Foodie Friday | Russia

Hi Mostess readers! It’s been a minute. I am finishing up my cookbook and will be back with new recipes in a few weeks. In the meantime, I wanted to share my mom’s awesome travel blog, Travel Magnolia. She is a ridiculously talented photographer, and I guarantee you’ll learn something from each post. This is part of her Foodie Friday series. Enjoy and I’ll see you back here with some easy dinners, treats, and more soon.

travel magnolia

Food was not the primary focus of our trip to Russia but it was the unexpected star. We ate phenomenal fresh and marinated fish, wonderful mushroom dishes celebrating autumn and some of the most delicious desserts I have eaten anywhere.  Read on for the highlights and a list of restaurants where you can sample these delights.

Moscow

sugaday-and-horseradish-vodka_savaa Suguday of Whitefish with Hrenovuha (Horseradish Vodka)

We had barely checked into our hotel when it was time for lunch at Savva in the historical Metropol Hotel (where Amor Towles’ novel A Gentleman in Moscow takes place — a great read). 

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German Chocolate Cake Cookies

German Chocolate Cake Cookie Recipe on Mostess.co

It started with a Saturday afternoon craving a few months ago. I wanted double chocolate chip cookies and on a whim, I folded in chopped pecans and toasted coconut. I love that combination on German Chocolate cake.

German Chocolate Cake Cookie Recipe on Mostess.co

It’s worth toasting the pecans and coconut, but you can skip that step if you want. If you do take the time to toast both, let them cool fully before you proceed with the recipe.

German Chocolate Cake Cookie Recipe on Mostess.co

Serve with ice cream, berries, or eat warm from the oven.

German Chocolate Cake Cookies

Makes 18 to 20 cookies

¼ cup scooped and leveled all-purpose flour (35 grams)
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (1 cup)
½ cup packed shredded coconut, toasted (50 grams)
¾ cup pecans, toasted and chopped (90 g)

Whisk the flour, espresso powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.

Combine the unsweetened chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl. Set over a pan of simmering water and whisk until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale yellow and tripled in size, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. On low speed, slowly drizzle the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until fully incorporated.

Add the flour mixture to the egg-chocolate mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain. Fold in the chopped bittersweet chocolate, coconut, and pecans.

Refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.

30 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 350º F with a rack in the center of the oven. Scoop the dough into 1.5-ounce/3 tablespoon scoops and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake, rotating front-to-back once, for 11 to 13 minutes, or until just set in the center and glossy.

Rhubarb Upside-Down Lemon, Cornmeal, and Ricotta Cake

Rhubarb Upside-Down Lemon, Cornmeal, and Ricotta Cake recipe on Mostess.co

Jeez, this recipe name is a mouthful. But I wanted to shout this combination from the rooftops it’s so good, but I settled for getting it all into the title. I had a glut of homemade ricotta and it’s rhubarb season, at last. That’s how this dreamy combo was born. Serve it for your next dinner party and save any leftovers, if there are any, for the next morning with a steaming mug of coffee.2

Rhubarb Upside-Down Lemon, Cornmeal, and Ricotta Cake recipe on Mostess.co
Rhubarb Upside-Down Lemon, Cornmeal, and Ricotta Cake
Makes one 9-inch cake

Ingredients:
1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut on a sharp diagonal into ½-inch thick slices
2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup finely ground cornmeal or polenta
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ½ cups fresh ricotta, at room temperature
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350º F with a rack in the center.

Butter a 9-inch cake pan. Combine 1 cup of the sugar and ¼ cup water in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, swirling often, until the sugar comes to a boil. Occasionally wash the sides of the pan down with a pastry brush dipped in cool water. Continue to cook until the caramel turns a deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Carefully pour the caramel into the prepared pan, tilting it to coat the bottom. (Use a clean, dry dishtowel to hold the pan, it may be hot.)

Arrange the rhubarb on top of the caramel in a decorative pattern or haphazardly, it’s up to you! Top with any extra slices. Set the pan aside while you make the batter.

Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, ricotta, lemon zest, and vanilla to combine. Drizzle in the butter and whisk to combine. Fold in the flour mixture and scrape into the prepared pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 60 to 75 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert onto a wire rack. Let cool to room temperature before serving. Leftovers will keep tightly wrapped at room temperature for up to 2 days.

No-Knead Sandwich Bread

No-Knead Sandwich Bread recipe on Mostess.co

I’ve always been a bit intimidated by yeast. Something about the fact that it’s a living thing and how easy it is to kill with water that’s too hot. The great part about Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread method is that you mix the flour, yeast, salt, and water together and let the yeast do their thing. It’s a laid back and easy way to make bread and I love it. Continue reading →

Easy Homemade Ricotta

Homemade Ricotta recipe on Mostess.co

Anyone who’s shared a home (or test kitchen) with me knows I have a weakness for cheese. If there’s a nutty alpine-style wedge or a round of creamy Bonne Bouche in the fridge, I can’t avoid its siren-call for one meal. (Sorry to those whose Cheddar has ever gone missing…) But, other dairy products languish in my refrigerator without a thought. I buy a quart of yogurt or pint of sour cream for a recipe, only to find colonies of mold coating the leftovers. Continue reading →

Raw Spring Salad with Asparagus and Radishes

Recipe for Spring Salad with Radishes, Asparagus, Scallions, Mint, and Quinoa on Mostess.com

Perfectionism has been getting in the way of this blog. I have been working on a German Chocolate Cake cookie that has gone through FOUR iterations, and it still has one last test to go. I’ve been missing writing, and I’ve been missing sharing recipes with you. (“You” meaning hopefully someone in addition to my mom.)

I’ve been obsessing about how to get that cookie right, (this seems to be a habit by now…) and along the way I forgot that sharing a simple salad recipe in the vein of Nigel Slater is sometimes enough. Continue reading →