggle from side to side when nudged (it looks like jello).
  • Remove the custard from the water bath and let cool completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours (overnight).
  • Before serving, cover each cold creme brulee evenly with sugar (1 tsp). Caramelize using a propane torch. If you don’t have one propane torch, use the broiler: put the oven rack about 6 inches away from the broiler. Place the custards on the baking sheet and broil for about 3-5 minutes, or until sugar bubbles and turns golden brown. (Keep a close eye on them, they can burn quickly)

Notes

With remaining eggs white, you could make some Coconut cookies.

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Cucumber Bites With Boursin Cheese and Salmon

The freshness of the cucumber and the bite of Boursin cheese in this smoked salmon roll will hit all of your taste buds.

Cucumber Bites With Boursin Cheese And Salmon

Natalija
If you are not familiar with Boursin™ cheese or you don’t have any, don’t worry. A good substitute for Boursin is Philadelphia cream cheese or farmer cheese with some garlic and fresh herbs.
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 6 persons

Ingredients
  

  • 1 english cucumber
  • 8 thin smoked salmon slices
  • 90 g Boursin cheese
  • some fresh dill (optional)
  • 2 pinches paprika (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Cut the cucumber into slices (1/2 cm). Cut each slice of smoked salmon in half lengthwise (smaller than your cucumber slice).
  • Spread 1tsp of Boursin™ cheese on each salmon strip and roll it up.
  • Top each cucumber slice with a salmon roll. Insert a wooden stick down the center to keep everything together. Garnish with finely chopped fresh dill and paprika. Serve at once or keep refrigerated until needed.
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Gluten Free Banana Muffins

These Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins are moist and absolutely delicious. This is an excellent way to use your ripe bananas and make an excellent dessert that everyone will love.

I substitute all purpose flour by almond flour so they are gluten free! Brown sugar gives a beautiful amber color. A must-try dessert…

Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins

Natalija
I like to use brown sugar, it gives a beautiful color and a caramelized taste but this recipe can by made with white sugar too.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 10 muffins

Ingredients
  

  • 3 eggs
  • 200 g brown sugar
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 50 g unsalted butter melted
  • 280 g almond flour
  • 120 g chocolate chips (60%)
  • 120 g chopped walnuts (or other nuts)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 370 degrees F. Grease muffin cups with butter or line with paper muffin liners.
  • Stir eggs, brown sugar and salt.
  • Mash bananas with a fork and mix them with egg mixture.
  • Stir almond flour and mix until smooth.
  • Add melted butter.
  • Then chopped nuts and chocolate chips. Mix well.
  • Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until golden, 25-30 minutes.
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Easy poached pears with chocolate

The pears are poached with a vanilla bean and a bit of sugar. Then, they are cooled down and sprinkled with shredded chocolate. This is a very easy recipe to make and will be perfect for a special event or holidays.

Easy poached pears with chocolate

Natalija
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 pears
  • 750 ml water
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean cut in half longwise
  • 50 g dark chocolate
  • Some Fresh mint

Instructions
 

  • Peel the pears.
  • Cut them in half, then core.
  • In the pot, bring water to a boil with sugar and vanilla bean.
  • Add the pears and boil for 10 to 15 minutes, until they became soft but keep their shape. Remove the pot from the heat and let the pears cool in the syrup.
  • To serve, drain the pears well. Then place each half on an individual plate.
  • Sprinkle with shredded chocolate and decorate with mint.
  • You can also serve this dessert in a glass.
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Pumpkin Soup

French recipe for a silky and smooth Pumpkin Soup with two main ingredients. Healthy, colorful, and easy to make. If you have a blender, you have to try this recipe as soon as pumpkins are in season.
To impress your guests, serve this soup in individual pumpkins.

Pumpkin Soup

Natalija
This soup is delicious and silky even without any cream. I add very little, just to make it look beautiful.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 leeks (white part only)
  • 1 medium pie pumpkin or sugar pumpkin (about 1.5 kg)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Some heavy whipping cream or sour cream (optional)
  • Some fresh herbs (cilantro, green onion, parsley) to garnish

Instructions
 

  • Wash and chop the leeks.
  • Wash the pumpkin and cut it in half horizontally. Scrape the inside of the pumpkin clean with the spoon or ice cream scoop (you can use the seeds for another recipe).
  • Peel and cut into regular cubes.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook and stir leeks until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add pumpkin cubes and cook for 5-7 more minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Transfer the veggies into a large pot. Add just enough water to cover them, and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Simmer about 15 minutes until the pumpkin is cooked.
  • Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Add a little more boiling water if the soup is too thick. Taste for flavor, and feel free to add more salt or pepper.
  • Serve hot, with sour or heavy whipping cream and fresh herbs.

For a special presentation:

  • Cut off the top of a small pumpkin and scrape the inside.
  • Before adding the soup, heat the pumpkin for few minutes in the oven, then add the hot soup and serve immediately.
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Tomato Tart

Who said that tarts are only for dessert? Fill a square of puff pastry with colorful mosaic of tomatoes, cheese, Dijon mustard, herbs de Provence. Then surprise your friends or family with this savory piece of artwork.

Tomato Tart

Natalija
This mediterranean tart is a must make. You can make it with tomatoes of the same or different size, of different colors and different varieties. The most important thing is that they are ripe and flavorful. Perfect dish for small crowds.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 8 persons

Ingredients
  

  • 1 sheet all butter puff pastry
  • 1-2 Tblsp Dijion mustard
  • 5-6 tomatoes
  • 30 g shreaded cheese (parmesan)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • herbs de provence (optional)
  • couple basil leaf (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Cut tomatoes into thin (0.5 cm) slices. Put them in a single layer on paper towel. Pat dry with paper towel.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. On the floured piece of parchment paper roll out the puff pastry and poke all over with a fork, to release the steam while baking.
  • Evenly spread with dijon mustard.
  • Arrange the tomatoes on top. Fold the edges of dough.
  • Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with cheese and herbs.
  • Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for about 25-30 minutes until the tomatoes are cooked through and the cheese is softening and colouring at the edges.
  • Cut the tart into quarters, garnish with fresh basil and serve.
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