Chez Panisse Almond Tart


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Amazing recipe from David Lebovitz


For the dough:

  1. 140 g flour
  2. 1 tbsp sugar
  3. 115 g cold butter
  4. 1 tbsp ice water
  5. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:

  1. 250 ml heavy cream
  2. 200 g sugar
  3. 100 g sliced almonds
  4. 2 tsp Amaretto
  5. a pinch of salt

Put the flour and sugar in a food processor. Add the butter, cut in cubes and process. Add the water and process until it gathers up into a ball. Wrap in plastic and let it rest in the refrigerator. After an hour, remove the dough and allow it to come to room temperature. Press the tart pastry evenly into a tart form. Put the tart shell in the freezer and chill thoroughly.

Bake the tart in a preheated oven at 190 degrees C for about 20 minutes.

Prepare the filling: in a heavy saucepan, mix the sugar, salt and heavy cream until it begins to boil. Continue to cook and when it starts to foam up, remove it from the heat and stir in the almonds and the almond extract. Pour the almond filling into the tart pan, spreading the almonds out evenly.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the filling is golden brown. Let the tart cool a few minutes on a cooling rack.



Medovik Cake (Russian honey cake)


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For the dough:

  1. 2 eggs
  2. 200 g sugar
  3. 50 g butter
  4. 2 tbsp honey
  5. 1& 1/2 tsp baking powder
  6. 400 g flour

For the cream:

  1. 1,5 kg sour cream (smetana) 20% fat
  2. 300 g sugar
  3. ground walnuts (optionally)
  4. dried plums (optionally)

In a bowl beat eggs and sugar. Add honey, butter and baking powder. Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Place the mixing bowl on the saucepan. Heat the mixture, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it will double in size.

Remove the bowl from the heat. Gradually add the flour to the mixture and mix until the mass is without lumps. The dough will be soft and sticky but it will harden as it cools. Divide the dough into 10 parts and shape each part into a ball.

Roll out each ball into a thin layer, cut circles (I used a cooking ring).

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for max 5 min or until golden brown. Bake as well the dough left overs (they will be finely crushed and used for coating).

Mix the sour cream with sugar. Put into the refrigerator.
Assemble the cake by coating each layer with generous amount of cream. Sprinkle sides with baked left overs crumbs.

Optionally, between the layers can be added chopped walnuts and dried plums.

The cake should stay in the fridge at least a couple of hours (over night is perfect!). This way it will be very moist and soft.

Matei, this cake is for you! 🙂

Apple Cake


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For the cake:

  1. 120 g softened butter
  2. 250 g flour
  3. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  4. 200 g sugar
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 200 g sour cream
  7. a pinch of salt

For the apples:

  1. 3 apples
  2. 1 tsp lemon juice
  3. 50 g brown sugar
  4. 1 tbsp flour
  5. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  6. a pinch of salt
  7. a pinch of nutmeg

For the Streusel:

  1. 50 g softened butter
  2. 60 g flour
  3. 50 g brown sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  5. a pinch of salt
  6. 50 g roasted and chopped hazelnuts/almonds

Peel, core, and dice apples. Toss the apples with lemon juice. Add the dry ingredients. Stir and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In another large bowl, beat together butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the sour cream. Pour cake into pan ( lightly buttered before). With a spatula, smooth out the top. Arrange the apple slices on the top of the batter.

To make the streusel topping, combine all the ingredients until it forms a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle streusel evenly over the apples.

Bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees C around 40 min or until cake is golden brown. Let cool in pan 15 minutes, then turn out onto rack and let cool.

Walnut Banana Bread


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  1. 100 g softened butter
  2. 200 g flour
  3. 200 g brown sugar
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 2 mashed bananas
  6. 125 g sour cream
  7. 100 g chopped walnuts
  8. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  9. 1 and 1/2  baking soda
  10. a pinch of salt

Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and bananas, and beat until smooth.
In a bowl, whisk the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until combined.

Add sour cream, and vanilla. Stir in nuts and place batter into a pan.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for about 60 min or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for about 10 min and then remove from pan.


Red pepper bruschetta


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  1. 5 red peppers
  2. 2 tbsp rinsed capers
  3. some chopped marinated artichoke
  4. 2 crushed garlic cloves
  5. a baguette
  6. extra-virgin olive oil
  7. some chopped basil
  8. 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Roast the peppers until the skin blisters and turns black. Remove from oven and cover until cool. Skin, seed and roughly chop.

Add the capers, artichokes, basil and crushed garlic.

Slice the baguette about 1,5 cm thick slices. Brush each slice on one side with olive oil. Toast the bread 1 minute oil-side up (in a preheated oven at 250 degrees C).

Top each slice with pepper mixture. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.



Chocolate Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting


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  1. 125 g softened butter
  2. 125 g sugar
  3. 150 g flour
  4. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 2 tbsp cacao powder
  7. 25 g dark chocolate, melted

Cream cheese frosting:

  1. 50 g softened butter
  2. 225 g cream cheese
  3. 85 g dark chocolate, melted
  4.  200 g sugar
  5. a pinch of salt

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, then the melted chocolate. Add the flour mixture.

Place paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 15-18 min.

Cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add melted chocolate, salt, powdered sugar. Beat until smooth. Spread on with a blunt knife to decorate the cupcakes.

Optionally the cupcakes can be decorated with sliced almonds.

Lemon Meringue tart


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  1. 150 g flour
  2. 50 g flour
  3. a pinch of salt
  4. 120 g very cold butter, cut into pieces

Lemon Filling:

  1. 150 g cream cheese, room temperature
  2. 100 g sugar
  3. 120 ml fresh lemon juice
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1 tbsp grated lemon zest


  1. 4 egg whites
  2. 120 g sugar

For the pastry, place flour, salt and sugar in the food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture has a coarse meal texture. Place the crumbly mixture on a surface and shape a ball. If the dough doesn’t hold together, add a couple of tablespoons of icy cold water. Refrigerate the dough for an hour. Place the pastry in the prepared tart pan and press the pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan.

Line the pie crust with aluminum foil. Fill with pie weights – dry beans, rice, etc. Bake with weights in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for about 15 min or until golden brown. Remove from oven, place on a wire rack to cool for a few minutes and carefully remove pie weights.

Mix the cream cheese and sugar until incorporated. Add the eggs and process until well combined. Add the lemon juice and zest.

Pour filling into pre baked tart shell and bake for approximately 25 min (at 175 degrees C). Let the tart cool.

In a large bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add sugar gradually, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie. Bake for 10 more minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.



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For the dough:

  1. 350 g flour
  2. 1 egg
  3. 100 g softened butter
  4. 100 g cream cheese
  5. a pinch of salt

For the filling:

  1. 500 g ground beef
  2. 2 chopped tomatoes
  3. 1 finely-chopped onion
  4. 1 tbsp butter
  5. 2 cloves of peeled and finely-chopped garlic
  6. 1 tbsp dried thyme
  7. 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  8. 1 tbsp dill weed
  9. a pinch of nutmeg
  10. a pinch of cayenne pepper
  11. salt an pepper
  12. 2 egg yolks

To make dough: In a medium bowl, cut the butter into pieces and mix together with cream cheese and egg. Add the flour and salt. Form the dough into ball and refrigerate for one hour.

To make meat filling: Sauté onion and garlic in 1 tbsp butter until soft. In a bowl place the ground beef, sauteed onions and garlic, chopped tomatoes, the spices and mix well.

Roll out dough with a rolling pin. With a glass, cut out rounds.

Place 1/2 tbsp of filling on each dough circle. Fold dough over filling and firmly pinch edges to seal.

Whisk together egg yolks and 2 tbsp water; brush piroshki with egg wash.

Bake for 20-25 min (in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C) or until golden brown.

Linzer Torte


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  1. 360 g ground almonds
  2. 420 g flour
  3. 240 g powdered sugar
  4. 360 g butter
  5. 3 egg yolks
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  8. zest of one lemon
  9. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  10. 200 g raspberry jam

In a bowl, combine flour, ground almonds, powdered sugar, butter, egg yolks, lemon zest, cinnamon and vanilla.

Gather the dough into a ball and divide into two pieces. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

Remove the dough from refrigerator. Take one dough ball and press it onto the bottom and up the sides of a buttered tart pan.

Spread the raspberry jam over the bottom of the tart.

Roll the remaining dough. Cut in strips and arrange in a lattice design over jam.

Brush with egg wash. Bake at 180 C degrees for 40-45 minutes or until crust is browned. Let the torte cool.

Spinach & Ricotta Pastries


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  1. 450 g fresh spinach
  2.  450 g ricotta
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 4 tbsp grated parmesan
  5. a pinch of nutmeg
  6. salt and pepper

Plunge the spinach into boiling salted water until tender. Drain, cool, and chop finely. In a mixing bowl, combine chopped spinach, ricotta, 1 egg, parmesan. Season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper.

On a floured surface, roll out the pastry and cut it into squares. Place a spoon of the spinach mixture in the middle of the each square. Fold the edges of the pastry roughly over the filling.

Brush the margins with egg wash and bake for about 20 min or until browned (in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C).

Buon appetito!