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.
Posts tagged ‘Delicious’
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.
Soon after we moved to the Netherlands, I started seeing people in cafes drinking something alongside their appeltaart which piqued my interest. Due to my curious nature, soon enough I moved from being quietly intrigued to desperate to know: just what was this drink de rigueur that seemed to be so popular? I soon enquired, and the answer that came back was quite simple: It’s een verse munt thee – a fresh mint tea. So, mystery solved, and it wasn’t long after that I joined the craze and was ordering this at cafes all over the Netherlands (well, all over Holland, to be technically more accurate!).
On a recent Sunday morning, in this quaint Dutch street, we acquainted ourselves with a delicacy of Dutch cuisine.
If you’ve been reading about our various adventures previously, you may well have already picked up on the fact that we both have a bit of a sweet tooth, partial to the delicious and delectable baked goods which can be found in many corners of Europe (for example in Paris and in Stockholm to name but a few). Well, I can report that the Bossche bol, which we sampled in s-Hertogenbosch (locally shortened to “Den Bosch”), lived up to our expectations. Read more
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…
Before you feel like I am selling you short, this post isn’t so much about adventures as such, but about my random wanderings in a Swedish supermarket late one night earlier this week before PJD arrived. Something I am always intrigued by when I go to a new place, especially a foreign country, is the supermarket – the set up, the different food and products on offer. Because not all supermarkets are equal, and you never know what you might find! Also, time spent living overseas has given me an appreciation, as someone who loves to cook, that sometimes it’s just not possible to easily find the ingredients you need. I know my interest in all things supermarket-y might strike you as strange (it probably, definitely is!). But maybe, just maybe, there’s someone else out there who also shares this sense of foreign supermarket intrigue… If so, I hope you might enjoy this glimpse into a Swedish supermarket!
Signage was amazingly clear in this supermarket, as you can see above! With signage as clear and bold as this, there was absolutely no confusion as to where to find what. Read more
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.
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