Tiramisu Cake with Amaretto

In this blog I’ve already posted the recipe of our favorite tiramisu recipe with amaretto into a cake.

I replaced the raw eggs with more Greek yogurt which gives to the cake an additional fresh component and safer for the storage.

Make you family all tiramisu lovers happy with this simple recipe.

Tiramisu Cake with Amaretto

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

Sponge

  • 110 g flour
  • 20 g cornstarch
  • 4 eggs (divided)
  • 120 g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Coffee brush

  • 100 ml strong coffee
  • 20 g sugar
  • 50 ml amaretto liqueur, quantity to taste J

Cream

  • 500 g mascarpone
  • 200 g Greek yogurt
  • 120 g sugar
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest, grated (variation: orange zest); optional
  • 50 ml coffee

Dusting

  • 50 g dark chocolate, grated  (quantity to taste)

Procedure

  1. Combine together and sift well flour and cornstarch.
  2. In a big bowl beat to stiff picks the egg whites gradually add the sugar and beat until very thick and glossy.
  3. While the mixer is busy beating up those eggs and sugar, prepare one 26 cm spring-form by greasing it with butter and dusting it with four. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  4. Add eggs yolks as well as vanilla and slowly until incorporated.
  5. Spoon half the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold in the flour. Do not use the electric mixer to add the flour, since this would deflate all the lovely air pockets that will help the cake to rise. Add the second half of the flour and again fold it in gently. Make sure to lift the mixture from the very bottom of the bowl as you fold in the flour.
  6. Spread it out into the spring-form evenly using the spatula. Bake for 30 minutes at 170°C or until done (toothpick test).
  7. Remove from the oven and place on a grid to cool down.
  8. In the meantime prepare the coffee brush combining well all the ingredients until the sugar is dissolved.
  9. Combine all the ingredients for the cream with an electric mixer.
  10. When the cake is cooled down, cut it into 3 layers. If you need some help for this step, check https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHyGSrCm8c8&ab_channel=GialloZafferanoItalianRecipes
  11. Place the top layer upside down on your cake-plate. Brush half of the coffee mixture and spread with a spatula more or less one quarter of the cream. Grate some dark chocolate on the surface of the cream. Repeat with the second layer, coffee, cream and chocolate.
  12. To finish place the bottom layer (upside down) on the top, spread another quarter of cream and dust with the chocolate. Place the remaining cream into a small plastic bag, cut the tip and pipette the cream to decorate the cake.
  13. Place into the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving.

Pumpkin Pudding

It’s pumpkin time and this recipe is an easy way for a tasty recipe and yummy dessert.

I used fresh pumpkin from the garden, which I previously baked und the microwave (10 minutes at max) and blended after cooling down.

How to prepare caramel sauce directly into the mold; Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease your mold with butter. Scatter 50 g brown sugar to the baking dish and 2 tablespoons butter spreading evenly. Place in the oven until you see it begins to turn lightly darker. Remove from the oven and whisk shortly. Return to the oven and continue to bake a few minutes until a brown color is reached (be careful, do not burn it). Let cool in the mold.

Pumpkin Pudding

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients:

  • Butter or margarine for the mold
  • 4 tablespoons caramel sauce for the mold (quantity to taste)
  • 500 g pumpkin puree
  • 75 ml olive oil
  • 100 g flour
  • 20 g conrnstarch
  • 100 g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (quantity to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon gingerbread spices (quantity to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Preparation:

  1. Prepare the baking mold: grease with the butter or margarine and pour the caramel sauce
  2. In a big bowl blend very well all the ingredients together.
  3. Pour the ingredients in the prepared baking mold
  4. Bake in the oven at 170°C for 45 minutes or until golden.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool down completely.
  6. Invert on a plate for serving.

Chicken with Cashew Nuts Stir Fry

In Thailand you will find many different versions of this popular dish, which turned into one of the most favourite dishes for travellers.

Weekday recipe with wow effect!

This recipe may serve you as a suggestion.

I love crunchy ingredients, for this reason I opted to set aside the cashew and the roasted onions and combine them to the chicken just before serving. On the other hand the chicken turned out very soft and incredible delicious.

A few ideas of possible additions: roasted broccoli florets, bok choy,  peas, oyster sauce (for the sauce) and orange juice.

Chicken with Cashew Nuts Stir Fry

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

For the marinade:

  • 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon roasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon dried pink pepper
  • ½ tablespoon ginger, grated

Other ingredients:

  • 400 g chicken breast, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 100 g raw cashew nuts
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 2 big sweet onions, thinly sliced (I got some purple ones)
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 1 cm pieces
  • 1 dry or fresh chili, thinly sliced (quantity to taste)
  • 100 ml water
  • Additional light soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste
  • Sliced green onion

Procedure:

  1. In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients for the marinade.
  2. Toss the chicken well into the marinade and set aside for 10 minutes. Then add the cornstarch and toss well again.
  3. In a dry skillet roast the cashew and place them aside in a small plate
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and fry the onion, the pepper and the chili at high temperature for 2-3 minutes. Set aside in another plate.
  5. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoon of oil and stir fry the marinated chicken until it changes the lightly browned.
  6. Add the water, stir well until a thick sauce is formed and adjust to your taste with additional soy sauce, salt and pepper.
  7. Add reserved onion, red pepper and roasted cashew nuts. Stir well quickly.
  8. Top with green onion and serve immediately

Apple Rose Tart

A romantic tart perfect for many occasions, made with simple ingredients.

For this tart I used small apples with too small to be peeled, but very much suitable for this recipe.

It’s difficult to know how many apples you will need, but any additions prepared apples could be kept in the fridge and served the next day with some vanilla ice cream.

Apple Rose Tart

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 200 g flour
  • 100 g almond flour (I grinded 100 g unpeeled almonds)
  • 100 g margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder (or to taste)

Apple Flowers:

  • 6-8 medium red apples (or 12 small apples), quantity to be adapted
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Vanille Custard:

  • 500 g milk
  • 40 g cornstarch
  • 2 eggs
  • 70 g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder ( or to taste)

Dusting:

  • Powdered sugar

Procedure

  1. Combine the ingredients for the crust in bowl until a dough is formed. Place the dough in the fridge to rest for a while.
  2. Cut apples in quarters and core them. Make very thin slices using a sharp knife or a mandolin.
  3. Once all apples have been sliced, add sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Stir well and let sit.
  4. Preheat the oven to 175°C (340 °F).
  5. Grease a 12-inch (30 centimeter) tart pan and dust with it with flour. Roll out the dough using some cornstarch (this make it much easier to roll it out) and line it in the pan.
  6. Place the pan in the middle rack of oven and bake until golden brown, 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven, press any puffed up areas lightly with a spoon (I pressed the puffed up areas also during the baking time). Place the tin on a wire rack and cool completely.
  7. In a medium sauce pan heat the milk until it begins to simmer.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, the sugar, vanilla and cornstarch. Continuously whisking, very slowly pour the hot milk into yolk mixture. Once fully combined, return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium heat. Cook at low heat, stirring until mixture begins to thicken to a pudding-like consistency, and bubbles to break the surface. Remove from the heat and whisk from time to time while cooling down in order to keep it smooth and no “peel” will be formed).
  8. Now it’s time to make apple slices pliable. For this place them in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes. Place in a plate to cool down.
  9. Remove crust form the pan and place it on a serving plate. Fill it with the cooled down (or at least lukewarm) custard.
  10. Place the apple slices in with overlapping ends in order to form flowers. If you are working with medium apples you may prepare the roses in your hands and place them on the custard. In my case, with very small apples, I placed each slice directly on the custard. Reserved the juice witch will be produced for brushing.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven at 175°C (340 °F) for about 20 minutes. Quickly brush the apples with the reserved juice and bake for other 10-15 minutes until the edges of the apples begins to turn golden.
  12. Remove from the oven and place on a grid to cool down.
  13. Serving suggestion: dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Avocado and Oranges Salad with Fennel Fronds

Fronds are those cute frilly light green leafy things attached to the stalks that grow out of a fennel bulb. They look like fresh dill, and they have a light taste similar to aniseeds. I grow fennels in my garden especially for these, I add this to spinach or chard to make the Greek kaltzunias (little small pies) and to attract butterflies in my garden. If you buy fennel with these, don’t throw these away and if you do not need them at the moment, freeze them! If you do not get them, then replace them with tinny fennel bulb slices.

The origin of fennel and orange salad is not completely known, but it may have its roots in the Arab world and come to Europe after the invasions of Spain and. The orange salad was created as a poor dish (wild fennel can be found at the border of many roads) and it doesn’t require cooking. Today, the fennel and orange salad is known all over the world and it is served as an appetizer/salad or as a final dish after an important meal.

I love to collect fennel fronds if traveling in Greece in Early spring, the same period as oranges get ripe.

In this recipe I completed the ingredients with avocado for its soft texture and the taste which combines well with citrus, In addition a roasted pine nuts give a welcome crunchy texture.

For the dressing I opted for some white balsamic vinegar flavoured with honey and Dijon mustard.

Avocado and Oranges Salad with Fennel Fronds

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Salad

Ingredients

  • Green salad leaves to cover the bottom and the sides of the serving bowl, washed
  • 2 ripe but firm avocados (reserve some slices for decoration drizzled with lemon juice)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 oranges peeled and diced (make a few slices and reserve for decoration)
  • 2-4 tablespoons fennel fronds, chopped (reserve some for the topping)
  • 2-4 tablespoons green onions slices (reserve some for the topping)

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Topping

  • Reserved herbs
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly roasted

Procedure

  1. Arrange the green salad in the bowl.
  2. Peel and slice the first avocado, place then in another bowl and sprinkle with the lemon juice and toss well with your hands. Peel and slice the second avocado add this to the first and gently again toss them together.
  3. Add the other ingredients for the salad over the avocados.
  4. Combine well the ingredients for the dressing.
  5. Pour the dressing over the salad and very gently toss them together.
  6. Place the mixture over the arranged salad leaves, decorate with the reserved avocado and orange slices and sprinkle with the herbs and the pine nuts

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

Mast-o-Khiar – Persian Yogurt Dip

ماست و خیار Mast-o-khiar is a delicious, cooling and very popular Persian dish that is served with most meals. You will find the combination of yogurt and cucumbers in Greece (Tsatziki), but also in many other Balkan and Arabic countries and as well from Turkey to India (Raita).

The use of rose petals (fresh or dried) and rosewater for cooking was popular all over the Middle East and spread to Europe during the Middle Ages.  However rosewater had been replaced by vanilla once world exploration had been brought from America to Europe. 

About 20 years ago we planted in our garden a very strong scented white and red striped rose, since then its petals had been used in our cooking for several sweet recipes and we prepared hundreds of rose jam jars.

The basic ingredients for Mast-o-Khiar are yogurt, cucumber, mint, rose petals, salt and garlic. Other herbs can be added as well as chopped walnuts and raisins.

Tip: skip the cucumber for a delicious sauce for salad.

Mast-o-Khiar - Persian Yogurt Dip

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

Dip:

  • 1 cup Greek or Balcan yogurt ( better 7-10% but you may also use the 2% fat reduced quality)
    • 100 g (about ¾ cup) chopped cucumber
    • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped (I use the “Diosmos” Greek mint for this dish)
    • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped (optional)
    • 1 garlic clove pressed or/and 2 tablespoons fresh chives finely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons dried rose petals, crushed or minced
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional)
    • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped raisins (optional)

Topping (as desired):

  • dried or/and fresh rose petals
    • dried or/and fresh mint
    • dried or/and fresh dill
    • chopped walnuts
    • raisins

Procedure

  1. Combine well all the ingredients for the dip and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Pour the mixture into a serving bowl or dish. Refrigerate for at least one hour or best to allow the flavors to blend.
  3. Just before serving, sprinkle the ingredients for the topping with a nice geometrical pattern or simply randomized.

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

See also:

Rhubarb Tarte-Tatin

This month we got a lot of rain! Too much! Nevertheless my rhubarb seems to like it and it is growing like a weed.

The best way to keep it under control and make my family happy is to bake something with it! 

In the past years I made different cakes with rhubarb, but as usually I wish to try something different and see how it comes out!

This recipe is super simple, not so many ingredients are needed, it is quick done and it looks fabulous!

Serve this fresh cake best with roasted pistachios or almonds.

Rhubarb Tarte-Tatin

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

Base:

  • 15 g butter, melted
  • 100 g sugar
  • 500 g Rhubarb, cleaned cut into 3-5 cm pieces (or as you like)

Batter:

  • 50 g butter, softened
  • 150 g Greek yogurt
  • 100 g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • 2 Eier
  • 225 g flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons chopped roasted pistachios (alternative: almonds)

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
  2. Cover the bottom of a Springform with baking paper.
  3. For the base: Brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with the sugar. Arrange Rhubarb on it.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the butter, the yogurt, the sugar and the vanilla sugar. Add the eggs and whisk until well combined.
  5. In another bowl, sift together flour and baking powder.
  6. Add the dry mix to the wet mix and incorporate well with a spatula.
  7. Spoon the batter over the arranged rhubarb and smooth well with a spatula.
  8. Bake at 200°C/400°F for about 30-35 minute or until risen, golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and let sit for about 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and carefully remove the border of the Springform and let cool down completely on a grid.
  10. Invert on a serving plate, remove the bottom of the Springform and carefully the baking paper.
  11. Serving suggestion: garnish with chopped roasted pistachios.

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

Xortopita – Greek Greens Pie

Wild greens constitute one of the greatest capital of Cretan cuisine. No one knows exactly how many different species of plants are used for human consumption and helped these people to survive during wars and occupation times.  I read that more than 120 herbs from the coastal zones to the higher mountain regions have been identified and counted.

Picking wild greens is a very enjoyable activity and the prepared meals are super healthy food!

For this recipe I used self-seeded Swiss chard form last year who is sprouting here and there in my vegetable garden. A great gift form the nature.

For the “Cretan” flavourful taste, I added mint and dill and some feta.

Usually these greens pies are prepared in the oven and the dough used for this is the filo.

One of the specialties of Sfakia are the “Sfakianopites”:  round flat pies filled with local mizithra cheese, pan-fried (without oil or butter) and then, served with a generous drizzle of Cretan honey.

For this pies I used the technique of the sfakianopites and worked very well.

For the dough I used my sourdough recipe which, thanks to the long ferment time, turns very elastic for rolling it out. https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/2018/05/07/basic-bread-recipe/

For the yogurt sauce see: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/mint-and-dill-yogurt-sauce/

Xortopita - Greek Greens Pie

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients:

Dough

  • ½ cup sourdough starter (or ¼ cup water + ¼cup flour + 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Filling

  • 300 greens (I used the green part of Swiss chards)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped, tender green part as well
  • 3 tablespoons cup finely chopped fresh spearmint
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
  • 200 g crumbled feta
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Prodecure:

  1. Combine the sourdough starter with the water and the first cup of flour for the first rising into a big bowl, cover and let sit until spongy. The time depends of the kind of yeast (if using sourdough starter often I combine them the evening before or early in the morning) and the temperature.
  2. Add the the other two cups of flour and the salt for the second rising knead shortly and let lit for about 20 minutes. Now knead again until smooth. I perform this step directly in the bowl using a dough spatula and folding over the bread until done. Let rise a few hour until doubled. During this time prepare the filling.
  3. Wash the greens and drain very well. Then slice them.
  4. Heat the oil and fry the onion until translucent. Add the greens and cook stirring from time to time until the liquid is almost adsorbed.
  5. Add the herbs and combine well.
  6. Add the feta and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place on in a bowl to cool down.
  7. When the dough is soft, divide it into 6 pieces. Make 6 portions of filling. Note: you may make also more pieces/portions and make smaller pitas.
  8. Roll out the dough to the size of about 15 cm on a well-floured surface. Place the filling on it and carefully close the filling into the dough trying to exclude as much air as possible.
  9. Dust well with flour and slowly roll this out to the desired size. I made round of about 25 cm. Do not staple them, but place them on a well-floured surface until cooking time.  Best if you would in team and somebody helps you the roast the pitas while you roll them out.
  10. Heat a skillet and roast dry on both sides until browned. Note: We decided to cook them on the open fire.
  11. Serve if warm with yogurt sauce.
  12. Leftovers may be kept in the fried for a few day or be frozen.

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

Melt in the Mouth Orange Cake

I made this cake for the first time many years ago, but it was so delicious that my family did not forget this melting in the mouth cake, so that they asked me for this a few times again.

Melt in the Mouth Orange Cake

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

Cake:

  • 3 cups flour (about 400 g)
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder (1 envelope)
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine (about 55 g)
    • 1 cup sugar (about 200 g)
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 cup fresh orange juice (about 200 ml)
    • 1 orange zest

Filling and frosting:

  • 4 tablespoons butter (about 55 g)
    • ¼ cups fresh orange juice (about 50 ml)
    • 1 orange zest
    • 3 cups powdered sugar (about 375 g)

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F.
  2. Grease and dust with flour a 24-26 cm (9-10 inches) round cake pan. (Springform).
  3. Sift together in a bowl the dry ingredient (flour, baking powder and salt).
  4. In a large mixing bowl (or food processor), cream the butter, then slowly add the sugar, blending well. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each is added.
  5. In another bowl, mix together the orange juice & zest.
  6. Add this orange mixture spoon by spoon to the butter/sugar/egg mixture beating constantly.
  7. Step by step add the dry mixture until well incorporated.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared cake mold bake for 40-45 minutes or until through (I recommend the toothpick test).
  9. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for about 15 minutes, then remove from the pans and cool completely.
  10. Slice the cake into 2 layers.
  11. For the frosting, melt the butter, then combine it with the orange juice and the zest, beating well. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat well until smooth.
  12. Place the bottom cake layer on a serving plate and using, using about 1/3 of the frosting, frost the first layer. Put the second layer upside right on the first layer. Frost the top and the sides of the cake, or only the top allowing some of the frosting to run down the sides.

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

Growing Edible Mushrooms at Home – First Tentative with Oyster Mushrooms

This fascinating experience begun as simply a challenge almost a game: is it really possible to grow mushrooms at home?

After checking some articles and buying some grey oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus also called blue oyster mushrooms), I knew I would try this adventure!

I started oyster mushrooms as are easy to get from a good store and start with. I did not know a lot and it was a learning by doing.

Finally I have to say that growing oyster mushrooms is quite easy, and will continue to work on this great project and make some experiments.  I enjoyed very much watching the quick growth of the fruiting bodies, take a few photos to compare the growing status (size) and I can’t wait for the coming harvests!

I understood that there are many different ways to grow Pleurotus ostreatus at home and I’m sure I have a still a lot to learn about this, so that I will make it easier and getter better results.

Note: each oyster mushroom species has its specific “best” requirements for temperature, humidity, light, and nutrition.

1.         Starting from tissue of oysters mushrooms without a kit

The goal of this step is cloning a piece of oyster mushroom (your starting material) and preparing coffee ground spawn for the inoculation of your culture block.

In this step some oxygen is needed, for this reason do not close or seal the jars and the box, best once or twice a day open the cover of the box!

Material:

  • Coffee ground (after brewing), enough to fill 2/3 of the jars
  • Bowl
  • Water
  • Jars ( I made 3 of them in order to have some backups)
  • Empty tea bags or coffee filters
  • Rubber
  • Pressure cooker, microwave or canning pot
  • Sharp knife
  • Spoon
  • Kitchen gas burner
  • Fresh oyster mushrooms
  • Plastic box at least 10 times bigger than the volume of all jars together.
  • 1 layer of stones (or other material) about 2-4 cm high.

Procedure:

  • Place your used coffee ground in a bowl, add some water and stir until well moist but not too wet.
  • Fresh brewed coffee ground is almost pasteurized, but for this step, you need more than a small portion and you have to prevent contaminations. Fill your jars with the moistened coffee ground (about 2/3 of the volume). I used jars of about 400 ml as well as plastic bags for some more ready to use coffee ground. Place the coffee filters over the opening and fix it with the rubber so that only filtered air has access to the content. Another option is to use plastic bags with a pies of sponge as filter loosely closed with the rubber. Second alternative: pasteurize the jars with the content, the filter and the cover in the canning pot.
  • Sterilize the jars in the pressure cooker for about 30 minutes. First alternative: Place the coffee ground in plastic bags add little more water (about 10 ml water / 100 ml coffee ground) and place in the microwave at medium power for about 10 minutes (start taking the time from the moment that steam is coming out of the bag, then take out of the oven close the bag immediately.
  • Now you need to do is harvest a piece of tissue from a mushroom fruit-body (your store-bought oyster mushrooms).
  • Clean your working surface, wash your hands and rub them with some disinfectant. Open the jar carefully, keeping the inner part of the filter side up (should not touch your fingers or the working surface) For this step sterilize your knife with the flame, keep the knife shortly in the hand (do not lay it down on an unsterilized surface) until cooled down, cut the mushroom stem butt in half vertically and cut out a piece of tissue. With the point of the knife take the tissue and place it into the jar. Close the jar and tight the borders with the rubber again. Repeat with the other jars.
  • Prepare the box with the stones and add about 1 cm water.
  • Place the jars over the stones and cover loosely the box. At this point allow the mycelium to grow until you your will see that it is full colonized. From time to time check the humidity. Temperature: 22-24°C, Humidity: 85-95%, 2-3 weeks, no light.

2.         Inoculation of your substrate (Spawn run)

I used about 3 l of straw as substrate and inoculated it with 300 ml of coffee spawn.

For a bigger quantity of substrate you should increase the quantity of spawn for example inoculating your coffee spawn and an additional quantity of pasteurized coffee or layers of wet cardboard (same conditions as above) and wait until it is fully colonized. For the straw, a too long colonization, would increase the risk of contamination.

It would be easier to grow oyster mushrooms outside in a humid place, but now in winter, we have to do in indoor.

To sterilize the substrate outdoor, it would be possible to do it by fermentation under water (10 days), but for an easy a quick start, the best is to pasteurize the straw.

In this step some oxygen is needed, for this reason do not forget to make cuts into the bag and do not close the box tightly, best once or twice a day open the cover of the box!

Material:

  • 5 l bucket
  • 3 l chopped straw
  • Water
  • laundry bag or similar
  • 5 l Plastic bag
  • Big cooking pot or canning pot
  • 300-500 ml coffee spawn (see above)
  • Spoon
  • Kitchen gas burner
  • Plastic box at least 10 times bigger than the volume of all jars together.
  • 1 layer of stones (or other material) about 2-4 cm high.

Procedure:

  • Place the straw into the bucket and cover with water. Let soak at least two hours.
  • Drain until no water comes out.
  • Place the Straw in pillow case, nylon mesh laundry bag or similar, submerged in water and heated 80°C degrees for 1 hour (for indoors on stove top or in canning pot). Let cool down.
  • Put one quarter of straw into the plastic bag, add one third of coffee spawn; pay attention to remove the coffee from your jar with a spoon sterilized over the flame. Repeat with the next quarter of straw, the next third of coffee spawn, quarter of straw, last third of coffee spawn and last portion of straw. Note: if you want to keep some coffee spawn for the next time, add some sterilized coffee to the jar, stir and cover with the filter (work as in written above in chapter 1.4.).
  • Press the content to compact a little bit, close the bag tight and make about 10 cuts of about 1 cm into the plastic bag. Place the bag over the stones (should not touch the water) and cover loosely the box At this point allow the mycelium to grow until you your will see that the bag is full colonized. From time to time check the humidity. Temperature: 22-24°C, Humidity: 85-95%, 3 weeks, no light.

3.         Inducing primordia formation

Once the mycelium has completely covered the straw, it should be ready to start pinning.

After about 4 weeks I still did not see primordial (mushroom pins), and only after researching I understood, that at this point I had to reduce the incubation temperature as well as light. Now you know! J

Procedure:

  • I opened the bag (not necessary cuts on the sides are enough) and placed it in a cool and well lit room (about 8h light per day are needed, no sunlight). The temperature for blue oyster mushrooms should be around 10-18°C. If the place is too dry cover with a big plastic bag, but mist with water and open remove shortly the plastic about 2 times per day. This is to reproduce the fall conditions! In this stage they need more oxygen.
  • Around one week later you may notice the formation of the primordia. They look like tiny pins. It’s time for fruiting!

4.         Fruiting

Our baby mushrooms (primordia) are ready to grow; they need now warmer conditions and in any case light, but avoid sunlight.

The produced CO2 content has to be removed, for this reason I wrote that high boxes are not the best option. So I placed them on a cardboard box with holes and newspaper. The CO2 will drain out of the holes of the bag.

Fruit flies as well as other insects may be a problem, in this case move the culture in another place.

If in the garden, watch for snails!

  • Place the bag on flat box or tray or ventilate with fresh air and mist 3 times per day. A temperature of 18-21°C should work well.
  • In a few days the mushrooms will be completely developed, when the caps are flattening at the top or just begin to turn upright, it’s time to harvest.
  • Pinch the base of your mushroom and twist firmly, or cut them with scissors.

5.         Inducing fruiting for a second or more times

Usually the substrate has enough nutrients to activate the mycelium and fruit 2 to 4 times. Try if you are lucky!

  • Water and drain the bag with fresh water.
  • Reduce temperature and induce primordial as described above.
  • At the end of the cycle dispose the used straw by composting or in the rubbish bin.

6.         Prepare spawn for next bugs/bucket.

Now we need more spawn for some more mushrooms.

I will grow some on bigger portions of mycelium coffee ground for bigger straw bags or I will use some material from the stem of the new mushrooms and grow it into layers of pasteurized cardboard. In alternative I will use some “clean” mycelium form the coffee cultures and grow it into pasteurized layers of cardboard or soaked/sterilized grains.

Table of growing conditions for Grey/Blue Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus)

Stage Temperature Time Air Light
Spawn Run 22-24°C 2-3 weeks little O2 no
Primordia inducing 10-18°C 3-5 days more O2 indirect light
Fruiting 16-21°C 4-7 days drain CO2 more O2 8h per day indirect light

Slideshow: Growing during the first 8 days from the moment I noticed the primordia

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