Summer is here. Bake something summery :)

December 30, 2011

The Daring Bakers' Challenge: Wheat Rye Bread with Cumin

Our Daring Bakers Host for December 2011 was Jessica of My Recipe Project and she showed us how fun it is to create Sour Dough bread in our own kitchens! She provided us with Sour Dough recipes from Bread Matters by AndrewWhitley as well as delicious recipes to use our Sour Dough bread in from Tonia George’s Things on Toast and Canteen’s Great British Food!

At first I have to say that the Czech Republic is a country of bread :D It's the basic type of any kind of pastry and you can find it anywhere at any time! Every family eats bread, no exceptions, I swear! I think Czech people can't imagine living without a fresh loaf of bread sitting on their countertop each morning, ready to be sliced and eaten with good creamy butter and tasty ham or cheese. And that's exactly how we feel about bread in my family.

December 15, 2011

Vanilkové rohlíčky (Vanilla Crescents)

Last time we visited Britain and that's why now I think it's time for "homecoming" :D Christmas is all about traditions and even though I love trying new exotic recipes I usually stick to the old good stuff during this holiday. I can't imagine not celebrating Christmas on 24th December. I love looking forward for the evening, decorating Christmas tree, one minute fasting (= you don't eat for a minute, then you do, then you fast for another minute :D) and useless waiting for the golden pig that never comes. Well, and at the end of the evening when you can see only pieces of wrapping paper everywhere, that's the time for Christmas cookies. In the Czech Republic there it is extremely traditional to bake many kinds of the cookies and one of the most popular ones are vanilla crescents. Mine have been in our family for more than 20 years - quite old, don't you think?

November 30, 2011

Mince Pies

The magic number for today is 24. Asking why? No, don't worry, this IS a foodblog, no oracle or something :D The number reffers to the days left to Christmas. I think you all have to be bored by my constant talking about it but I simply love Christmas time. And I want to share my Christmas mood with you :) Here you have my first official Christmas cookie recipe (at least in this year and only when you don't count blondies as a Christmas cookie alternative) but these are not cookies in fact...

November 16, 2011

Coconut and Lemon Quark Cheese Mini Bundt Cakes

I've just returned home and I can say I feel as if I met Father Frost :D It's truly is SO cold outside here. Two or three days ago I'd go out wearing sneakers, no gloves or scarves but that's gone for the next two or three months. Anyway, I bought some cool Christmas decorations (the edible ones included even though these won't last for more than a week as I love eating them :D). I'm officially in....the right Christmas mood. However, before I start adding recipes for Christmas cookies simply I can't leave you without these irresistible bundt cakes.

October 28, 2011

White Chocolate Blondies

Well, here we are :D Two days ago I woke up in the morning and realized that only two months were left to Christmas. Two weeks ago I would say that it was too soon to think of Christmas. Right now I'm scared that I won't have enough time to buy the gifts and what's even worse - I have no idea what to buy :D Yesterday I went window-shopping and to be honest the Christmas atmosphere cought me. I cannot concentrate on my school stuff and I think about different kinds of Christmas cookies which I am going to bake and how many kinds it should be and so on. In my sidebar there is a survey connected to Christmas cookies and I'd love if you could participate, so don't be afraid to answer, it's 100% anonymous :) And when we are talking about cookies and sweets, it reminds me that I've decided to bring this Christmas atmosphere into my home, too, by making something small and sweet.

October 15, 2011

Pear and Nutty Cinnamon Crumb Cake

According to the way it looks like outside, I can say the fall is here. Genuine colorful cold fall. In my hall there are large boxes filled with walnuts (I always need tons of them for Christmas), deep red apples and also pears. Gone are the days when I would most likely go out only wearing a T-shirt and shorts. Right now I'd be an ice cube in such clothes. It's time to take out all those scarves, coats, sweaters and warm trousers. I don't know how about you but it always takes me a lot of time to get used to them :D The reason is that I feel kind of tied in that warm heavy clothes. Anyway, my tastebuds change a bit, too. I no longer search for no bake dessert stored in the fridge (okay, I'm kidding, I'd eat anything at any time :D) and I start to look for typical Czech baked pies, crumb cakes, strudels, puddings, bundt cakes. and baked apples. And as I have mentioned above, I have kilos of pears and nuts so it'd be a pity not to use them...

September 30, 2011

The Daring Bakers' Challenge: Croissants au Beurre (Butter Croissants)

The Daring Bakers go retro this month! Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!

I haven't even realised it. The end of September has come so fast, hasn't it?  I love and hate September at the same time because well, I have to go to school (that's why I hate it) and my birthday is in September (that's why I love it). Another reason why I should love September is because of my blog turns one year old :D In fact, the first post was posted in August last year, but my second blog (the Czech version) started in October and I've decided to "celebrate" it in September because it's in between. Anyway, this month's challenge is a great way how to celebrate mine and my blogs' b-days. Who wouldn't love fresh croissants?

September 18, 2011

Red Currant Citrus Olive Oil Cake

I know that everybody knows, but I simply have to repeat it. School's back. It starts on the first of September here in the Czech Republic and this year it was on Thursday. Okay, I know how imporant it is to educate ourselves but to be completely honest, I hate going to school. We have nine hours every day except for Monday and Friday and I really "love" when the teachers test us from Math, Physics and Biology in the same day. However, I guess I'm gonna hate especially this year the most because I'm in the fourth grade which means...leaving exams (aka maturita in Czech). So, I'm extremely happy for every single day free of learning. Unfortunately, the only free day I have is Friday afternoon and that sucks. Anyway, here I have a fast recipe if you crave something sweet and don't have much time like me these days :)

September 04, 2011

Truffes au Chocolat (Chocolate Truffles)

Last week there was the DB challenge. Its task was making at least two different kinds of candies. Since I've showed only one kind, the second one is just about to come. These "candies" were much easier to make and the result was great. Well, that's how I see it. The rest of my family would pretty much disagree. Yep, sometimes not everything turns out great for everyone. We all are different with different taste buds so it means that when I like something the others don't have to share that opinion. It's always tough to overcome the feeling because when you try to make a cake or any other sweets you hope that everyone will love it. However, this time it didn't happen and I know it only is my mistake.

August 27, 2011

The Daring Bakers' Challenge: Milk Chocolate Pralines with Spiced White Choc Mousse and Honey Roasted Macadamias

The August 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge was hosted by Lisa of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drive and Mandy of What the Fruitcake?!. These two sugar mavens challenged us to make sinfully delicious candies! This was a special challenge for the Daring Bakers because the good folks at offered an amazing prize for the winner of the most creative and delicious candy!

Here we are again :) The end of the month means revealing the big secret coming out from the DB kitchen. This time it REALLY freaked me out because on of our main tasks was tempering chocolate. As I read through the page more and more recipes, directions, tips, notes and links popped out. I was pretty confused and it took a while for me to recuperate :D Well, and my head started creating and mixing up new ideas of creams, fillings and other stuff. Now you're about to find out what my head finally created.

August 16, 2011

Mascarpone Cheese

Sometimes I have difficulty fulfilling my promises. Usually I promise my mom or daddy to wash up and then I forget all about it or it includes some king of other housework etc. However, this time I am here to fulfill my promise I gave you a week ago. And that would be about showing you an easy way of making your homemade mascarpone cheese. I promise (the word shows up quite frequently, don't you think?) it'll be easy peasy and the result stunning and delicious :)

August 05, 2011


When I was young (not that I am old, a child would be a better expression I guess) I had no idea what sea/ocean's all about. I knew what it was, but it is quite hard to imagine when the biggest area filled with water I've ever seen was our local swimming pool. My parents are die-hard fans of walking, cycling and sometimes roller-blading and in winter they love skiing. So every year we'd go to mountains looking forward to skiing and in summer climbing and walking up and down the hills. I have to say that after six or seven years I hate those activities. You know, my classmates would go to the seaside, laying on the beach whole day, swimming, enjoying the nightlife and me? Walking, walking, walking. Okay, I loved it the first years, but as the time went on and on, I figured out that this was not "my cup of tea (by the way I hate this expression :D)". Three years ago (finally!) I managed to persuade my parents to go to Croatia. Wow! However, this year we've visited Italy and I consider this one to be the best vacation in my whole life!

July 25, 2011

Black Currant Marzipan Swirls

Each summer I try to visit my granny. She lives quite far away from the town I live in and since I (still) don't have a driving license I have to travel by train which is pretty exhausting (our trains are AWFUL!) and expansive. So I'm always happy when my parents have a few days off and we can travel by car together. Also, when we the opportunity to go by car we always bring back some fresh fruit, veggies, eggs and other stuff because my granny has a large garden where she plants apples, cucumbers, apricots, cherries, strawberries and so much more! This time we were given a huge bowl of sweet and tangy black currant. I was pretty surprised that I was able to eat a small bowl all by myself without adding any sugar or something - I mean usually currant is pretty sour, but this time I guess I was lucky :) Anyway, I didn't want to waste the fresh juicy black treasure so I had to figure out a way to use them.

July 16, 2011

Cherry Rosemary Yogurt Mini Loaves

Last week I shared with you one of my strawberry recipes and it was a high time to show up with one since strawberries are gone for this year (unless you live outside Europe - I'm so jeleaus!) and another fruit is starting leaving us. Oh yes, you're right. Sweet juicy cherries. I can't express how much I love them. LOVE them. I think they're my most favourite fruit. The taste is so sweet, full of juiciness, no sourness, fresh, deep red colour, shiny....simply outstanding. If you love cherries as much as I do these loaves are just perfect for your taste buds AND you definitely won't gain weight by eating them, because they're almost fat free, high in proteins and don't contain any added sugar! Isn't this a piece of pure slim-and-thin-in-summer bliss?

July 06, 2011

Strawberry Vanilla Strudel

I'd love to say that I'm enjoying beautiful sunny warm and bright summer day right now, but the truth is it's quite the opposite. The sky ain't blue, birds aren't singing and it's raining. Pretty awful summer day, don't you think? Usually I like to dig into something light, refreshing and prefarably cold. However, when I see that "wonderful" weather outside I just feel like eating something a bit heavier, warm but still juicy and at least a little bit summery :) If that's how you feel, then you may try out this not-so-traditional strudel and I bet it'll make you smile no matter what the weather looks like.

June 27, 2011

The Daring Bakers' Challenge: Walnut, Pistachio and Hazelnut Baklava

Erica of Erica’s Edibles was our host for the Daring Baker’s June challenge. Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making homemade phyllo dough and then to use that homemade dough to make Baklava.

Sooo, if I've ever said that Croquembouche was exhausting and time consuming and hard to make...I'm sorry for lying to you. I was just kidding. THIS is on the other hand. God! I guess I've never made anything so time consuming and exhausting. No way. The French entremet is like nothing compared to this challenge! Hours of rolling, hours of layering, baking and I think I'm gonna have nightmares about rolling dough. Would I make it again? Absolutely! Am I mad? Oh, yeah, a big one, but believe you me, once you make it, you'd want to repeat it again and again. It's worth it plus you get nice toned arms. Asking how? Let's explore!

June 19, 2011

Crème Fraîche Lemon Tart

It's been a long time since my last post, I know. The school year's finishing next week and this week was a killer! I had to learn, learn and for change - learn. I hate that! God, I went to bed after midnight every single day because I had to learn so much in order to get the best makrs possible. However, the effort paid off and hopefully there should be only excellent marks on my school report! Phew :) I'm so sleepy, tired and exhausted and happy at the same time. That's it. School's gone for 2 months and now I can focus on the stuff I really do love and that's baking of course. So let's have a look what's baking in my kitchen today :)

May 29, 2011

Croquembouche (Piece Montée)

It's the end of May and some may suppose there's about to be another The Daring Bakers' Challenge. Unfortunately, no, there isn't and won't. At least not this month. I really did want to complete it as it is chocolate marquise and I'm a big chocoholic, but the dessert requires freezing and that's what I can't do right now. My freezer is a bit more than just over filled with other stuff (meat, vegetables, fruit, fish etc.) and there's no way I could store there whole baking sheet. However, the main reason is that May means my parents' birthday. Oh, yes, they both were born in May. My mom came to this world on 25th May and daddy two days earlier - on 23th May. Of course, it wasn't the same year, but still I think it says something like these two were ment to be together (and so they've been living together for more than 20 years). Anyway, I wanted to surprise them with something wonderful. Wanna know what it was?

May 20, 2011

Buttermilk Pancakes with Maple Syrup & Butter

How do you imagine your perfect breakfast? Would it be on Monday, Tuesday or maybe at the weekend? For me, breakfast is the best part of the day. I love having huge breakfast and if it were possible I'd have it at least three times a day :D I try to eat healthy so usually I eat porridge, yoghurt or cornflakes (okay, that's not healthy) but it's so hard when I could eat chocolate, buns, cakes and so much more! And that's how it goes. I get up, drink a cup of water or milk and then I prepare the best breakfast dish - at least for me. Do you know what it is? Oh, yeah, you're right. The good old buttermilk pancakes. So, do you wanna try them, too?

May 14, 2011

Strawberry Almond Cookie Bars

Do you like summer? I bet you do :) Summer is a wonderful season - in my opinion it's the best time of the year. All great kinds of fruit, flowers and vegetable are getting ripe and taste the best in this time. Of course, for the real summer we have to wait for a few more days (or maybe weeks), but in the end the real summer begins and brings all these delicious berries - strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries etc. and the list goes on and on and probably it wouldn't even get to the end :D So while we're waiting for the summer to arrive in its most powerful form, we can prepare something a bit summer-y yet warming and rich. I got a lot of inspiration on this fantastic blog by Michele.

May 07, 2011

Kumquat Spiced Cupcakes with Crème Fraîche Frosting

It's been a long time since my last entry and I guess you remember it was the DB challenge :) I really enjoyed it and i want to say thank you to Evelyne, Ivonne and Lis for choosing me as one of the 5 finalist. I couldn't believe it and still it feels as if it's not true. I mean, c'mon, so many absolutely stunning creations among the DBs and I'm one of the chosen ones? I just can't express how happy I was, am, has been :D Feel free to visit the Daring Kitchen and vote for your favourite edible container - it may seem to be easy but it's really hard to choose the one as all of them are so beautiful and creative :)

I've been quite busy since the end of Easter and therefore I haven't baked anything difficult. I walked through our local store on Friday and saw some wonderful fresh kumquats - deep bright orange color, shiny surface, neither soft nor solid, just right balance of both. I couldn't resist the temptation to buy them. Okay, so I ended up with 0.5kg of fresh kumquats. What shall I do with them?

April 26, 2011

The Daring Bakers' Challenge: Maple Cocoa Spiced Cookie Egg Shells with Maple Mousse

The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at!

Edible containers are a part of my baking. I make them at Christmas, parties and so on. However, I've never thought of them as edible containers. They were just cookie cups or bowl filled with some kinda cream, buttercream, jam or nut filling. That's it. Nothing special. Until now. You can imagine almost anything as an edible container. Cookie cups and bowl, profiterols (cream puffs), pastry cones, waffle cones, edible plates etc. Simply anything. What would you come up with?

April 15, 2011

Hot Cross Buns

Spring, sunshine, flowers, bunnies, eggs, lambs and chicks. What do these words have in common? Easter of course! Wait one week and it's here! I love Easter just like I love Christmas (and that's quite a big love!). The traditions are wonderful and the food...yum. We always spend the Easter time with our granny in her house in small village in the countryside. I can't imagine staying in the city during the holiday because here it seems to be tradition-free. Unfortunately, it's true. The traditions are slowly disappearing and nobody cares about it. On the other hand, in villages the traditions are fully alive, everybody is preparing to them, baking traditional dishes and simply enjoying live. And that's what love. The athmosphere. It's very friendly, kind and without any troubles in the air (if you what I mean :D). This time I'd like to tell you something about our Czech Easter traditions and share a recipe for one traditional English Easter dish.

April 09, 2011

Red Currant Walnut Sheet Cake

Finally! Easter is coming and green grass is almost everywhere, flowers are in blossom, insect is (unfortunately) waking up and - the most important one - sun is shining! While I'm getting ready to start another baking season in my kitchen (our national Easter sweets have to be done :D), the others are roller skating, running, just walking or playing ball games in park. I don't mind that. I mean I love roller skating but baking is my true passion :) And when I'm really tired from this particular activity I just run out (or maybe I should say roller skate out if this even exists :D) and enjoy the fresh air. When I come back home I always feel like eating something juicy, fresh and not very heavy. I'd say this sheet cake belongs to this cathegory and delivers all these things. Plus it's perfect for hot Sunday afternoons when you want a sweet after-lunch treat.

March 26, 2011

The DB Challenge: Meringue Coffee Cake with Dulce de Leche, Salted Pistachios, Cranberries and Chocolate

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

Another month, another DB challenge. I always look forward to finding out what the challenge is and I'm always extremely happy with it. This time we were to make a coffee cake according to a recipe which Jamie found on a piece of yellowed paper in her dad’s collection of clipped out and hand-written recipes from the 1970’s without any source or date. I think the old recipes work the best (even though I want to make and try as much new things as possible) and that's a double true with this one. And again I immediately started thinking about summer and spring (I do this all the time right now). However, it's not the best season for my eyes, nose and skin. Trees and flowers are in blossom now and I sneeze, my nose is blocked (hay fever is sooo unpleasant!), my eyes are watering and my skin is itchy. So what should I do to feel better? Of course, make something sweet, eat it and feel great!

March 14, 2011

Apricot Almond Thumbprint Cookies

Can you feel summer in the air? I definitely can. Well, I guess it's more spring than summer but nevermind. They both mean the end of winter! It's not like I hate winter but it's been here for quite a while now and I think that's just enough :) Yes, you can hear me shouting around in summer "I want winter! The weather is too hot!" and when winter comes I just want summer. Too much is simply too much. The ideal temperature would be around 25C all the time (and sometimes snowing without being cold at all). Of course, that's not possible and maybe it's good. Life's a change and without hot summer days there wouldn't be any fresh juicy fruit in my garden. Last year there were almost no apricots and the small amount of them was made into a delicious homemade apricot preserve. I'm the kinda girl who can eat preserve/jam/jelly as it is - I don't need any bread - but sometimes it's much better with a cookie and because summer season is almost here and I have this great apricot preserve why should I wait for summer to arrive when I can make my own little summer rigth now? And so can you!

March 05, 2011

Biscotti Fiorentini (Florentines)

I'm so happy to invite the spring season finally! The winter one was way too long and I can't wait to see the birds, flowers, sun, green grass and butterflies flying around. I love hot weather, swimming and so on. I know, it's too soon to think about that but spring means it's all coming, getting closer, almost here :) I don't know why, but these cookies remind me spring and summer a lot. Maybe it's because there are cherries, orange peel and they come from Italy - warm, beautiful, hot, sunny Italy. The promised Florentines are here!

February 27, 2011

The Daring Bakers' Challenge: Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Honey Jelly and Banana Quark Cream

The February 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.

I'll be absolutely honest here, I've never made panna cotta before but it's been on my to-do list for a long time. I love whipping cream in any form (I would drink it instead of milk if possible :D) and I was very happy to find out what the challenge was. As for the florentines, I'm gonna show them mine next week :) And now it's time to prepare something full-fat and delicious!

February 18, 2011

Cocoa Cupcakes with American Vanilla Buttercream

My life is all about school right now. My mom's life is all about work and so is my daddy's. I can't wait to get to this stage, too, to be honest. Sometimes life is not that easy and I guess you all know it or at least once I've been through something unpleasant. During those days I love to eat sweets to cover my nerves in sugar and calm down a bit :) When my mom found her new job her new employer prepared a welcome party for her. She wanted to bring some refreshment and small gifts for them as a thanks so she asked me to make a cake or similar dessert which she could bring there. I thought "So many people in one place, even a big cake won't be enough plus a bit messy. Cupcakes would be a perfect choice!" And here it goes, cupcakes to the stage, please!

February 12, 2011

Fudgy Chocolate Cherry Cookies

February is here - the shortest month of the year and still it includes the most romantic holiday. The holiday of love. Yes, you're right it's Valentine's Day. This celebration comes from the USA and it's spread all over the world. As soon as the shops get rid off the Christmas stuff they start selling lots of red and pink shiny cute things like stuffed animals, chocolate bars with hearts on their wrappers, pralines, flowers, cards and so on. And that's it. The most common gift is chocolate and because we all love chocolate I just could have made nothing but something very chocolatey chocolate :D If don't know what to give to your loved ones, you can try these extra chocolate cookies with moist cherries which I made using absolutely delicious recipe by Marcellina who makes them at Christmas for her family (thank you so much for this recipe!). So let's get to work then :)

January 30, 2011

The Daring Bakers' challenge: Walnut Biscuit Joconde Entremet with Mango Bavarois and White Chocolate Ricotta Cream

The January 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Astheroshe of the blog accro. She chose to challenge everyone to make a Biscuit Joconde Imprime to wrap around an Entremets dessert.

Very challenging challenge!  The mandatory item was making the biscuit joconde imprime (pronunciation here, translation: spongecake with imprinted desing) using the recipe provided. Huh, something I've never heard about but seen some images (though I had no idea it's joconde imprime).  That's quite a challenge (I know I know I use the word in almost every sentence). And what a surprise, I'm late again! I didn't have time during the whole month but I am glad I completed it. It's very creative and that's just what I needed - I've learnt so many new things!

January 22, 2011

Pecan Pie

This moth really was very tiring - at least for me. The second quarter in school finishes next week and I had to go through a lot of tests during the last few weeks. Fortunately it's over and now I can focuse on other - for me- more important things like - wait for it (yes, I love HIMYM) - food, sweets, eating and so on :) As you could have noticed I like American sweets and most of all American pies (oh yeah, the movies, too :D). Apple pie is my all-time favourite and pecan pie is the next one.

January 16, 2011

Arroz con leche y vainilla (Vanilla Milk Rice)

Christmas is over. It was a nice time for everyone. We met all our friends and family members. However, it's time to start looking forward to the next Christmas and coming back to our everyday life. Every year as soon as the holidays are over, I go back to school and here a huge amount of tests is waiting for me and my classmates. To be honest I'm pretty exhausted from learning stuff for all those tests and I like to relax in the afternoon. I just lay down on my bed and enjoy a few minutes of idleness. And what is better than enjoy it with some utterly delicious comfort food?

January 03, 2011

The Daring Bakers' Challenge: Marzipanstollen

The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book.........and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.

Okay, we had to use the recipe's the thing, I did not. Now, I don't know whether I can say I completed the challenge. I used my own German recipe for Marzipanstollen, but I think the point is I was daring enough to make a stollen, right? I had made it two weeks ago and we ate it the day before yesterday. Now it's quite late to make it but hey, next Christmas is almost here :)