Tahini Cake

July 27, 2011 § 6 Comments

A new friend of mine asked me to guest post on her blog, this got me super excited and honored at the same time. She’s a fellow food blooger, an emirati, and a super Hero (i.e.full time mom) like me! She blogs at LaMereCulinaire. I totally relate to her life, juggling a toddler around is hard, and she does it with an infant on the other hand! I’m freaking out thinking about how I’m going to manage my life around 2 babies!!! I bow to you Arwa…

I’m writing this post right now while my daughter is lying on the couch next to me watching TV in a big mess of cracker crumbs around her, screaming “mommy one!” indicating she’s done with her cracker and wants one more! She’s full, now lets move to feeding mommy and making a bigger mess…. anyways back to the recipe.

Ramadhan is knocking our doors and we are getting super excited! Ramadan is a holly month that we get to clean our bodies and souls in. 29-30 days of fasting, praying and asking God for forgiveness,health, safety and anything we want. Its a time where you feel peace and serenity all around you through out the day, its truly a magical time.

Unfortunately it has been mistranslated recently into staying up late till dusk in “arabesque” tents smoking shisha, gossiping, and watching the so called arabic belly dancers. So to all you looking at us from the outside, this is not how we live it, and most certainly the purpose behind fasting and having shorter working days is not sleeping all day and being awake all night.

I ask God to bless us all and bring this month to us in health and prosperity.

I wanted to create something that had an arabic essence, a feel of Ramadhan about it. I was googling for inspiration and thought about tanini, a favorite ingredient of mine, especially in desserts. I love to have dates drizzled with tahini or some freshly baked pita bread dipped in Tahini then in date molasses for breakfast… yumm!

I immediately imagined the flavor in a cake and started searching for a recipe. I found a greek tahini cake “tahinopita” which seemed very appealing. I tweaked the recipe a bit and came up with this amazing cake that is delicious warm, bursting with orange, tahini and molasses flavors, and even better sliced and baked in a warm oven to give you the most delicious biscoties you have ever tasted.

Tahini Cake (my own recipe)

  • 2 cups whole meal spelt flour
  • 3/4 cup tahini
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • juice and zest of one large navel orange
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt or butter milk

Preheat oven to 175C, brush your baking pan with tahini, I used a rectangular loaf pan, it really works as an amazing non stick agent.

Sift all dry ingredients together and set aside.

Mix wet ingredients together, add the sugar, orange zest and whisk till well combined. Fold in the dry ingredients gently till its incorporated in the dough.

Pour into your prepared baking pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until skewer inserted comes out clean. let it cool for few minutes and serve warm drizzled with date molasses, the cake is not sweet enough to have as dessert on its own, it needs the extra molasses and it complements the flavor of tahini well.

You can also slice it thinly into biscoties and lay on a baking rack and bake in hot oven for 15 minutes till crisp. Store in airtight container.

Enjoy!

Fatma

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Spelt Flour Banana Muffins

July 13, 2011 § 9 Comments

It’s been a long time since I cooked anything, let alone blog about it, but the past 2 weeks where a rough journey for us, coping and adjusting to the fact that a family member is missing.

I’m one of those people that hate to see any kind of food go bad in front of me, and I guess this thing runs in our family, my mom and sister are worst cases.

Recently my daughter has become such a picky eater and running out of control snacking on crisps and chocolates the whole time…. so those two reasons brought together the birth of this recipe.

Its a delicious sugar, and egg free banana chocolate muffins made with whole grain spelt flour. I didnt expect my 18month old to like them but she’s munching on them happily. Other than the fact that it got chocolate in it.. it’s quite healthy! If you use good quality chocolate you don’t have to feel guilty eating them at all.

I have been experimenting with different kinds of flour and so far all the outcomes are amazing, the reason behind this is the book Good to the Grain by the amazing Kim Boyce. Her book really did give me a different prospective with cooking and baking. Why are we so attached to the plain all purpose flour, you get so much more flavor using different kinds of flour! And it became easier to get them in grocery stores recently here in Dubai.

Try out this Recipe and I hope you like it.

Spelt Flour Banana Muffins (by Fatma Shabib)

makes 5-6 large muffins

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter, oil or margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups wholegrain spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

preheat oven to 175C and line or grease a muffin tray.

In a small pan over low heat melt the butter with the honey and vanilla, take it off the heat and mash in the bananas and mix well.

In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and the chocolate chips. Add in the wet ingredients and mix gently with a spoon.

Pour the mixture in the muffin tray and bake for 20-25 minutes.

variations:

  • Instead of the chocolate chips you can add any kind of nuts you have on hand (almonds, walnuts or cashews)
  • or  add 1/2 cup of quick oats or cooked steel cut oats, will give it extra crunch on the top and nuttiness.
enjoy,
Fatma

Strawberry Rose Jam

June 24, 2011 § 12 Comments

First of all welcome, to my new blog this is just an extension of what I started on Fatmazkitchen. Baby steps as they would say.

I really wanted to start an official food blog a long time back but being a full time mom really does take all your time! I also wanted to start this blog with my amazing sister Mai, but she is busy getting married (good luck sis!) I hope she joins in later as her talent in food, photography and anything crafty is just amazing.

Trying to find a new name for the blog was so hard! most of the good ones where taken and I really wanted to capture the essence of an emirati arab woman cooking. Obviously the current name doesnt capture it entirely but after lots of brain storming and googling this was the best I (the not so creative of my siblings) can come up with.

I finally found the time to finish up the final touches and write a new post to launch the new blog on a vacation at our Prutting home in Germany. We love being here. Its a very small, tranquil, and quite (very bavarian) village in the province of Rosenheim, where every one is so sweet and simple. I feel away and free from all the hustle and bustle of Dubai.

Although this vacation is not perfect since its the first time for me away from my Hubby in almost 4 yrs. Habibi if you are reading this you are terribly missed.

Coming here I was so excited as it is summer and my daughter would have so much fun playing out in the garden, going to wild parks, and picking strawberries at strawberry farms, but unfortunately this past week was so cold and raining most of the time.

None the less this did not stop me from making the most delicious jam ever! It is summer and strawberries and roses  do peak at the same time. The strawberries were brought from the market but the most fragrant roses I have ever smelled were from our the garden. I have to admit although i adore rose jam this heavenly combination was not my idea… I found a jar of strawberry rose jam from Waitrose at my dad’s which I loved very much and was the source of this inspiration.

Just in case you didn’t make the link, Rosenheim means “roses home”. Here you can find all kinds of roses during the summer, the view and smell is just divine walking between the houses or even the streets.

As usual I didn’t stick to a recipe doing this jam but I found a great recipe in a blog. I did use the same ingredients in it but I went with my own quantities. I personally don’t like my jam to be too sweet so I used 2:1 fruit to sugar, and for the health part i also used brown sugar which did give it extra fragrance.

Strawberry-Rose Jam from Dans la cuisine food blog

Ingredients:

  • 2 quart baskets very ripe, fragrant strawberries
  • 4 c. sugar
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • Petals from 2-3 organically grown, very perfumed roses

Makes enough to fill 4-6 half-pint jars, depending on the pectin content of your fruit and how long you need to cook it to reach the jelling point.

Hull the strawberries and cut them in half, dropping them into a conserve-making pot (which is very wide and relatively shallow) or other large casserole. Use a pot with the largest surface area possible. Toss with the sugar and put over medium-high heat, bringing to a boil and stirring frequently to prevent scorching. At the boil, reduce heat to medium.

Meanwhile, put a saucer in the freezer for testing the doneness of your jam, and put your clean jam jars upside down in a large pot of water. Put this on to boil to sterilize the jars. If your water is hard, add a dash of vinegar to the water to prevent unsightly mineral deposit on the jars. Bunch the petals of each rose together in your left hand, and cut off the base of the petals as you cut them from the calyx. The bases of the petals have a bitter taste, and you don’t want to include them in your jam.

Skim the foam from your jam as it cooks. When it seems slightly thickened, start testing it for doneness by placing a drop on the cold saucer and returning it to the freezer for a minute. Remove it and touch the jam drop. If it wrinkles slightly when you touch it, and clings in a sort of thread as you draw your fingertip away from it, it has reached the jell point. Reduce the heat to low. Stir in the lemon juice and rose petals. As soon as it returns to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to a barest simmer. Fill your hot sterile jars with the hot jam, leaving 1/4″ headroom if you are sealing them immediately. screw the lids on and cool at room temperature before storing.

Enjoy!

shakshouka

June 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

(previously posted on fatmazkitchen)

Cracking the code to the famous “Baker & Spice“‘s Shakshooka: Last week I had breakfast with my two best friends (my sisters) at Baker & Spice souq albahaar, downtown Burj Khalifa. Although I’m not a big fan of their menu, which was disappointing on several occasions, I opted for the highly raved about Shakshooka. It was brought to the table family style, in a big frying pan to share in the middle of the table. It is not the usual middle eastern Shakshooka that we are used to, where the eggs are mixed into the spicy tomato sauce, but rather eggs poached over the tomatoes. The tomato sauce was perfect, spicy tangy and sweet tomatoness oozing out of it. The eggs perfectly sitting on top of the sauce waiting for you to scoop out! Point is, for the first time I truly enjoyed a dish at Baker & Spice. A couple of days later I open the pantry and a jar of Arrabbiata pasta sauce is screaming at me… “It was me it was me!” I’m not crazy I swear. I opened the jar took a sniff, it’s a close one. Tasted it, well it was indeed the same sauce used for the Shakshooka! I placed the bottle in the fridge, saving it for the weekend, and this morning, waiting for it eagerly, I made the Shakshooka. It was YUMMY! Although my 17month old didn’t let me enjoy it to the most but nonetheless it was good. I used Marks and Spencer’s Arrabbiata pasta sauce seasoned it with salt & pepper and added fresh chopped coriander. Switched my broiler on high. Heated the sauce first  in a frying pan and cracked the eggs into it, once the eggs started to get opaque on the bottom I transferred the pan under the grill to cook the top part. A few seconds later it was ready. Steamy spicy and the smell was amazing! We dunked pita bread into it and savored the joy of my triumph.

Cracking the code to the famous “Baker & Spice“‘s Shakshooka:

Last week I had breakfast with my two best friends (my sisters) at Baker & Spice souq albahaar, downtown Burj Khalifa. Although I’m not a big fan of their menu, which was disappointing on several occasions, I opted for the highly raved about Shakshooka.

It was brought to the table family style, in a big frying pan to share in the middle of the table.

It is not the usual middle eastern Shakshooka that we are used to, where the eggs are mixed into the spicy tomato sauce, but rather eggs poached over the tomatoes.

The tomato sauce was perfect, spicy tangy and sweet tomatoness oozing out of it. The eggs perfectly sitting on top of the sauce waiting for you to scoop out!

Point is, for the first time I truly enjoyed a dish at Baker & Spice.

A couple of days later I open the pantry and a jar of Arrabbiata pasta sauce is screaming at me… “It was me it was me!” I’m not crazy I swear.

I opened the jar took a sniff, it’s a close one. Tasted it, well it was indeed the same sauce used for the Shakshooka!

I placed the bottle in the fridge, saving it for the weekend, and this morning, waiting for it eagerly, I made the Shakshooka. It was YUMMY!

Although my 17month old didn’t let me enjoy it to the most but nonetheless it was good.

I used Marks and Spencer’s Arrabbiata pasta sauce seasoned it with salt & pepper and added fresh chopped coriander. Switched my broiler on high. Heated the sauce first in a frying pan and cracked the eggs into it, once the eggs started to get opaque on the bottom I transferred the pan under the grill to cook the top part. A few seconds later it was ready. Steamy spicy and the smell was amazing!

We dunked pita bread into it and savored the joy of my triumph.

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