Mar 15, 2009

Tiramisu - Light as Air


October 05, 2009:
Thank you so much for visiting, and your continued support, even in my absence!
I have taken on a career that requires a lot of work, and a lot of time, so I am still unable to return to the scene, and mix something up... I do, from time to time, check in to see what you all are doing, and I miss being part of your world actively.
Hope to return soon, at least on a monthly basis, till then, please enjoy Cafe Chocolada!

I have recently made this awesome light as air Tiramisu, based on a recipe from Masatera of “Recepti iz moje biljeznice” (Recipes from my notebook), and just slightly edited to what I had available here. It is not based on a traditionally used mascarpone cheese, but rather I have used Philadelphia whipped cream cheese, and got this luscious cream, which make you feel like you are eating sweet delicious air!


2 packages of lady fingers, the soft kind
Strong coffee to soak them, but not over soak
1 pint of heavy whipping cream
1 packet whip it, whipped cream stabilizer
200g of Philadelphia whipped cream cheese
150g, or as much as you like, powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
About 3 tbsp cocoa powder

Mix whipped cream, with powdered sugar, and whipped cream stabilizer until whipped, then add cream cheese, vanilla extract, and mix well. You may also add like 1 or 2 drops of yellow food color, but that is completely optional.

On a plate, rectangular or however you like, arrange a layer of lady fingers soaked gently in strong coffee (unsweetened), then spread half of the cream, then a layer of lady fingers again, and then rest of the cream, and spread that cream all over the sides too, if you wish. Dust with cocoa powder, and you are all set. Refrigerate for couple of hours, or put in a freezer for about half an hour, to serve sooner :)

Mar 4, 2009

Spicy Pizza (or not)

Spicy Pizza
The pizza pictured here is not for sissies!!!! I love spicy, and this pizza packs an insult of great proportions! That’s how I like it, and I don’t need to worry about sharing! :)
However, you don’t have to make it spicy, and if you are in search of a really good pizza crust, then you are at the right place.

My family often enjoys Farida’s Tandir (Tandoori) Bread, and then we thought about using that bread dough as pizza dough (just take out few steps at the end, the egg wash, and seeds), and how successful are we? Well, everyone says I now make the best pizza in the world! I guess that summarizes it pretty well. Seriously, I don’t even give ordering pizza a thought any more. It is easy to make your own, it’s fun, and it doesn’t take long. Kids love making their own pizza!!!

From Farida’s recipe for Tandori Bread, I get 2 medium pizzas, 10” round pan. Also, you can easily make 3-4 personal sized pizzas, depending how big you make them.

Here is a recipe for one 10“ round pizza

1 ½ cup flour, plus extra for kneading
¾ cup warm water
1 tsp dry yeast, fast rising is best
½ tsp salt

Other material:
Olive oil
Corn meal
Pizza sauce
Cheese and toppings you like
I have used: Grated mozzarella, fresh mozzarella, extra spicy long peppers, crushed red hot pepper, cajun seasoning for crust, ham, bacon bits, onions, mushrooms, and when done I sprinkle with parmesan.

Mix yeast and water in a small bowl, until dissolved completely. Then gradually add it to flour mixed with salt. Make a dough, and then transfer on a floured work surface, and knead for about 5 minutes at least, until it’s nice and elastic. Collect the dough into a ball, and place in a glass bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and leave let it rise until in a warm place until doubled, I usually leave it in a microwave (not turned on of course).

Then you punch the air out of the dough, and shape it into a ball, and stretch to the size of the baking pan. Grease the pan with olive oil, and sprinkle all over with corn meal. Shake it to get it all nice and evenly coated.

Set the oven to 400° F, it will be ready just in time you are done with making the pizza. Place the dough in the pan, and then press with your fingers towards the edges so you get a pizza that is a bit more thin with a little bit raised edges. If you like to season your edges with anything, like I do with cajun, first brush the edges with some olive oil, and then sprinkle with whatever you like. The rest is like any other pizza: pizza sauce, cheese, seasonings, toppings. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until done; also you can turn the broiler on for a minute or two for toppings to brown. Enjoy!


I am sending this to Branka, this month’s host to Ajme koliko nas je , a food blog event created by Monsoon for food bloggers from ex YU territories. She chose this months main ingredient to be spicy peppers, and I might just go crazy on that one! :) Evo i recept na nasem!

Mar 3, 2009


It’s been a while that I got these awards, and I actually made a post for them, but it got lost in a hungry browser incident, so I postponed, and finally I am back to it!
These awards remind us of appreciation we get from our foodie friends, and we forward them in same fashion. Thank you Navita for the lovely Lemonade Award, and thank you conunpocodizucchero for the sweet One Lovely Blog Award!!! : )

I don’t know if I am braking the rules, but I would like to forward both awards to the following food bloggers, which caught my eye with their delicious creations, and also some of my favorites, which I visit often, may not be in English but so worth the translation. My dear nominees, you can chose to accept both, or just one award which you like!
Amalia, My Culinary World, Recepti Iz Moje Biljeznice, Sweet Sensation, La Dalmatia Gourmande, Pan y Varios, Maya’s World, The Chef and The Photographer, Delicious For Kids, Cuina Banateana, and Via Delle Rose.

Rules for the Lemonade award:
Add the logo to your blog
Link to the person who awarded you
Nominate and link to 10 other blogs
Leave a message to your nominees

Rules for the One Lovely Blog Award:
Add the logo to your blog
Link to the person who awarded you
Nominate and link to 7 other blogs
Leave a message to your nominees

To all who may have already gotten the awards above, just take it as a nice though, and you don’t have to follow through : )

Lika Pie - Licka Pita

Lika Pie
This recipe was given to me long ago, during my refugee years spent in a refuge center in Kosovo. Life was not easy in a center like that, however, you sure can learn a lot about life, and appreciate it more forever when you have to rebuild it. Also, I have gained a great friend, who was a refugee from Lika, Croatia. I have lost contact with her, now that I am here in the States, but I cherish this recipe, as it is a great reminder of the good days we were able to make out of those tough times.

This is a traditional, old recipe from Lika. Simple sponge cake layers, with vanilla butter cream. I always add some citrus aroma to the sponges, which makes for a real nice touch.

Lika Pie - Licka Pita

You’ll need 3x this for three sponges:
3 eggs
7 tbsp sugar
100 ml oil
100 ml milk
8 tbsp flour
2 tsp baking powder
Couple of citrus fruit for sprinkling the sponges
1 tbsp cocoa, just for one of the sponges

For the filling:
500 ml/ 2 cups milk
9 scant tbsp flour
10 tbsp sugar
2 tsp vanilla sugar
250g unsalted butter or margarine
Some powdered sugar at the end if you want it sweeter

For the sponges, mix 3 egg yolks with sugar, then add egg whites which you have mixed until stiff.
Mix well, then add oil, milk, and flour mixed with baking powder. Do this three times, and add 1 tbsp cocoa powder into one of them, or two if you like two dark, and one yellow sponge.
Bake them in a parchment paper lined pan, or oiled and greased pan ( this is normally done in a square baking pan about 10x14 inches in size, but you can also make the cake round) at 395°F for about 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

For the filling, heat milk a little, and take some of it to mix flour with it, and do so with a hand held mixer, by hand you‘ll get too many lumps. I also strain the mixture to avoid any lumps.
The remainder of milk, set to boil with sugar and vanilla sugar in it. When it reaches boiling point, remove from heat, and reduce heat to medium low, mix in flour mixture, and stir constantly. Place back on the stove, and cook for a few minutes, until it thickens. Careful not to burn it. Really doesn’t take long, plus as it cools it will thicken more. Cool, then chill in the fridge, and when completely cooled down, mix in the butter cut into thin slices. Do this in a mixer, I use a stand mixer.

Assemble the cake by sprinkling each of the sponges with some citrus fruit juice (fresh, just squeeze straight from the fruit), like oranges lemons, Meyer lemons, and spread filling evenly in between, if you made two yellow sponges, then put the dark one in the middle, and vice versa.
Decorate as you wish, the original recipe just calls for some filling on the outside, and some chopped nuts all over.

Now, what I did for the cake pictured: I used jelly roll pan, and made only 2 sponges, one yellow, and one brown. Then I cut each of the sponges into four, and voila, I got a small, but pretty tall cake. The rest is same, I used Meyer lemons to sprinkle each sponge. Then I decorated with inspiration I got from a Family Fun magazine, The Princess and the Pea Cake. I didn’t follow their instructions, just sort of played with what I had readily available at home. Not at all happy with the looks, but then again I am famous for my inability to decorate, and take on big projects like this!!! :))) Kids liked it, and I think I’ll try this one again. I won’t be using many colors though, as I really like to keep it simple.