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Gombovtsi | Ґомбовці

Ukrainian Cheese Dumplings Gombovtsi is a popular type of stuffed dumplings in the Transcarpathia region of Ukraine. The "dough" can be based on 1) fresh cheese, 2) cooked potatoes, or 3) wheat flour. The first two kinds are usually cooked by simmering, and the third one — by steaming. This version — with fresh cheese...
April 13, 2020
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Tsvikli | Цвіклі | Ćwikła

Цвіклі (pol. ćwikła) is a hot beets appetizer in Poland and Western Ukraine. It is made with boiled or steamed beets, grated, seasoned, and mixed with some horseradish puree and spices. The level of heat and the list of ingredients vary from region to region and from family to family. Besides all kinds of vinegar, the acidic elements range from lemon juice to dry red wine. Just make it to your taste.

April 4, 2020
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Shor Gogal | Savory Layered Bun

Shor Gogal is a famous, savory layered bun with spiced filling made with turmeric, cumin, fennel seeds, and butter. This Azerbaijani pastry is traditional for the spring holiday Novruz.

April 1, 2020
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Messy Love Cake

Love is messy – хрупкие меренговые сердца держатся на тающем на губах ореховом креме – love drives us nuts, but it’s all we need.

February 6, 2020
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Monk’s Lake House Savory Cake

The idea for this cake was born as a result of a challenge — what would a savory version of the Monk’s Hut cake be. Monk’s Lake House is a combination of Rye Galette with Fish and 7-Herb Green Sauce. Because they were born to complement each other!

January 23, 2020
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Monk’s Hut Cake | Торт “Монастырская изба”

Монастырская изба is one of the most popular cakes in post-Soviet countries. И за что его не любить? Кислые вишни, песочное тесто, крем из подслащенной густой сметаны — простые и хорошо сочетающиеся ингредиенты. Sour cherries are rolled into a thin layer of dough and baked to look like cilindrical pies. The pies are layered with thick sweetened sour cream to represent a log cabin, то бишь дровяную избу.

January 22, 2020
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Savory Brioche

Some time ago, my Russian speaking friends were praising Hans Ovando’s brioche with camembert, olives, and bacon. I’ve been thinking about trying this idea with my favorite brioche recipe and local ingredients for a few years. I couldn’t fit it into my schedule until the last December request for brioche class. I suggested making a Sweet Snowflake brioche, for it’s the season. My guests suggested making a savory aka “соленую” salted brioche as it is known in Russian. We made both. The savory brioche turned out to be so good, all of us made it several times after the class for family meals and to gift our friends!

January 3, 2020
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Bird’s Milk Cake with Mascarpone

Bird’s Milk is a confectionary and a cake known and loved all over Eastern Europe. There are different versions and different recipes in every country. As a cake, it’s mostly a white, rich souffle between a thin layer of delicate sponge on the bottom (or two thin layers of sponge) and a chocolate glaze on top. One generation passes recipes to the next for decades now. As the name suggests, it’s a delicacy compared to something from a fairy tale.

January 2, 2020
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Georgian Style Stuffed and Roasted Trout

Those who are familiar with Georgian and Azerbaijani cuisines can easily identify the origins of this recipe. In Georgia, kefalia, a small trout from the mountains of Adjara is stuffed with walnut paste seasoned and adorned with aromatics and herbs and roasted in a clay pot ketsi. A similar way of stuffing and roasting fish (and also poultry and eggplants) is known as Lavangi — a popular festive dish of Azerbaijani cuisine.

November 25, 2019
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Chocolate Japanese Sponge Cake

There are no secret ingredients that make this sponge different. They are the same as for many other cake sponges — flour, sugar, milk, butter, sugar. It’s the method — how and in what order you combine these simple ingredients together. That’s why it is essential to follow the steps and recommendations. It is also important to bake the sponge gently at a lower temperature. For the best results, Japanese sponge should be baked it a hot bath, but in some cases, it’s impossible (e.g., when the largest available baking dish for the bath doesn’t fit the cake mold you need to use). The next best temperature for a sponge 1″ thick is 325F for 25 minutes, with the bottom of the cake mold wrapped with a wet kitchen towel. Enjoy the recipe!

November 5, 2019
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