I live in Switzerland for almost seven years now, and I miss a lot of things from my home country, Romania. I was born, and I grew up in Bucharest, and I do miss family and friends, I miss places I used to go, and reading a new book in a library, and many other things. But the one big thing I miss the most is going to the theater!
When I was studying economics at university, I was queuing for hours to buy tickets to the theater. As a student, we had the opportunity to purchase cheaper tickets, with bad seats from where you could barely see the actors playing on stage. But I loved being there in the big hall, amongst all those people nicely dress and ready for the big evening.
I was laughing when the actors were laughing and crying when they were crying. Theater for me was something real, tangible, full of emotions while going to the cinema was not soo intense.
I go quite often to ballet performances in Zürich now, and that brought me some comfort, as was something new to me and I discovered I enjoy it a lot. I take my daughter to ballet and opera for children as often we can (which can be read that we see ALL representations for kids from OpernHaus for the last three years and this year is not an exception).
But I wanted more (like always…), so last weekend we tried for the first time childer theather…a classical I thought. The representation was in German and very modern. But we enjoyed it a lot. Is hard to keep children focus till the end, but they did a great job; we saw Peter Pan at Schauspielhaus in Zürich, and I think we will go to see it again 🙂
The weekend is for me walking up late in the morning and staying in pyjama until after lunch, reading and spending time with the family.
Remember the last time when I was telling you I miss to bake something complicated!? Well, this recipe did not prove to be complicated by the end, it just required more time for preparation. On Sunday morning, while Ilinca was watching Harry Potter (again!!), I prepared these gluten-free cinnamon rolls, and while I let them rest until double in size, we watched the movie together. It is effortless to prepare the dough and make the rolls, it just takes time to let them rest, but it worth the wait!
The gluten-free flour mix I make it up front and keep it in a glass jar with an air-tight lid and store it in a cool place. All my flour blends have numbers; this is GF flour mix no 5 😉
(for 12 cinnamon rolls)
Gluten-free yeast dough:
70g white rice flour
50g corn flour
100g sweet rice flour
90g tapioca flour
50g millet flour
5g active yeast
50g white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Sugar & cinnamon filling:
50g soft butter
70g white sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
Cream cheese icing:
70g cream cheese
100g powder sugar
Tip: better bake the cinnamon rolls just before serving. When they are cold, they are not so soft anymore, so the best time to enjoy them is still warm.
Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Separately heat the milk (do not boil!) and melt the butter in the milk, together with sugar and vanilla. Add the milk-butter-sugar mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour the mixed egg and mix well together. The dough will be sticky and wet. That’s fine, as it needs liquid to retain moisture, will dry out while raising and when in the oven.
Grease with butter another mixing bowl and leave the dough there for 2 hours, covered with a towel, or until it doubles the size. In the meantime, grease with butter a baking pan. Mix the sugar with cinnamon and leave it aside. Take the butter and cream cheese out of the fridge to make sure are at room temperature before preparing the cream cheese frosting and have the butter soft enough to be able to spread it over the rolled dough.
After the dough doubles in size, use a piece of baking paper to roll the dough on it (make sure you spread enough flour when rolling, not to stick) in a shape of a rectangular (thick of approx 3 mm).
Spread the soft butter over the rectangular and spread over the mix of sugar and cinnamon. Now using the baking paper as help, roll the dough on the longer side. Cut the edges to give it a nice shape. With a wire, cut into 10-12 rolls (approx 2-3 cm each), or you can use a knife, but make sure you clean it after each use as will get sticky and messy otherwise). Arrange the cinnamon rolls in the baking tin and leave some distance in between them- 3-4 cm should be enough (you will need to leave them to rest again for another 1-2 hours, covered with a towel).
Bake them for 20-30 min until golden on top, at 170 degrees.
Let the gluten-free cinnamon rolls to cool down for few minutes on a cooling rack. In the meantime, you can prepare the cream cheese frosting. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl until the sugar had dissolved completely. Spread the cream cheese frosting over the gluten-free cinnamon rolls and eat them while still warm.
As mentioned in my Instagram stories yesterday, some of you were asking how do I make the home-made vanilla extract. I started to make my vanilla extract almost one year ago, and since then I never bought vanilla sugar or any other vanilla formula. I make one every few weeks. Is great to use in baking or as a DIY present for friends or family.
DYI vanilla extract:
8 vanilla beans with seeds
200 mil rum
1 glass bottle with an airtight lid
Using a knife, cut the vanilla bean lengthwise. Take the vanilla seeds and either store them in a small jar air-tight (to use later) or add them to the vanilla extract (I add them all together). Put the vanilla beans in the bottle, add the rum (any pure alcohol works just fine) and vanilla seeds, and let them macerate for eight weeks. During this time, the alcohol will take the vanilla taste. Use it as requested in any recipe as vanilla extract. For each 1/4 tsp of vanilla, I replace with 1 tbsp DYI vanilla extract.