Salsa Macha

Salsa Macha

If you read about original Salsa Macha, you’ll see that there is a reason for its name. Salsa Macha comes from Veracruz region that features extremely hot chile peppers comapeños available only locally. It’s a truly fiery condiment. When this salsa is made in other regions of Mexico, comapeños are replaced with other hot peppers (e.g., arbol). I admired this condiment not so much for its heat, but for the bold and intense flavors. To adjust it for my palate, I combine my favorite dry and fresh red chile peppers, which are fruity and smokey, but pretty mild.

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Rhubarb Cake with Hazelnut Meringue

Rhubarb and Hazelnut Meringue Cake

This is one of my old, before-culinary-school recipes. I was tweaking some rhubarb cake recipes six years ago, and this one was my final ever since. It came to my mind again a few days ago when I saw beautiful bright pink, glossy rhubarb stalks at Central Market. I tend to improve either proportions or techniques when revisiting recipes from the past. This cake escaped any changes at all. It doesn’t require any pro equipment or special skills, very easy to make, just follow the steps.

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Dukkah’s Exotic Charm

Grilled vegetables with labne and dukkah

Just reading the list of ingredients convinced me I have to make it: roasted hazelnuts and sunflower seeds, fennel and cumin seeds, dried green peppercorns, coriander seeds, sesame, nigella, sea salt, and sweet paprika. Ottolenghi suggests sprinkling this mix over leafy salads, roasted vegetables, bean pastes, and rice and legume dishes. “It adds an exotic charm,” — he says. And it’s true to the letter!

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My Double Apple Tart from Paris

Tarte aux Pommes

The French apple tart, or Tarte aux Pommes, is actually a double apple tart. Between the layer of thin caramelized apple slices and buttery pastry crust, there is a creamy vanilla-flavored apple puree. Two layers of apples with different textures make this dessert a celebration of apple season.

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When Life Gives You Lemons Again…

Lemon Tart

My lemon tart is intensely lemony. I insist on using fresh lemons. You want their zest, juice, and pulp. For more delicate version, replace part of lemon puree with heavy cream. My lemon tart is pretty tart, pardon the pun. If you like it sweeter, add more sugar. Double the amount of sugar, and you’ll get the sweetness of commercially baked lemon tart. My lemon tart has a silky smooth texture. If you like it more thick and stable, add more flour or corn starch. Double the amount of flour, and you’ll get the texture of commercially baked lemon bars.

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Makivnyk | Poppy Seed Roll

Makivnyk

With slight variations, this dough is used for many baked products all over Ukraine. It is used for small, round pastries called pampUshky (there are also deep-fried pampushKY, which are similar to doughnuts). Savory garlicky pampushky are known to be served with borsch. Sweet ones can be plain or filled with fresh berries, jam (povydlo), poppy seed filling, and dusted with sugar powder. The same dough is used for pies, braided and intricately decorated loafs of sweet bread, and rolls. All these beautiful sweet breads are light and puffy, never overly sweet.

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Esterházy Torte, Flour-Free Cake

Esterházy torte

Esterházy torta is a Hungarian cake named after Prince Paul III Anton Esterházy de Galántha, a member of the Esterházy dynasty and diplomat of the Austrian Empire. It was invented by Budapest confectioners in the late 19th century and soon became one of the most famous cakes in the lands of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. This variation features hazelnuts and decorated with cocoa nibs instead of traditional sliced almonds.

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Kyiv Cake

This version of legendary soviet Kyiv cake is very close to the GOST recipe. Very sweet. Just like old times, like childhood as we remember it. Before madness.

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