Sunday, 28 November 2010

Kiflice - Serbian Mini Rolls

This is my first entry to the monthly challenge from 'Fresh From the Oven' . November's challenge was set by Maja at Cooks and bakes. Thank you Maja for this challenge. I can't tell you how delicious these are.  I have been making my own bread for some years now and I can honestly say I have never produced anything from my oven made with yeast that tastes so heavenly. perfect buttery light soft rolls with a zing of salty cheese. Perfect nibbles for a party at this time of year. I am wondering if a bigger version would make an accompaniment to dinner.

They are incredibly easy to make.

I used Feta Cheese as I am not keen on Cottage cheese

About a teaspoonful is enough for each roll

The cutting out and rolling is very quick

Mine were not quite the right crescent shape but I will correct that the next time and a next time there will definitely be.

Perfect buttery soft rolls with a zing of salty cheese.
I look forward to trying this recipe with different cheeses.
I think this would also lend itself beautifully to a sweet filling should you be so inclined. Perhaps jam or chocolate?

This is Maja's recipe. The only change I made was to use butter instead of margarine. The buttery taste through them was wonderful. Not healthy but wonderful just the same.

Kiflice - Serbian Mini Rolls

500 g all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
20 g fresh yeast (2 tsp instant yeast or 2.5 tsp active dry yeast)
1 tsp sugar
250 ml milk
75 ml sunflower oil
1 egg

200-250 g cottage cheese (you may use feta or other fresh cheese)
1 egg white (optional)

And more:
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp milk
100-125 g margarine

1. Crush the cheese using a fork. Add some salt if it tastes neutral. Stir the egg white in, if the cheese is too crumbly. Filling shouldn't be runny, but thick and compact, thicker than the cream cheese, and pretty salty.

2. For the starter - dissolve yeast with some lukewarm milk in a cup, add a teaspoon of sugar and a tablespoon of flour, stir to get smooth batter. Set aside at room temperature, or near the stove top, to let the yeast activate and fill the cup.

3. Sift the flour, add salt. Add activated yeast, egg, oil and milk, then combine using a wooden spoon to get smooth dough. The dough seems like too soft and too sticky at the beginning, but don't worry, continue with kneading, and soon your dough should start to separate from the bowl, and thicken. It is not necessary to knead the dough by hands, the wooden spoon works just fine (you may use any spoon, of course, the wooden spoon is common tool for all stirring and kneading works here at the Balkans). Grease the cling film with oil, cover the bowl, and set aside for at least an hour, at lukewarm place, to let the dough doubles in size.

4. Re-knead the dough, divide into 5 equal parts, shape them into balls. Each part should make 8 rolls, so you'll end up with 40 rolls, which should perfectly fit the regular oven pan, if lined in 5x8 order. Flatten each ball by hands over the floury working surface, then use a rolling pin to roll the dough out in a circle, a few millimeters thick. Use a sharp knife to cut the circle into 8 triangles. Take one triangle, stretch it in the air with your hands, to get it extended as much as you can, gently. Put some filling at the triangle base, then fold the edges of the base as shown at pic4, to avoid the filling leak out during baking. Roll. Arrange the rolls at the pan (5x8).

5. Lightly beat the egg yolk with a tablespoon of milk, then brush the top of each roll with the mixture. This is used to prevent forming thick crust, and to improve the color of baked rolls. Sprinkle with some sesame seeds, if you like.

6. Arrange the small peaces of margarine between the rolls, then bake in the oven preheated to 180°C for about 20 minutes. Be careful not to overbake them. Let them cool a bit, be careful as the filling is always more hot then the dough, take a seat in your favorite armchair, and start enjoying the softest cheese rolls ever. And don't think of calories, please :) 

Cocolate Caramel Oaties

This was to be my first entry to a monthly challenge for 'We Should Cocoa' November's challenge set by Chele at Chocolate Teapot  Every challenge is chocolate but every month another ingredient is given and  we have to conjure up something yummy. I did say was to be my first entry. Unfortunately I have just discovered I am late. I hope Choclette and Chele will forgive me. I have had a terrible month. My 90yr old Mother in law had a massive heart attack. She is as tough as old boots and thankfully is making a wonderful recovery. That said I have been run off my feet looking after her and as I look after my two grandchildren as well the kitchen has only briefly seen me throwing something together something very quickly for an evening meal. However, I have succeeded in organising things fairly well and today is mine. So with apologies for my late entry here is my submission. These don't look as wonderful as they taste. I based the recipe on Vi's Oaties which is lovely in itself and wonderful recipe to have a fiddle with. These were chewy with just the right amount of crunch The caramel in them was divine. With thanks to the Choclette and Chele. for a great idea.

Chocolate Caramel Oaties


4 oz/100g self raising flour

4oz/100g porridge oats

½ level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

4oz/100g butter or margarine

4oz/100g soft brown sugar

2 rounded tablespoon carnation caramel/dulce de leche

4oz/100grams dark chocolate broken into small pieces or chocolate chips


Heat the oven to gas mark 4 or 180 c

Grease two  large baking tray with butter or margarine.

Mix flour, oats, and bicarbonate of soda together in a bowl put to one side.

Put margarine or butter, sugar and caramel in a saucepan and heat on a low heat until butter and sugar are just melted, stir occasionally, take off heat and stir in the oat mix and chocolate. Beat well with a wooden spoon. 

Scoop dessert spoons of mixture up and make into ball shapes and place on a greased baking tray when the tray is full slightly flatten the balls out with the back of the dessert spoon.

Cook in the oven for 15 minutes, when ready remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking sheet for 5 mins before moving onto a wire rack.

Repeat and do the same until all the mixture has been used up.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Mince and Tatties

Anyone who has lived or stayed in Scotland will know all about this plain simple but oh so delicious dish. At home as a child it was served up once a week. Mince and Tatties night was always to be looked forward to. Now, for me, it has become the ultimate comfort food. When shopping at the  butchers a pound of mince is always included. My husband calls it Scottish Caviare. Left overs ,if there are any, can be used in a pastie or as known in Scotland a Bridie.

  500g lean steak mince
1 large white onion, finely chopped.
Beef stock
White pepper
Gravy browning (optional)
Sploosh of virgin olive oil
A little milk

1. Put oil in a heavy bottomed pan over a low heat and soften the onions but don’t colour them, add the mince, turn up the heat and stir until all the meat is browned and any lumps are bashed out
2. Now add the milk and let it bubble a wee while to remove the graininess you sometimes get with mince. Then add enough stock to cover the mince and simmer gently for about 2 hours during which time season to taste
3. Don’t let the mince dry out, adding a little more stock or water if necessary. Whilst simmering, you may add a teaspoon of gravy browning if you wish to darken the dish but be careful and don’t put in too much!
4. During the cooking period it is important to skim off any fat that rises to the surface. Serve with creamy mashed potatoes and peas
5. I like to add diced carrots to the mince (some add turnips) while cooking, it just depends what jail you did your time in or how your mother made it.

Ingredients for the creamy mashed potatoes:

• 1kg potatoes, (Red Roosters or Maris Pipers work well)
• Good lump of butter
• A little milk or cream
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• Peel the potatoes and cut  into even sized chunks.

Method for the creamy mashed potatoes:

. Put the spuds in a large pot, cover with boiling water, a dessert spoon of salt and simmer for approximately 25 minutes or until done
Once cooked, drain them, put them back in their pot and cover with a clean tea towel which will absorb some of the steam
Mash the potatoes ( I use a hand held mixer)adding butter and cream and beating with a wooden spoon or a spurtle if you have one
Serve with the mince and some garden peas

If you want to thicken it a little bit add a little oatmeal. Healthier than cornflour or flour and yet traditional.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010


I don't make a huge variety of biscuits/cookies. I don't really find the need. Shortbread makes a great base and is so dependable. Quick and easy to make.  Endless flavour variations and a lovely light buttery crunchy mouthful. Perfect on it's own with a cup of tea or made very thin to accompany a dessert. The basic recipe came from Rita who lives away up in the far North of Scotland. A proper shortbread recipe.

Shortbread Trivia

In Shetland a decorated shortbread was traditionally broken over a bride’s head before she entered her new home.

Shortbread was classified as a bread by bakers to avoid paying the tax placed on biscuits.

The Scottish custom of eating shortbread on New Year’s Eve derives from an ancient pagan ritual of eating Yule Cakes.

January 6th of each year is National Shortbread Day.

Basic Shortbread

8oz/225gms butter
4oz/100gms caster sugar
8oz/225gms plain flour
4oz/100gms cornflour
for a denser biscuit or rice flour for a crisper lighter texture
pinch of salt

Cream softened butter and sugar.
Add the sifted flours and salt gradually and mix well

Turn out onto a floured worktop and knead lightly into a round

Roll out and cut into biscuits
Roll into a long cylinder, wrap in cling film and set in the fridge for about 30 minutes then slice into biscuits.
Bake at 350F /180.C /160.C Fan/ Gas 4 for about 15 - 20 mins or until golden
Place on a cooling rack and sprinkle with caster sugar while still warm.

Makes about 30 biscuits with a small cutter


Replace 50gms/2 oz flour with cocoa and/or add chocolate chips.
Add grated rind of and orange (this is lovely with the chocolate)
Add grated rind of a lemon
Add sweet spice in any combination or on it's own such as cinnamon, mixed spice or ginger.

Use soft brown sugar to give a hint of caramel
Add earl grey tea

The possibilities are endless. Just a little imagination. They can be as plain or fancy as you like.

Friday, 5 November 2010


Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang's my arm. 

Address to a Haggis by Robert Burns. Scotland's favourite son. The Bard. We are expected to revere this eighteenth century poet but trust me when it is a compulsory subject to study in Scottish schools by the time you finish you could see him in hell. Please don't get me started on Tam O'Shanter. While having no love of the poet I am a huge fan of the subject matter, Haggis. Up there with whisky it is one of Scotland's finest exports. I was reared on it and love it..  I can of course buy it in this part of the world, but, for some unknown reason they make it with pork. Mutton /lamb is what should be  used. Well would you like a beef burger made of pork?.When I am in Scotland I always buy two or three large sausages from a butchers then slice it and freeze it.

This is a much more convenient way of using haggis. I can just lift a few slices from the freezer as required and turn them in the pan. They take on the crumbly texture just the same as the traditional haggis packed in a sheep's stomach. Lovely an spicy it is a taste experience you should not miss. It also makes a wonderful stuffing for steak or chicken

If you are a very brave and adventurous cook you can of course make it from scratch

Haggis Ingredients:

1 sheep's stomach bag
1 sheep's pluck - liver, lungs and heart
3 onions
250g beef Suet
150g oatmeal
salt and lots of black pepper
a pinch of cayenne
150mls of stock/gravy

Haggis Cooking Directions:

1. Clean the stomach bag thoroughly and soak overnight. In the morning turn it inside out.

2. Wash the pluck and boil for 1.5 hours, ensuring the windpipe hangs over the pot allowing drainage of the impurities.

3. Mince the heart and lungs and grate half the liver.

4. Chop up the onions and suet.

5. Warm the oatmeal in the oven.

6. Mix all the above together and season with the salt and pepper. Then add the cayenne.

7. Pour over enough of the pluck boiled water to make the mixture watery.

8. Fill the bag with the mixture until it's half full.

9. Press out the air and sew the bag up.

10. Boil for 3 hours (you may need to prick the bag with a wee needle if it looks like blowing up!) without the lid on.

11. Serve with neeps and tatties.

Me? I prefer the easy route to my favourite dish. I'll leave the hard part to the butcher. Perhaps someday I will have a go.
As a post script I don't usually serve the haggis as shown in the photo. The idea is just to pile it on a plate with creamy mashed potatoes (tatties)and puréed turnips (neeps) but in that form it is not very photogenic so I poshed it up a little.