TBL: Lemon Pear Polenta Cake

Lemon Pear Polenta CakeI know I’ve been very quiet in the past months. I had another knee surgery coming up and invested my time more in larger baking projects that I wanted to blog about when I am tied to the couch anyway. Nice plan, but didn’t quite turn out that way. In the past four weeks after my surgerey I focussed on fightig my way back in to normal life and the total lack of structure made it difficult for me to motivate myself to actually do something. Last week I made a faithfull attempt to get back to blogging by writing myself a schedule but I couldn’t be bothered for some reason. I miss baking more than I’d admit. Writing about past projects only makes me want to do something of similar complexion again. And I am currently not capable of standing in the kitchen this long. I was looking through my To Bake List for something easy and quick, that I can handle in my current state. I was looking for a fruity all-in cake and found the Lemon-Pear-Polenta-Cake from the Cake Cafe book. Continue reading »

TBL: Chocolate Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream

Chocolate Cupcakes with Coffee ButtercreamEvery time I am home alone, I make huge plans. After getting up very early I find myself writing an enormous to do list. On my list are always a lot of tasks that I procrastinate as long as possible. I even start with tasks that I detest in order to avoid something that is even worse. Then I need to trick myself and add a bonus task to my list, something I love doing, that I only allow myself to do after I completed the other skipped tasks. Sounds ridiculous but it kinda works for me. My bonus task was baking cupcakes. I have a very poor time management, once I had finished the cupcakes I had to rush to a Whisky tasting and ended up icing cupcakes at 1pm. But it was totally worth it. It was another recipe from the Primrose Bakery Cupcake book. I LOVE THIS BOOK! Continue reading »

TBL: Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes I must confess I couldn’t resist when I found the Primrose Bakery Cupcake Book at TK Maxx in Dublin. I had it on my amazon wishlist forever, but never ordered. I was talking myself out of buying another bake book to go into my shelf, but was made to buy it anyway. Back in the hotel I pulled it out directly, started sneaking through the pages and instantly felt the urge to lick the pages. As you might have noticed the TBL was flooded with recipes from this book ’cause they all look so appealing. After the fantastic Orange Cake from the Cake Cafe I was kind of set to oranges when asked to bake something to bring to work. A simple cake wasn’t enough, it needed to be more fancy pants, so I decided to make Chocolate Orange Cupcakes with a Chocolate Orange Buttercream. Sounds like a Chocolate-Orange-Overkill, he? I did this a while back, just before we were moving so there is no pretty picture. But they taste A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Seriously, go buy the book!

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Swedish for beginners

KanelbullarEaster is a typical time for  buns, wreaths and other fine goodies made with yeast. I wanted to make a breaded bun filled with plum jam anyway and as I am smart enough to buy everything double when attempting to prep something on a bank holiday, I had leftover yeast and decided to try out some little swedish delights. It is one dough, that can be varied to different shapes and flavours. I found the recipe in Lecker magazine, written by the one and only Frau Horstmäään from Zucker, Zimt & Liebe.  She has a thing for Scandinavia, that is obvious. And in the last Lecker Bakery, there was a special on her scandinavian recipes. I have tried out Kanelbullar and Kanelknuter, both made from the same dough with different fillings and shapes. Yeast doughs are very easy, when you follow some simple rules.

KanelknuterMake sure, that the milk is not warmer that lukewarm, otherwise it might kill the yeast bacteria and your dough will be hard as stone. Do a pre-dough, even though most recipes don’t say so, Grandma taught me, so I’m doing it. Grandma also taught me never to use metal bowls or mixing appliances. Once you’ve mixed everything together, knead for 3 minutes longer. Then give your dough some rest at a warm spot, be patient and let the yeast do the work. There are some shortcuts like filling a bowl with warm water and put the bowl with your dough in there, sprinkle with a little flour and cover with a tea towel. Now on to the recipe, I have made some small adjustments. Continue reading »

TBL: Beer Batter Maple Bacon Cupcake

I came home from Handball one night and was asked if I knew that cupcake show on TV. “It’s about two broke girls that bake Cupcakes to become rich and famous. It is hilarious!”. I sat down and was on fire instantly.  Okay, the show is a typical sitcom with below the belt humor, but that’s what I love about it. And in the season 1 finale they finally meet Martha Stewart in a bathroom and she tries this Beer Batter Maple Bacon Cupcake (watch scene). I can totally feel with these two girls, striving to dream and never give up on it. I don’t have the balls to start my own business now, I envy all those people who put everything at stake to follow their dream. But I am not yet ready to quit live as I know it and become rich and famous *lol*.

I do like to play around a little instead, testing my limits and the combination of savoury & sweet is very appealing to me. The idea of something salty together with sweets is inconceivable for many people. While salted caramel is already almost mainstream, the idea of adding bacon to a sweet treat send shivers of disgust through many people. I kind of understand why but you’ll never know if you don’t try as my Granny used to say. And as we had fantastic pancakes with maple syrup and crispy bacon at Avoca in Dublin, the urge to try the Beer Batter Maple Bacon Cupcakes rose within me. And then last week my fellow colleague told me about his holidays in LA, where he went a shooting day of “2 broke girls”. We both saw this as a sign, it is time to do this. Therefore my first blog post for this year is about what makes half of the people ahhhh and the others ewww. Continue reading »

Yummy Cookies and sideeffects

My health really gave me a hard time in this past year 2013. Also I’ve done my best to ignore it, my body refuses and partly gives up on me from time to time. This week it was my stomach who refused to let me eat painfree. Luckily there is a pill for everything but sometimes they come with unwanted side effects. Yesterday was Nap-day, I think I had as many naps as a bunny has per day, 17 to be exact. Last nigth and today was rather problematic cause as a side effect of my meds all my muscles decided to hurt like crazy today. I felt like after a constant 2 day workout with a burn in my muscles that just won’t stop. I needed distraction and found it in a note that today was national cookie day in whatever country (I guess it’s America). Salted Caramel Nutella Double Chocolate CookiesAs I did not manage to bake something from the To Bake List in November I found it appropriate, to at least make some new cookies on the cookie day. I decided to give the Salted Caramel + Nutella Stuffed Double Chocolate Chip Cookies I have recently found on topwithcinnamon blog a shot. Izzy is a teenage girl living in London and blogging her fantastic recipes for a few years now. I’ve been following her on Twitter for a while and saw her video together with the guys from SORTED food and fell in <3 with the recipe. I have to admit I am a huge fan of stopmotion, that was one of the first things I had to do as a semester project for design class back in university and I loved it. Actually my stopmotion semester project also involved cake. We had to make a countdown for movies with stop motion and we decided to let a set of false teeth eat up our cake numbers would make a fantastic countdown. But back to Izzy and her fantastic recipes… She is very inspiring, so young and yet so talented, creative and professional. She has an eye for photos and does explain complicated recipes in an easy understandable way. And she’s always wearing funny socks in her pictures and has a great sense of style. And with all due respect I HAD to take a picture with my feet in it, just as she does a lot. (Just a quick shot with the phone as the camera is already boxed…)

I wanted to try out some of her recipes but hadn’t had the time yet. Now that I tasted thos really gorgeous cookies, I WANT MORE. The recipe is very easy and fast to do, you don’t even need a electric mixer (which my sister will appreciate). I used some Cadbury caramel chocolate that I brought from my last trip to Ireland for the center of the cookies and that worked very well. I made 15 cookies out of the recipe, not all containing caramel chocolates. if you place the salt just on the center of the cookies, above the Nutella, it makes a fantastic taste experience.

TBL September: Plum Frangipane Cake

The goldsmith gave me a hell of a minute when telling me on the phone that something went wrong with making our wedding bands smaller. What a joke. It was a huge hassle to make them smaller and in the end we payed nothing. So I decided to pay with a smile and a cake. As September is traditional plum season I went for something with plums and a twist. When I flipped through my marked recipes I stumbled upon a recipe in Lecker magazine: Plum Frangipane Cake

To be honest, the first thing I did was looking up what frangipane is: a filling made of almonds, butter, eggs and sugar. The recipe I used needed marzipan instead of ground almonds. The Scone rolls I tried earlier this year were filled with something similar, not calling it frangipane. Seriously, Marzipan cream and Plums? Hell yeah! Continue reading »

TBL: Chocolate Truffle Ruffles

Chocolate Truffle RufflesAs you might know already I was quite busy in the past month with recovering from a knee surgery and my wedding. The most annoying thing in that past month was that I was rather limited to my home, not able to stand for longer than a couple of minutes, had to walk with crutches and was completely dependent on my friends and family. Especially my best friend and Maid of Honor made an exceptional job on the wedding planning and realization of “the day”. Without her the day wouldn’t have been this perfect! I spent the last night before the Wedding at her house and brought a princess breakfast as a small “Thank you” gift. Continue reading »

TBL: Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie, a piece of lemony melt in the mouth pie

For driving me home I granted one of my colleagues the choice of the July recipe from my To Bake List (TBL). As it was very hot that time he chose the lemon meringue pie. I was very curious to try it and compare it to the Tarte au Citron. You see I am still very proud of that Tarte stuff and I think I can be. That is why I always compare… But this pie was very tasty, too and definitely wins the time-benefit-assessment.

Edit: I have adjusted the recipe slightly because I like to have more filling for a large 28cm tarte. Continue reading »

Frankfurter Kranz Cupcakes

Frankfurt Crown CupcakesI live in the state of Hesse and the Frankfurt Crown Cake is besides Applewine (some sort of Cider) one of the things that the region is famous for. There are many different recipes for the cake but something they all have in common is the shape and the cover with butter cream, golden brittle and cherries to make it look like a crown. I like the version of the cake that comes with a base of sponge cake, cherry jam and a light butter cream. As I promised to bring a cake to work the other day I was looking for the appropriate tin to make the cake at home. But I couldn’t find it and decided that I could also go for cupcakes. Continue reading »