Roasted chestnuts

roasted chestnuts by Pink Hungry

Some time ago, or basically around two yeasr ago, roasted chestnuts became associated with pre – Christmas time. No, it’s not obvious as they’re rarerly seen in Poland and many people have still no idea what are they. I didn’t like them before, they were bizzare to me. But let’s be honest, I didn’t like most of foods with pistachios ahead. I wasn’t normal that only means. Now I am and I love chestnuts. Not only chestnut flour can hex some magical dishes but the fruits as well. Most of us pair them off with Paris but I’m not so sure if they’re not even more popular in Italy. And in th US. And, I hope, soon in Poland ;) Anyway I will do my best and work hard to convince people here to their taste. They’re sugary, soft, little bit nutty and earthen. Roasting them is funnily easy and eating makes even more fun. And it can be a base for the next kitchen capers. For me winter wouldn’t have sense without roasted chestnuts. Ok, I know. Winter doesn’t have any sense at all. But now even Christmas would be less magical without those little loonies. Absolutely inexplicably they are blended to me with cute little girls with their curls taken directly from the hair curler wearing white fluffy angora hats giving lovely box of roasted chestnuts to their dads with two-days growth of hair and raindeer jumper. Or no, wait! I have an explication. TV commercials are stuffing us with such a beautiful picture where every one snowflake is perfectly regular but I can bet that each of us wants some piece of this commercial for herself. Most of you will choose the dad, others will go for the sweet girl orphaned at that moment. I’m taking chestnuts.

ingredients:

  • chestnuts

method:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 C degrees. Cut the top of each chestnut with the cross sign. Use a sharp knife as the shells are quite hard. Put them into the oven, place on the baking sheet and roast for around 30 min or untill soft (check it carefoully as they’re very hot)
  • Peel when still warm as the shell gets very hard when cooled

how to roast chestnuts at home

roasted chestnuts recipe by Pink Hungry

roasted chestnuts by Pink Hungry

 

 

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Speculoos – Santa’s cookies

speculoos recipe

Speculoos albo Speulaas to wywodzące się z Belgii i Holandii korzenne ciasteczka zwane ciasteczkami Świętego Mikołaja. Tradycyjnie piecze się je w Dzień Św. Nicolasa, który przypada na 5 grudnia w Holandii i 6 w Belgii. Bardzo popularne są też w Niemczech gdzie do pieca wskakują w okolicy Bożego Narodzenia. Czyli na dobrą sprawę Mikołaj może przez cały grudzień cieszyć się świeżą porcją ciastek, podróżując na rowerze lub na upartego łódką przez 3 kraje. Jasnym się od razu staje skąd ma tyle siły i energii żeby potem w jedną noc obskoczyć wszystkie domy i nie pomylić prezentów. Oczywiście rozwiązuje to też zagadkę na jakiej zasadzie przyznawane są prezenty, dlaczego niektóre dzieci, nawet rozrabiaki dostają cała hałdę lukrowanych pierników i lizaków z wypływającym ze środka strumieniem czekoladowego toffi, a inne, te z pozoru grzeczne i uśmiechnięte kończą świąteczną imprezę z jednym, małym czerwonym pudełeczkiem ze wstążką w bałwanki. Upiekły za mało ciastek. Może miały w domu za mało cukru a na dworze lał deszcz albo w dętce od roweru był flak i machnęły ręką licząc na to, że jakoś im się uda jeżeli nałożą je na mały talerzyk żeby wprowadzić Mikołaja w optyczną iluzję. A może złośliwe rodzeństwo zjadło po cichu część i dla Świętego została tylko garstka. Tak czy inaczej Mikołaja nie da się oszukać ani wziąć na litość. Mało ciastek = mało prezentów pod choinką. To taki przed świąteczny sprawdzian. Nie wiem czy chcecie ryzykować, ja hazardzistką nigdy nie byłam i na wszelki wypadek upiekłam potrójną porcję speculoos.

makes around 2 baking sheets

ingredients:

  • 250 g all purpouse flour
  • 140 g dark brown sugar (muscovado sugar)
  • 150 g cold butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • big pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoon milk

method:

  • Mix all the ingredients carefoully to combine, shape the dough into a ball, flatten it with your hand, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for preferably whole night
  • The next day pre heat the oven to 170 C degrees. Roll the dough thinly, to 4-5 mm thick and cut your favourite shapes with cookie cutter or use speculoos form if available. Place cookies on the baking sheet covered with parchment paper and put into the oven. Bake for 15-20 min, take out of the oven and let cool for a few minutes untill they catch a harder texture. Tranfer onto wire wrack and let cool completly

speculoos przepis

speculaas recipe

spiced christmas cookies recipe

 

source od the recipe: Moje Wypieki

 

 

Marzipan rum soaked cherries challah

marzipan rum soaked cherries challah

You have no idea how much I had been afraid of yeast. I couldn’t even prepare simple apple drop scones and yet before I took the in my hands I was already sure I would collapse. For years I gave them the widest possible berth. Eventually I pulled myself together and decided not to give up in fight with that strange phenomenon called YEAST. Genuinelly only few attempts were enough to find out that yeast dough is one of the nicest to work with and now I just love to play with it, flatten, knead, wathc it rise and how with one move we can deflate it again. Now I bake brioche, breads and yeast cakes like crazy and I think it’s time to diversify the repertoir with beloved in the past and a bit forgotten now, in my opinion – challah. It’s something in between bread and yeast cake but it’s far from brioche as it’s much more bread-y. Without any addition of sweet miracles it works perfectly as a savoury breakfast bakery. I can’t see any reason not to refine it though and as Christmas has already made itself home in my consciousness and went big and today then it was still dark and creepy outside I bake a challah with marzipan and dried cherries soaked in golden rum. Could you imagine any better Christmas morning bakery? Or for any morning untill Christmas as it’s so damn good I could east it every day and still wouldn’t be enough.

ingredients:

bread

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 package active dry yeast (7 g)
  • 55 g sugar
  • 490 g all purpouse flour + up to 200 g in case
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch ground cardamon
  • 80 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 egss

filling

  • 50 g dried cherries
  • around 50 ml golden rum
  • 200 g marzipan
  • 55 g softened butter
  • 55 g sugar

topping

  • ok 1 tablespoon granulated sugar or pearl sugar
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • opcional: almond flakes

method:

  • Put cherries to a small bowl or cup an pour enough rum to cover them, put asaide. You can soaked them for a whole night or just during the rest preparations
  • Dough: in a small bowl combine yeast with lightly warm water and tablespoon of sugar, mix carefoully not to leave any lumps and set asaide for around 10 min untill the mixture starts to foam
  • W in a bowl of a stand mixer combine flour wit salt, cardamon and the remaining sugar. In a separate bowl beat eggs with oil. When the yeast mixture begins to bubble add it to the flour and right aways add egss mixture. Using a hook knead an elastic dough. You may need to add some extra flour so add it in a smal batches just till the dough will be smooth and comes out of hands. Put ti the oiled large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 2 hours
  • Meantime blend the chopped marzipan with butter and sugar to recieve a smooth paste. Risen dough put to the floured surface. Roll it into a large rectangle, 25 x 35 cm size. Spread the marzipan paste on the dough leaving small edges each side. Drain cherries and dispose evenly on the marzipan
  • Roll the rectangle along longer side and lay it the seam down. Roll it into a snail shape brushing the sides with a bit of water if they won’t get stick and the snail roll-out. Transfer onto parchment paper and cover with clot. Let rise for 30 min
  • Heat the oven to 190 C degrees. Brush the challah with eggwash, sprinkle with sugar and almond flakes if using. Put the the oven and bake for 20 min then cover with parchment paper and bake for another 20 min. Cool on the wire wrack

challah with marzipan recipe

marzipan challah recipe

christmas recipes

challah recipe

marzipan recipes

dried cherries

 

source of recipe: My Name is Yeh

 

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Pumpkin brioche

Pumpkin brioche

Baked pumpkin doughnuts

baked pumpkin doughnuts

Doughnuts with hole as my mum used to call them when I was staring at the american style doughnuts with my nose stick to the shop’s pane, still cause some sentiment in me. As polish doughnuts are big balls of yeasted deep fried pastry filled usually with jam and the holed ones are still very ‘american’ for us here and were always a symbol of everything what America means. Originally fried in a deep deadly hot oil but usually not many of us want to play with it. What is more, such fatties are hard to wolf in big amount whilst those baked are lighter, healthier and ready in half an hour. Sure, the taste is a bit different but still great. They remind muffins, just are bit denser, but if you don’t have a specific pan you can easily bake them in a muffin pan. So they have almost-muffin-taste and their simplicity which can allay the real doughnuts sentiment. When we also put some root flavoured pumpkin puree into the batter we can obtain wonderfully fall tea treat. Because apart from pumpkin another fall characteristic is stardust.

ingredients:

  • 285 g all puropuse flour
  • 1 i 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 i 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 160 g granulated sugar
  • 145 g light brown sugar
  • 125 ml canola oil
  • 1 i 1/2 cup (365 ml) pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs

topping

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 i 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

method:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 175 C degrees. Grease lightly with canola oil or butter the doughnut pan and flour the wholes, remove the remaining flour or line muffin pan with papers
  • In a bowl mix together flour, salt, spices and baking powder. In a separate bowl beat egss with both kinds of sugar, pumpkin puree and oil, do not leave any lumps so mix carefoully
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ones and mix to combine, do not overmix. Pour the batter to the doughnut pan filling each wlohe 3/4 deep or same with a muffin pan
  • Put to the hot oven and bake for around 12 minutes or untill toothpick comes out clean
  • Meantime prepare the sugar topping: In a paper bag mix sugar with cinnamon. When doughnuts are ready and still warm put one each time into the bag, close tightly and shake so the sugar will cover the doughnuts. Cool on the wire wrack. If baking muffins, sprinkle them with sugar over the top

baked dougnuts recipe

pumpkin doughnuts with cinnamon sugar

pumpkin doughnuts

 

source of recipe: Cooking Classy

Cucumber and onion raita

raita ogórkowa cebulowa

Indispensable accompaniament to curries, ideal to help extinguish the fire caused by poppadom. One of the politer elements in balti and indian cuisine which will succor when our european palates occure to be not enough seasoned and we would start to fire blech. It’s perfectly refreshing during hot summer balti dinner, especially served chilled.

makes 4-6 serves

ingredients:

  • 425 ml natural yogurt
  • 110 g cucumber
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • pinch of chili powder
  • salt & pepper
  • bunch of fresh flat leaves parsley or corriander

method:

  • Peel the cucumber and half it alongside and seed it using a spoon. Chop cucumber into thin pieces. And salt, mix and leave on the sieve for around 30 min to drain water
  • Chop onion not so very finely, combine with yogurt, drained cucumber, cumin seeds, chili powder, salt and big pinch of pepper. Put to the fridge for at least 30 min to cool
  • Chop parsley and sprinkle over cooled raita and then serve

yogurt dip recipe

balti raita recipe

 

the recipe comes from the book : “Balti. The complete cookbook” by Lynette Baxter