Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Petits sablés (French butter cookies)


I love making cookies since I was a little girl helping my mother in the kitchen. Every Christmas we would stock lots of nuts, butter, sugar and flour and start mixing the short pastry. Then we'd roll it, take out the little shapes and start cutting out the stars, hearts, rounds, rhombs and crescents.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pasta with home made pesto


I was shopping in Bahetle today and while searching for spinach I found a pack with fresh basil. It was just impossible to tear my nose from these fragrant leaves, so the pack came with me. My new food processor got delivered just today and that was a brilliant chance to see it in action. I was going to make fresh pesto.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Moscow restaurants guide

It's fine with Italian restaurants in Moscow. Good French, Spanish, Chinese or Japanese places are harder to find. Picking a right Indian or Thai restaurant can be really hard. If you are an expat in Moscow, plan travelling to Moscow or simply live in Moscow, here’s are the restaurants that might be of interest to you. These are simply places I like and keep visiting. Browse the list below or read the blog posts about Moscow restaurants. For interesting cafes and bakeries, check out the Moscow cafes and bakeries guide.

Moscow cafes and bakeries guide

To me Moscow is the city of cafes and bakeries. It is packed with small and large "kofeynya's" (the name we use most often to describe these places) with pretty cake vitrines, small tables, espresso, cappuccino etc. Some of them belong to huge chains, some are stand alone. Some are completely disappointing and some are welcoming and delicious. The thing I love about these is that they are comfortable and informal. You are welcome for breakfast, lunch or even midnight snack if you wish.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Half-a-teaspoon: how to make meringues


This Saturday I enjoyed one more Half-a-teaspoon class. Алена Спирина taught how to make meringues this time. Not that I didn't make them before, but the class turned out very insightful for me. We did the French, Italian and Swiss meringue based desserts and Алена made sure to give a lot of detailed explanations. I never really dug as deep into the meringues before. Маша agreed to that and added that still Алена doesn't believe when told that her classes give a lot of new information.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Nash hleb (Наш хлеб) Moscow bakery


Once I saw Nash hleb (Наш хлеб) bakery next to Cinnabon on Arbat I knew I'll have to check it out sooner or later. Looks like I'm starting to get seriously interested in finding good bakeries in Moscow. Yesterday night I went in and set down for a cup of really nice cappuccino. I couldn't find the web site of Nash hleb but it looks like they might be part of my favorite Le Pain Quitidien.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A different panna cotta (Italian spicy custard)


I came across this dessert when I worked in a Moscow Gastronom cooking studio. For the Italian class the trainer proposed to make two varieties of panna cotta. The first one was a classical jellied sweet cream served with fruits and fruit sauce. The second turned out to be a delicious spicy Italian custard.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fish baked Russian style


For my dad's birthday this January I really wanted to make something Russian style. He just got seriously interested in traditional Russian cooking. I arrived home and first thing I noticed were new books about the subject. So I took a bunch of these books and went to my sofa to get an idea of what he could like.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The perfect vanilla sauce


If I had to pick one favorite dessert sauce it would definitely be creme anglaise. With its intense vanilla flavor, its thin and light structure it is just a perfect complement to many of my favorite sweets, especially fruit cakes and crumbles, chocolate fondant and muffins. I like it so much that it became my habit to make it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Just apple and strawberry crumble


It's been a long time since I made my last crumble. I'm a big fan of cheese and apple cobbler in Coffee bean. Since I first tried it I made several attempts to replicate it at home. None of them worked. Once I'll have to find a way to get access to their recipe. However because of these trials I got enthusiastic about making fruit crumbles.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Almond croissants in Moscow bakeries


Since I came back from France I'm in search of good almond croissants in Moscow bakeries. I got addicted to these delicious puff pastry pieces filled with soft almond paste as soon as I tried one in a Fontainebleau bakery next to my house. Especially I loved "pain au chocolat aux amandes" (another piece of puff pastry filled with marzipan and chocolate). I can't tell how amazing they are when freshly baked and still warm. At the same time they normally look completely careless and do not attract those who don't know about their taste.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Prime Star Moscow cafe: English tea and carrot cake


I was passing by Prime Star and went in to get something for breakfast. After looking at the sweets I decided on the carrot cake. Almost every time I come to this cafe I end up taking it. When I was going to ask for a cappuccino I noticed an ad on their wall. It was offering "English tea" (Earl Grey or Darjeeling with milk).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Crepe Suzette is burning!


On the recent half-a-teaspoon class I chose to make Crepe Suzette. I always liked the idea of this dessert. Incredibly light paper thin French crepes in orange sauce. Looks like the origins of the dish are disputed. My favorite legend about it says that the crepes bear the name of an actress. Suzette was rehearsing a scene where she had to eat crepes and her chef created these light crepes recipe for her.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Half-a-teaspoon pancake baking class


This Saturday I went to Half-a-teaspoon baking class at last. I found about this project around half a year ago. It's an experimental confectionary shop and creative cooking classes (there are also special classes for kids). We came to the Maslenitsa pancake baking class by Алена Спирина, a Russian food writer and blogger on LiveJornal. She teaches weekly classes in the school.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Salted caramel sauce


As I was running around shopping all day, I knew I wouldn't be able to cook that night. So I didn't really. I got my beloved ice-cream and belgian waffles. The only thing I made was warm salted caramel sauce to bring things together.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Simple things

DSCN2255 copy

I've been shopping hard these days to equip my kitchen since I moved to a new place. It is just unbelievable how much time it takes my to choose simple things like cups, teapot, glasses... I wonder what is going to happen when I finally get down to choosing food processor.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mi piace Moscow restaurant - and really, I like it


We were going to visit Creperie de Paris yesterday, but the cafe (Mayakovskaya branch) turned out to be closed. Later I checked, other branches are working, but it's still a pity as this one was my favorite. Thus we ended up in Mi piace and that was good luck. I really feel like sharing this nice Italian cafe in Moscow now.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Jamie Oliver's pasta with oozy cheese sauce


I've been watching a lot of Jamie at home on youtube lately. It's just unbelievable how inspiring Jamie oliver recipes are. Whatever I start watching: chilies, strawberries, pizza, I just want to try and make everything. And ideally even get my own garden. Though the garden might be a bit too much for me already.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cinnabon Moscow bakery: life needs frosting?


Yesterday I commented on Максим Сырников's post about blini with my orange crepes. Unexpectedly I got convicted in using his blog to promote "some fast food chain" (Creperie de Paris, mentioned in my post I suppose). I wasn't really promoting any "fast food" yesterday. Today I am.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Coffee bean Moscow cafe - Pokrovka branch moved


I recently found from a friend that my favorite Coffee bean on Pokrovka street changed its location. In 2005 my university classmate took me there. Coffee bean was almost the place of her permanent residence. Whenever she was upset or just wanted to skip a class she always ended up there, in the noisy, light and friendly hall of Pokrovka Coffee bean.