Gorka (“little hill”) cake

This weekend was the first time I hosted both sets of parents (mine and my husband’s) over for dinner. Adam and I have been talking about this for a while but, until recently, our 4-person dining table limited us to inviting them over one set at a time. Our new-ish large table finally presented the opportunity to make this dinner happen. I created a simple menu of various pre-dinner nibbles, an Italian-inspired main course… and a gorka cake. I was so happy to learn how to make one of our favorite family desserts (the black poodle cake being the other)! This also happens to be the most requested recipe by my Healthy and Sane readers but until this weekend I didn’t actually know it. Finally I’m able to share it with you all!!

A little visual queue to wet your appetite…


Ok, I’m guessing you’re now ready to read on. Amiright? Winking smile In case this is not clear from the picture, the gorka cake (translated as “little hill”

Chocolate “sausage” (shokoladnaya kalbasa)

Do I have a good one for you guys today! This is part III of the first Russian dinner I’ve ever hosted (don’t forget to check out the posts on the main course and sides, if you missed them) – dessert, my favorite course of all! This is a recipe for chocolate sausage but don’t worry, there is nothing meaty about it (I’m starting to realize that Russians like mimicking other things, even animals, and turn them into desserts – black poodle anyone?).

Does this remind you of sausage? I don’t know… I think I screwed up on the aesthetics a bit (I think the crinkles in the saran wrap would have made it more sausage-like) but I can tell you that this was basically chocolate crack. That means you should make it asap. There are only 4 ingredients and there is no baking required (you do need time for them to set in the freezer)! Super easy – like I said, you don’t want to miss this one!

Here is how it all goes down

Russian chocolate truffles

I’m going to the food blogger Foodbuzz festival this weekend and we’ve been asked to bring something that either represents our city or our blog. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to make something Russian, but what should I bring? The black poodle cake doesn’t exactly travel well. 😉 I called my parents for inspiration and my mom reminded me of a few of my childhood favorites. Actually, I didn’t instantly remember them… but a recipe and a picture brought the memories right back! I perked right up. I just love how forgotten foods are coming back into my life now… and I get to make them myself. So fun! 😀

So wanna see how traditional Russian truffles are made? Let’s get to it!


(Makes 20 truffles)

150 grams unsalted butter (approximately 1 stick and 2T) 3/4 cups sugar 2 oz chopped walnuts 35 grams unsweetened cocoa powder Instant nonfat dry milk* ~250grams 1 pasteurized egg 3 tea biscuits, finely chopped nuts or extra cocoa powder for rolling

*Traditionally a baby formula (or milk substitute?) called “Malyutka” (roughly translated as “tiny”) is

Black poodle cake

Hi Russian Bites readers! I’m so excited to share my very first recipe here. If you read Healthy and Sane, you may know I have the biggest sweet tooth. It’s no wonder that the black poodle cake was the very first family recipe I tried to recreate in my very own kitchen.

The cake is called “black poodle” because it looks like that curly head of a poodle. It uses a traditional Russian cake base and sour cream “frosting” but combines the two in this playful way. My family got a hold of this recipe many many years ago from a friend of a friend of a friend and ever since it has become part of our standard holiday repertoire. To this day, it remains to be one of my absolute favorites. The sour cream cream (that’s confusing, huh? 😉 ) is killer – cool and sweet – and the chocolate ganache just puts it over the top! Wanna see how it’s made? It’s actually surprisingly simple (don’t let the abundance of pictures f00l you – I’m trying to make you feel like you were in my kitchen while I

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