My 100th Post…….. Chocolate Cake With Snow White Frosting

I cannot believe that today I am doing my hundredth post and I am very excited. When I first started nearly three months ago, I never thought that I would be doing this steadily and would reach my 100th post. But, I should thank my children and my family for their encouragement and their faith in me, and also all of you fellow bloggers for your support, comments and your sweet words, you all provided me with the motivation I needed to persevere. Every recipe I posted was  a new challenge that made me want to improve and to become a better blogger, or at least try.

And for the occasion of the 100th post today I thought I should celebrate it in a very special way. This is why I made this lovely chocolate cake. I hope you will like it… 🙂

Ingredients:For the cake

  • 150 grams icing sugar ( 1 cup and 1/3 cup)
  • 50 grams flour (1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon)
  • 50 grams  corn flour (1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 150 grams butter, melted – plus 1 tablespoon to grease the cake tin
  • 6 eggs, separated plus 1 whole egg
  • 40 grams coconut shredded ( 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder, a pinch of salt

Preparation:

  • In a bowl mix the egg yolks with sugar, add the shredded coconut,  cocoa, whole egg, flour, baking powder, salt and corn flour and beat well
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until firm, then fold into the previous mixture, then add the melted butter
  • Pour the cake mixture into the greased round cake tin, and bake in the middle rack of the oven for about 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer come out dry
  • Remove from the cake tin and let it cool completely on a wire rack, then slice it in half, it is now ready to be assembled

Ingredients for the decoration:

  • 200 grams of strawberry jam
  • 300 ml fresh cream
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 100 grams cooking chocolate
  • 50 grams soft butter, 2 tablespoons icing sugar, 1 tablespoon cocoa plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • some fresh strawberry for decoration on the top

Decoration of the cake:

  • Put the jam on the bottom layer of the cake and cover it with the other half
  • Mix the fresh cream with the 2 tablespoons of icing sugar until thickens, then spread it on the top of the cake
  • Mix the butter with the 2 tablespoons of sugar, vanilla extract and the cocoa until smooth. Pipe it along the edge of the cake
  • Grate the cooking chocolate and spread over, finally put some strawberries for decoration

ET VOILA …C’EST TOUT… BON APPETIT:)

Biscuits With Dates (Sanniyye bil Tamer)

This is a dessert made of pastry sandwich filled with date paste. I made this as a dessert for the family lunch, since I am now in the land of a wide variety of dates and from the best quality.

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams all purpose flour ( about 4 cups)
  • 250 grams softened butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk powder
  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar+ extra for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup of orange blossom water
  • 300 grams paste of dates (as in Maamoul recipe)

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Mix all the ingredients by hand until you have an even and soft dough.
  • Place half of the dough in a tray
  • Spread the paste of dates on top of the first layer of dough, then cover it wit the second half of the dough and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the top becomes light golden color
  • While still hot, sprinkle the icing sugar on the top, cut into small pieces and serve cold

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT..

Moghrabiyeh

This is a traditional Lebanese dish from our cuisine, one which we like to make in special occasions. The Moghrabiyeh is made of semolina, water and salt. It has a special way of cooking when it is dry. In Lebanon we can find it fresh and the cooking time is less than with the dry version as well as less work. You can find it in Lebanese delicatessen shops. Today I made it for both of my daughters who are coming for lunch as it is a meal you like to share with your loved ones. It’s cooked with both meat and chicken. As for kids we say these are small pasta balls and we can serve it to them with yoghurt. They seem to enjoy it as much as we grown ups do!

Cooking Moghrabiyeh has 3 steps:

-Boiling the chicken

-Preparing the sauce

-Cooking of Moghrabiyeh itself

Ingredients for boiling the chicken:

  • a whole chicken of 1.5 kilograms
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cardamon seeds
  • 1 teaspoon 7 spices
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves

Preparation of the chicken:

  • Wash the chicken and place it in the pressure cooker with about 2 liters of water
  • Place all the spices with it cook for about 15 minutes in the pressure cooker until it is tender
  • Drain the chicken, remove the skin and the bones. Keep the chicken stock because you will need it to cook the Moghrabiyeh
Ingredients for the sauce:
  • 400 grams of lamb cubes ( you can use beef as well if you prefer)
  • 2 cups of chick peas, soaked over night
  • 750 grams of baby onion peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon caraway
  • 1 teaspoon 7 spices
  • 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons of flour

Preparation of the sauce:

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and fry the meat, add salt and the seven spices , cover with one liter of water and cook until the meat is tender.( In the pressure cooker it will take about 20 minutes)
  • Remove the meat from the water when cooked and keep the meat stock
  • In a pot heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil and fry the baby onion until nice golden color
  • Add the peas, cover with about 2 cups of the meat stock and cook until the peas are tender, this will take about 15 minutes
  • Place the cooked meat back, add the cumin and caraway, cover and put on a low heat
  • Dissolve the flour with a cup of water and add it to the sauce, stirring from time to time and let it simmer until the sauce thickens
  • Adjust the salt as needed

Ingredients for the Moghrabiyeh:

  • 1 kg of dried Moghrabiyeh
  • 100 grams of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon caraway

Preparation of the Moghrabiyeh:

  • Boil about 2 liters of water with a pinch of salt
  • Put the fire off and place the Moghrabiyeh in the hot water for 15 minutes, drain and wash with cold water
  • n a pot melt the butter and place the Moghrabiyeh, add the cumin and caraway and mix well
  • Pour 2 cups of the chicken stock over the Moghrabiyeh, check if it is tender, if not add another cup of the chicken stock at a time until tender

Now you have all the ingredients ready. To serve place the Moghrabiyeh on a plate, cover with the pieces of chicken. Place the sauce in a bowl. Mix to eat, you can have yogurt on the side.

ET VOILA..C’EST.. BON APPETIT..

Maamoul

 

 

 

As Easter Sunday nears, most people will be preparing to get together with their families to celebrate. They will also make sure that they have colored their easter eggs, bought their chocolate eggs and most importantly their traditional Maamoul sweet. Maamoul is a wonderful sweet made of very simple ingredients and stuffed with either nuts or dates. Most people don’t have time to make their own Maamoul these days, but they will make sure to get some for themselves or for when they visit someone else’s home on Easter. And I have to say that the Muslims also love to make this sweet during Ramadan and the Eid.

In our family, it is an important part of our tradition to get together to make our own Maamoul. I have used this recipe for many years and my daughters have always helped make them when we are together. And recently with the new additions to our family, my grandchildren are also now involved in the process. As I mentioned before, the Maamoul is stuffed with pistachios, walnuts or dates, but I always make sure to leave one of each shape without any stuffing. The person who gets the empty Maamoul is considered lucky.

The molds and one tong            The mixed butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo semolina
  • 1/2 kilo butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp mahlab (wild cherry tree)orfenugreek
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water
  • 1 tbsp dried instant yeast
  • 1 cup milk (more or less depending on the type of semolina)
The butter and semolina mixture
The dough ready
Preparation:
  • Place the butter large mixing bowl,mix it until it becomes fluffy
  •  Rub with semolina using your fingers until all the semolina has absorbed the butter. Cover with a tea towel and leave overnight
  • Preheat the oven to 180DegC
  • The next day, add the instant yeast and sugar and rub well again. Add the milk gradually until the dough is well-combined
  • Form a small ball using the dough,  flatten the ball. Then stuff with your choice of stuffing as described below. Place in the mold and slam down on your hard work surface to release the Maamoul
  • Place the Maamoul on a baking tray and continue until all the dough is complete
  • Bake in the oven for 12-15 mins until the top is light golden in color
  • Leave in the trays until completely cold
  • Dust the Maamoul stuffed in nuts with icing sugar, for the date ones you don’t need too because they are sweet enough
Stuffing with dates                   Put in the mold

The fillings:For the date stuffing:

– If you cannot find dates puree, bring dates, remove seed and skin, in a small saucepan melt one tablespoon of butter and add the dates, mix until puree. Sprinkle with a pinch of ground nutmeg. when they are cold, make them into small balls.

The dates shaped like balls    The walnut filling                   The pistachios filling

 For the nut filling:( pistachios or walnut)

-Ground roughly a cup of nut of your choice, mix with 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon rose water and two tablespoons of orange blossom water

Nota Bene: if you cannot find the mold you can shape the balls of Maamoul with your hands then design with a tong, like the one on the picture above.

ET VOILA… HAPPY EASTER.:)

Lazy Cake (Biscuit au Chocolat)

I love chocolate. I mean, I think I am addicted to chocolate. I always have some in the house. Every week, I have to make a chocolate cake, cupcake, biscuit with chocolate or anything else! My children also love it, especially my quadruple chocolate cake (maybe I’ll post it someday). Today I made this biscuit au chocolat, popularly known as Lazy Cake. Why did they call it lazy? Maybe because it doesn’t require any oven cooking, or maybe it can be made with simple ingredients. In any case, what counts is that it is DELICIOUS! 😀

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cup of icing sugar
  • 8 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 200 grams butter
  • about 250 grams of biscuit ( you can use any kind you like, I used petit beurre biscuit)

Preparation:

  • Beat the eggs until pale yellow, then add the vanilla and sugar while mixing
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add it to the egg mixture, then add the cocoa slowly
  • Snap the biscuits into pieces by hand over the mixture and fold with a spoon to cover all the pieces of biscuit with the chocolate
  • Line a cake tin with plastic cling film and pour the cake mixture in. Press the cake down with a spoon while pouring
  • Cover the tin with cling film and refrigerate for at least 5 hours until set
  • When the cake is hard enough, remove the cling film and take out from the cake tin , place in a serving plate and slice it and you’re ready to enjoy. As simple as that

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT! 🙂

Coconut Balls

My sister in-law invited me to an afternoon gathering with her friends yesterday, and she asked me to make cheesecake to bring over with me. Knowing how much she enjoyed it the last time I made it, I obliged. I felt guilty leaving my son without a dessert for him to snack on so I decided to surprise him by preparing these coconut balls. I know how much he likes them, and I wanted to do something to cheer him up after a long day at university. It certainly did the trick 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 5 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup  less 2 tablespoons semolina
  • 1 cup less 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • one lemon’s zest
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • icing sugar to cover the coconut balls (optional)
Preparation:
  • Whisk the eggs with sugar, vanilla and the pinch of salt until the mixture becomes light and fluffy
  • Add the lemon zest, semolina, baking powder, coconut and the melted butter and mix well
  • Preheat the oven to 180c, prepare the baking sheets for the oven by lining them with wax paper, no need for butter
  • Roll the dough in palm-sized balls and roll in the icing sugar (you can choose not to roll in the sugar, either way is yummy)
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until they turn light golden color
  • Leave in the trays until cool

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT:)

Biscuit With Anise

Few days ago, I had a mild flu. I felt like eating something sweet but nothing too sweet. I remembered that when I was young, my aunt used to tell me that anise is very good when you have cold. Boil the seeds in water then remove them with a spoon and add some honey, you will feel better. She was telling me this while making these biscuits with anise and until now I remember that wonderful aroma that wafted to me from the oven. I brought my notebook, which I have been filling until this day with recipes I collect from my mother and her sisters since I was 17 years old, and wrote down that which I’m going to share with you.

In my flu-ridden state, I turned to this biscuit recipe in my notebook; thankfully I had all the ingredients ready and didn’t need to go do grocery shopping. The best thing about this recipe it is quick to prepare, and the rest is left to the oven.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon of anise seeds
  • 1/3 cup of corn oil
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • sesame (optional but recommended)

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C (or 300 F)
  • Mix all the ingredients by hand. Add water to the dough if you feel it’s hard
  • Take a small piece from the dough and shape it to your liking by hand. Dip the circle in some sesame seeds if you have some ready
  • Place these biscuit in a baking tray and cook in the oven for 30 minutes until they are a nice golden color from the top
  • Enjoy the aroma while it cools. Have it with some tea if you’re feeling under the weather like I was, it’s a real treat

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT:)

Pumpkin Soup

The Pumpkin soup is very easy to prepare and doesn’t require a lot of time. It’s also my daughter’s favorite, especially on a cold winter day like today. The ingredients also are simple and easy to find all year round.

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams of pumpkin
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 50 grams butter
  • 1 stock of vegetables (or chicken if you prefer)
  • salt and seven spices
  • fresh cream (optional)

Preparation:

  • Peel all the vegetables and cut them into medium size cubes
  • Fry the vegetables in butter until slightly golden
  • Dissolve the stock in water according to the instructions
  • Add this stock to the vegetables; add more water if needed to cover the vegetables
  • Boil the vegetables for about 25 minutes or until it is soft
  • Place the cooked vegetables in a blender and mix until completely pureed
  • Put the liquid back in the pot and heat a bit, season to taste
  • You can garnish the plate with fresh cream if you desired
  • Serve with toasted square bread

ET VOILA C’EST TOUT! 🙂

Today I reached 1000 views. Thank you all for your support. 🙂

Cauliflower Gratin

Cauliflower Gratin

On this occasion I would like to wish all Christians a blessed Ash Monday! Ash Monday, or the first day of Christian lent, marks the beginning of forty days of fasting where Christians should avoid meat, chicken and even fish and they should eat only vegetables and fruits. Tomorrow I will post something related to lent and an applicable dish for the occasion.

Today however, the dish I made is taken from French Cuisine, and is made from cauliflower, white sauce and cheese. While it contains no meats, the milk and cheese may be unsuitable for those strictly following lent.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cauliflower, about 1 kg
  • 80 gs of butter
  • 4 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 4 cups of milk
  • salt, dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of mozarrella cheese and 1/2 cup of emmenthal cheese both shredded

Preparation:

  • Wash the cauliflower and cut it, boil to half cooked in a casserole with salted water, then drain the cauliflower
  • In the meantime prepare the white sauce: put the butter in a pan and melt it, add the flour and mix well with the butter, then slowly pour the milk over, mixing well with a manual beater until the mixture start to thickens
  • Put the fire off and season with salt and freshly grounded nutmeg
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • In an oven tray put the cauliflower and cover it with the white sauce and then on top of it put the cheese
  • Put the tray in the oven and bake for about half an hour

ET VOILA .. C’EST TOUT:)