Trompe L’oeil “Soft Boiled Egg”

This is the same lemon pudding I posted earlier, but presented differently. The illusion is very realistic due to the color and consistency of the pudding and a lemon curd “yolks”. For the toast, there’s an anise seed génoise-sort-of-cake, baked in a loaf pan and toasted before serving. The texture of these “toasts” is nice, not even close to hard or difficult to bite in; they don’t need to be dunked before eating – they melt in the mouth.

Adapted from the Gourmet magazine

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Cereal Date Streusel Cake

Recently, I’ve been asked to develop a recipe for Nestlé, the recipe utilizing their cereal flakes.

The first thing that comes to my mind when cereals are mentioned is something simple and homey, wholesome, nutritious and worthy to be packed into kids’ lunchboxes. To meet all these requirements I’ve come up with the following recipe.

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Lemon Pudding with Ginger Lemon Madeleines

When the weather is as hot as we’ve got here, cool and tangy dessert like this seems soothing and refreshing. I made the pudding late at night, after the summer heat subsided, and the idea of stirring a hot mixture on the stove didn’t look so torturous. The madeleines, unfortunately, can’t be baked in advance (although the batter can, and, actually, should be made earlier). So, I still had to turn my oven on the following day, but only for a brief moment – it took under 15 minutes for the madeleines to bake. And this sort of cookies/cakes  is worth to be made even during the most excruciating heat.

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Lemon Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Filling and Summer Berries

I have to admit, the cake is not lacking calories. But despite this fact, it feels light, tangy and fresh; just the right thing to serve after a spicy barbecue dinner. You can’t be too generous with berries here, pile them high – it’s so worth it!

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Vanilla Cheesecake Mint White Chocolate Mousse and Strawberry Gelée Bites

This month’s Daring Bakers challenge, hosted by Jenny from JennyBakes, was Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake. My sincere thank you to Jenny not just for hosting, but also for not limiting us with rules and restrictions, for providing with an opportunity to create a dessert suiting everyone’s taste. We were free to choose any flavor combination as well as presentation options.

I didn’t change the original cheesecake recipe, except for omitting a graham crust (I’m not very fond of it, to be honest) and adding a tablespoon of flour to the batter (an old habit, couldn’t help myself). I scaled the recipe down, but baked the cheesecake in a required 9-inch pan, so the cake was not too tall and could be easily cut into small rounds. These cheesecake cut-outs were fit inside crispy caramelized phyllo tubes (cylinders) baked earlier. Sticky cheesecake bottoms were then dipped into coarsely ground pistachios creating some sort of a crust and preventing the dessert from adhering to a serving platter. The mint infused white chocolate mousse was piped over the cheesecake and, after the mousse was set, the strawberry gelée, cut into small cubes, was piled over the mousse layer. A little bit more of the pistachios and fresh mint leaves for garnish completed the picture.

They are easy to handle, small-portioned, one-bite (ok, maybe two-bites for some of us, always struggling with those huge sushi rolls as I am) dessert which I found satisfying enough and sufficient for serving one per person (after a good meal).

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Poppy Seed Raspberry Cake

Here’s an effortless, yet quite nice cake that doesn’t require any preliminary preparation. All can be done in one day. The filling and frosting in this cake is simply whipped cream with generous amount of seedless raspberry jam folded in. The original idea is from well-known Gayle’s bakery, although I have to admit I changed the recipe a bit. I couldn’t resist a temptation and added some sour cream to the whipped cream; it adds a pleasant tang and goes so well with berries. I have a tendency to overdo the sour cream. Well, I’m Russian, and it probably explains it. My kiddo recently brought a book about my motherland as well as a dozen of other books about different countries (he’s into geography now). Among very useful information such as demographic data and climate zoning there was a small chapter dedicated to Russian food. I found it very educational myself  –  for example, I learned that Russians eat everything with sour cream and bread, that they eat soup with every meal, and that porridge is their favorite food. Who writes this stuff..?

I hope you all had wonderful holidays!

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