Romania is a Latin country in a Slavic neighborhood and the 12th largest country in Europe. Romania is positioned right on the crossroads of Central, Southern, and Eastern Europe. Not only Romania was the first country in Europe to have electric street lights, but this nation is also home to four Nobel Prize laureates for medicine, peace, literature, and chemistry.
Espresso lovers will find this fascinating that Francesco Illy, the founder of Illycaffè, one of the most popular coffee brands, was born in Timisoara, Romania in 1892. He also invented the first automatic steam espresso coffee machine (Well, I thought it was interesting, and No, this recipe doesn’t contain coffee 😕) I think this is enough data to establish that Romanians know what up.
Bonus fun fact: Superstitions and charms are so ingrained in Romanian culture. Romania has a custom, on the first bday of the baby, it is common to cut a lock of hair and keep it forever. And you know what? my family, living 3500 miles far from Romania, follows the same tradition.
About the dish:
You can either wait for Christmas to make this dessert or call today a mid-year mini Christmas and you can have this within the next 15 mins.
This recipe is called Braduti Reteta (in Romanian) which translates to Tree Recipe. A traditional Christmas dessert from Romania, it gets its name because it is shaped like a Christmas tree. Honestly, I would guess it is made more often throughout the year because of how easy the recipe is and it requires no cooking at all. (Convenient like a goto 60-second microwave mug cake).
About the guest
Christmas is the very important in Romania, so important that when I reached out to @asplashoffood about my project Across Kitchen Lines, she chose to make this recipe in the middle of the year 🙂.
I came across @asplashoffood a couple of months back when I saw a food video posted by her. The video was so well edited and engaging, I knew right away that I had to work with her. I messaged her immediately to learn about what and how her recording setup looked like (yes! she is doing it all just on her iPhone!). We started talking and I told her all about my project that I was about to launch. She graciously accepted my invitation to join me and cook a traditional Romanian recipe with me.
From @asplashoffood: “ I am originally from Romania and currently living in the UK. I have been cooking since I was a child. I grew up in Bucharest, watching my mom cook. I spent time with my mom in the kitchen and she taught me how to cook. I started cooking at an early age and was always passionate about food. I chose this dish because I ate it every Christmas growing up and enjoy it to date.”
Full disclosure, I can’t remember the last time when I got thrilled by a “no cooking” recipe and I had my doubts with this one but….this recipe turned out to be an absolute winner! It is definitely a gem to add in your quick dessert arsenal. In literally less than 15 minutes, you can have a chocolaty, fudgy brownie-like dessert ready to devour.
- 2 Egg white or 5 Tbsp aquafaba
- 150 g plain biscuits (Britannia Marie)
- 55gms or 1/2 stick butter
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup raisins or dates(chopped)
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1 Tbsp brown rum
- 1/4 tsp orange zest
- 1/2 cup Grated coconut
- Grind the biscuits in a food processor and finely chop the walnuts and dates(or resins)
- Whisk the egg whites or aqufaba until a little frothy about less than a minute
- Add sugar and stir. Gradually add butter and keep stirring until the sugar melts
- Add the rum/rum essence, cocoa powder, and orange zest
- Add the ground biscuits, walnuts, and dried fruit and mix to form a thick dough
- Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and roll them roughly into balls
- If you want to cover your dessert in coconut flakes or sprinkles, roll the ball in some flakes or sprinkles at this point
- Line the inside of the lemon juicer with a plastic wrap (this is optional as there is enough butter in the dough for it to not stick inside)
- Stuff the dough inside the lemon juicer to get the Christmas tree shape
- Tap the tree out 😀 , plate and serve
- I used Orange/ Lime juicer as a mould to get a tree-like shape. You can use anything you like
- For plating, I dusted cocoa powder on a plate to get the forest bed effect, placed the trees on the plate and dusted it with powdered sugar for snow
- Bonus: Top it with a raspberry sauce for that extra zing!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 426Total Fat: 25gCarbohydrates: 44gSugar: 23gProtein: 7g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate. I would not make any major life decisions based on this.
Many desserts involve baking and can be very temperamental and intimidating. This is why I love this dish, it is like a blank canvas and extremely flexible. You can replace dates with any dried fruits you have lying around. Rum or no rum, it will still taste good. You can make it vegetarian or vegan and substitute butter with coconut oil and you will not be compromising on flavor. Thanks a lot, @asplashoffood for sharing this recipe with me and working with me (so patiently) throughout.
You might want to fact check this but I am 99.999999% sure that this page is the only page on the internet where you can find this recipe in ENGLISH!
I hope you give this delicious Christmas Tree dessert a try. If you do please share pictures with me on Instagram @t_as_in_tarun and use #acrosskitchenlines. If you have a recipe you want to cook with me, count me in! Please send me a message or leave a comment.