Cream Cheese Crepes

These are my favorite kind of crepes: filled with cream cheese and raisins, with a hint of lemon, covered with heavy cream and baked in the oven. I know, you may think what a calorie bomb, but all resistance melts away with the first bite. 😀 This is not your ordinary crepe! They can be served warm or cold and will taste just superb either way!

Cream Cheese Crepes

 

Cream Cheese Crepes

[Printable recipe]

Yields 12 small or 8 medium crepes

Batter:

  • 125 g (1 cup)all-purpose flour
  • 25 g (2 TBSP) vanilla sugar***
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 dl (1 cup) milk
  • 30 g (2 TBSP)butter (melted)
  • 1 TBSP rum or brandy

+

  • Butter for pan

*** Vanilla sugar can be purchased in most stores with an international section. If you can’t get vanilla sugar, use regular white sugar and add 1 tea spoon of vanilla extract into batter.

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 450 g (16 oz) cream cheese (I used the one with 1/3 less fat)
  • 100 (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 lemon (zest finely grated)
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) raisins (soaked in rum or brandy)
  • 250 ml (about 1 cup) heavy cream

+

  • Oven-safe rectangular baking dish

Preparation:

See pics here

  1. Combine flour, vanilla sugar and salt into a medium bowl.
  2. Add eggs and mix at a slow speed, gradually adding milk
  3. At the end add melted butter and 1 TBSP of rum.

I usually don’t use mixer for this batter; I just make sure to whisk eggs very well into the flour so the batter is smooth.

Prepare a 6 – 7 inch pan, put a thin slice of butter on the pan, let it melt and heat well. Pour a 1/2 – 1 ladle of batter onto the pan. Take the pan off the heat and move a few times in a circular motion until all batter is spread evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Place the pan back on heat and allow all batter to change color, then flip a crepe using a thin spatula or if you’re a risk taker throw it in the air and let it flip then catch with the pan. 😀

Stack a crepe on a top of another to keep them warm. I usually cover them with a piece of aluminum foil too.

For the filling, beat cream cheese and sugar at a high speed until all sugar is well incorporated, add vanilla and beat for a minute more. Mix in lemon zest and raisins by hand.

Prepare your baking dish.

Divide your filling into equal portions depending on how many crepes you have. I had 8 crepes, so I divided my filling into 8 equal portions.

Place the filling at the end of a crepe, fold over crepe from the left and right side (see below pic), then fold over longer side, roll it (as an egg roll) and place into the dish. Repeat until all filling and crepes are used up.

Pour the heavy cream over crepes. Place it in a 200 C (400 F) oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until cream starts thickening and changing color.

Serve warm or cold! Bon Appetit!

 

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Simple Crepes

Hello Friends,

It’s bee too long… I have firmly decided that this year will not be as the last. Despite being extremely busy I will find time to get back to my love of baking and sharing my recipes here with you.

This recipe is proven over and over again in my mama’s and my kitchen. It’s from an old French cookbook of 750 pages. More about it you can read here.

You would think something as simple as a crepe can not go wrong, but in my experience it really can if you don’t have a right recipe. They can turn out too thick, too though or kind of chewy. This recipe gives you a perfectly textured, thin crepe that you will want to make again and again. This time I filled them with nutella and served with some ice cream on top.

Next time I will share another way I serve them. In lack of better term I call them “Crepes au gratin”, but more about that in my next post.

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Simple Crepes

[Printable recipe]

Yields 12 small or 8 medium crepes

Ingredients:

  • 125 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 25 g (2 TBSP) vanilla sugar***
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 dl (1 cup) milk
  • 30 g (2 TBSP)butter (melted)
  • 1 TBSP rum or brandy

+

  • Butter for pan

*** Vanilla sugar can be purchased in most stores with an international section. If you can’t get vanilla sugar, use regular white sugar and add 1 tea spoon of vanilla extract into batter.

Preparation:

  1. Combine flour, vanilla sugar and salt into a medium bowl.
  2. Add eggs and mix at a slow speed, gradually adding milk
  3. At the end add melted butter and 1 TBSP of rum.

I usually don’t use mixer for this batter; I just make sure to whisk eggs very well into the flour so the batter is smooth.

Prepare a 6 – 7 inch pan, put a thin slice of butter on the pan, let it melt and heat well. Pour a 1/2 – 1 ladle of batter onto the pan. Take the pan off the heat and move a few times in a circular motion until all batter is spread evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Place the pan back on heat and allow all batter to change color, then flip a crepe using a thin spatula or if you’re a risk taker throw it in the air and let it flip then catch with the pan. 😀

Stack a crepe on a top of another to keep them warm. I usually cover them with a piece of aluminum foil too. When they are all done, flip the whole stack over and start spreading them with your favorite filling; jam, honey, nutella, nuts, apple butter just to name a few.

Serve warm! Bon Appétit!

Crepes preparation

 

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Apricot – Chocolate Chip Muffins

 Post title

{Printable Recipe}

Ingredients:

Ingredients apricot muffins

Preparation:

  • Place apricots into boiling water for a 1/2 – 1 minute. If they are soft about ½ minute and if they are harder about 1 minute.
  • Remove the skin, half them, pit them and set aside.

boil and peel apricots

  • Beat butter, sugar, salt and vanilla at a high speed and until fluffy.
  • Add eggs one by one until nicely incorporated into batter.
  • Combine flour and baking powder. Add to batter alternating with milk, until both is used up.
  • At the end, mix in mini chocolate chips.

Batter

  • Fill the batter into muffin pans lined with muffin cups or into mini bunt cake tins. Place an apricot half on each muffin.
  • Bake at 195 C (385 F) about 20-25 minutes. Let cool down, remove from tins and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Apricot muffins

Enjoy!

apricot chocolate chip muffins

apricot chocolate chip muffins

Strawberry-Chocolate Pavlova

I wanted to make this Pavlova since I discovered it last year on a French website. This is the second item to cross off my 2013 (baking) To Do List . The first item was Bourke Street Bakery croissants, which were a-m-a-z-i-n-g, but I still didn’t find time to post about them (that’s still coming).

The original recipe actually calls for raspberries and dark chocolate. I changed the quantity of some ingredients and also used what I had in the house, which were some sweet Michigan strawberries and milk chocolate. I didn’t regret it because it was a huge hit with my family, so I am perfectly happy. 🙂 This is such a great summer dessert! I hope you will be making it soon. Happy SUMMER!

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Strawberry-Chocolate Pavlova

{printable recipe}

(Serves about 10 people)

Pavlova:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 235 g (8.2 oz) powdered sugar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 35 g (1.2 oz) of grated chocolate

Filling:

  • 175 g (6 oz) chocolate (melted)
  • 450 ml (about 2 cups) heavy cream whipped thick (add sugar after your own taste)
  • 450 g (1 lb) strawberries (raspberries  or blackberries)

1. Draw 3 rectangles of 10 X 30 cm (4 X 12 inches) on sheets of parchment paper and place on two baking sheets. In a bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff, then gradually add half of sugar while beating . The mixture should be very firm and look shine.

2. Using a spoon or spatula, gently fold in the remaining sugar, cornstarch and grated chocolate.

3. Place the prepared meringue into a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm star tip. Fill the rectangles drawn by drawing lines with the meringue. Bake in preheated oven at 100° C (about 200 F) for 1 hour. Without opening the door, turn off the oven and leave the meringues cool inside. Then take off from the paper.

4. To make the filling, melt the chocolate and spread it over two meringues. Allow to harden.

5. Place one of two chocolate meringues on a plate and cover with about 1/3 of the whipped cream and strawberries. Gently place the second meringue chocolate on top and cover with half the cream and the remaining strawberries.

6. Finally, place the last meringue on top and decorate with the remaining cream and strawberries. Drizzle melted chocolate over the top and serve.

Pavlova preparation

Meringue for Pavlova

Meringue for Pavlova

Pavlova-putting together

Strawberry Pavlova

Strawberry Chocolate Pavlova

Classic Vienna Apple Strudel or Wiener Apfelstrudel

Autumn without apple strudel would be like spring without the rain, summer without the sunshine or movies without popcorn. Autumn harvest in Bosnia/Balkan region usually brings a bounty of different kind of apples. Mostly every backyard has some type of a fruit tree, be it a plum, pear, apple or a quince tree. Of course that bounty of different kinds of fruit needs to be preserved in some way or used for delicious desserts. I vividly remember my mom and grandmother making jams, juices and baking in the fall. Nothing was allowed to go to waste.

Now what does Bosnia and Vienna Apple Strudel have in common? For about 40  years at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century Bosnia was under Austria-Hungary Empire rule, which resulted in mixing of cultures and of course influences on Bosnian cuisine (which before reflected mainly Turkish/Ottoman and Eastern influences).

Apple strudel in Bosnia is also known as ‘apple pita’ and can be made in a few different ways. Usually it is made out of paper thin phyllo dough with shredded or sliced apple filling and with addition of sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, almonds, raisins, etc.

Here is one really great recipe for Vienna Apple Strudel. This strudel can be served by itself with a nice cup of coffee or also paired up with vanilla sauce or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Classic Vienna Apple Strudel

[printable recipe]

Serving 8-10

Strudel Dough:

  • 150 ml  (1/2 cup + 2 TBSP)warm milk
  • 250 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBSP oil
  • 1 TBSP white wine
  • a pinch of salt
    +
    oil for brushing and
    flour for kneading

Filling:

  • 60 g (2.1 oz) bread crumbs
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 50 g (1.8 oz )butter
  • 50 g (1.8 oz) sliced almonds
  • 1 lemon (juice)
  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) apples
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 40 ml (3 TBSP) dark rum
  • 50 g (1.8 oz) raisins
  • 1/2 TSP cinnamon

+
50 g (1.8 oz) melted butter for brushing
powdered sugar for sprinkling

Preparation:

  1. In a mixer bowl with the spiral hooks add flour, egg, oil, white wine and a pinch of salt. Start mixing slowly adding warm milk. Mix for a few minutes until smooth dough forms.  Sprinkle some flour right into the bowl and knead the dough by hand few times and form it into a ball. Place the dough into an oil coated bowl. Make sure the dough is well coated with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest at a warm place for about two hours.
  2. While the dough is resting prepare bread crumbs and almonds for the filling. In a pan melt the butter on a low temperature. Mix bread crumbs and sugar and add it to the butter and let it brown just very lightly (2-3 minutes). Let it cool. Roast the sliced almonds on a low temperature in the pan until fragrant and just starting to brown.
  3. Squeeze the lemon and put the lemon juice into a bowl. Peel the apples, core them and quarter them. Slice into very thin slices. As you slice them, brush some lemon juice over them so they don’t get brown. When done slicing, add all the remaining lemon juice to the apples, add sugar, rum, raisins, cinnamon and almonds. Toss it lightly and set aside.
  4. Melt the rest of the butter and keep it handy. Prepare a clean, large kitchen towel where you will stretch the dough. Dust the towel with some flour.  (I’ve used a 16 X 26 inch/ 40 X 66 cm towel). Now take the dough out of the bowl and place it onto a floured surface (not towel) and roll it a bit with a rolling pin. Transfer it to the kitchen towel and start stretching by placing your hands underneath the dough and pulling from the middle to the sides.  When the dough is nice and thin, cut of the thick edges.   Brush the dough with melted butter.  Spread the bread crumbs over the dough leaving a 2 inch (5 cm) edge all around. Spread the apple filling on the top of the bread crumbs.
  5. This is how to roll the strudel. Flap the 2 short and 1 long edge over the filling. Taking the kitchen towel by the longer flapped edge, roll up the strudel. Still holding the towel transfer strudel to the baking sheet. Bake at 400 F (200 C) for about 20-25 minutes in the lower portion of the oven. Serve warm sprinkled with powdered sugar.  If desired you can also add a side of vanilla sauce or vanilla ice cream to it.

Bon Appétit!

Semolina pudding with strawberry-rhubarb sauce

Last Saturday I went to the Farmer’s Market again and bought some great Michigan strawberries and beautiful, crisp rhubarb. The strawberries were so super sweet and delicious that we couldn’t resist and ate them right away just plain. There was one container left, so I wasn’t sure what to use them for. The idea came when I was going through my kitchen cupboards and eyed a small bag of semolina that I had sitting there since the time I made my Raspberry Dream Cake. I decided to make the semolina pudding and then use the strawberries and rhubarb to make the sauce. Oh, I have to tell you it came out soooo delicious, it is really hard to describe…

SEMOLINA PUDDING WITH STRAWBERRY-RHUBARB SAUCE   Printable recipe

Serves 8

For the pudding:

  • 80 g (2.7 oz) semolina wheat flour
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk
  • 100 g (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ lemon – zest only

Also needed:  a muffin pan or a bundtlette pan

Prepare your pan by rinsing it with the cold water or placing it the freezer for a few minutes.

Bring the milk to a boil; add sugar, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Let it simmer for a few minutes until all sugar has dissolved. Slowly add semolina to the milk, whisking the whole time. You will notice an increase in volume (as semolina expands). Mix until all liquid disappears and large bubbles start showing.

Pour the pudding into a prepared pan. This quantity will yield about 8 individual portions. Let it cool slightly, cover with plastic and refrigerate.

For the strawberry-rhubarb sauce:

  • 300 g (10 oz) strawberries (washed and quartered)
  • 200 g (6.7 oz) rhubarb (washed and cut into ½ inch pieces)
  • 100 g (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 pack of vanilla sugar (or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
  • a  pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 3 tablespoons water

Place the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar and honey in a cooking pot. Add vanilla and a pinch of cloves. Mix occasionally and let it simmer for about 15 minutes at a low temperature. Mix corn starch with water until smooth and add it to the fruit mixture to thicken.

Serve warm over chilled semolina pudding.

Bon appétit!