Muffin rulez!

On the very important day of the presidential elections in Poland, on the 20th June 2010, I celebrate the draw won by Italy in the match with New Zealand. Well, actually I am celebrating New Zealand's success. I only pretended to be nice to the deceitul, simulating azzurri, shame on you!

Caramel Apricot Muffin
(presidential muffins)

1. Caramel:

200 g sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons boiling water

Melt the sugar together with the vinegar on a low heat on the frying pan. When it reaches a nice colour, add delicately water, mix, heat up and place a thick layer of the caramel on the bottom of the all oiled holes in your muffin tin.

2. Place halves of the apricots on the caramel bottoms.
(You can alternatively place them later on the top of the dough).

3. Prepare the dough:

3 eggs
100 g flour
80 g sugar
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon of the vanilla aroma

Beat the egg whites, than slowly add sugar and beat until all the sugar dissolves. Lower the mixer rotation, add egg yolks, oil and aroma, mix briefly. Add the flour and mix really carefoully, you can use your mixer also. Divide the dough equally between the separate tin holes.

4. Bake at 175 degrees for 25 minutes.

5. Take out of the oven, leave for 2 minutes and remove the muffins from the tin, placing them upside down on the wire rack.
That WAS yummy.


Smart way for baking the loose dough

Today I discovered a new way of baking the rye bread. As you know this bread is difficult to form and bake because the dough can hardly keep its shape. If you don't have a basket for proofing, this is the idea for you!

Cut a piece of a parchment paper, place a bowl of the desired bread size in the center and wrap the dish.
Oil the inside of the 'paper bowl' and dust with flour if you prefer. Then carefully remove the bowl and wrap the paper itself into the bowl's shape.
Place the shaped loaves in your paper moulds. Now arrange the moulds on the baking tray leaving some space between separate breads. Cover with a wet cloth and leave for proofing.
Brush or dust the risen bread and cut the top as you do normally.
Admire and enjoy the look and the smell of the ready loaves. Now's the time for taking pictures actually!
No mercy for a single slice!


Beer soup - a must for a beer lover

As we are talking about the Old Polish (baroque) cuisine it is necessary to mention the beer soup. It was a custom to start a day with this noutritious soup or another in kind of borsch or a soup made of the fermentated rye flour.

The beer soup was extremely popular not only to its distinctive flavour (you know what I mean) but also due to the fact that it supplied the people with vitamins (vitamin B and niacin) that could be hardly achieved within their dull and simple diet. The proteins from the yeasts (contained in beer) supplied them with all the indispensable amino acids. That was so important as the peasants usually don't eat much meat but mainly grains. The gentry ate it with cheese and eggs added. It must be a nice dish especially that many of the nobility were producing their own beer. The habits has changed much since then. The fashion of eating bread for breakfast came from France in the XVIII century and it finally won. We don't eat the nourishing soups in the morning today but commonly we eat sandwiches.

Beer soup with croutons- recipe

500 ml beer
150 g sour cream (18% fat) or double cream
2 egg yolks
2 slices of bread (preferably Russian rye bread)
3 Tbsps sugar
pinch of cinnamon

1. Cut the crust off the slices and cut the crumb into small cubes. Brown the cubes on the dry frying pan.
2. Cut the bead crust into small segments. Keep 2 tablespoons of beer separately. Bring to boil the rest of beer with the crust. Let it become overcooked.
3. In a pot mix the cream with the egg yolks, the cold beer and a tablespoon of sugar.
4. Slowly add the warm beer to the cream, stirring constantly. Place on the stove and heat slowly, stirring. Heat it well but do not boil! (Aha, here you can smell the amazing almond aroma).
5. In a bowl or a cup place a teaspoon of sugar and a dash of cinnamon. Pour in the soup and sprinkle with the croutons.

Makes 2-4 portions, depends on how you like the soup. I warn, if you use a strong beer, you will get a strong, aromatic, a little bitter soup with this amazing almond aroma. The soup does not become thick but still i can fill you up. Croutons are generally not necessary for that. If you like beer, this soup is really great.


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