The Syria of today offers tourists as much a cultural experience as a sightseeing one, where ancient history provides a fascinating backdrop to everyday life on the streets                          

 


Syria

Cake Recipes

Cranberry-chocolate torte

Preparation time45 minutes
Baking Time25 to 30 minutes
Refrigeration Time3 hours
Makes10 to 12 wedges

Ingredients:


1 cup ( 250 mol) strong hot coffee or espresso
3/4 cup ( 175 mol) unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup ( 75 mol) unsalted butter
2 squares ( 2 oz/56 G.) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
2 cups ( 500 mol) all-purpose flour
1-3/4 cups ( 425 mol) granulated sugar
1-1/2 tsp ( 7 mol) baking soda
1/2 tsp ( 2 mol) salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp ( 5 mol) vanilla
3/4 cup ( 175 mol) buttermilk
4 cups ( 1 L) chocolate butter cream or whipped cream
1-1/4 cups ( 300 mol) 170-g pkg sweetened dried cranberries

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Butter two 9-inch (23-cm) cake pans. Line bottoms with waxed or parchment paper, then butter paper and lightly flour. In a large mixing bowl, stir hot coffee with cocoa and butter until butter melts. Coarsely chop chocolate but do not add.

2. In a medium-size bowl using a fork, stir flour with sugar, baking soda and salt until blended. In large bowl (used in Step 1), stir eggs and vanilla into lukewarm coffee mixture. When combined, add a third of flour mixture, beating until moistened. Then stir in half of buttermilk until well mixed. Repeat, ending with final third of flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks.

3. Evenly divide butter between pans and smooth tops. Bake in centre of preheated 350F (180C) oven until cake begins to pull away from sides of pans and a cake tester inserted in middle comes out clean, from 25 to 30 minutes. Cool cakes in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Then turn out on racks to cool completely. Peel off papers.

4. To assemble cake, lay cake rounds out on a flat surface. Using a serrated knife, horizontally slice layers in half so you have 4 thinner rounds. Place one on cake stand or plate. Evenly spread with about a quarter of chocolate butter cream or whipped cream and sprinkle with some dried cranberries. Then repeat with remaining three rounds, stacking each on top of iced layers. Do not ice sides of torte. Refrigerate, uncovered, until filling has set, about 3 hours. Once butter cream has set, cover with plastic wrap. Using a large knife repeatedly rinsed under hot running water after every cut, slice into wedges. Cake with butter cream will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 days. Whipped cream version is best on the day it is made.

Nutrients per serving
7 G. protein, 38.6 G. fat, 92.1 G. carbohydrates, 321 mg sodium, 5.4 G. fiber, 710 calories, 2.8 mg iron, 58 mg calcium

Cream cheese icing

Preparation time5 minutes
Makes1 cup

Ingredients:


6 oz ( 200 G.) cream cheese, about 3/4 of a 250-g package at room temperature
2 tbsp ( 30 mol) honey
3/4 tsp ( 4 mol) vanilla
2 tbsp ( 30 mol) orange juice
1/2 cup ( 125 mol) chopped pecans

Directions:

1. Using an electric mixer or wooden spoon, beat cream cheese with honey, vanilla and orange juice until creamy. Spread over cake and sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Nutrients per 2 tablespoons
4 G. protein, 8 G. fat, 7 G. carbohydrates, 107 calories

Double chocolate cake

Preparation time10 minutes
Micro waving Time5 minutes
Baking Time55 minutes
Makes12 servings

Ingredients:


1/4 cup (50 mol) butter
1 cup (250 mol) chocolate wafer crumbs
2 tbsp (30 mol) packed brown sugar
1 cup (250 mol) finely chopped pecans or almonds, about 4 oz (125 G.)
1/3 cup (75 mol) seedless raspberry or apricot jam (optional)
2 (8-oz/225-g) pkgs semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
250 mol container whipping cream, about 1 cup
1/3 cup (75 mol) all-purpose flour
6 eggs
3/4 cup (175 mol) packed brown sugar
1 tsp (5 mol) vanilla

Directions:

1. Lightly butter a 9-inch (23-cm) spring form pan. Melt butter in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl. Using a fork, stir in chocolate crumbs and 2 tbsp (30 mol) brown sugar until evenly moist. Stir in nuts. Firmly press onto bottom of pan. Place jam, if using, in a small bowl and microwave on medium until melted, 45 seconds. Drizzle over crust, then gently spread evenly over crust. It won't cover entire crust.

2. Place chocolate and cream in bowl used for crust. Microwave, uncovered, on medium, stirring halfway through, until chocolate is nearly melted, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and stir until smooth. Gradually stir in flour.

3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs, brown sugar and vanilla on high until slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour one-third of mixture into chocolate. Stir until mixed. Then turn chocolate mixture into egg mixture and fold together just until no white streaks remain. Pour over crust.

4. Tap pan once on counter to even out filling. Bake in centre of 325F (160C) oven just until firm, 55 to 60 minutes. A cake tester inserted in centre will not come out clean. Remove from oven. Run a knife around inside edge of pan. Cool completely on a rack. Refrigerate, uncovered. Cake will keep well, covered and refrigerated, up to 2 days. Serve chilled or at room temperature with whipped cream and berries.

Nutrients per wedge
7.1 G. protein, 32 G. fat, 58.1 G. carbohydrates, 3.9 G. fiber, 2.5 mg iron, 66 mg calcium, 540 calories, 141 mg sodium

Double-layer fruitcake

Preparation time45 minutes
Baking Time35 to 40 minutes
Cooking time2 minutes
Makes1 cake, 12 slices

Ingredients:


1 cup ( 250 mol) butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 to 2 cups ( 375 to 500 mol) granulated sugar
3 eggs
3 cups ( 750 mol) all-purpose flour
3 tsp ( 15 mol) ground allspice
1 tsp ( 5 mol) baking soda
1 cup ( 250 mol) drained crushed pineapple
1 cup ( 250 mol) coarsely chopped toasted nuts, such as pecans or almonds
1-1/2 cups ( 375 mol) sweetened coconut, preferably angel flake or fine shred
1 cup ( 250 mol) raisins
1 cup ( 250 mol) buttermilk
2 cups ( 500 mol) granulated sugar
1/4 cup ( 50 mol) corn syrup
1/3 cup ( 75 mol) milk
1/2 cup ( 125 mol) butter
1/4 tsp ( 1 mol) salt
1 tsp ( 5 mol) vanilla

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease the bottoms of two 9-inch (23-cm) round pans or coat with cooking spray. Line with waxed paper and grease again.

2. Using an electric mixer or a wooden spoon, beat 1 cup butter and 1-1/2 to 2 cups sugar together until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating constantly until blended. Measure flour, allspice and soda into a bowl. Stir with a fork until blended. Mix pineapple, nuts, coconut and raisins in another bowl.

3. Beat a third of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, then half of the buttermilk. Repeat, ending with last third of flour mixture. Stir in pineapple mixture until evenly distributed. Spoon into pans, then smooth tops. Bake in centre of preheated 350F (180C) oven until cakes start to pull away from sides of pan, and a cake tester inserted near centre comes out fairly clean, from 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn out and remove waxed paper. Then, finish cooling on rack. Invert one layer, bottom-side up, onto a plate.

4. For glaze, fill sink with about 2 inches (5 cm) cold water. Measure 2 cups sugar, corn syrup, milk, 1/2 cup butter and salt into a large saucepan. Place over low heat and stir until butter is melted. Raise heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Place pan in cold water. Beat just until it begins to thicken, 2 to 3 minutes for a glaze that will drip down cake sides or 4 to 5 minutes for a fudge-like frosting. Spoon about one-third of icing over bottom of inverted layer. Spread evenly. Top with remaining layer, right-side up. Spoon rest of icing overtop, spreading decoratively. Icing will firm up on cake. Cake will keep well, covered, in refrigerator for up to 1 week or can be frozen up to 1 month.

Nutrients per slice
7.4 G. protein, 33.6 G. fat, 106.9 G. carbohydrates, 739 calories, 2.5 mg iron, 69 mg calcium

Easy rhubarb & berry short cakes

Preparation time10 minutes
Micro waving Time9 minutes
Makes4 to 6 servings (2-1/4 cups sauce)

Ingredients:


1 quart strawberries
2 cups(1/2 inch/1 cm) pieces fresh or frozen rhubarb
1/2 cup ( 125 mol) granulated sugar
2 tbsp ( 30 mol) cornstarch
4 to 6 baking powder biscuits, small short cakes or 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick pieces of pound cake

Directions:

1. Wash, dry and hull strawberries. Cut in half or quarters if large. You should have 2 to 2-1/2 cups (500 to 625 mol).

2. Place rhubarb in a microwave-safe 2-L (8-cup) dish. Mix sugar with cornstarch and stir in. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap, vented in one corner. Microwave on high for 6 minutes if using fresh rhubarb and 8 minutes if using frozen.

3. Stir in strawberries and continue micro waving, uncovered, stirring once, until bubbly and thickened, about 3 minutes.

4. Split biscuits in half. Spoon sauce overtop and serve with a dollop of softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Covered and refrigerated, sauce will keep well for up to 2 days.

Fabulous light fruit cake

Preparation time20 minutes
Refrigeration Time2 hours
Makes8 servings

Ingredients:


6 cups ( 1.5 L) cut-up mixed fruit, such as berries, peaches, mangoes or kiwis
2 tbsp ( 30 mol) rum (optional)
1 tbsp ( up to 2 tbsp, 15 to 30 mol) granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups ( 375 mol) drained ricotta or mascarpone cheese
1-1/2 cups ( 375 mol) whipping cream
1/4 cup ( up to 1/3 cup, 50 to 75 mol) granulated sugar
2 tsp ( 10 mol) finely grated orange peel (optional)
2 tsp ( 10 mol) vanilla
8 inch ( 20-cm) store-bought angel food cake (see tip below if using home-made cake)

Directions:

1. If using peaches, mangoes or other stone fruit, peel and discard pits. Cut large fruit into small bite-size pieces. Cut strawberries into halves or quarters depending on their size. Place fruit in a bowl and stir in rum, if using. Taste and stir in just enough sugar to sweeten a little. This will help to create juice. Set aside at room temperature.

2. In large bowl of a stand-up mixer or in a large deep bowl, combine cheese and cream. Add 1/3 cup (75 mol) sugar to mixture if you are using ricotta cheese. Use only 1/4 cup (50 mol) if using mascarpone. Add orange peel, if you like. Using low speed of an electric mixer, beat mixture until it begins to thicken, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and beat until very thick, from 3 to 4 minutes. Then beat in vanilla.

3. Meanwhile, using a serrated knife, cut cake into 3 equally thick layers. Measure out 2 cups (500 mol) fruit mixture and set aside for topping. To assemble, place widest cake layer on a platter (with some store-bought cakes, the top of the cake is wider than the bottom).

4. Using a palette or butter knife, spread a thin layer of ricotta mixture, about 3/4 cup (175 mol), evenly over cut surface of cake. Then spoon half of unreserved fruit over ricotta-spread cake. Lightly spread a layer of ricotta over bottom of middle cake layer and set on top of berries. Gently press down cake. Spread another layer of ricotta, about 3/4 cup (175 mol), over cut surface of middle cake layer. Top with remaining fruit. Lightly spread ricotta over cut surface of last layer of cake. Set, ricotta-side down, on top of fruit. Lightly press down. Ice top with remaining ricotta mixture. If serving within 2 hours, arrange reserved fruit decoratively overtop of cake. Store in the refrigerator for 2 hours. If storing longer, don't add cut fruit to top until just before serving. Refrigerated cake will keep well for at least 6 hours; after that time, cake may become soggy. Carefully slice with a serrated knife and place a wedge of cake on dessert plates.

Nutrients per serving
18.4 G. fat, 56.6 G. carbohydrates, 218 mg sodium, 3.2 G. fiber, 426 calories, 1 mg iron, 176 mg calcium, 10.6 G. protein
* Excellent source of vitamins A and C
* Good source of calcium

Festive amaretto fruit bread

Preparation time20 minutes
Baking Time1 hour and 5 minutes
Makes1 loaf, 16 slices

Ingredients:


1-3/4 cups ( 425 mol) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup ( 150 mol ) granulated sugar
1 tbsp ( 15 mol) baking powder
1/2 tsp ( 2 mol ) salt
1/2 cup ( 125 mol) coarsely chopped candied cherries
1/2 cup ( 125 mol) coarsely chopped glazed pineapple
1/2 cup ( 125 mol) chopped mixed peel
1/2 cup ( 125 mol ) toasted slivered almonds
1 egg
1 cup ( 250 mol) milk
1/4 cup ( 50 mol) vegetable oil
3 tbsp ( 45 mol ) amaretto liqueur or milk
1 tsp ( 5 mol) almond flavoring

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease a 9x5-inch(1.5-L) loaf pan. Measure flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Stir with a fork until blended. Make a well in centre. Chop and measure out cherries, pineapple, peel and almonds.

2. Beat egg with milk, oil, amaretto and almond flavoring until blended. Pour into centre of flour mixture. Immediately add cherries, pineapple, mixed peel and nuts. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Batter will be lumpy. Spoon batter into pan. Smooth top.

3. Bake in centre of preheated oven until a knife inserted into loaf, right to pan bottom, comes out quite clean, from 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Store, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze.

Nutrients per slice
3 G. protein, 6 G. fat, 31.6 G. carbohydrates, 195 calories, .8 mg iron, 42.8 mg calcium

Ginger chocolate-chunk coffee cake

Preparation time20 minutes
Cooking time70 minutes
Makes1 cake, 12 to 16 slices

Ingredients:


3 cups ( 750 mol) all-purpose flour
2 tsp ( 10 mol) baking powder
1 tsp ( 5 mol) ground ginger
1/2 tsp ( 2 mol) baking soda
1/2 tsp ( 2 mol) salt
2 to 4 tbsp (30 to 60 mol) finely chopped candied ginger
8 squares ( 8 oz/225 G.) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
1 cup ( 250 mol) regular or light sour cream
1/2 cup ( 125 mol) milk
3/4 cup ( 175 mol) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups ( 375 mol) granulated sugar
2 tsp ( 10 mol) vanilla
3 large eggs

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Butter and flour a 10 inch (25 cm) Pan or angel food pan. In a mixing bowl using a fork, stir flour with baking powder, ground ginger, baking soda and salt. If using candied ginger, finely chop. Coarsely chop chocolate. Stir sour cream with milk.

2. In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer or wooden spoon, beat butter with sugar and vanilla until well mixed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in about a third of flour mixture until combined. Then mix in half of sour cream mixture. Repeat, ending with final third of flour mixture. Fold candied ginger, if using, and chocolate into batter.

3. Turn batter into pan. Smooth top. Bake in 350F (180C) oven until a cake tester inserted into centre comes out clean except for a streak of melted chocolate, from 70 to 75 minutes. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes. Then turn out of pan and finish cooling. Cake will keep well, covered at room temperature, for up to 3 days or can be frozen.

Nutrients per slice
6.6 G. protein, 22.7 G. fat, 61.5 G. carbohydrates, 222 mg sodium, 2.2 G. fiber, 465 calories, 2.2 mg iron, 72 mg calcium

Glazed orange-rhubarb loaf

Preparation time25 minutes
Baking Time1-1/4 hours
Makes1 large loaf, about 12 thick slices

Ingredients:


2-1/2 cups ( 625 mol) frozen sliced or 2 cups (500 mol) chopped fresh rhubarb
1/4 cup ( 50 mol) granulated sugar
2 to 3 oranges
2 tbsp ( 30 mol) granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp ( 5 mol) vanilla
3 cups ( 750 mol) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup ( 175 mol) granulated sugar
3 tsp ( 15 mol) baking powder
1 tsp ( 5 mol) baking soda
1/2 tsp ( 2 mol) salt
1/3 cup ( 75 mol) butter, melted
3/4 cup ( 175 mol) pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped

Directions:

1. Measure out rhubarb. Defrost frozen rhubarb, then drain well and pat dry. Finely chop. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Lightly grease a 9x5-inch (1.5-L) loaf pan. Stir rhubarb with 1/4 cup (50 mol) sugar and set aside. Finely grate peel from 2 oranges to make about 2 tablespoons (30 mol), and squeeze out 1 cup (250 mol) juice. Measure 2 tablespoons (30 mol) of this juice into a dish. Stir in 2 tablespoons (30 mol) sugar and set aside to glaze loaf.

2. In a medium-size bowl, beat egg. Stir in remaining juice (1 cup/250 mol minus 2 tablespoons/30 mol), grated peel and vanilla. Measure flour, 3/4 cup (175 mol) sugar, baking powder, soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir with a fork until blended and make a well in centre. Pour in egg mixture and cooled melted butter. Stir just until evenly combined. Batter is very thick. Stir in rhubarb mixture and nuts just until evenly distributed.

3. Turn into prepared pan. Batter will almost fill the pan. Smooth top. Bake in centre of preheated 350F (180C) oven until top is golden and a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 to 20 minutes. Place pan on a rack. Stir orange juice and sugar mixture. Pour over top of hot loaf. Cool loaf in pan for 10 minutes. Then, turn out of pan and place loaf on rack to finish cooling. Loaf will keep well, covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days. Or wrap airtight and freeze. Bread is wonderful spread with cream cheese.

Nutrients per slice
4.7 G. protein, 10.9 G. fat, 48.2 G. carbohydrates, 305 calories, 1.7 mg iron, 96.8 mg calcium

Grand Marnier chocolate torte

Preparation time1 hour
Baking Time30 minutes
Refrigeration Time4 hours
Cooking time5 minutes
Makes12 wedges

Ingredients:


2-1/2 cups ( 625 mol) all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups ( 300 mol) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp ( 10 mol) baking soda
1 tsp ( 5 mol) baking powder
3/4 tsp ( 4 mol) salt
1 cup ( 250 mol) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup ( 250 mol ) granulated sugar
3/4 cup ( 175 mol) brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tbsp ( 15 mol) vanilla
2 cups ( 500 mol) buttermilk
1/2 ( 355 mol) can frozen concentrated orange juice, about 3/4 cup (175 mol)
3/4 cup ( 175 mol ) granulated sugar
1 envelope gelatin, about 1 tbsp (15 mol)
shredded or grated peel of 2 oranges
1/2 cup ( 125 mol) orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
4 cups ( 1 L) whipping cream
3/4 cup ( 175 mol) sifted icing sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease two 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pans with shortening or coat with cooking spray. Line bottoms with waxed paper and grease again. Measure flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a medium-size bowl. Stir with a fork until well blended and no lumps of cocoa remain.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter using an electric mixer on medium-high speed until very creamy. Gradually add 1 cup (250 mol) granulated sugar and 3/4 cup (175 mol) brown sugar, beating until light and fluffy, at least 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Add vanilla until blended.

3. Turn mixer to low and beat in one-third of flour mixture, then half of buttermilk, beating only until mixed after each addition. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then remaining buttermilk, ending with remaining flour mixture. Beat only until evenly blended. Over beating at this point will toughen cake.

4. Divide batter evenly between pans, then bang pans on counter several times to remove air bubbles. Bake in centre of 350F (180C) oven until centre of cake springs back when lightly touched and sides of cake start to pull away from pan, from 30 to 35 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans set on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn out. Remove waxed paper, then cool cakes thoroughly on racks. When ready to assemble cake, slice each half horizontally to make 4 layers.

5. To make filling, combine frozen concentrate, 3/4 cup (175 mol) sugar and gelatin in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar and gelatin are dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in orange peel and 1/4 cup (50 mol) liqueur. Press a sheet of waxed paper into surface of orange mixture and refrigerate just until it no longer feels warm to the touch, about 20 minutes.

6. Whip cream in a large mixing bowl until soft peaks will form. Gradually beat in icing sugar until combined. Fold in liqueur mixture until evenly blended and no white streaks of whipping cream remain.

7. To assemble, place a layer of cake, cut-side up, on a serving plate. Brush with about 1 tablespoon (15 mol) liqueur. Spoon a scant fifth of filling onto middle of layer, then gently spread almost to edge. Top with a cake layer, brush with 1 tablespoon (15 mol) liqueur, then spread with a fifth of filling. Repeat until all layers have been added. Use remaining filling to frost top and sides of cake. Refrigerate immediately for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, so flavors blend. For best flavor, bring cake to room temperature before serving. Leftover cake will keep well, loosely covered, in the refrigerator for about 2 days.

Nutrients per serving
10 G. protein, 46.6 G. fat, 90.6 G. carbohydrates, 458 mg sodium, 4.3 G. fiber, 809 calories, 3.1 mg iron, 158 mg calcium
* Excellent source of folacin and vitamin A
* Good source of iron and vitamin C

Harvest carrot cake

Preparation time25 minutes
Baking Time25 minutes
Makes12 servings

Ingredients:


1 cup (250 mol) golden raisins
3 tbsp (45 mol) orange-flavored liqueur or orange juice
7 medium-size carrots
4 eggs
2 tbsp (30 mol) finely grated orange peel
1 1/2 cups (375 mol) brown sugar
1 cup (250 mol) vegetable oil
1 tsp (5 mol) vanilla
2 cups (500 mol) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp (7 mol) each baking powder and baking soda
1 tsp (5 mol) each ground cinnamon, nutmeg and salt
1/2 tsp (2 mol) allspice
1 cup (250 mol) toasted pine nuts (optional)
Icing
2 (8-oz/250-g) blocks cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups (500 mol) icing sugar
1 tsp (5 mol) vanilla
1 tbsp (15 mol) orange-flavored liqueur or orange juice
2/3 cup (150 mol) toasted unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Lightly butter 3 (9-inch/23-cm) round cake pans. If you don't have 3 pans, use disposable 8-1/2-inch (21.6-cm) round foil pans instead. Line bottom of pans with a circle of lightly buttered waxed paper.

2. To plump raisins, place in a small microwave-safe bowl and drizzle with liqueur. Cover with plastic. Microwave on medium until warm, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside. Peel carrots, then grate using large grating disc of a food processor or a box grater. Grated carrots should measure no more than 3-1/2 cups (875 mol). It's important not to use any more or cake will be soggy.

3. In a medium-size bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs with orange peel, brown sugar, oil and vanilla until smooth. In a large bowl, using a fork, stir flour with baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and allspice. Make a well in centre. Pour in egg mixture. Stir just until moist. Gently stir in carrots, raisins with any remaining liqueur and pine nuts until evenly distributed. Scrape into prepared pans and smooth tops. Bake in centre of 350F (180C) oven until a cake tester inserted in centre of cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack and cool completely. If making ahead, wrap individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 3 days.

4. For icing, place cream cheese in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until creamy. Beat in icing sugar, then vanilla and liqueur, scraping down sides as needed. Stir in 1/3 cup (75 mol) coconut. Place 1 cake on a large plate. Spread one-third of frosting overtop, just to edges. Repeat layering with cakes and frosting to form a triple-decker cake. Sprinkle top with remaining coconut. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, or overnight, before serving. Slice into wedges and serve. Any leftovers will keep well, covered and refrigerated, up to 5 days.

Nutrients per wedge
8.3 G. protein, 34.9 G. fat, 79.2 G. carbohydrates, 2.8 mg iron, 108 mg calcium, 655 calories, 555 mg sodium

Lime-poppy seed-yogurt cake

Preparation time10 minutes
Baking Time45 minutes
Makes10 wedges

Ingredients:


2 cups (500 mol) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (75 mol) poppy seeds (optional)
2 tsp (10 mol) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mol) baking soda
1/2 tsp (2 mol) salt
2 limes
1/2 cup (125 mol) butter, at room temperature
1 cup (250 mol) granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp (5 mol) almond or vanilla extract
1 cup (250 mol) Balkan-style plain yogurt (not low-fat)
Fresh berries

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Lightly butter or spray a 9-inch (23-cm) spring form pan. In a small bowl, using a fork, stir flour with poppy seeds, if using, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Finely grate peels from limes. Squeeze out juice. You should have about 2 tsp (10 mol) peel and 1/4 cup (50 mol) juice (do not use more than this). In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Gradually beat in sugar, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl with a spatula. Beat in eggs and almond extract until well blended. Beat in yogurt, lime peel and juice. Using a large wooden spoon or spatula, gently stir in flour mixture until blended. Batter will be quite thick. Scrape into pan, then smooth top.

2. Bake in centre of 350F (180C) oven until a cake tester inserted into centre comes out clean and centre of cake springs back when pressed, from 45 to 50 minutes. If top becomes golden before cake is baked, loosely cover with foil for remaining baking time. Let cake cool on a rack 5 minutes before removing spring form sides. Slice into wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature with berries. Cake is best eaten the day it's made.

Nutrients per wedge (without berries)
5.8 G. protein, 14 G. fat, 43 G. carbohydrates, 1.3 G. fiber, 1.6 mg iron, 141 mg calcium, 318 calories, 525 mg sodium
* Good source of folacin

Maple praline cheesecake

Preparation time45 minutes
Baking Time1 hour
Standing Time2 hours
Micro waving Time6 minutes
Refrigeration Time2 hours
Makes12 to 16 wedges

Ingredients:


1 cup ( 250 mol) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ( 50 mol) brown sugar
1/4 cup ( 50 mol) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup ( 50 mol) coarsely chopped pecans
3 ( 250 G.) pkgs regular cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup ( 175 mol) granulated sugar
2 tbsp ( 30 mol) all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 cup ( 250 mol) regular sour cream
1/3 cup ( 75 mol) maple syrup
1/3 cup ( 75 mol) chopped pecans
3/4 cup ( 175 mol) corn syrup
1-1/2 cups ( 375 mol) brown sugar
1-1/2 cups ( 375 mol) pecans halves
1/4 cup ( 50 mol) butter

Directions:

1. For the base: Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease a 9-1/2-inch (24-cm) spring form pan. In a food processor, whirl 1 cup of flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar and butter. Add 1/4 cup pecans and pulse just until blended. Or work flour with sugar and butter, then stir in nuts. Press into bottom of pan. Bake in centre of preheated 350F (180C) oven for 10 minutes. Cool on a rack.

2. Beat cream cheese with granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons flour until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then sour cream. Mix in maple syrup. Stir in 1/3 cup pecans just until evenly mixed.

3. Pour over base and smooth top. Bake in centre of preheated 350F (180C) oven until centre is almost set and cake around outside is firm, from 45 to 50 minutes. Turn off oven. Without opening door, let cake stand in oven 2 hours. Leave spring form side on pan.

4. To cook topping in a microwave, combine remaining ingredients in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high, uncovered, until boiling, from 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 minutes. Continue boiling on high power for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes of boiling, drop a little of hot syrup into a measuring cup half-full of cold water. If a soft caramel ball can be formed, sauce is done. If not, microwave for another 30 to 60 seconds, then test again. Repeat until caramel balls form. Or place topping ingredients in a medium-size saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Boil vigorously until a soft ball will form in cold water, about 4 minutes. Let cool until warm. Mixture should be very thick but pourable. If too thick, add 1 tablespoon of water and microwave, uncovered, for 30 to 60 seconds, then stir. Repeat if necessary. Immediately pour over top of cheesecake with spring form side still in place and spread evenly. Refrigerate at least until cold, from 2 to 3 hours.

5. To serve, loosen around side with knife. Topped cheesecake will keep well, tightly covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator, for up to 2 days. Or freeze.

Nutrients per wedge
7.3 G. protein, 35.4 G. fat, 59.7 G. carbohydrates, 205 mg sodium, 1.4 G. fiber, 570 calories, 2.6 mg iron, 100 mg calcium

Mocha meringue cake

Preparation time1 hour
Baking Time2 hours
Standing Time Overnight
Refrigeration Time3 hours
Cooking time5 minutes
Makes16 wedges

Ingredients:


1-1/2 cups ( 375 mol) sifted icing sugar
1-1/4 cups ( 300 mol) egg whites, about 10 egg whites
1 tbsp ( 15 mol) instant coffee powder or granules
1/2 tsp ( 2 mol) cream of tartar
1 pinch salt
1 cup ( 250 mol) brown sugar
12 squares ( 12 oz/about 340 G.) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
1 cup ( 250 mol) whipping cream
1/2 cup ( 125 mol) butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 tsp ( 7 mol) vanilla
2 cups ( 500 mol) coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts, pecans or walnuts (see tip, below)

Directions:

1. Arrange oven racks so one is just below oven centre and one just above. Preheat oven to 275F (140C). Line two large flat baking sheets with parchment paper, un greased foil or brown paper. Using bottom of an 8-inch (20-cm) cake pan as a guide, lightly trace circles on paper or foil, 2 to a baking sheet, for a total of 4 circles. (Or alternately, meringues can be baked individually on inverted bottoms of cake pans. Turn over four 8-inch (20-cm) cake pans and cover outside bottoms with un greased foil.) Sift icing sugar with a flour sifter or by pushing through a sieve with back of a large spoon into a bowl.

2. In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat room-temperature egg whites with coffee granules, cream of tartar and salt until foamy. Continue beating at high speed until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted, from 2 to 3 minutes. Continuing to beat at high speed, sprinkle in brown sugar. Continue beating until fairly stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted. Using a wide spatula, gently fold in icing sugar just until distributed. Some lighter streaks may still be visible.

3. Dividing equally, evenly spread egg white mixture on traced circles or pan bottoms. Slightly swirl with back of a spoon, though it does not have to be smooth. Bake in 275F (140C) oven until firm on outside, about 2 hours. Then turn off heat and leave in oven overnight with door closed.

4. When ready to make truffle filling and assemble cake, coarsely chop chocolate and place in a saucepan. Add whipping cream. Cook, stirring frequently over medium heat until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Then beat butter in a large mixing bowl until very creamy. Add chocolate mixture and vanilla. Continue beating mixture until very soft, about 3 minutes.

5. Then peel cooled meringues from paper or foil. Place one meringue on cake stand or plate. Evenly spread with about a quarter of filling. Then sprinkle with about a quarter of chopped nuts. Repeat with remaining layers, stacking one on top of another. Do not ice sides of cake. Refrigerate, uncovered, until filling has set, about 3 hours. Using a large knife repeatedly rinsed under hot running water, slice into very thin wedges. Once chocolate filling has set, cake can be covered with plastic wrap. Cake will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 days. However, meringues will soften with time.

Nutrients per serving
5.3 G. protein, 28.9 G. fat, 38.5 G. carbohydrates, 103 mg sodium, 2.4 G. fiber, 412 calories, 1.6 mg iron, 61 mg calcium

Molten chocolate cake

Preparation time20 minutes
Baking Time12 minutes
Standing Time5 minutes
Makes8 small cakes

Ingredients:


8 tsp (40 mol) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 tsp (40 mol) granulated sugar
8 oz (250 G.) bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup (125 mol) unsalted butter
1 tbsp (15 mol) cocoa
1 tbsp (15 mol) instant coffee granules (optional)
6 eggs
3/4 cup (175 mol) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (125 mol) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (125 mol) ground almonds (optional)

Directions:

1. Butter insides of 8 custard cups or ramekins, then sprinkle each with about a teaspoon (5 mol) sugar. Gently shake until sugar coats each cup evenly. Then turn cups over and shake out any excess sugar.

2. Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Coarsely chop chocolate. To melt 1/2 cup butter and chocolate, place both in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl along with cocoa and coffee, if using. Microwave on medium power, stirring every minute, until butter is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir until smooth. Or melt butter with chocolate, cocoa and coffee, if using, in a saucepan set over medium-low heat. Stir often until smooth, about 5 minutes.

3. Separate 3 eggs, placing yolks in a large bowl and whites in a mixing bowl. Add remaining 3 whole eggs to yolks. Using an electric mixer, beat yolks while gradually adding 3/4 cup sugar until mixture is pale in colour, from 3 to 4 minutes. On low speed, gradually beat in chocolate mixture. Then gradually beat in flour and almonds, if using, just until combined. Immediately clean beaters, then beat whites until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted. Turn into yolk mixture. Using a wide spatula, gently fold in just until no white streaks remain.

4. Divide mixture between cups, filling to 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) below the rims. Place on a large baking sheet. If making ahead, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 1 day. Bake in centre of 400F (200C) oven until sides are crusty and tops are set. This takes from 12 minutes for very runny centers to 14 minutes for soft centers. If baking cakes from the refrigerator, bake 2 more minutes. Do not over bake.

5. Remove cakes from oven and let stand 5 minutes. Centers will flatten and fall. Run a knife around edges. Using a tea towel to hold cakes, invert each one onto serving plates. Centers should be slightly runny. Serve warm with ice cream or orange liqueur crème anglaise.

Nutrients per small cake
8.6 G. protein, 34.9 G. fat, 36.8 G. carbohydrates, 91 mg sodium, 4.8 G. fiber, 454 calories, 2.7 mg iron, 46 mg calcium
* Good source of vitamins A and B12 and iron

Make ahead

After baked cakes stand 5 minutes, turn out and cool. Place on a plate, wrap in plastic and refrigerate up to 2 days. To reheat, remove wrap. Microwave cakes individually, bottom-side up on a plate, on medium, 30 to 45 seconds. Or heat several, uncovered on a baking sheet in a preheated 450F (230C) oven, about 4 minutes.

 
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