Thursday, February 19, 2015

Apple Roses for Lunar New Year

I made these apple roses with the thought of the Chinese New Year, and marking it in a special, dessert way. I chose this recipe by accident, mainly because the procedure seemed simple and the results quite different from what I had made.

What you need to make the apple roses

1. To prepare the apple:
  • 1 sweet apple,
  • 1 TSP honey,
  • 2 TSP granulated sugar,
  • 3 TSP water,
  • a pan.
2. To make the dough:
  • 1 cup flour,
  • 1/2 stick butter.
  • 3 TSP cooked apple water.
3. To brush & sprinkle the apple roses
  • some honey and a kitchen brush,
  • some powdered sugar
  • some cinnamon.
My apple was not red that is why the roses are yellow
While making the roses, I cooked the sliced apple successfully and then decided to taste the cooked water and honey/apple mix. It reminded me the taste of 'kompot' my mum had made. Wonderful taste of home made fruit beverage! And I drank almost all the water before I realized it was needed at the next stage of the recipe. So I added some mineral water to the cooked honey and water mix left in the pot, to have enough to make the dough (step #2). The water mix was still sweet so it all just made the roses lighter, considering the sugar level and calories.
The dough - it was quite easy to make - while rolling it make it rather thinner than thicker, it tastes better when it is baked.
I did not have cupcake molds so I used a greased muffin tin instead. I baked the apple roses at 350F for 18 minutes. Then I tried one - its taste (a bit flat - no honey water :) ) told me I had forgotten to finish them (step #3) so I did that part after baking. The result was still good - the apple roses looked and tasted really lovely - as the lady in the video (below - original recipe) says.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mardi Gras, Screwdriver Cake & Christmas Cookies

Not long ago we enjoyed ourselves at at Mardi Gras party. Since it is Shrove Tuesday today, it is high time I mentioned the dessert treats which I made during the after Christmas/carnival period.

1. Screwdriver Cake
The last piece of it is still on the plate - will disappear soon! The cake is really great - light, fluffy and not too sweet (which we regard as a plus considering desserts).
What you need to make this cake:
  • yellow cake mix;
  • instant vanilla pudding;
  • 3/4 cup orange juice;
  • 1/2 cup vodka - the screwdriver;
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil;
  • 3 eggs.
For the icing:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar;
  • 3 TSP orange juice.
You can find the entire recipe here.
Screwdriver cake
 2. Candy Cane Cookies
My first ever - meaning both - made and eaten. I made them with the help of the Candy Cane Cookies mix from Aldi's store. I had been thinking of making this kind of cookies (not necessarily with a mix) for some time but I was not sure what they would be like. I did not know what to expect. Anyway, they came out surprisingly tasty and of a lightly mint flavor. As you can see in the picture below, I decorated each cookie with a few pieces of crushed candy cane only (a bag of candy cane pieces was part of the cookies kit), which made them sweet enough (according to our likes). Next time I will try to make the cookies from a scratch - still quite a lot of candy cane pieces left and ready to be used.
Candy Cane Cookies
3. German Marzipan Cake
Also made with a kit bought at Aldi's. The kit included: cake mix, marzipan filling mix and chocolate glaze mix. I had never made/eaten a marzipan cake before as I am not found of marzipan in general. But the cake was so good and easy to make! I added some raisins to the batter which made the plain marzipan cake a bit more interesting. I will certainly buy this marzipan cake mix at an Aldi store next Christmas too (they have/sell it once a year only - during the holiday season).

However. instead of using the chocolate glaze, I will probably decorate the next Christmas marzipan cake with the icing made of powdered sugar and milk.