Healthy and Sane

Entries Tagged as 'dessert'

Russian Bites: Napoleon cake

June 18th, 2012 · 14 Comments · dessert, Russian

Russian napoleon cake-5

You know how after traveling for a while you really crave home? The ordinary things, like being able to sleep in your own bed and cook for yourself? By the end of our Eurotrip, I even missed bootcamp (so happy I love working out) and my business. With every city we left, I was sad to go yet ready to move on.

And now I miss those daily pastries, al fresco drinks in the middle of the day and long long walks. Guess what? I can still get away with doing all 3! Winking smile I really should sometime…

Russian napoleon cake

Last month I was asked for a Russian Napoleon cake recipe so I immediately emailed my mom and set up a date for us to make it. I’m good like that (also I really like cake). It’s actually originally a French dessert (Russian food has a lot of French influences) but the traditional Russian version seems to be a bit easier (although it has 4 layers vs 2) and has a bit of a different look. With using store-bought puff pastry dough, the whole thing comes together in a cinch and will be gobbled up even quicker! That’s a fact. Winking smile [See how the styled photos are only of a few tiny pieces? Yeah, that’s because that’s all that was left! Too good.]

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So what’s a Russian Napoleon cake? It’s pretty much 4 layers of puff pastry layered with custard cream (creme patissiere). Bake the puff pastry according to instructions on the package, make the custard cream (eggs, milk, sugar, flour, butter) and then layer the two. Easy!

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The last piece of puff pastry gets crumbled to create this fun topping:

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Let the whole thing stand in the fridge overnight so the puff pastry softens a bit from the custard and the layers really meld together. The result is a cool, creamy, buttery dessert that’s unbelievably addictive!

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I want a piece right now!!

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Printable recipe

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Do you ever miss home while on vacation? Ever had Napoleon cake? It’s gooooood; I hope you try it! Open-mouthed smile

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Happy 30th to me (plus a celebratory virtual sweet for you!)

May 22nd, 2012 · 20 Comments · Cooking Light, dessert

I’d like to think I’m pretty mature for my age and for the past few weeks I’ve been saying that I don’t feel like I’m a 20-something anyway so might as well make it official. Yet last night at 11:35pm when I realized that I was minutes away from turning THIRTY, all of a sudden it hit me. I’m going to be officially an adult. Twenty nine sounds kind of like 26, yet 30 sounds nothing like 29 and more like 35. It’s a huge difference. I guess I’m really a woman now, no longer a girl (does that sound like a Britney Spears song to anyone, or am I aging myself here? lol). Despite a mini freak-out in my head every time I think about being 30, I am rationally completely ok with this. I am an adult. I own my own business that I built from nothing for goodness sake; I have an amazing husband, a great condo and really a lot of accomplishments to be proud of. So I’m celebrating today by working (because I love my job and I made it happen!!!), working out (because taking care of my body = taking care of me) and then enjoying a crazy awesome chef’s tasting dinner at Craigie on Main that Adam is treating me too. Hey, can a twenty one year old do that? Probably not! Smile

strawberry lemon shortcake

Oh and remember that 30 by 30 list I made when I turned 29? It was one hefty list and I got through most of it (and I’m ok with whatever I didn’t get to – I’m sure in my thirties I’ll learn even more about prioritizing in life and letting go of perfection). Check the link to the original post for updates on my progress.

strawberry lemon shortcake-2

Last but not least – what’s a birthday celebration without something sweet? It’s spring so I’m sharing this light strawberry lemon shortcake dessert. I made it a few weeks ago for a spring-themed dinner with Shannon and Kerstin. It was light and refreshing and everyone really enjoyed it (including myself). Strawberry shortcake is actually one of Adam’s favorites so I know I’ll be making it again this summer with local strawberries.

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Happy birthday to me!!

How have you guys been? Any fun desserts consumed lately? I need to know! Winking smile

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Russian Bites: chocolate kartoshka (“potato” chocolate truffles)

February 9th, 2012 · 26 Comments · dessert, Russian

The one beauty of working (on my own business!) from home is that I have a lot of flexibility in my schedule. Every week I have a set of things I want to accomplish, but since I’m my own boss – I get to choose exactly what day and time I want to do them. The problem with that? Sometimes too much flexibility leaves a little too much wiggle room… which in turn accomplishes less.


Want an example? Let’s do something easy, like working out (I have a feeling a lot of you could relate!). I plan on working out daily (actually 6 times a week) but sometimes I don’t feel like doing it at the convenient time… or I start getting nervous about all those pull-ups P90X loves so much, so I tell myself I’m hungry and should eat first. Of course that follows my the need to digest before I can get to it. I tell myself I have the whole day to do it. And then 6/7/8pm rolls around and I’m too tired to work out. Too much wiggle room and a whole lot of nothing gets accomplished! Embarrassed smile

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So I realized on Monday that I need to whip my ass into shape and get organized! Because besides all the things my business requires, I have a personal life too… with responsibilities and a social life, all of which require some juggling. Smile On the personal front, my 30th birthday is coming up and that means it was time to revisit my 30 by 30 list. On this lovely list, I saw the goal of making and blogging about 25 new Russian recipes. And since I’m still 15 recipes short (with the last Russian recipe posted over 2 months ago!), I’ve got some serious catching up to do!! On the calendar a new weekly Russian recipe went immediately. It’s now an appointment I must keep.

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There was no way around it. I had to whip something delicious (and Russian) right away – a treat I used to enjoy as a kid – shokoladnaya karthoshka (translation: chocolate potato… yeah). I’ve written about this before but Russian have this weird obsession with trying to shape foods into strange things (examples include chocolate sausage, black poodle cake, little hill cake… and now potatoes!). I suppose out of those examples, potatoes seem almost normal. But have no fear, they always taste amazing.

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These babies are made of milk, sugar, butter, cacao and crushed cookies and walnuts, creating fudgy little balls of goodness…which you can choose to shape into mini potatoes, or not. I actually kind of got into it and thought it was fun to make little potato sprouts out of pine nuts. Smile

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Make the batter, refrigerate overnight, then shape into potatoes (or just balls) and toss in cacao/sugar mixture.


I Red heart Russian treats! Open-mouthed smile


See the resemblance?


How about NOW?


Oh yeah. Smile with tongue out


Or you can just go the plain non-potatoey route.


Soft fudgy goodness


ARRR (<—sound of me biting into one! 😆 )


Printable recipe here

How do you organize yourself? Have you ever shaped foods into something non-traditional? Would you like to try one of these potato truffles? Yes, I’m full of questions today and I want answers! Winking smile

P.S. The Dahlicious lassi giveaway winner is Lily. Congrats!! Please email me your address to

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