Russian Season


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

Happy Birthday to Ivanka and Roxana’s Brownie Bottom Cheesecake

Brownie Bottom Cheesecake with Fresh Berries

Ivanka has turned 2. Times flies? Just the opposite, it feels like she’s always been here with us, and I can hardly remember life without her. And compared to little Milena, Ivanka seems so grown up and clever that I probably expect too much from her. But she really does a lot! She can draw a face with eyes, nose, mouth, and a funny tuft of hair on the forehead. She watches the Swan Lake ballet every single day (!) and dances along (sometimes I just can’t fall asleep at night as the music keeps on playing in my head - I guess I know the entire ballet by heart now). She says funny things, for example ipk for the Russian word chleb (bread). She loves “totik” - “cake”!

Brownie Bottom Cheesecake with Fresh Berries for Ivanka's Birthday Speaking of cake, for Ivanka’s birthday I made a brownie bottom cheesecake that I found at Roxana’s Home Baking. It looks simpler than a traditional layered cake, but tastes like heaven! The brownie base stays fudgy and moist even if it seems like you’ve desperately over-baked it (it took me a while to get center to set). So it’s a pretty fail-safe recipe with fantastic outcome!  Well, my cheesecake was not as fluffy as in Roxana’s pictures, but I have an excuse :) The oven in the apartment we are now renting is pretty old, and all control signs have been erased off it. Our landlady said she used to set the controls at 7 o’clock position for baking (lol), I did the same… other baking options are yet to be explored by experience. I’ve tried searching the web for some images of this oven, to no avail - perhaps it’s just too old or it was not popular outside Eastern Europe.

There’s no need to copy the recipe here, as I followed Roxana’s recipe to the word, just made the cake larger in size, substituted true vanilla for vanilla extract, and decorated the cake with fresh berries. The cake was surprisingly easy to make! Beat ingredients for the brownie layer, bake, beat ingredients for the cheesecake layer, bake, decorate, done. Chill the cake and enjoy compliments!

Brownie Bottom Cheesecake with Fresh Berries

And yes, we have just moved to another apartment. It’s small, yet we like it even better than the one we previously rented. It’s located in a quiet place near forest, and we have lilacs and robinias in front of our windows (compare to just clouds and more clouds we could see from our old apartment on the 14th floor).

My White Orchid

Pictures from our new home to come in the next post. In the meantime, take a look at this lovely self-made toy bedspread my Mom gave to Ivanka for her birthday :)

Toy Bedspread

Pink Toy Rabbit

Isn’t it cute?

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