It was my fiance’s birthday last week so obviously there had to be cake, we didn’t really do anything to celebrate though so there were just the two of us to eat said cake, and as much as I like making big, fancy cakes it is not a great idea to have a massive cake when there are only two of you to eat it… So I set out to make a more manageable sized one…I came up with this mini chocolate layer cake with nutella ganache, hazelnut praline and decorative hazelnut spikes; impressive, but tiny….
Archives for August 2015
Something a little different from me today; I have mentioned before on the blog that I am a boring breakfaster and generally just eat cereal or porridge; occasionally I make an effort to have something a bit more interesting, though what usually happens is that I will have my cereal for breakfast then have a second breakfast for lunch…This is mainly because I tend to wake up hungry and just want to EAT, I don’t want to have to cook first……
As promised in my last post, another rye recipe…I have actually made that marbled rye bread twice since posting it, it is so good! I’ve been eating marbled rye bread sandwiches for lunch every day and I haven’t had enough of it yet! I made something a little sweeter this time though – rye shortbread biscuits flavoured with masala chai. If you haven’t heard of masala chai before, it literally translates as mixed spice tea, and it is exactly that – black tea brewed with a blend of spices. The exact blend of spices used varies quite a lot so I went for a mixture of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and star anise, you can adapt the mixture depending on what spices you have/like; it is also common to use black pepper so add a pinch of that if you fancy as well. I also added some ground black tea leaves to my shortbread, this is entirely optional but seeing as chai means tea I figured there should be some in there!…
I have managed to end up with five bags of rye flour to get through so expect to see quite a few recipes with rye in coming up! Obviously rye bread is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of things made with rye, and I came across a picture on Pinterest of a beautifully marbled rye bread, half light and half dark coloured; I can’t resist a beautiful bread so I knew that I had to give it a try, the result was both extremely attractive and delicious….
Somehow I have been doing this blogging thing for a year now….that’s right, it was a year ago that I clicked publish on my first (atrocious) post (and no I’m not going to link to it, if you want to see that atrocity you have to find it yourself!), though it really doesn’t feel like it has been that long. Back then I didn’t have a clue what I was doing – how to write a blog post, take decent photos, promote it, use social media effectively (still a bit clueless on that one…) or much of anything really. I have learned a vast amount since then, though there is still a long way to go… I have also baked (and eaten) a huge amount, and have hit publish on a total of 91 posts, including this one. I have gotten to know some lovely fellow bloggers, who have been nothing but helpful and supportive, worked with some great brands, and most importantly, have enjoyed (almost) every bit of it – bring on another year! I want to take a moment to thank every one of you who takes the time to read my posts, comment on them, follow me on (deep breath..) PinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+Instagram and to share my work, I appreciate you all….
When I was sent an OXO Good Grips non stick frying pan (£50 from Lakeland) to review I knew exactly what to make in it to test it – pancakes! they are one of the best (and tastiest) ways to test just how non stick a pan is, if you can flip a pancake cleanly then it’s a goodun. The Good Grips frying pan was perfect for pancakes – I only had to use the teeniest smidge of butter to cook them in and they didn’t stick at all. It felt very solidly made, with the kind of non-stick coating that isn’t just going to flake off after a couple of uses (I’ve bought some very cheap and crappy cookware in the past…always a false economy) and I was impressed by the addition of a silicone handle in place of the usual plastic which means that the pans are oven-proof up to 200°C, a bonus for me as I didn’t actually own a single frying pan that could go in the oven… And if you are lucky enough to own a dishwasher, it is dishwasher safe and suitable for use on induction hobs….
As much as I love an impressive, multi-layered, over the top cake; for general every day cake eating you can’t beat a simple lemon drizzle loaf cake. It is fairly plain, but gloriously so, damp and sticky yet light, with a sharp lemon tang and a slightly crunchy crust. I added a bit of a ginger kick to mine – not too much, the lemon should be the predominant flavour, but enough to take it beyond the standard lemon drizzle and add a subtle warmth and depth of flavour….
I have a bit of a thing for South American food, I lived in Colombia for a few years as a child so have fond memories of buttery, charred maíz, crispy plantain patacones and cassava chips, giant avocados and creamy arequipe (dulce de leche). I also have some not so fond food memories…in Colombia, being vegetarian means that you just don’t eat beef… lamb and chicken are perfectly fine for vegetarians to eat… therefore finding actual vegetarian food could be tricky, and my school lunches often consisted of a bowl of rice and a piece of cheese as the cooks just had no idea what to feed me…I grew accustomed to not being too fussy about it, began eating fish, and would pick the chicken out of bowls of ajiaco (chicken and potato soup)….