Persian New Year Event

I had an amazing experience in my Nowrouz ( Persian New year) event. People came by, tried my pastries with great enthusiasm. I received a lot of compliments from people especially non-Iranians which encouraged me to continue in this way with more interest and it brought me new ideas for the future. I will share some pictures of this event with you.

A symbol of Haft Sin 

Sample of cookies and packaging

Baklava and Looz ( Traditional Nourooz pastries)

Chocolate Berry Cake

Time is chocolate lovers time.

For me, every day is a chocolate day, what about you? Sometimes I wish I could eat chocolate every single second of my life. I tried a lot of different recipes of chocolate cake, but this grandma recipe is easy to follow. I shared this recipe for almost entire my family and friends and whenever they have a party and they want to make something from scratch, this cake will be on top of their dessert menu. The only thing they use is their passion and creativity to create new desserts with the same recipe and they always share it with me, and it makes me so happy. I’m waiting for your comments, suggestions, and recommendations too.

Although I’m not a person of kitchen measurements for cake baking, today, I will share with you the quantities as cup or teaspoon or pinch. It’s a grandma recipe (as I told you) and I’m sure you all have a grandma recipe at home that you always use it, so you will understand what I mean, but if you need the exact quantities, write in the comments please, and I will change them into gr or ml  and I will share with you.

It’s time to start:

Ingredients for the basic cake:

  • 125 gr butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar (It’s granulated sugar but I use brown sugar. It helps for softness of the cake)
  • 2 eggs (at room temperature for at least 30 minutes)
  • 2 tablespoon Instant coffee (it’s optional, it was not in main recipe, but I add whenever I have at home and it helps for the better taste)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup milk (at room temperature)
  • 1 ¼ cup Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Instruction:

  1. Preheat the oven at 375˚F
  2. Stir the soft butter and sugar till they are light and fluffy (with the electric mixer at high speed)
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat one minute after each
  4. Add the instant coffee and mix for a minute*
  5. Add the cocoa powder and stir with spatula or wooden spoon (after this step don’t use the electric mixer, use spatula or spoon)
  6. Add the milk
  7. Combine the flour and baking powder together and sift them into the batter
  8. Mix completely with the spoon
  9. Pour your cake mix into the cake pan (use vegetable oil spray for greasing your pan)*

Bake for 25-30 minutes or till the cake tester (toothpick) comes out clean. Turn off the oven and leave the cake for 5-10 more minutes inside the oven. Then pull it out and leave on the counter for about 10-15 minutes then transfer your cake on the wire rack to cool down completely

*:see notes below

Now it’s ready for decoration….*

Ingredients for decoration:

Easy and simple

  1. whipped cream (35%)
  2. strawberry
  3. blueberry
  4. blackberry
  5. walnut
  6. 2 drops of Wilton green gel food coloring
  7. 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Instruction:

Whisk the whipped cream and powdered sugar together by using the electric mixer in high speed, add food coloring and beat a little more till it firms. Refrigerate it for half an hour. Meanwhile prepare your cake.

Cut your cake horizontally into two or three layers (it depends on the height of your cake)

Put the cream on the first layer and with a help of spatula fill the surface of layer, add strawberry slices and walnuts and put the other piece of cake on it, repeat the same step for the second layer also and put the third layer on it. Cover all surface and around the cake with green whipped cream and decorate it with blueberry and blackberry as you wish.

Enjoy it!!!

Some notes: For the instant coffee you can warm 1/3 of your milk and solve your coffee in, then add it to your cake mix. For the pan, I use the round 23 cm mould with a depth of 4 cm (it’s good enough for this recipe). For this cake, I doubled my quantities and I used 2 same size moulds and I cut each cake into 2 layers, so I have a 4-layer cake here. I filled each layer with cream, walnut and strawberry and the top one is covered by cream, blueberry, and blackberry. You can use other icings like buttercream but I prefer whipped cream here because I wanted to make a very light cake.

Iranian Traditional ginger filled Bread

Back to my hometown, we have an amazing cuisine that everybody must try, I’m sure!!

I will try to share different recipes from my country every month with you, so you’ll be able to try at home and share the result with me.

Today, I want to share with you an amazing taste of bread which goes very well with feta cheese and black tea!!! Also, you can try it with butter and honey, if you don’t like cheese. It is a fantastic ginger taste.

GINGER BREAD

Ingredients: (5-6 servings)

For dough:

  • Flour                                                      2 cups
  • Milk                                                        ¼ cup
  • Yogurt                                                   ½ cup
  • Butter                                                    2 tablespoons or 30 gr
  • Vegetable oil                                        4 tablespoons
  • Powdered sugar                                  2 teaspoons
  • Salt                                                        ½ teaspoon
  • Yeast                                                     1 tablespoon
  • Ground ginger                                      ¼ teaspoon
  • Egg                                                        1

For filling:

  • Flour                                                     ½ cup
  • Butter                                                   70 gr
  • Ground ginger                                    1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric                                              1 teaspoon

For egg wash:

  • Egg yolk                                              1
  • Milk                                                     1 tablespoon
  • Sesame seeds (as you wish)

Instruction:

  1. Whisk the egg and take a part half of it.
  2. Heat the milk a little (about 40 degree or you can put it in micro oven for about 30 seconds)
  3. Add the sugar and solve it
  4. Add the yeast and put it a side for about 10 minutes (don’t mix it after adding the yeast and don’t move the bowl)
  5. In between, in a micro oven safe bowl or heat resistant pan melt the butter
  6. Mix the yogurt, melted butter, salt, ginger and vegetable oil all together
  7. Add the half egg (which you prepped at the beginning)
  8. Add the yeast mixture
  9. With the help of hand mixer or spatula, whisk all ingredients together
  10. Add flour gradually (sift the flour before) and mix slowly
  11. The dough will be very soft but not sticky
  12. Oil spray one bowl and put the dough in, cover and rest for one hour in room temperature

while your dough is resting, you can prepare the filling:

  1. In the small pan fry the flour till you smell the odor of flour (stir it with a spoon occasionally to avoid burning)
  2. Add ginger and turmeric and stir till you smell the strong odor of ginger
  3. Add the butter and stir till butter starts melting
  4. Finally, add the other half of the egg and stir to make a smooth mixture
  5. Put it aside to cool down completely

Make your bread: (for me this is the fun part….. playing with dough)

  1. Set your oven to 350˚F
  2. Uncover your dough and divide it into 5-6 balls and cover them again.
  3. Take one ball at a time, you can roll it with roller also but really you don’t need it. Simply open it inside your palm and put one tablespoon of the filling materials in the middle of dough, bring the sides to the middle and make a ball again. (cover all filling inside the dough)
  4. Place it on the baking sheet and press a little bit with the help of your palm
  5. Repeat the same thing for all your balls
  6. Prepare the egg wash by mixing the milk and egg yolk and brush the breads
  7. Add some sesame on it
  8. Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or till reach the golden surface.

ENJOY IT!!!!

The Secret behind the flour

Many people ask me about their failure in making bread or cake! Why our cake is not fluffy enough or why my bread is not soft, why the yeast doesn’t work while I bought it recently and many other questions.

The only thing you need is a little bit knowledge about the flour and differences between them and which type is good for your baking project and some other mini tips. THAT IS IT!!!! You’ll see that you’ll be perfect. If I’m talking about knowledge, I don’t mean that you need to know whole technology lying behind flour and wheat. NO NEVER!! It is only for understanding that the problem is not YOU, you’re amazing and you do a great job, but the problem is not choosing right product may be or not being aware of some small cooking or baking mistakes. So, because of that, you are here. Read the article and if you still have any questions, leave me a message.

Below, I’ll explain to you shortly about different types of wheat and then we’ll go through the flour.

Wheat:

The content of protein is the most important element which determines what the wheat is used for. The greater the protein, the greater the elasticity of the dough will be. When we say this flour is hard, it’s because of this elasticity though and this elasticity makes some flours good for making bread and not good for making cakes.

Classification of wheat is according to its growing season, hardness and softness, color and shape of kernel. 

So, we have the classification as below:

  • Hard red winter, soft red winter, and hard red spring
  • Soft white and hard white
  • Durum
                    

According to this classification, you realize that they have different content of protein and then they are been using for different production!

The hard, red winter and spring wheat have more content of protein so the flour that releases from them will have more protein and more hardness. We can use this flour for baking the bread mostly!

Hard and soft white contain less protein, so its flour is being used for cakes, cookies, pastries, etc ….

So different kinds of wheat, different protein content and different flour types…..

All-purpose flour:

It has a medium amount of protein which can be used for a variety of baking from crusty bread to fine cakes and pastries, but most professional bakers don’t use all-purpose flour, they use bread flour or cake flour or pastry flour according to what they want to bake. One cup of this flour is about 125 grams.

Bread flour:

With high protein is good for making crusty bread and rolls, pizza dough and similar products.

Cake flour:

In compare to bread flour, it is much whiter, and the grains are finer. So, its fine and soft texture make it preferable for tender cakes and pastries.

One cup of bread flour is about 140 gr but a cup of cake flour weighs about 99 grams.

Pastry flour:

It is a little bit stronger than cake flour which makes it suitable for making pastry or pie doughs, cookies, yeast doughs, and muffins. One cup of this flour is about 100-101 grams.

Self-rising flour:

It is an all-purpose flour which has added baking powder and salt. The problem of this flour is, you never know how much baking powder is added and how much it is effective. So, personally, I never use this flour.

Whole wheat flour:

It comes in two different kinds. One is 100 percent whole wheat which is made from red wheat grain and contains more fiber and nutrients than the all-purpose flour, and the other one is white whole wheat flour which is made from white spring wheat and it has a milder taste and brighter color than the 100 percent whole wheat. This flour makes heavier bread and baking products than the regular all-purpose flour and has a shorter shelf life.

One cup of this flour weighs about 113 grams.

In Canada we don’t have cake flour, so you can follow the instruction below for making cake flour from all-purpose flour:

Use one cup minus two tablespoons of all-purpose flour sifted with 2 tablespoons of corn starch for each cup of cake flour called in recipe.

Explanation: measure one cup of all-purpose flour and then take 2 tablespoons of it (one cup minus 2 tablespoons), then replace that 2 tablespoons with 2 tablespoons of corn starch (now you have one cup flour) then sift it and use it. (do the same thing for each measure of cake flour in your recipe). In this case, you can make a softer and fluffy cake.

Have fun in the kitchen!!!!

Chocolate chip cookie

Friday night without chocolate cookie and Netflix is not even a Friday. Isn’t it?????

I will share an easiest ever recipe with you today, so you don’t need to pay for ready to make cookie doughs which you are not sure about ingredient and quality. Make your high quality, safe cookies at home with the ingredients on your pantry shelves.

Note:

You can use milk chocolate chip, dark chocolate chip and white chocolate chip with the same dough to make different cookies. I use Hershey’s chocolate chips which are available in all grocery stores, they are high quality chocolates and are not expensive as well.

Let’s make it:

Ingredients:

1 cup brown sugar

¼ cup white sugar

150 gr butter, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 egg

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

300 gr chocolate chip

½ teaspoon salt

Direction:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325/160 degree
  2. In a bowl mix brown sugar, white sugar, butter and vanilla extract (electric mixer) till form a pale batter.
  3. Add egg and mix till they combine well.
  4. Sift the flour in and add baking powder and salt and stir well till a dough forms.
  5. Fill in chocolate chips and mix well.
  6. Line a baking sheet with a parchment paper.
  7. Take 1 teaspoon of dough make a ball and put on baking sheet and press a little bit.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Notes:

1.put the cookies on the baking sheet with space between them.

2.Before completely cooling down, don’t remove the cookies from parchment paper.

3. Don’t flat cookies, just press a little bit. Because they will be flattened in the oven anyway.

They are really yummy. Enjoy them with your movie and a glass of milk while relaxing on your couch.

Happy Friday !!

Lemon slices

As we all know, French people are very professional in making pastries, and if I’m talking about pastry, I mean all sort of sweets to be honest, including different type of lemon pastries as well , such as lemon pie or tarte au citron, lemon meringue, lemon cake and lemon slices. Today I will share with you a very special French granny recipe which I learned from my friend’s grandma. The lemon aroma around the home is really mouth-watering!!!!!

Ingredients:

Dough crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 125 gr butter, cold and chopped

Lemon filling:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind (lemon zest)
  • 1 cup lemon juice

Direction:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 ˚C or 350˚F
  • Place the flour, butter, vanilla, and sugar in the bowl of the food processor and mix till dough comes together.
  • Press into the lightly greased 20cm * 30 cm slice tin lined with parchment paper and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Set aside.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 160˚C

Note:

The dough will be a little bit dry and crumbly. Don’t worry, it comes together when you press it into the tin.

Preparing lemon filling:

  • Place the eggs and extra egg yolks in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Add sugar, flour, lemon zest and lemon juice and whisk until smooth.
  • Pour over the baked crust and bake for more 30 minutes at 160˚C or till just set.
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours or till firm.
  • Dust with powdered sugar as a garnish to serve.

Note:

Don’t leave the slice in the oven for a long time. Right after you notice that it set, remove from the oven. It will be firmed in the fridge.

If you like more sour taste than sweet, you can easily reduce the amount of sugar for filling. Nothing will happen!!! It tastes amazing!!

Enjoy it!!!!