10 August 2013

Coconut Flour Brownies

This is a very quick and easy recipe. You just mix it up, bake and within an hour you have a healthy and very tasty treat for the whole family. This is amazing how easy this is!


100g organic preferably raw butter plus some extra for buttering the baking tin
100g organic dark good quality chocolate
4 organic free range medium eggs
170g raw organic honey (or organic rapadura, or organic coconut sugar)
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
1/3 tsp sea salt
50-60g organic coconut flour


mixing bowl
17×26 baking or roasting dish/tin (I use glass)


Heat the oven to 180C.

Gently melt chocolate and butter. Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl, add the butter and chocolate mixture (make sure it is cool), vanilla, honey, salt. Mix everything very well. Now mix in the coconut flour, I would advise to put the first 50g and mix very thoroughly, then set the mixture aside for one minute. The coconut flour has loads of fiber and absorbs a lot of moisture, so wait and see your mixture thicken quite a lot. After a minute check the batter and decide if you want to thicken it further.

Pour the brownies batter into the buttered baking dish, brownies will not rise so you can use the smaller dish or make the double batch. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Make sure to cook down before eating it.

And now enjoy!

8 August 2013

Sourdough Pelmeni (Russian Meat Dumplings)

This is a very traditional Russian recipe and does require time to prepare, but once ready it is a very nutritional, healthy, fast and easy to prepare meal. Please read through to make sure you set aside enough time to prepare this recipe.


For the dough

100 g white active sourdough starter
100 g filtered water
3 organic free range eggs
1 tsp sea salt
500 g organic white all purpose flour

For the meat filling

350 g organic pastured pork mince
350 g organic pastured beef mince (or wild venison mince if available)
50 g organic pastured chicken liver
50 g organic pastured lard or beef tallow or butter
1 small organic onion
2 medium cloves of organic garlic
salt and pepper to taste


mixing bowl
cling film
rolling pin
Russian pelmeni maker (they sell it on ebay)


Mix all the ingredients for the dough and knead it very well for around 10 minutes. The dough should be quite stiff. Place the dough in a slightly floured bowl and cover with cling film. Leave the dough at room temperature for at least 8 hours or overnight.

After 8 hours or in the morning prepare the meat filling by blending together all the liver, fat, onion, garlic and spices. Add this mixture into the pork and beef (venison) mince and mix it thoroughly with your hands if possible, beat it by lifting the meat mixture and slamming it back in the mixing bowl, do that for at least 5 minutes. The fat and liver in the mixture makes the filling soft and fluffy, and the beating makes it bind together better. After you done, cover the bowl with the meat with cling film and let it 'rest' for 10 minutes.

In the meantime take the dough, nip off a small fist-size ball and roll it out very thinly on a lightly floured surface, leave the rest of the dough covered with cling film. Take the pelmeni maker and sprinkle it with some flour so the dough doesn't stick to it,

place the rolled out dough on top of the pelmeni maker.

Now you need to fill every opening with the meat mixture that you prepared earlier. Take two tea spoons and scoop the meat with one, there should be about 1/2 of the tsp of meat or slightly more, do not be tempted to take more meat as the finished product might burst, manipulating the piece of meat with two tea spoons scoop it out into first opening. Proceed filling in every opening of the pelmeni maker.

Do it as evenly as you can, some balls of meat will be bigger some smaller, that is ok.
Next cut another fist-size ball from the dough, roll it out thinly and place it over the meat.

Take the rolling pin and very gently bash on the top layer of dough so that the meat balls sink inside and then roll it on top to separate the pelmeni.

Remove the extra dough from around,

 pick up the pelmeni maker by the edge, turn it upside down and bash its side on the table so that the pelmeni fall out

be careful not to squash already fallen out pelmeni. Now for easier storage you need to freeze them. The best way to do it is by placing ready pelmeni on the slightly floured flat surface, I use plastic leads,

cover them with some cling film and transfer to the fridge for a few hours or until the pelmeni are frozen hard, then you can transfer them all into a large plastic zip bag and place into the freezer for the storage.

Keep doing the same using all the dough and all the meat.

At the very end when you have a small mount of both meat and dough I would advise you to finish off without the pelmeni maker. Here is how. Roll out the remaining dough thinly, take a narrow glass about 6-7cm in diameter and use it to cut the circle of dough,

then place the same ball of meat as above in the middle of the circle, take the circle in your hand bring the edges of the dough together to form a semi-circle and pinch the edges with your fingers, then bring the opposite ends together and form a round pelmen by pinching the ends together firmly.

You can actually make the whole batch like that manually if you decide to be really traditional about it.

In case you have some leftovers of meat and no more dough you can form meat balls and freeze them. If you have leftovers of dough you can roll it out very thinly, cut out long strips with a pizza cutter and you have tagliatelle pasta.

As soon as you make the pelmeni you can cook them straight away. You need to boil some water in a pot, adding 2-3 peppercorns, 1 bay leaf and some sea salt.

When the water is boiling throw in the amount of pelmeni you intend to eat, do not cover with the lid. Fresh pelmeni need 1-2 minutes to cook in the boiling water, they will be floating on the surface. When ready fish the pelmeni out with a skimmer, place them in a bowl and eat straight away. But if you really want to be Russian about it, add some sour cream (you can make your own, here is the recipe), a tea spoon of horseradish sauce and some of the liquid, mix everything together and eat as a soup.

The frozen pelmeni can be eated the same way, you do not need to thaw them, just boil the water and put the frozen pelmeni straight in, they will take 2-3 minutes in the boiling water to be cooked.

Pelmeni keep in the freezer for a few months and are really tasty and nourishing alternative to fast food or whenever you have no time for cooking.

4 August 2013

Traditional Russian Sour Cream (Super Easy and Cheap Recipe)

This is possibly the shortest and certainly one of the easiest recipes out there. This is due to it being very traditional and based on wild fermentation, meaning your involvement in the process is almost zero and all the work is done by the amazing creatures that are everywhere in the air - wonderful bacteria.

I now there are recipes that call for culture to be added to get the souring process started, but I tend to keep my cooking simple, cheap and follow the tradition where possible. The method I describe below is based on Russian tradition that was and still is used in villages to make sour cream.


organic raw grass-fed cream, the thicker the better
The amount really depends on your needs and here in London on your finances.


glass jar if your cream comes in plastic container

Leave the glass jar with the cream on the kitchen counter for 1 - 3 days covered with the lid but not tight, just place the lid on the jar and do not screw it closed. The amount of days solely depends on the temperature in your kitchen. During summer it will be 1-2 days, during winter around 3. Really what should be your guide is your taste buds. The taste of the finished product should be sour but not overpoweringly so, and just a tad sweet.

That is it, there you have your sour cream.
If you ask me where to use this wonderful product, well I would say almost anywhere: in borstch (traditional Russian and Ukrainian soup), on sautéed cabbage with mince (lazy Russian Golubtsy or Cabbage Rolls), in all the cream soups, in vegetable soups, on Russian Golubtsy (Cabbage Rolls), with Russian Pelmeni, on sautéed vegetables, on stuffed sweet peppers, on freshly boiled new potatoes with dill, mixed up with cream cheese and some honey or other sweetener of your choice (as a dessert), it can be just eaten on its own out of the jar, or with some honey if you like it sweet.

Yes, you are right again, I am Russian and I tend to use sour cream with almost everything :). Love the stuff!

Hey, happy cream souring to you and please do get back here and share your experience or just comment your thoughts.