Eliska: 2011

Total Pageviews

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Homemade pops made from Marshmallow Fondant

Marshmallow Fondant is the way to make cake better, you can add one marshmallow layer. It was actually a nice change for me. But it is really different from true fondan. The result was one big marshmallow, tasty because I used strawberry marshmallows, but to be honest not fondant. Maybe I made something wrong. I don´t have a microwave oven, so I used a kitchen stove. And there is a result:
It was a big success. For those who like marshmallows there is recipe adapted from http://aspicyperspective.com.  It saves tons of money. 
How to Make Marshmallow Fondant


  • 16 oz. mini marshmallows
  • 3-6 Tb. water
  • ½ tsp. extract flavoring of choice (optional)
  • 2 lbs. powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup Shortening
  • (Cornstarch for rolling)


  1. Place the shortening in a small bowl, you’ll need to dip into throughout the entire process.
  2. Grease a microwave-safe bowl, the electric mixer bowl, the paddle attachment and a spatula with shortening.
  3. Pour the marshmallows, 3 Tb. of water and the extract in the microwave-safe bowl.
  4. Melt the marshmallows in the microwave in 30 second increments. Stir with the greased spatula in between. Continue until the marshmallows are completely smooth—2-3 minutes.
  5. Pour the marshmallows into the greased mixer bowl. Start the mixer on low and slowly add the entire bag of powdered sugar. Mix until the mixer starts to struggle. There will still be plenty of dried clumps in the bowl.
  6. Grease a clean work surface and your hands. Dump the mixture out on the surface, clumps and all. Start kneading and re-grease hands as needed.
  7. Knead for several minutes until the mixture is clump free. At this point, if it seems to be dry and rips when you pull it, add a little more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the fondant is soft, pliable and can stretch a little ways when you pull on it. *When you add the water, it is going to seem like a mistake for a moment, but re-grease your hands and keep kneading. The water will absorb into the fondant.
  8. Now, grease the whole ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Place the wrapped ball in a large zip bag and squeeze out all the air before sealing. Let it sit overnight to improve the texture and elasticity. *You can use it immediately in a “cake emergency” but it’s better to wait.
  9. *It’s best color fondant right before using so the color doesn’t fade. Drop a few drops of food coloring on the fondant and knead in.
  10. Once it has sat over night, sprinkle a clean work surface, and your hands, with cornstarch. *Some people use more powdered sugar for this, but they risk adding clumps to their perfectly smooth fondant. Cornstarch doesn’t clump.
  11. If rolling out for a cake, rub cornstarch on the rolling pin and roll until just over 1/8 inch thick. Make sure to measure the cake and sides accordingly. Drape over a frosted cake and gently smooth any bumps or creases. Carefully cut the excess fondant around the bottom.
  12. If using for molding, HAVE FUN! It molds just like play dough.
  13. If wrapped well, it will keep at room temperature for a long, long time.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 3 minute(s)

It's a fabulous recipe. Thanks. I needed a big amount for the school, so it was value for money.

But who don´t need fondant and simply like Marshmallows I recommend trying this springy, fluffy, delicious marshmallows. 



Saturday, December 17, 2011

Gluten Free Pavlova Bowls with Chocolate

The Cream of the Crop = my favourite one:

It should be a  "Black & White" Chocolate Pavlova, but I fall asleep and meringue was caramelized. So now it is more like Italian Boccone Dolce. 
Boccone Dolce is a northern Italian dessert translated as "Sweet Mouthful". Another version is Slovak Penová torta or Australian Pavlova.

Chocolate Pavlova
Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. The dessert is believed to have been created to honour the dancer during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s.
For the meringue base:
    *  10 eggwhites, at room temperature
    *  700 g of caster sugar (Only use caster sugar when making Pavlova as larger-grain sugars will not completely dissolve.)

1. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
2. Using an electric mixer beat the whites of eggs with the sugar (Add the sugar in, one tablespoon at a time.) until hard peaks form  in the top of a double boiler over hot water. It's best to start whipping egg whites on a lower speed, increasing incrementally as you get to the aspired consistency. Add vinegar and vanilla, and continue beating for 50 more minutes, or until of thick and glossy in consistency = until they hold firm peaks.
     You can add the cornflour and vinegar and whisk until just combined. I didn´t use it.
     It is said that it is important when making any meringue that the egg whites reach maximum volume, so make sure your mixing bowl and whisk are clean and free of grease.
3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil/ baking paper / greaseproof paper.
4. Trace a circle in the middle of the foil or many small like me.
5. Using a rubber spatula, spread the meringue mixture onto the foil. Smooth the Pavlova with a spatula. With the back of a spoon, create an indentation in the middle of the mound for holding the filling once meringue is baked.
6. Mound the mixture around the outer edges so they’re slightly thicker than the center, creating a shallow bowl. Note that the mixture will swell during baking. It will have tripled in volume and stands up.
7. Place the baking sheet in the oven.
8. Reduce the oven temperature to 60°C by using fan to force air movement.
9. Dry the meringue in the oven for 2-3 hours.
10. When the meringues are done, turn off the oven and crack the door. Leave the meringue in the turned-off oven until completely  cool. This should prevent the meringues from cracking. You might think they are still too spongy, but they will become crisper as they cool. It is said leave the meringues in the oven to finish drying several hours, or even overnight. I did it, because I was asleep. And it was much more better.
11. You should keep it in a tightly sealed container = trick is keeping them dry once baked. Humid weather will soften it to a gooey mess = don´t bake when is raining outside because you really need dry air.

Chocolate cream:
You can buy crème fraîche, but I can´t. So I used:
3 yolks
250 g of confectioner´s sugar
1 Tablespoon of Cocoa Powder
1  vanilla sugar
100 ml of milk
40 g finely grated dark chocolate (preferably 70 percent cacao)
500 g of butter
1 tsp red wine vinegar for bitter - sweet effect

1. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot water.
2. Add yolks, confectioners' sugar, vanilla sugar,  cocoa powder and milk. Cooking  in the top of a double boiler over hot water. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream until it holds soft peaks.
3. Cool the chocolate slightly.
4. Then fold the chocolate into the butter.

For Slovak version - Penová torta - you will need 3 big meringues, then to serve put 1 meringue on a dessert plate, flat side down. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the filling over meringue. Top with another meringue, flat side down; press gently until filling spreads to edges. Repeat with remaining meringues and filling, making 6 stacks. Cover and chill remaining whipped cream mixture. When the cake is assembled, refrigerate for at least an hour (preferably more) before attempting to slice into wedges. You should keep it in a tightly sealed container.

Mum ´s version:

If you made small bowls mound the cream in the center of the meringue. Smooth chocolate cream with a spatula or use a piping bag . I used it, because it is easier.  Spred chocolate cream on every white meringue base and built on itself. Decorate the top floor with the meringues. Serve immediately.


I made Pavlova Bowls inspirated there. For the first time it is better to bake small bowls. If something is wrong, it would be a smaller damage.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Tribute to Anna Pavlova

Anna Pavlova
Russian "Swan" Ballerina
Birth: Jan. 31, 1881
Death: Jan. 23, 1931

/Anna Pavlova in costume for the Dying Swan, Buenos Aires, ca 1928, by Frans van Riel/
/images from Wikipedia/

"God gives talent, but work transforms talent into genius." Pavlova was once heard saying. Anna Pavlova was a living testimony to that comment. Sweat and tears paved her road to fame, but her love for ballet helped her endure that road. Someone once said "she had the passion and the power to communicate through movement." Anna Pavlova gave the people of the world a great gift. The gift of a dance that could make one laugh or cry and hate or love. And the world loved her for it.

When Anna was eight years old her mother gave her a special Christmas gift. They were going to the Marinsky Theater, home of the great Kirov Ballet, to see The Sleeping Beauty. The ballet was the most beautiful thing Anna had ever seen, a world of wonder and fantasy. Then the curtain fell and Anna was dropped back into her own world. Her mother asked, "Do you want to dance like those lovely people?" But Anna answered, "No, I want to dance like the Princess Aurora." After that Anna would not give up the idea of dancing. After two years of antagonizing waiting, Anna was finally old enough to be enrolled in the Vagnova School of Ballet.

The Vagnova School of Ballet trained dancers to dance with the Russian Imperial Ballet. After eight long years of training and strain, the best dancers were accepted into the ballet company. Anna had been raised Russian Orthodox and was known to pray to the Virgin Mother for the strength and the perseverance that was required of the students. In the year of 1902, Anna graduated. Her debut performance was an affair of much anxiety, because not only was she watched by an audience but also by a jury that decided whether she would join the Company or not. However, the part that had been choreographed especially for her was a superb success, thrilling both audience and jury alike. She was accepted into the company as a coryphée, meaning she was never in the corps de ballet, instead she started in semi-solo roles. Within four years Anna had earned the valuable title of "Prima ballerina".






Anna was a very emotional person, both in her dancing and her love of the people of her motherland. In 1905 the government attacked the people she loved. The day that became known as "Bloody Sunday" was a day of sorrow for Anna Pavlova. She was very involved in the petition of her people and even led a strike against the Ballet Company. From that day on she worked towards the freedom of the arts, one of her great passions.

It was soon after this that The Dying Swan was created. The beauty of Anna and her pet swan Jack inspired Michel Fokine, Anna's dancing partner. The Dying Swan became Anna's masterpiece, her symbol. My own ballet teacher has told me "When you dance The Dying Swan, you are en point (balanced on your toes) the entire time, only at the end when the swan dies do you collapse." This requires much skill and strength, something that Anna didn't always have. However, The Dying Swan became famous not because of its difficulty but because of its meaning and Anna's ability to convey that. Allegra Kent in The Swan says, "In fact, a woman imitating a swan is an absurd idea. The body parts don't match, and the bird is graceful only when swimming. A swan's foot is a webbed black affair that the bird can shake out like an old dishrag before folding it neatly under a wing. Pavlova en pointe and in motion had no duckish quality whatsoever." She adds, "The Dying Swan is not about a woman impersonating a bird, it's about the fragility of life - all life - and the passion with which we hold on to it. Pavlova's sheer dramatic intensity forcibly conveyed this truth." Though I agree with this I also think that Anna's amazing emotion and skill added to that so that she could "become" a swan. It has been said that "Her arms were like wings, the Swan was weakening, it moved no more". People could see a swan, not just a person.


The first time Anna Pavlova danced away from her home theater was in 1907 when the Company went to Moscow. Anna's natural sense of adventure and love for the audience convinced her that she needed to spread her dancing worldwide. "No dancer, before or since, traveled as extensively: 350,000 miles in fifteen years" says a writer for the Gayor Minden website. Anna Pavlova started her own company some time after 1912, though it is not quite clear when. They performed from Australia to Brazil, in dingy movie theaters with car headlights for stage lights, a circus the act after the elephants, a school for children and the Metropolitan Opera House were just a few of her stages.


Before she left for her first tour the Tsar told her "My fear is that we will lose you." During her extensive travels his fear became reality and she lost contact with Russia. It wasn't for many years that she learned her mother was alive. The Russian Revolution and World War I not only apprehended her contact with her Motherland but also kept Anna away from her beloved Ivy House in England. After she finally returned to Ivy House, she began to help her country in tangible ways. Ellen Lavine tells us: in 1921, Anna bought a house outside Paris; it became a home for Russian refugee girls. When the house closed it had housed more than forty-five girls.

After returning to London Anna began to grow weak though she would never admit it. One day she sent one of her dancers to a Russian Orthodox church saying "Go and pray for me. I feel in the shadow of a dark heavy cloud" In 1931, after a cold night in a broken down train Anna became very ill, ill enough to cancel her performance, something she had never done before. The whole world became distressed when they learned she was ill, several royals called every hour for an update. A much-loved lady was dying. The night of January 22, Anna made her last request in little more than a whisper, "Bring me my swan costume, play that last measure softly". And so Anna passed out of our world thinking of ballet to the very end. The next day her company danced as requested, at the end the Swan music was played and the spotlight roved over an empty stage.




In her own words: "What exactly is success? For me it is to be found not in applause, but in the satisfaction of feeling that one is realizing one's ideal. When, a small child rambling over there by the fire trees, I thought that success spelled happiness. I was wrong. Happiness is like a butterfly which appears and delights us for one brief moment, but soon fly's away.

In 1931 she contracted pleurisy. Doctors could have saved her life with an operation that would have damaged her ribs and left her unable to perform. Pavlova chose to die rather than give up dancing. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Český Krumlov

If you ´ve missed out on visiting the UNESCO listed Český Krumlov, it´s never too late. High upon a rocky promontory above the meandering Vltava stands the second largest Czech castle and  chateau complex. Inside await Schwarzenberg interiors. Incredibly wonderful.
It wasn´t easy for me. I have Vocal Cord Paralysis. Few weeks ago it was bilateral vocal cord paralysis. Symptoms of bilateral vocal cord paralysis include:
    * dyspnea (difficulty breathing)
    * stridor (a high pitched sound when breathing in)
    * difficulty swallowing – may choke or cough while eating
In bilateral vocal cord paralysis, both vocal cords are unable to open and close appropriately and therefore do not open when breathing in and close when swallowing. Because the airway is partially blocked when inhaling, stridor can occur due to the turbulent airflow through the vocal cords. Choking and coughing may occur while eating because the airway is unprotected while swallowing and some food or liquid may pass through the vocal cords into the airway. This is also known as aspiration and can cause pneumonia to occur.
Now right sight is alive, so it is „only“ unilateral vocal cord paralysis.
Symptoms of unilateral vocal cord paralysis include:
    * hoarseness
    * breathy voice (others hear sounds of breathing while you are talking)
    * change in vocal quality – loss of loudness or pitch
I have speech therapy  treatment . And best of all is a tracheotomy won´t need to be performed.
It is still difficult to walk up stairs, lift heavy objects, "hold" a breath, choking when drinking liquids,...
Finally I am able to live „normal“ life, I was on holiday. I am so happy. And there are a few photos:


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My "new" Kitchen Cabinet

     Long, cold winters make us want to burrow down in warm, but this year we have long, cold summer. So I am at home and can decorate, paint, renovate,...I painted an Kitchen Cabinet  and walls in the kitchen.
     As for the look? I always admired Mediterranean look with pure white walls inside and blue shutters which keeping things cool. I would like to have ultra feminine rooms, kitchen,...everything. So I am really glad I have small "fairy" kitchen.
     This picture is really fabulous. I must share.
from http://homedecoratingideas4all.com/home-decor-gallery/pink-decoration-with-teapot-lamp-121



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Khachapuri / Хачапури (Грузинская кухня)

Khachapuri is a wonderful food. There are many types - they are open (like cheesecake), and closed with an egg (when poured into the hole a raw egg and baked) and without it; khachapuri can be baked in the oven and roast in a pan. Khachapuri has many varieties: closed, circular, or "boat", etc. Dough for khachapuri should not be too tight, but should not spread, it should be gentle.

It is a bread filled with cheeses. The cheeses should have contrasts. I found this recipe pretty unique and decided to share with my friends.

  • 1 / 3 cup yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 200g of flour
  • 1 egg
  • 200 g Cheddar cheese
  • 100 g ricotta cheese or 1 cup cottage cheese
  •  100 g goat cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, if needed
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon pepper (optional)
1. Knead a soft dough. Dough can be made 1 day ahead and chilled in bowl (for a slow rise), covered with plastic wrap. For a quicker dough, you can add a small pinch of baking soda, which will react with fermented milk products. I made it without an baking soda. Cover the ready dough with a plastic wrap and let it rest until further use. 
2. Add filling. First time i made it I did not have the kinds of cheese of the recipe.So I used moldy blue cheese and cottage cheese and it was great. Now you know why is my Khachapuri a little bit blue.
3. Cover the loaves and let them rise for 45 minutes or longer.
4. Bake the loaves in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes. When finished, the loaves will be golden brown, and the middle should feel set. Tent the loaves with aluminum foil after 15 minutes if they seem to be browning too quickly. Remove the loaves from the oven, and allow them to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. 
5. Ready khachapuri pour hot butter and serve immediately
My cooking is a little bit spontaneously and intuitive so I change every one recipe.