Mingled Greek Cuisine, and more.
Because, on an every day basis, any home cooked meal is better than any delivery.
Before mingling, read through directions, prepare ingredients and organize them on your bench in order of use. It helps in numerous way, not the least of which being a visual of relative quantities. While mingling, listen to music, observe the transformations, and be mindful of measurements, they are more important in desserts than in savoury dishes.
Who doesn't want a dessert every now and then? The good thing about home cooked desserts is you can play around with the sugar content, if that is an issue, but most importantly, you get to perfume the house with irresistable aromas in most cases. So indulge occasionaly, life should provide pleasure often enough.
Two Chocolate and Oat Cookies
INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS (14 to 16 cookies)
A very simple cookie recipe, with no added sugar, but there is maple syrup to serve the purpose. You can be eating one, or more, of these in less than one hour, so start mingling.
In a bowl using your hands, rub together:
1. Butter, 100 gr
2. Flour, 100 gr
Cold butter will soften gradually from the heat of your hands, but you can leave it to come to room T for easier mingling, while going through the recipe. This method of rubbing the butter with the flour, instead of using a mixer to whisk butter and sugar, provides I find a flakier texture. You can also use a food processor for this tep, but I find working with your hands is a soul calming activity. In any way, the end result should look roughly like breadcrumbs, in the same way as when making tart pastry.
In another bowl whisk:
3. Egg, 1 pc
4. Maple Syrup, 1 tbsp
5. Almond extract, 1 tsp (available in supermarkets, but you can easily skip it, the flavour will just be a little bit thinner)
Add to the flour/butter mixture and mix well with a spatula, or whisk. It should be smooth enough, but not necessarily uniform. Fold in, after mixing well in a separate bowl:
6. White chocolate, 50 gr (I use a block of cooking chocolate which a chop with a knife to roughly 1*1 cm cubes)
7. Dark cooking chocolate, 50 gr (I use a block which a chop with a knife to roughly 1*1 cm cubes)
8. Rolled Oats, 100 gr
9. Salt, 1/4 tsp
Place in the freezer for 15 minutes, and in the meantime preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius, and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Shape in golf sized balls, and place on tray several cm apart. Keep dough in fridge while baking the first bunch if not enough space on the tray.
Bake for 15 minutes. They might seem undercooked but they are not, I assure you. You don't want any colour on them, and furthermore they will harden while cooling.
INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS (4 very generous portions)
A love the flavour of coffee more in desserts than actually drinking it. This Italian classic, will not fill your kitchen with aromas, nor is it a dessert you can eat in an hour, because it has to set overnight in he fridge, but it is simple, and certainly worth a little planning. There is a bit of sugar here, but I guess you could omit it all together. The twist is a layer of chopped boiled chestnuts, such a delight in the winter. And it mingles so perfectly with the coffee and cream cheese you will wonder why this isn't a standard thing! Furthermore, although there are a lot of tiramisu recipes including eggs, I really see no point in using them here.
On a chopping board chop roughly:
1. Preboiled, peeled chestnuts, 3 cups, (unless you want to go through this process yourself)
In a bowl whisk softly until smooth:
2. Icing sugar, 1/3 cup, sieved to avoid lumps and make whisking easier
3. Mascarpone cheese, 500gr
Fold chestnuts in the mascarpone mixture.
In another bowl mix:
4. Baileys, or Kahlua, 1 cup
5. Instant coffee powder dissolved in 1 cup of room T water
Dip instantly in the coffee mixture:
6. Ladyfinger biscuits (Savoiardi), about 600 gr, enough to cover 2 layers in a 22 cm square tray, but dip each right before each layering, don't rush, and don't leave them soaking because they will effectively dissintegrate.
Line a layer of the biscuits in the tray, spread half the mascarpone/chestnut mixture on top, using the back of a spoon, or a spatula. Repeat, dipping another 300 grams of biscuits in the coffee mixture and layering with the cheese/chestnut:
Cover tray with cling film and refrigerate overnight.
Before serving, divide and remove square pieces (or leave in tray) and dust with:
7. Cocoa powder, using a tea strainer, or small sieve.
Chocolate Lava Cake
INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS (6 ramekins)
There is a flavour combination I don't come across very often. Chocolate, I prefer dark always, and nutmeg. They mingle so perfectly I am surprised to not encounter them together always! And there are very few desserts more indulgent and satisfying then an oozy half melted chocolate cake, if you are into chocolate that is. And believe me I am not, I prefer more acidic desserts, but this is a small wonder I crave for every now and then. And it is really so easy to make.
On a metallic bowl fitting above a pot with boiling water, but not touching the water surface (known as a ben marie) place:
1. Dark cooking chocolate, 250 gr
2. Butter, 250 gr
Stir with a silicon spatula until you have a smooth mixture.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, with the paddle attachment on (or use a hand mixer and a steady bowl instead) whisk well on medium to high speed, until sufficiently aerated:
3. Eggs, 4 pcs
4. Sugar, 120 gr
Reduce speed and add slowly, once slightly cooled, the chocolate mixture.
By hand, using a silicon spatula, fold in a mixture of:
5. Flour, 100 gr
6. Salt, a pinch, about 1/8 of a tsp
7. Nutmeg, grated, or powder, 1/4 tsp
Divide in 6 buttered, and flour dusted ramekins, cover with cling film, and refrigerate until baking, but surely at least 30 minutes.
Bake in preheated oven, convection mode, at 220 degrees Celsius, for 8 - 10 minute, depending on oven, so do a test.
Indulge with a spoon straight from the ramekin, or insert a small knife between the cake and ramekin (which you will have to hold with a towel so it won't burn your hand). Using the back side of the knife (not the sharp end) in a cyclical movement moving the knife against the ramekin, and detach the cake. Turn it upside down on a plate, shake it sideways gently until loose and drop it upside down on the plate. This is the same technique as loosening a pana cotta from it's ramekin to serve on a plate. Either way, garnish with:
8. Desiccated coconut, slightly toasted in a hot non stick pan for a few seconds, tossing constantly.