After being stuck at home day after day, one starts to crave some good desserts. Seeing that we have now mastered catering to our lunch or dinner needs over the past few weeks, it is now time to dig out some recipes to please the sweet tooth in all of us. While looking through my many notes, I stumbled upon three great desserts. The first was one I used to make but somehow forgot over time, the wacky cake, and the second intrigued me as a lover of potatoes – potato candy. The third might sound a bit weirder, but pretty much everyone knows it in Turkey as tavuk göğsü – literally meaning “chicken breast” – a sweet pudding with chicken breast in it.
Chocolate cake with no eggs, milk or butter: Wacky cake
Wacky or Crazy Cake was the brainchild of a time of rations during World War II. The recipe won’t need eggs, milk or butter – the main ingredients in almost every cake – making this a very yummy alternative for vegans and people with allergies. It is also quite mess-free, needing no mixers or bowls, which is always a plus in my book!
Get your baking tin of choice and without greasing it beforehand, put all the dry ingredients inside (flour, sugar, cacao, baking powder and salt) and give it a good stir with a fork until it is mixed well.
Make three wells in the dry mixture and in each well, put equal parts of the vinegar, oil and vanilla extract.
Pour water onto the whole cake and mix it with your trusty fork until there are no lumps, and it is silky smooth.
Bake at 170-180 degrees Celsius for about 25-30 minutes. Test with a toothpick and if it comes out clean, the cake is baked through.
Once it has cooled off, you can dust it with powdered sugar and enjoy!
*Everyone loves chocolate cake but why stop there? You can make other versions of this cake by leaving out the cacao and adding something else. For example, a lemon Wacky Cake! Skip the cacao and add lemon extract and zest instead of only vanilla extract.
*You can make it fancier too with some frosting to top it off or just glaze it with some icing. Adding crushed nuts or shredded coconut to the dough gives it a different kind of texture as well. So, don't be afraid to get creative.
*As this is a mess-free option, it is a nice activity for kids.
*We made a cake, but you can make cupcakes with this recipe as well.
4 ingredients to make your heart melt: Potato candy
Apparently this is an older recipe as well and when I stumbled upon it again, I wondered why I hadn't tried it out yet. This is a nice gluten-free dessert with lots and lots of sugar – the reason it’s called candy, obviously. So if you have an odd potato left over, you should give this one a shot.
Mash the cooked potatoes and while kneading gradually add the vanilla extract and powdered sugar until you get a soft dough. You might not need the full amount of powdered sugar to achieve this (or you may need to add a bit more, depending on the potatoes of course).
Separate the dough into four pieces and roll it between baking paper until it is pretty thin, about half a centimeter.
Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on each layer and roll it up. Toss them into the fridge for a few hours, overnight would be preferable.
Cut into slices and serve.
*To avoid clumps of sugar in the dough you should always sift the powdered sugar – not only for this recipe but for all kinds of recipes.
*As much as I like peanut butter, I couldn’t help it and made these with a dark chocolate spread (no, not Nutella), and I must say it both looks stunning and tastes very good.
Chicken in a pudding? Introducing: Tavuk göğsü
Turkey has its fair share of deliciously weird desserts, but this recipe actually comes from medieval Rome and has survived (mostly) in its original state in Turkey. In Europe, the recipe changed so much that it has become known as "blancmange" in France and "panna cotta" in Italy.
While the original recipe calls for chicken breast, many skip it nowadays to make it faster, and so can you.
Boil the chicken breast until it can be taken apart in tiny shreds and let those thinly shredded pieces rest in water. Change the water frequently.
While the milk is heating up to a boil in a pot, put the starch and rice flour into a separate bowl and mix it with a bit of the milk from the pot to avoid clumps.
When the milk starts to boil put the chicken in first and let it cook for 10 minutes. Set to medium heat after that and pour in your flour-starch mixture and sugar. Stir continuously it so as not to burn it. Once everything is incorporated and starts to become a thick pudding, add the butter and give it a few more good mixes.
Transfer the pudding to small bowls and once it has cooled off, the pudding should be stored in the fridge.
Serve with a bit of cinnamon sprinkled over it.
*One very important piece that I skipped here is the mastic (called damla sakızı in Turkish), as it might not be commonly found outside of Turkey. It is known as Arabic or Yemen gum and if you'd like to try it out, add one piece into this together with the sugar while making this pudding.
*You can make this without using butter if you don’t have any or just don’t want to add it.
*Other toppings or sides also work great! For example, a scoop of ice cream or topped off with some chocolate sauce or crushed nuts.