Spelt galette with sweet potato, beet and caramelized shallots

I wanted to try this recipe not only because of the filling, that is of course delicious, but also because of the dough. It’s choux pastry variation and as I haven’t had any experience with it, I was excited to try it. I can’t describe how pleasant is to work with this dough. I made it ‘half spelt’ and even despite it the dough was amazingly elastic.
( 🇸🇰 slovenský preklad  nájdete za anglickým textom)
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Pumpkin and apple puff pastry spirals (aka vertuta)

One day I will write “The Bessarabian cookbook”. Do you know where Bessarabia is? It’s a historical region in Eastern Europe between the Danube and the Dniester rivers, located both in the South of modern Ukraine and Moldova. Bessarabia was a kind of melting pot of many nations and in  their culinary traditions, you can see and taste influence of not only Ukrainian and Moldavian cuisines but also  Turkish, Balkan and Greek cuisines there. My native Odessa is not located directly in Bessarabia (well, it’s just around 40km from the place where the Dniester meets the Black sea) but being the biggest city in Ukrainian South it has a lot of Bessarabian people living there. That’s why you can find many  Bessarabian staple dishes in Odessa restaurants and that’s why I know how to cook them – I’ve just got used to them since my childhood.
Here is one of classical autumn dishes from that region, it’s called vertuta and it’s phyllo pasty roll of spiral with different fillings. I will share  a recipe with a  pumpkin and apple filling. I baked it with “ready to use” puff pastry which is closest to phyllo pasty.

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This fall favourite: pumpkin bread with crunchy peanut butter

I tried this bread for the first time just 1 week ago and since then I’ve already baked 3 loaves because it’s so good that I just can’t get enough. It’s my favourite recipe of this fall so far. The recipe has obvious US origin and the key ingredient is canned pumpkin pyre which can’t be found here in Bratislava as it’s simply not produced. I  replaced pyre with mashed roasted pumpkin and it worked perfectly. I also found that crunchy peanut butter works better than creamy one as parts of peanuts in baked bread give extra “wow” factor.
(🇸🇰 slovenský preklad nájdete za anglickým textom)

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Polenta quiche with lentils, tomatoes and bell peppers

Cookbook project has taught me a lot of new skills and quiche baking is one of them. Quiches featured in the book have mostly a puff pastry base. Puff pastry is a nice dough, but  as I’m always trying to avoid wheat flour I was interested in other options. So I found that corn polenta can be one of them. Here is a recipe for polenta quiche with lentils, tomatoes and bell peppers. Isn’t it nice, to combine New World crops in a French baking technique?

Small notice before I start. I found that a lot of people don’t like polenta. May be the trick is that you have to use liquid with intense taste for making polenta. It could me milk, mix of milk and cream, cream, vegetable or meat stock. Just “water and salt” combination is not enough 🙂

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Rhubarb banana muffins

I honestly tried to break this “no meat recipes” circle in my blog but it’s hard to switch to other topics when you have fresh rhubarb in your fridge. So the recipe of rabbit stew will wait until I get enough of rhubarb. This week I decided to combine sour rhubarb with sweet bananas in muffins (muffins are my current baking favourites as they are so easy to make and can have so many varieties). Inspiration for this recipe was found on Rhubarb Central which is a great page where you can find everything about rhubarb.

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Chocolate and mint muffins recipe

I‘ve  tried to bake these muffins for 3 times and each time I failed: they were or too dry and reminded cookies, or didn’t rise or “exploded” in the oven. despite of the fact that I followed the basic recipe, something went wrong (obviously the author just used baking powder with another “baking power”). Fortunately the fourth attempt was successful so I can finally share the recipe.

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Orthodox Easter cake recipe

It took me over a week to write down this recipe, but finally here it is. Some general information to start: paska (the name of this cake in Ukrainian) probably is the most difficult  cake I’ve ever baked. You have to be calm and patient to perform all steps of its making in a right way. As a result you will get absolutely stunning cake which can be fresh for some months after being baked. A popular question is “what is the  taste of paska?” Well, if you know what  Italian panettone is, you know  the taste of paska. These cakes are not twins, but they are very close relatives. Paska is one of the staples of Easter celebration for Orthodox Christians. Every family bakes paski to share them with friends and family members.

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Leopard print cookies

What’s your opinion on leopard pattern? Controversial as it is in the fashion world, I like to think about it more in terms of marketing and psychology (it reminds me of the beautiful archetypes of people living in caves and wearing animal skins). That said, I’m not sure if I’ve ever had something animal printed at home 🙂 Leopard print cookies are the rare exception as they are easy to make, taste heavenly and last, but not least – they are Oh so very photogenic!

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