Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Cherry Kompot (Homemade Juice)

2954 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60618, USA

Hi Everyone,

welcome to my brand new blog for Astoria Cafe & Bakery. People always ask me on social media to share recipes, so here we are. 
I am going to kick this blog of with a very simple recipe for Kompot. Considering that we are in the midst of summer, I figured we all need something refreshing in our lives. 

Kompot is very popular in the Slavic speaking countries and it's non alcoholic drink made out of fruits and water. It can served hot or cold, depending on the season.  I'd say it's kind of the Eastern European version of Iced Tea. Compared to the store bought juices, this is very healthy option since it only uses three simple ingredients and it has half of the sugar used in soda.

 My very good customer & friend Dr Dragana Dakic recently went cherry picking with her family in Wisconsin's Door Country. She brought me back a few pounds of cherries, so I figured what better way use to use them and kick off my blog.

The basic recipe for Kompot includes a gallon of water, a cup of sugar and a pound to pound and a half fruit of choice.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add fruits to the boiling water and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add sugar or/and honey to sweeten it. Use Swerve or any other artifical sugar if you're on the keto diet. You can store the Kompot in a glass container in the fridge for about five days.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Russian Salad/ Olivier Salad

No celebration in Serbia is complete without the Russian Salad and it's only known as the Russian Salad outside of the former USSR countries, there they refer to it as "Olivye Salad", named after the Belgian chef who invented it.

This simple recipe is made out of six equal parts of simple ingredients; ham (or left-over chicken), potatoes, pickles, carrots, pease and boiled egg. 

- bring potatoes and carrots to a boil, until tender, don't over cook .. drain and set aside.
- cut all the ingredients into small cubes and combine in a bowl
- add mayonnaise as needed, depending on you preference 
- season with salt & pepper
- refrigerate before serving 

Tufahije - Poached Apples filled w/ Walnuts

We are kicking off our "Sweet Tooth Fridays" series soon and one of the desserts that we like to feature is the Tufahija, which is a poached apple filled with a walnut mixture. 

Like most of the food in the Balkans, the Tufahija was brought to the region during the Ottoman rule in the 14th century. The word itself comes from the Arabic word tuffah which means "apple". 
The dessert is very easy and quick to make. It's also gluten-free and vegan (if you use vegan whip cream). Besides being delicious, Tufahija also looks great.

  • 6 medium Golden Delicious apples
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Whipped cream
  • 6 Maraschino cherries

- Peel the apples, remove core and in a large pot bring the apples, lemon juice & sugar to a boil,  let simmer for a few minutes until sugar has dissolved.
- remove the apples from the pot when they are tender, but still firm. Let them cool.
- in a medium sized bowl, mix ground walnuts, cinnamon and whipped cream; stuff apples and refrigerate. 
- place apple onto small plate, simmer syrup (the water you boiled the apples in) over it, garnish with more whipped cream and a cherry on top.

Tufahije are best enjoyed with a cup of coffee & your girlfriends. 

Friday, August 23, 2019

Ledene Kocke

When it comes to traditional Balkan dessert, I figured we start off with the basics .. and there is no better dish than the Ledene Kocke, which translates into Ice Cubes. It's a delicious dessert made out of juicy chocolate sponge cake, covered with vanilla custard and topped off with dark chocolate.
For the custard topping
3 cups milk
2/3 cups sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2/3 cups flour
16 Tbsp unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
For the cake
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
6 eggs, separated
1/3 cup sugar
vegetable oil, for greasing pan
For the Syrup
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Water

Chocolate Topping
8oz semi-sweet baking chocolate
6 tbsp vegetable  
*CAKE                                                                                                                                                            Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 13×9 cake pan generously with vegetable oil. In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa, flour, and baking powder.Next, beat the egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the sugar until stiff peaks form. Add egg yolk to the mixture. Once the egg yolks are slowly mixed into the egg whites, fold in the cocoa mixture into the egg whites mix. Spread the cake batter into the pan evenly.
*CUSTARD                                                                                                                                                        Heat up the milk, sugar and vanilla extract until steaming. Meanwhile, add enough milk into the flour to create a thick slurry. Pour it back into the milk mixture and heat until it resembles thick vanilla pudding. Be sure to whisk well as you go, so that lumps do not form. Let cool completely, then beat in the butter.
*SYRUP                                                                                                                                                      Simmer the sugar & water until the sugar dissolves, about five minutes. Once you get the cake batter out of the oven, use a fork to add holes to it. Pour the syrup over the hot cake and let it sit until it all absorbs.
*CHOCOLATE TOPPING                                                                                                                              Melt the chocolate over a double boiler (or in a regular pan) and stir in the vegetable oil. Once the custard has cooled, spread it over the cake batter evenly with a spatula. Pour over the chocolate topping and smooth it out. Put it in the fridge for a few hours and serve once the chocolate has hardened. 
We added whip cream and chocolate sprinkles for garnish, but it't optional.

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