30 November 2010

es apokat cake (avocado cake with mocha fudge tunnel) and avocado milkshakes

I'm super excited about this cake. It’s assembled in no time at all, has a gorgeous colour, is unbelievably moist, and it has one of my new favourite flavours! A lot of people have never considered avocado and sugar together but ohmygosh it's so worth being brave and trying it. 

29 November 2010

daring bakers: carrot crostata and crostata con la crema

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

Crostata is pretty much just the Italian word for 'tart'. Tarts involve pastry. What a great excuse for me to practice making pastry! I've always found tart pastries difficult to perfect but I've learnt that there are tricks of the trade that, if you remember, will give you perfect pastry every time you try. When you are learning how to make pastry, don't follow my example and make pastry in the middle of the night - you will obviously stuff it up.

21 November 2010

cake slice bakers: cinnamon pudding cake

cinnamon pudding cake with pumpkin ice cream and candied walnuts

I'm a Cake Slice Baker Virgin no longer! Oooooohhhhh yeeeeeeaaaa........

Cake Slice Bakers (CSB for short, hollah!) is great because once a month, a group of bakers all over the world help each other out making something from a cookbook. At the moment the book of choice is Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman and this Cinnamon Pudding Cake is not only the first I’ve made with CSB but also the first I’ve made from the book.

15 November 2010

happy bundt day!

Sweet serendipity! Bundt day coincided with my mum giving me an awesome retro bundt pan! But what to make for bundt day? I desired also to get my bundt onto this bundt-loving website and for that I figured a BIG bundt was needed. So what to make, what to make… I tried to make a modified icecream bread but it was still a bit of a loser (more work obviously needed). I went back to the drawing board and Bingo! I had it. Here’s my thought equation: pumpkin puree + two circular bundts on top of each other + orange food colouring = pumpkin cake that looks like a pumpkin! 

14 November 2010

la vignarola (a food miracle)

I'm pretty sure that this meal is the reason why Italians are gorgeous and slim, even though they're gorgeously eating gorgeous pastries* every gorgeous-freaking-Italian-morning. La vignarola is so healthy yet SO delicious that when you're eating it you really do feel as though you're part of a food miracle. You are healthy. You are virtuous. You can eat cake for breakfast!

La vignarola IS Spring. It relies on the awesomeness and freshness of an amazing group of vege-chums that, for a few weeks every Spring, are at their peak all at the same time (miracle much?).

02 November 2010

FAIL: steel-cut oats and dried fruit compote

I've always wanted to try steel-cut oats so when I saw them in a bulk-buy shop, I snatched them up. I wanted to try a few recipes from Lorna Sass' Whole Grains Every Day so used her recipe for a dried fruit compote. It was no good. I ended up with a beigey-brown bland mix which pretty much ruined the oats. Bleh. It needed spices, salt and a bit of sugar. I'm all for healthy recipes and I hate waste but I really had to throw it out.

dandelion jelly

This is a conversation* Lovina Eicher and I had when I read her cookbook, The Amish Cook at Home:

Lovina: My family and I love eating dandelions.

Miri: You jest. Dandelions are a WEED, like lawn daisies.

Lovina: Dandelions should be eaten in early Spring when very young.

Miri: First of all, Lovina, stop ignoring me, and secondly, PEOPLE can eat dandelions?

Lovina: You can make dandelion salads and dandelion jellies.

Miri: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All these years of ignoring dandelions for daisies - I'm so ashamed! Well, I've got quite a bit of time to make up for it because fortunately (please don't hate on me if you're a lawn enthusiast) dandelions sure won't become extinct anytime soon.