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Russian, Eastern European and international cuisine brought to you by a mother and a daughter

Parižske Rožky (Paris Horns)

Parižske Rožky (Paris Horns)

When I was pregnant, I often thought about how my mind would change after I’d become a mother. I wondered if I would become wiser, more patient and tolerant, more thoughtful and conscientious… more grown-up. A mother is a person you look up to, after all. So what does it take to become a mother? After I gave birth to Ivanka, I realized that nothing had changed. There certainly are external signs such as tired look or imperfect waistline, but the inner me… it hasn’t changed. It’s just like when my Mom says “I still feel like 30″ or when my Grandmother recalls anecdotes from her school years (well, Stano says she sometimes behaves as if she were 16). Because she hasn’t changed inside since she was 16. So, I’m a mother and yet I’m still the same. And for the first two months, it was as strange and hard to say “I’m a Mom” as it is to say “I love you” for the first time.

Why am I talking about this? Just because I feel like I’m still interested in my former activities like food blogging or running my other website, and sometimes it’s hard to juggle all this while staying sane. I am very attached to our daughter (to such extent that I’ve cried a few times when someone from the family went for a walk with her and I stayed home), but I’ll never become a parent obsessed with natural parenting, or any other parenting trend, or just parenting as such. It’s just a (huge and significant) part of our life, isn’t it?! I want to keep in touch with my friends, and we usually have someone to visit us on weekends, but most times I feel tired afterwards. I’ve also noticed that whenever we make a plan of watching a movie after the baby goes to bed, she won’t fall asleep for hours, so we usually end up watching the movie in bed, sharing a pair of earphones, with happy Ivanka sleeping between us.

I haven’t had the energy to bake or cook a lot of new things recently; besides, I’ve decided to eat more healthfully (seems like after 4 months of breastfeeding, I’m finally starting to lose my hair - I need vitamins badly). Thanks to Healthy Mamma, I’ve found a collection of fabulous smoothies - I want to try them all, well maybe except for those with veggies, I’m still not used to drinking vegetables. I made a Banana-Oat smoothie this morning and it rocked!! Why have I never added rolled oats to my smoothies before?!

So now I finally have the time to write about Parižske rožky (Paris Horns), which are my favourite variety of baked goodies Stano’s Mom makes for Christmas. These tiny cakes are a true masterpiece. There’s a generous triple swirl of luxuriant chocolate buttercream on top of a fragile walnut meringue, and each cake is glazed with dark, glossy chocolate. It’s a heavenly combination of three textures - the brittleness of meringue, the silkiness of buttercream, and the subtle crisp of chocolate glaze. It takes a while to make them though - bake the meringues, make the buttercream, decorate each cake and dip each one in melted chocolate - so I am not sure I’ll be able to recreate them in near future. But if you have a free evening, they’re really worth it. And here’s the recipe.

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- Meringue
6 egg whites, chilled
450g sugar
220g minced walnuts
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- Buttercream
6 egg yolks
250g sugar
250g butter, melted
100g dark bittersweet chocolate, melted
- Glaze
100g dark bittersweet chocolate, crushed
75g hardened vegetable oil*
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

*if it’s unavailable in your part of the world, try butter as a substitute

 

- Make the meringue
Beat egg whites with sugar in a bowl placed on top of a large saucepan with boiling water. Keep the water at boil and beat until stiff peaks form. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then mix in flour and walnuts. Allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 150C.
Pipe finger-shaped meringues onto prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 40-50 minutes until meringues are dry yet pale.

- Make buttercream
The same way you beat the egg whites, beat egg yolks, sugar and melted chocolate until thick. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Mix in melted butter and beat until fluffy. Allow to cool.

- Make the glaze
Mix and melt chocolate, hardened vegetable oil, and cocoa powder and allow to cool so that the buttercream wouldn’t melt when dipped in glaze.

- Assemble the cakes
Pipe buttercream on top of each meringue (use a star-shaped nozzle) and dip each cake in chocolate glaze.
Store in the fridge or in a cool place.

Parižske Rožky (Paris Horns)

Parižske Rožky (Paris Horns)

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