Virgin Mojito

Just because I don’t drink alcohol doesn’t mean that I have to stick with plain water… This virgin mojito is a perfect beverage for any family and friends gatherings.  There are many ways to make virgin mojito.  Personally, I think the version with Ginger Ale tastes the best.

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Virgin Mojito

Course Drinks
Prep Time 7 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Servings 15 people
Author Irina

Ingredients

  • 4 limes
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 big bunch of mint
  • 10 cups ice cubes
  • 2 (1.5 L) bottle of sparkling water or club soda
  • 1 (1 l) bottle of ginger ale

Instructions

  • Slice lemons and limes.
  • In a big jar combine the limes, lemons, fresh mint and ice cubes together.
  • Top with sparkling water, Ginger Ale and stir.

Peach Melba

This is my version of a classical dessert “Peach Melba”. You just need roasted peaches, a red berry sauce and an exquisite whipped cream.

Peach Melba

Natalija
If you’re in a hurry or you don’t have fresh peaches, just use canned peaches.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 3 peaches
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar (or sugar)
  • 250 g berries (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries)…)
  • 200 ml heavy whipping cream ( 35%) very cold
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 l vanilla ice cream
  • Some dark chocolate
  • Some sliced almonds

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 390 degrees F. Line one baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cut the peaches in half, and remove the stones. Place the peach halves on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
  • Bake in the oven about 35 minutes until the peaches are tender. Remove from the oven, let them cool down completely, then carefully peel the skin.
  • Rinse and drain fresh berries and puree them until smooth. Pass the puree through a fine sieve to remove all tiny seeds.
  • Whip the heavy cream with the sugar until fluffy. Don’t over beat.
  • In each glass, put one half of peach and one ball of vanilla ice cream.
  • Pour 2 tablespoons of berries puree.
  • Add the whipped cream and finish with chocolate crumbs and sliced almonds. Serve right away.
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Baked Feta (Psiti)

Baked Feta (Psiti) is a traditional Greek dish. It is very easy to prepare at home and will become one of your favorite appetizers.

Baked Feta (Feta Psiti)

Natalija
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 13 mins
Servings 6 servngs

Ingredients
  

  • 200 g feta cheese (in one block)
  • 2 pinches oregano
  • Some chili pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Place the feta in an oven-proof dish. Add the oregano and chili pepper flakes followed by the olive oil.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  • Serve hot with fresh bread or pita.
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Gluten-free Almond Cake

Here is the incredibly delicate and gluten-free almond cake. This is the “Amandier” recipe by renowned French Pastry chef Christophe Michalak with minor modifications. The main ingredients are almond flour and mascarpone.

If you enjoy this recipe, check out my other gluten-free desserts, such as the delicious banana muffins!

Gluten-free almond cake

Natalija
Amandier
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr

Ingredients
  

  • 6 eggs
  • 180 g sugar
  • 40 g honey
  • 300 g almond flour
  • 140 g softened salted or unsalted butter
  • 100 g mascarpone cheese
  • Some orange zest
  • 1 Tbsp liquid vanilla (or 1 packet of vanilla sugar) (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • Some powdered sugar (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 330°F (150°С). Grease baking pan with butter or line with parchment paper.
  • In a mixer bowl, put eggs, sugar, and honey.
  • Mix together.
  • Add almond flour and mix again.
  • In another bowl, mush the butter and mascarpone cheese together using a fork.
  • Add the mascarpone and butter to the egg-sugar mixture and mix again.
  • Add orange zest and vanilla to the batter. Mix well for the last time.
  • Pour the batter into baking pan.
  • Sprinkle with sliced almonds.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until golden, about 45 minutes. Allow the almond cake to cool before removing it from the pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
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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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Salmon Теrrine

Make a Salmon Terrine with fresh and smoked salmon, eggs, sour cream, and parsley. This elegant french recipe is a refined and delicious appetizer and it is perfect for cold buffets. Serve the terrine with mayonnaise, vegetables, or a green salad.

Salmon Terrine

Natalija
This Salmon Terrine is served cold and gets even better the next day. Very convenient to prepare in advance.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g salmon fillet with no skin or bones
  • 5 eggs
  • 250 г sour cream
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped
  • 250 g smoked salmon cut into small pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 390° F (180°C). Grease a loaf pan using cooking oil.
  • Cut the fresh salmon into pieces and mix with a food processor.
  • Add the eggs and mix well.
  • Add the sour cream and parsley.
  • Add the smoked salmon, salt and pepper. Mix with a spatula.
  • Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.
  • Allow the salmon terrine to cool before removing it from the pan. Serve the dish chilled.
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Cranberry Cake

This homemade cranberry cake is perfect for the winter season. Its bright red color brings holiday spirit to your family dinner or friends party. Easy to make and delicious!

Cranberry Cake

Natalija
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 8 people

Ingredients
  

  • 4 eggs
  • 220 g granulated sugar
  • 115 g melted butter
  • 150 g all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 380ºF. Grease and flour a cake pan.
  • Beat eggs and sugar with mixer until slightly thickened.
  • Add melted butter and mix well.
  • Stir in the flour and baking powder.
  • Add the cranberries and stir gently.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool. If desired, dust with confectioners sugar.
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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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Cheese and Garlic Stuffed Tomatoes

You can serve this Cheese and garlic stuffed tomatoes as a starter or as a salad.

Cheese and Garlic Stuffed Tomatoes

Natalija
Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 18 large cherry tomatoes
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup grated cheese american, cheddar, etc.
  • fresh herbs chives, parsley, basil leaves
  • 2-3 Tbs mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cut off the top of cherry tomatoes. Keep the tops for presentation.
  • Using a small spoon, scoop out the insides of the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes upside-down on a paper towel.
  • Remove juice and seeds from the pulp. Mince the pulp.
  • Press garlic using a garlic press. Mix the cheese and garlic together.
  • Add mayonnaise, finely chopped herbs and tomato pulp. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
  • Using a spoon, add cheese filling to the tomatoes and place the tops back on top of your cherry tomatoes.
  • Refrigerate tomatoes before serving.
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French Chocolate Mousse

Only 2 ingredients are needed to prepare this delicious French chocolate mousse. No dairy products and no sugar added; all you need is dark chocolate and eggs. So simple and so tasty! The only downside is that you should allocate about 4 hours to chill the mousse before serving.

In small individual glasses, the chocolate mousse will be perfect for a cafe gourmand!

French Chocolate Mousse

Natalija
Use very fresh eggs and do not refrigerate the mousse for more than 24 hours. I recommend keeping the mousse in the freezer if it needs to be stored for an extended period of time.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 17 mins
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 200 g dark chocolate chips (60-70% cocoa) or break dark chocolate into small pieces
  • 6 fresh eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions
 

  • Melt chocolate in a microwave (or use a double boiler) until the chocolate is completely melted. If you use a microwave: put the chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave for 25 seconds, then stir. Microwave for 25 more seconds and stir again. Continue microwaving and stirring until the chocolate is liquid, smooth, and shiny.
  • Separate egg yolks from the egg whites. Add egg yolks in melted chocolate and mix well.
  • Whisk egg whites with salt until stiff.
  • Carefully fold the egg whites into chocolate using a spatula.
  • You should have a smooth and fluffy mousse.
  • Divide the mousse among individual glasses. Refrigerate your dessert for 4-6 hours.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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