Ola Rokita

Hi! I am Ola and I want to share with you my simple baking recipes that can change your life and how you feel.
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Coconut Cookies

Ola Rokita02 August 2020Comments (0)

coconut cookies

 

These coconut cookies are very quick to make. They have a refreshing and delicious flavor that pairs beautifully with a cup of summer tea.

I’m a big fan of coconut, so these crispy cookies are the perfect flavor anytime I crave something sweet and nutty.

Enhance the flavor

To enhance the flavor, I add coconut or vanilla greek yoghurt. But if you prefer a more tart flavor or less of the coconut taste, you can use sour cream instead. I also add lemon zest and sometimes a tea spoon of lemon juice to give my cookies that tropical flavor.

If you want to go extreme, once your cookies are baked, dip them in melted semi-sweet chocolate. You’ll be addicted.

Best flour for coconut cookies

Whenever I bake cookies, my favorite flour to use is wheat Polish flour “Krupczatka” type 500. It’s a coarsely milled flour so it helps make the cookies airier and crispier. You may also use all-purpose flour instead, if you don’t have access to flour from Poland,

If you’re trying to avoid gluten, you can replace the wheat flour with half a cup of potato flour and half a cup of rice flour. I also recommend using almond flour. It changes the flavor a bit, but the cookies still turn our perfectly delicious.

 

Coconut Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup wheat flour Polish "Krupczatka", type 500, or All-Purpose
  • 1 cup thinly shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup greek yoghurt (plain, vanilla, or coconut)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 6 tbsp powdered sugar
  • tsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit or 180° Celsius.

  2. In a medium bowl, add the shredded coconut and yoghurt together, and then mix them with a spoon.

    coconut and yoghurt
  3. Add the egg, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and continue mixing.

    egg and vanilla
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, butter, and powdered sugar together using your hand. You can either work with butter that's at room temperature, or one directly taken from the fridge, but it's easier to work with butter that's at room temperature.

    butter, sugar, and flour
  5. Once the flour, butter and powdered sugar are thoroughly combined, add all the ingredients together.

    combined flour with butter
  6. Continue mixing with your hand until all the ingredients are well combined into a solid cookie-dough ball.

    cookie dough
  7. Prepare a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

  8. Take about a tablespoon of the cookie dough. Roll it into a ball and then as you place it onto the cookie sheet, press it with your palm into a flat circle.

    making cookies
  9. Apply the same process for each cookie.

    ready to bake cookies
  10. Bake your cookies for about 22-25 minutes.

  11. Cool them off for about 15-20 minutes and enjoy with a cup of tea or milk.

Chocolate Muffins

Ola Rokita26 July 2020Comments (0)

Chocolate Muffins

These chocolate muffins are addictive. Crispy on the outside, soft and moist on the inside, with melted chocolate chips oozing out of the cake. I double the chocolate chips and cocoa powder portions for this recipe to make these chocolate muffins super decadent. The kids love them too because they think they’re eating chocolate cake.

Less effort, better results

I like how little effort this recipe requires and how delicious the muffins turn out. You don’t need a stand or hand mixer. Simple whisk does the trick. In fact I noticed that the less I mix the ingredients, the better the muffins turn out.

Sweet and slightly tart

Always combine the wet ingredients together and add the dry ingredients at the very end. I also add brown sugar to add a gentle caramel-like taste, but you can choose to only use cane sugar. Instead of just milk, I add greek yogurt to add a slight tart flavor, it compliments and balances the rich chocolate flavor nicely. But if you prefer, you can use whole milk instead.

Choose the right flour to enhance this recipe

My favorite flour to use for this recipe is Polish “Tortowa” wheat flour, type 450. If you prefer to make the muffins even more crispier, use half a portion of “Krupczatka” wheat Polish flour type 500 and half a portion of “Tortowa” flour. The two flours create a perfect fluffy center and crisp texture on the outside. If you don’t have Polish flour on hand, all-purpose flour will do as well.

Muffin baking, a fun family activity

To make the experience of baking these chocolate muffins memorable, employ your kids to give you a hand. The key tasks, mixing and whisking, are ones that most kids enjoy. I found that my children love the task of combining the chocolate chips and cocoa, and mixing the rich batter with a spatula.

Happy baking!

 

Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour (Polish type 500 or U.S. All-Purpose)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup greek yogurt
  • cup milk (whole or 2%)
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
  • tbsp hot water
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions

  1. In a small pot, melt the butter over low heat. Avoid burning it.

    butter
  2. Set the melted butter aside to cool off.

    melted butter
  3. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit or 180° Celsius.

  4. In the meantime, using a whisk, mix the eggs, water, brown sugar, and cane sugar together.

    sugar and eggs
  5. Mix in the salt and whisk some more.

    mix
  6. Add vanilla, nutmeg, and lemon zest, and continue whisking the ingredients.

    vanilla and mixed eggs
  7. While mixing the wet ingredients together, slowly pour in the melted butter.

    add melted butter
  8. Add yoghurt and milk, and give it a stir.

    add yoghurt
  9. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and using a spoon, mix them well together.

    flour and baking powder
  10. Add the cocoa powder, and continue mixing.

    add cocoa powder
  11. Combine the wet and dry ingredients by slowly adding the mixed flour with cocoa powder to the earlier mixed wet ingredients while gently stirring.

    Muffin batter
  12. Add the chocolate chips and combine them with the muffin batter.

    chocolate chips
  13. You can leave about ¼ cup of chocolate chips to place on top of the muffins.

  14. Line a muffin pan with baking paper cups.

    muffin pan
  15. Pour about two scoops of the muffin batter into each cup. Just slightly beneath the rim, and sprinkle the extra chocolate chips on top.

  16. Bake for about 22 - 25 minutes.

    baked muffins

chocolate cake

I call this recipe divine chocolate mousse cake because it oozes with chocolate. It’s moist, creamy and extremely satisfying. One slice, and all my chocolate cravings disappear.

***

This cake recipe is made out of two parts:

  1. Basic Vanilla Spongecake or Italian Ladyfingers
  2. Rich Chocolate Mousse

It’s all in the chocolate mousse

To make this chocolate mousse cake recipe, you need a very rich and chocolaty mousse. To achieve this wonderfully creamy mousse, you’ll need fresh mascarpone, a creamy and very rich Italian cream cheese and the right cocoa powder.

My favorite is cocoa powder is from Ghana because it has a rich chocolate taste. It’s very dense and dark, and made with one of the highest quality of cocoa beans.

But, there are plenty of other good options for cocoa powder. My recommendation is that you choose the organic kind for best and healthiest results. Avoid using one that’s already sweetened.

Egg yolks also play an important role in this recipe, and I use six egg yolks minimum per 500 grams or about 18 oz of mascarpone cheese. It makes the mousse extremely rich and creamy. In fact, sometimes I just eat the mousse on its own, without the cake part because it’s so delicious.

 

chocolate mousse cake

Go easy on the sugar

Although many similar recipes call for at least one cup of sugar, I cut my sugar portion in half when making the chocolate mousse. It’s healthier and cuts away the empty calories you don’t need. The taste is still divine and very satisfying without the sugary overload.

Let the chocolate mousse
cake soak overnight

To help bring out the intense chocolate flavor of my mousse cake, I make it the day before serving. The extra time in the fridge allows the spongecake, or ladyfingers, to fully absorb the chocolate mousse and the chocolate milk used for soaking the cake part, creating a perfectly moist and chocolaty dessert.

 

chocolate mousse

Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 7-8 tbsp sugar (you can also use honey as a healthier option)
  • 2 cups mascarpone cheese (500 grams or about 18 oz)
  • 5-6 tbsp cocoa powder (from Ghana or organic)
  • 1 tbsp lemon or orange juice

Instructions

  1. Using a hand mixer with a whisk, beat the egg yolks with sugar until fluffy.

    beaten egg yolks
  2. Add lemon or orange juice and beat for another minute or so.

  3. Add half the portion of the mascarpone and continue beating the mixture until well combined and creamy.

    Adding mascarpone
  4. Add the remaining portion of the mascarpone cheese and continue beating until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

  5. Using a spoon, slowly add the cocoa powder as you continue mixing the creamy mixture.

    Adding cocoa powder
  6. Beat the mousse for another 3-5 minutes, until you obtain a stiff and creamy consistency.

    mixing in cocoa powder

creamy chocolate mousse cake

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 whole spongecake or 36 (300 grams) Ladyfingers
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2-3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 6 cups chocolate mousse

Instructions

  1. Warm up the milk and add cocoa powder and sugar.

  2. Mix it together and boil the cocoa mixture. Set it aside for 20 minutes to cool.

    chocolate milk
  3. Take your pre-made spongecake and slice it in half.

    spongecake sliced in half
  4. (You can also use ladyfingers if you don't have a spongecake made.)

    soaked lady fingers
  5. Have a cake pan ready. You can either use the same cake pan you used for baking your spongecake, or if you're using ladyfingers, use a rectangular glass container for easier layout.

    chocolate soaking
  6. Soak the spongecake or the ladyfingers in the earlier prepared chocolate milk.

    soaked cake
  7. Using a wide spatula, take half of the mousse portion and spread it on the soaked portion of the spongecake (ladyfingers).

    adding chocolate mousse
  8. Soak the other half of the spongecake with cocoa and place it on top. If you're using ladyfingers, soak them and line them up on top.

    chocolate cake
  9. Take the remaining portion of the mousse and spread it on top.

    spread chocolate mousse
  10. Cover it with aluminum foil and refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours before serving. For best results, leave it in the fridge overnight.

Basic Spongecake

Ola Rokita11 July 2020Comments (0)

Spongecake

 

A basic spongecake recipe is a staple for any baker because it is used as the foundation in many desserts. I like to add fruit to my recipe or make chocolate mousse cake out of it, but that’s just the start.

 

strawberry spongecake

 

  • You can add some frosting to your spongecake and turn it into an awesome birthday cake.
  • Bake the batter in baking cups and make cupcakes out of it.
  • Add left over fruit, such as strawberries or blueberries to the batter, and make a wonderfully light dessert for kids and adults to enjoy. Top it with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream and you’ll be in heaven.

 

fruit spongecake

Spongecake advantage

The big appeal of spongecake is that you can make it without fat, so it’s light and easy to digest. They also require only a handful of ingredients, flour, eggs, and sugar, so they’re affordable and very easy to make.

Best flour for making spongecakes

The best flour for spongecakes is pastry flour or wheat flour from Poland called “tortowa” type 450. If you want a gluten-free option, you can replace wheat flour with corn starch, almond meal, or a combination of both.

If you want your spongecake to be extra fluffy, add a tablespoon of potato flour.

You can skip adding baking powder, but if you want assurance that your spongecake comes out light and airy, then a teaspoon of baking powder will do the trick.

Add some flavor

Adding vanilla, lemon zest, almond extract, or cocoa, will add a wonderfully delicate flavor to your spongecake.

Best way to bake your spongecake

Make sure you bake your spongecake immediately after making the batter, otherwise it might lose some of the air and turn out less fluffy. When baking, do not open the oven prematurely, otherwise it might collapse. Allow the cake to bake for at least 30 minutes.

 

Basic Spongecake Recipe

Ingredients

  • cup wheat flour (Polish "Tortowa" type 450 or Pastry Flour
  • 5 whole eggs
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit or about 180° Celsius.

  2. Separate egg yolks from the egg whites.

    egg whites
  3. Beat the egg whites until stiff.

  4. Add powdered sugar to the egg yolks and beat until very fluffy.

    egg yolks
  5. Add vanilla and salt, and continue beating for another couple of minutes.

    beaten egg yolks
  6. Using a spatula, gently combine the beaten egg yolks with the egg whites.

    egg yolks with egg whites
  7. Thoroughly combine flour with the baking powder.

  8. Using a sieve, slowly sieve the flour combined with the baking powder onto the mixed eggs.

    flour
  9. Gently mix all the ingredients together.

    flour combined
  10. Line a cake-baking pan with parchment paper.

    cake pan
  11. Pour the mixed batter into the pan.

    cake pan with batter
  12. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes.

  13. Cool it off for 10-15 minutes and use it as base for cakes, or cut it up and serve it with fruit and whipped cream.

Rugelach Cookies

Ola Rokita21 June 2020Comment (1)

Rugelach Cookies

Old world Rugelach cookies

This Rugelach cookies recipe, also known as “rogaliki” in Polish, has been inspired by my grandmother. It’s slightly different then the one I discovered in the U.S., which is typically made with cream cheese and without yeast.

The sour cream difference

In this Rugelach recipe, I use sour cream instead of cream cheese. I also add a teaspoon of active dry yeast. A little bit of yeast helps make these Rugelach cookies airy, soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Yeast also adds a more intense taste.

Add some orange or lemon zest to enhance the flavor

To make the cookies more flavorful,  I also add lemon zest and some vanilla. When I was growing up in communist Poland, lemons were considered a luxury so they were used only for special occasions. Even rarer were oranges, but when we would get an orange, my grandmother would preserve the skin and later add a sprinkle of orange zest in her baking, including this Rugelach cookies recipe. So, if you prefer the taste of orange, go ahead and replace the lemon zest with orange.

Choose your favorite filling

Rugelach cookies can be made with all types of fillings, ranging from fruit to nuts. My favorite is plum butter or strawberry preserves, but pistachio and cinnamon is wonderful too. My kids’ favorite is chocolate filling.

Few other tips

If you want your cookies to be extra crispy, add a tablespoon of lemon juice. A hint of lemon juice will further enhance the flavor. Also, it’s fine if some of the plum butter overflows while baking. You can remove any excess after the cookies cool off. Don’t worry, they’ll be just as delicious.

Ideal flour

For this recipe my favorite flour is wheat flour from Poland, type 500 “Krupczatka”. Using this coarsely milled flour helps make the cookies airy and crispy. Otherwise, you may also use the all-purpose flour available in Canada and the U.S.

 

Rugelach Cookies Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 cups wheat flour Type 500 "Krupczatka" or All-Purpose
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 3 tbs cane or powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • ¼ tsp salt

Filling

  • 1 cup plum butter

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, egg yolks, sugar, yeast, lemon zest, vanilla, and salt.

    Sour cream and eggs
  2. Mix it well together using a whisk or hand mixer.

  3. In a separate bowl, combine butter and flour.

    dry and wet ingredients
  4. Slowly add the flour combined with butter to the rest of the ingredients, and using your hands, knead all the ingredients until well combined.

    mix the dough by hand
  5. Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours. You can also leave it overnight.

    mixed dough
  6. When you're ready to bake your Rugelach cookies, start by preheating the oven to 350° Fahrenheit or about 180° Celsius.

  7. Remove the dough from the fridge and take half a portion of the dough.

    roll out the dough
  8. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a circle of about 12 inches in diameter or about 30 cm.

    dough
  9. Using a pizza cutter, cut off the uneven edges and then cut the circle in eight equal slices.

    slices
  10. Take plum butter and using a butter knife spread about a teaspon of plum butter on each piece.

    plum
  11. Roll each piece from outside in and then twist gently into a crescent.

    roll crescents
  12. Repeat for each piece to form your Rugelah cookies and place them on a cookie sheet lined with perchament paper. You should get a batch of about 24-26 cookies.

    cookies
  13. Bake for 20-25 minutes maximum.

  14. Sprinkle the cooled cookies lightly with some powdered sugar.