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Posts tagged ‘Cooking’

Let them eat cake

We had a birthday in our house a few days ago (yay PJD!). To mark this special occasion, I baked a cake. I went in search of a most delicious chocolate cake recipe, which not only had to be relatively easy to make, with not too many ingredients, but which also had to be scrumptious in the way that chocolate-cakes-when-you-were-young tasted. After much leafing through recipe books, um-ing and ah-ing over which recipe looked and sounded the best (sometimes it’s easy to get drawn in by an amazing looking photo in a cookbook only to discover the recipe is overly complicated – don’t you agree?!), I settled on an aptly (if somewhat un-originally) named “Never-fail birthday chocolate cake with chocolate icing”. This recipe comes courtesy of Australian cook Bill Granger, found in one of the most reliable go-to books in my cookbook collection, Bill’s Holiday.

Birthday cake...

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The planet of Soy

Someone clearly didn’t feel like Kikkoman with their sushi today…

Today was a long day at work, so as I was walking home and looked down and saw a little Kikkoman soy sauce bottle on the ground, I began to laugh to myself, because all I could think about was the video below. It’s silly and a bit crazy, but if you are in the mood for a laugh (it will help if you are a Kikkoman fan!), you might enjoy to check it out too. We’ve pretty much been laughing about it every time we eat something with soy sauce in it, ever since some dear friends introduced us to the crazy world of the planet of Soy earlier this year.

CIA

Photo by CIA, Lambton Quay, Wellington, New Zealand, 08 November 2012. I am really glad I wrote this post, because it led me to discover this: Kikkoman searchable cookbook! Definitely going to be trying out some of the delicious looking tofu recipes sometime soon!

An occasional cake

I am not sure what possessed me to bake a cake on a 30°C day. These kinds of days are rare in the Netherlands. Because they are rare days, the houses are not well designed for the heat. For example, they face the wrong way — the sun beats down on our front window. That’s not very cool. Literally. But, CIA has a birthday coming up, and we’re going to be in Zürich for it; baking whilst away is rarely practical, so I thought an early cake surprise might be in order. So, I looked around for an interesting and tasty-sounding cake, and along came this one, from Nigel Slater.

Now, usually I am not one for specific amounts, as you may recall, but I have also been taught that when baking not to fiddle with the amounts or the cake won’t rise, or will collapse, or might explode, or might attack you when you take it out of the oven. I didn’t change the recipe much, and not at all for the cake part. And so, without further ado, here it is.

Coffee and Walnut Cake

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Crepes make breakfast special

Breakfast, petit dejeuner, ontbijt. Whatever you want to call it, the first meal of the day is important. But sometimes you really want breakfast to be special, but without too much effort. Mornings are not usually my best time, so a breakfast that requires little effort is pretty important. And to that end, to impress people on special occasions, or just for the sake of extreme decadence, I offer to you crepes avec ganache et fraises (or, really thin pancakes with awesome chocolate sauce and strawberries). It’s pretty fast, pretty easy, and everyone always loves it. So, here’s the method…

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Swiss Meals I: Raclette, it’s not fondue…

Ever tried the dish called raclette? I hadn’t, before our recent trip to Zurich, but when I heard the following about it, I was excited to get into it:

1. It’s cheesy; 2. It’s potato-y; 3. It’s Swiss. By virtue of this point no.3, I knew the aforementioned ingredient at no. 1 would be super, super delicious (Swiss cheese really is amazing).

From the above, you’re probably thinking, “wow, she must really like cheese and potatoes!”, and you’d be right. Two of my favourite food groups right there, so I felt we couldn’t go wrong with raclette. Even better, we were lucky enough to be shown the authentic way on this most typical of Swiss dishes (after fondue, I guess), by our Swiss friends in their home.

Ingredients a-go-go.

Above you can see the spread of various ingredients prior to cooking (plus delicious side salad and unusual – to us anyway – accompaniments, such as preserved fruits and pickles). Read more

Éclair-ing at home

Well, true to my word, after earlier writing of our enjoyment of what some have pointed out to be the biggest chocolate éclairs ever on our recent trip to Paris,  I decided to try my hand at making some éclairs of my own at home. I thought you might enjoy to see the results…

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Éclair-ing in Paris, a.k.a. J’aime l’éclairs!

I am going to be completely honest and tell you that one of the things I was anticipating the most about our short trip to Paris (with much excitement) was the chance to indulge my sweet tooth with some of those delicious and beautiful french pastry delights. So, you can imagine my excitement when my eyes alighted upon these:

Have you ever seen such decadent, delicious looking éclairs?  As soon as we saw them, we knew it was éclair-o’clock, without a doubt. I fleetingly toyed with the idea of sampling one of the pistache variety (that green topping was outrageous and looked like fun!), and PJD boldly declared it would be the café flavoured éclair for him. Read more

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