About Maya Oryan

Food Stylist, Food Blogger and Recipe Developer

Chestnut Banana Bread

Chestnut Banana Cake.jpg

Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas to me without a lot of recipes with chestnut on the table.

I have a home-made chestnut cream that I did last week, so I decided to bake my regular banana cake recipe and add it to it, the results were simple and delicious.

I know this recipe is a keeper and definitely worth to share with you.

Chestnut Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose-flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, diced
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 small mashed ripe bananas
  • 3 tablespoons chestnut cream
  • ¼ cup milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  1. In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, continue beating about 3 minutes.
  3. Add bananas followed by chestnut cream and beat until combined.
  4. Gradually add dry ingredients; flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  5. Beat in milk.
  6. Pour batter into pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
  7. Allow bread to cool for 10 minutes, then turn it out and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
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Caramel Chocolate Tart

 

Chocolate Tart PinkLR.jpg

Don’t you hate when you invite guests over and hear them cheering, drinking, having a blast while you’re stuck in the kitchen, running in all directions, heating dishes and making sure everything is perfect?

Thinking of this makes me have second thoughts about how much I truly love (or not) Christmas!

This is exactly the time when, I appreciate recipes like that. Recipes that can be done entirely the day before and requires minimum manipulation on the day of the event.

  • This tart requires no baking.
  • If using a round tin, then 20cm would be required.
  • The base can be done with Chocolate Oreo or Speculoos biscuits.
  • Crush biscuits in a food processor or in a plastic bag using a rolling pin.
  • As for the filling, semisweet chocolate can be replaced with dark chocolate and two more tablespoons of sugar, or use milk chocolate and omit the sugar.
  • For coffee lovers: caramel sauce can be replaced with 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder.

Merry Christmas food lovers!

Caramel Chocolate Tart

Ingredients

For the base

  • 32 chocolate biscuits or Oreo Biscuits, crumbled
  • ½ cup / 50g butter, melted

For the filling

  • 150g semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp caramel sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 25g corn flour
  • 1/3 cup milk

Directions

  1. To make the base In a food processor, pulse biscuits, butter and salt until you have a moist sandy mixture. Press biscuit mixture into a tart tin and refrigerate for 3 hours.
  2. To make the filling In a saucepan, on low-medium heat, pour the chocolate chips and the cream and stir until the chocolate melts. Add sugar, caramel and salt. Stir to well combine.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk corn flour and milk together and, off the heat, add to the chocolate mixture and mix. Return sauce over low heat and keep stirring 5-7 minutes or until sauce thickens. Leave to cool 15 minutes.
  4. Take out the base-lined tart tin, pour the chocolate mixture evenly on the top and return it to the fridge to chill overnight.

Sweet Chestnut Dip

Sweet Chestnut Dip .jpg

Ingredients

  • 250g chestnuts, roasted and peeled and cut in 2
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 250 ml / 1 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons Cognac or Irish Cream liqueur

Preparation

  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and stir with a spoon until sugar dissolves.
  2. Let simmer for 10 minutes or until chestnuts have softened.
  3. Off heat, blend the mixture until soft and smooth.
  4. Refrigerate overnight or until firm and serve with apple slices or your favorite crackers.

 

 

Grilled Kibbeh with Thyme Goat Labneh and Walnut

Kibbeh Qrass

Kibbeh is considered as one of the national traditional Lebanese dishes. There are more than a dozen adaptations of this recipe including options for vegetarians. The one constant and main ingredient is cracked wheat (burghul / bulgur or fine ground durum wheat).

Kibbeh is almost everyone’s favorite Lebanese dish. The variety ranges from starters to main course, depending on the size and the filling or sometimes no-filling at all.

The recipe I’m sharing today is a specialty of the villages in North Lebanon, in particular Zgharta, because this recipe for many Lebanese is known as Kibbeh Zghirtaweeyeeh

Preparing this recipe for the first time might be a long and delicate process, but it is also a true art revealing the devotion put into cooking since always.

I still enjoy mixing it manually and pounding the filling with a mortar and pestle, but the ghee traditionally incorporated isn’t something my heart desires, therefore I changed the filling to a healthy version inspired from my dad’s recipe. Hope you will like it.

Ingredients

Kibbeh Bowls (Kibbeh Qrass)

  • 1kg lamb or beef ground meat
  • 3 cups fine light or dark cracked wheat (burghul), rinsed and dry
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, minced (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground sweet pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper

Option 1- Traditional Filling

  • 2/3 cup sheep ghee
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Option 2- Maya’s Ingredients Filling

  • 150g goat labneh, crumbled
  • 4 tbsp / handful fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Chunks of walnut
  • Olive oil, to drizzle

      •  Vegetable oil, to brush

Extra tools

  • Plastic film
  • Small glass bowls x 6

Preparation

1.Combine kibbeh bowls ingredients to get a dough-like consistency. This can be done in a large bowl and wooden spoon or using a food processor.

2.Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

3a.Meantime prepare the filling. For option 1, combine onion, parsley, mint, salt and pepper. The ghee should stay solid and set aside.

3b.To make the filling option 2, pound the sesame seeds, thyme and sumac in a pestle and mortar. Spoon over crumbled labneh. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with chunks of walnut if desired.

4.To form the bowls shape kibbeh, wet a plastic sheet (cling film) and place it inside a small bowl. Press the meat dough flat, 1/3 inch / 7mm thick inside to take the shape of the bowl. Repeat, wetting your hands with cold water as you work.

5.Each 2 molds will make one piece of kibbeh. Stuff one half with your preferred mixture and place it on the palm of your hand (after pulling away the plastic film), place the second half over it and seal the rims together. Brush with vegetable oil.

6a.If using the traditional filling, just spoon the onion mixture inside followed by the pieces of ghee.

6b.If using my filling, spoon the labneh mixture, finish with a drizzle of olive oil, before joining the 2 molds together.

7.Carry carefully the kibbeh bowls and bake over charcoal on both sides until cooked thoroughly. Serve with green salad.

 

Mistletoe Mimosas

Cranberry Grenade Mimosa.jpgMimosas are astonishingly, ridiculously, exceedingly, embarrassingly easy to make. Not that simple doesn’t taste yummy and easy won’t add the sparkle you’re looking for:) The flavors are splendid! I promise you a cool drink that will deliberately take care of the mood.

Merry Mimosas everyone!

Ingredients

Serves 6

  • 6 tablespoons grenadine syrup
  • 1 cup cranberry juice, chilled
  • 1 (750ml) bottle champagne, chilled
  • Rosemary sprigs, to garnish
  • Fresh cranberries (optional)

Directions

  1. Add 1 tablespoon of grenadine syrup in each flute.
  2. Combine cranberry juice and champagne together and fill up the flutes almost right to the top. Garnish with rosemary and drop the berries right before serving.

 

 

APPLE CRANBERRY CAKE WITH CINNAMON FROSTING

APPLE CRANBERRY CAKEApple – Cranberry – Clementine – Cinnamon… These are the necessary key words to make you want to bake this elegant Christmas cake.

Nothing beats a smoothly frosted cake semi-naked look, I promise you it’s so easy to prepare anyone should give it a chance.

I couldn’t resist, but taking photos from different angles and post them on all of my social medias accounts.

I have tried many recipes for the festive season. I hope I’ll get the chance to share them all, since all of my spare time lately has been spent on Christmas shopping hearing Georges Michael and Mariah Carrey songs on repeat.

APPLE CRANBERRY CAKE WITH CINNAMON FROSTING FLAVOR

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 200g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup Clementine juice
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 1-2 red apples, cored and sliced (skin on)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1tbsp limoncello

Preparation

  1. To make the frosting, add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the whipping cream and whisk on high speed for 3 minutes or until fluffy. Refrigerate.
  2. Preheat oven to 175° C. Butter and flour a cake pan.
  3. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, add eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Pour Clementine juice gradually while mixing and scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Turn off the mixer and fold in the cranberries.
  5. Pour the batter in the cake pan and decorate with the apple slices arranging them close together and overlapping on top of the batter.
  6. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle this over the apples. Drizzle with limoncello liqueur (or lemon juice).
  7. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack.
  9. Frost the cake with your chilled cinnamon icing. Sprinkle with icing sugar. Decorate with cinnamon sticks, kumquat and fresh cranberries, if desired.

Blueberry Cake

Bueberry Cake.jpg

Hello hungry people:) I have good news for you, this cake recipe is so simple that even the most amateur cook may bake it. And with the almond crumble that tops it, you will end up with a celebratory treat to serve on ceremonial occasions like Christmas.

What makes this cake looks fabulous is the Bundt pan and the glaze. So if you are tempted to try this recipe please don’t skip these two steps, especially the topping.

Happy Baking!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup / 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose-flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen (and thawed) blueberries

For the topping

  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oats
  • 2 tablespoons almonds, broken or sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 185 degrees C. Grease and flour a 12-cup pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla.
  3. Sift flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl. Add gradually to butter mixture. Beat until well mixed, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
  4. Fold in lemon zest and blueberries and transfer to pan.
  5. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for at least ten minutes before trying to remove it from the pan.
  7. To make the topping, combine flour, sugar, oat and almonds. Add the butter and rub the mixture with your fingers to make small clumps. Spread the mixture on a baking tray and cook in oven for 7-10 minutes. Let cool. To make the glaze, whisk together icing sugar and lemon juice. To finish, drizzle the glaze over the cake and immediately sprinkle with the almond mixture and wait for the glaze to dry before serving.