I don’t really buy into the idea of Valentines day, I’m not keen on the idea of forced romance…I prefer a little more spontaneity when it comes to that kind of thing. I do however enjoy playing with food colouring and given that at this time of year it is practically mandatory to dye everything pink or red I might as well make the most of it!
For the month of January Jelena from A Kingdom for a Cake invited us to start this year with a dreamy celebration cake. She challenged us to make the Esterhazy cake a.k.a the Hungarian dream. What better way to start the year than with a sweet dream?
This months daring bakers challenge was an Esterhazy torte – a rich Hungarian cake comprised of five layers of toasted hazelnut dacquoise filled with a hazelnut buttercream made with egg yolks which is traditionally topped with glace icing and a chocolate cobweb pattern. I decided to change things up a little bit because I thought that the traditional recipe was a little lacking in something…chocolate! Because why have a plain hazelnut cake when you can have a chocolate hazelnut cake…?! And I am very glad I did change the recipe because the cake ended up tasting like a giant Ferrero Rocher!
Shock! Horror! A savoury recipe from me that doesn’t involve pastry! I haven’t really posted any meal recipes on Domestic Gothess yet, that doesn’t mean that I don’t eat savoury food (unfortunately one cannot live on cake alone…), or that I don’t cook (I do, a lot), it is just that unlike when I bake, where everything is weighed out and timed precisely, my cooking style tends to be somewhat more haphazard…I don’t weigh ingredients, or time how long things take to cook, or follow recipes; my method is generally to chuck things in a pan and cook them until they look done. That’s not to say that I am a bad cook – my cooking tastes good, I’m just not particularly precise about it. (more…)
A frequent response I get from Damian when I ask him if there is anything he would like me to bake is “something crispy”. That’s it, no more detail, he’s awkward like that…and a bit texture obsessed. He loves crispy textured things and hates things with the texture of cheesecake…which is rather annoying and why I never really make cheesecake as I’d end up eating the entire thing by myself…and as amazing as that sounds it’s probably not the best idea…(Pretty much the only time I make cheesecakes is when visiting my sister…she’s very much pro cheesecake). (more…)
I spent a good portion of this week taking apart a couple of wooden pallets (which is bloody hard work!), sanding the boards down and staining and painting them to make a couple of new photography backdrops. The process wasn’t helped by the fact that my belt sander died a death whilst sanding the very first board so I was forced to do the rest using a detail sander, which wasn’t quite up to the job. It took me hours and I didn’t manage to get them quite as smooth as I would have liked. However, I am happy with the ones that I have painted so I needed to bake something to try them out! (more…)
I am a boring breakfast eater. Most days I’ll just have a bowl of cereal or occasionally porridge because I wake up hungry (surprise, surprise…I’m always hungry…), so I want something quick, I don’t want to faff around cooking while I’m hungry and half asleep (I am not a morning person…). But on the odd occasion I’ll be in the mood for something a bit more special, and what is a better breakfast than pancakes? Sticking with my resolution to try to make healthier, lower sugar things for a few weeks, I made healthy pancakes. Now I am not by any means gluten free, or on the paleo diet (give up carbs and dairy? Never! The idea is laughable!), but I came across a recipe for coconut and almond pancakes which sounded interesting, and also happened to be gluten/grain/dairy/sugar free and paleo diet friendly. I thought I’d give them a go and despite my reservations about the lack of flour, they were delicious, moist and full of coconut flavour. They also paired beautifully with the spiced plum compote I made and are very high in protein so they fill you up. (more…)
I don’t really do New Years resolutions and definitely don’t buy in to the whole dieting and getting fit in January thing, because quite frankly (for me at least) it is doomed to fail. January is the worst possible month to give up hearty comfort food and force yourself out into the cold to exercise…I simply try to keep up a good level of exercise and healthy eating throughout the year. Having said that, I have been craving a lot of soups and vegetables recently so clearly my body is in need of some healthier food after indulging over Christmas…so I have resolved to try and bake things over the next few weeks that contain healthy ingredients and are a bit lower in fat and sugar. (more…)
Yes, I know it is completely the wrong time of year to be posting an ice cream recipe, especially a strawberry one, but this one is made with frozen strawberries so you don’t need to wait for strawberries to be in season to make it (you can still use fresh ones as well though). I was having a bit of a freezer clearout and had nearly two kilos of strawberries in there that had been there god knows how long and really needed to be used up. I was unsure as to what to do with them – I made a couple of smoothies but I wanted to try and use them up quickly and I would have had to live off smoothies to achieve that! I had already made several batches of jam so didn’t really want any more so I was left with ice cream, but I had made some ice cream with the same strawberries previously and had been disappointed with the flavour – they were just a bit watery and tasteless and the ice cream was icy because I had had to add so much strawberry puree to it to get any flavour (the reason they had been abandoned in the freezer in the first place). (more…)
For the month of December, Andrea from 4pure took us on a trip to the Netherlands. She challenged us to take our taste buds on a joyride through the land of sugar and spice by baking three different types of Dutch sweet bread
This was my second challenge with the Daring Bakers and it was a suitably spiced one in time for Christmas. We were challenged to make Ontbijtkoek (which I still haven’t figured out how to pronounce…), which is a Dutch sweet, spiced quick bread. It is generally baked with rye flour and contains no fat which led to it being promoted by the food industry as a healthy snack despite the fact that 50% of the total ingredients consist of sugar… (more…)
Christmas has snuck up on me way too fast this year, I’m usually super organised and have all my gift shopping done by the first week of December but I think that this year a lot of people are going to be getting their presents a tad late…I have however managed to get in a decent amount of Christmas baking, my favourite of which (so far) has been these cupcakes. I’d had the idea in my head for a while that I wanted to make a mulled wine cake, so when I stumbled across a recipe for red wine chocolate cake I knew that I just had to adapt it to come up with a christmassy version. (more…)
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