Happy morning – Banana muffins

 

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Whoever says you can’t have cake for breakfast will surely disagree with rum for breakfast. In fact, I’m not too sure I agree with it myself. (Unless by breakfast you mean a 5 am nightcap, in which case rum is totally fine if that’s your drink of choice). But these muffins, with a slightly spiced flavour and a little (barely there) kick of rum are the perfect breakfast. Pair them with your morning coffee and you’ll be sure to start the day on the right foot. How could your day not be perfect when you’ve had a small, slightly happy pastry for the most important meal of the day?
Read more for the recipe!

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Comeback – Super quick artichoke cheese pull apart bread

artichoke parmesan pull apart bread

Let me start by saying that I’m sorry that I’ve disappeared again…I have been crazy busy with work and have had zero time to post :( but I’m back with a recipe that will definitely make up for the absence….not only is it quick and easy, (30 minute dough!!) it is beyond delicious and it’s the perfect thing to bring to a luncheon or dinner party. Pull apart bread is, by nature, the ultimate treat for sharing! And this savoury version, stuffed with artichokes and cheese, is moist and full of flavour. Just make sure you don’t eat all of it in one go or you won’t have any space leftover for actual lunch! This recipe pairs extremely well with a glass of chilled dry white wine, so it’s also perfect for snacking on while sipping a glass with friends. Interested? Read more for the recipe!

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Double trouble – Caramel chocolate shortbread and pretzels

Chocolate and caramel shortbread recipe

I have to confess, the idea for this cookie didn’t come from, as many similar others do, homemade twix. There’s no denying that homemade twix is scrumptious, as is regular factory made twix. (Pretty much anything involving cookies, chocolate and caramel is scrumptious in my book). But as inspiring as that famous candy bar is, the idea for these came from Lille’s Thins. Not as famous, they are impossibly thin cookies with just a sprinkle of sugar, and just the other day I got a tin of them as a gift and, being the cookie monster I am, I opened them right then and there where it was slightly dark. The plastic tray thingy they come in is chocolate coloured, and I of course got super excited because the outside did not advertise any cacao goodness. But to my great disappointment,  it was all a sneaky ruse from the packaging, there was no chocolate involved. But I could not stop thinking as I dunked a couple in a glass of milk, how much more nice they would be if they had a thin thin layer of chocolate as well as that “sprinkle of sugar”. So I set out to make a shortbread thin version covered with chocolate. And in the process thought that an also very thin layer of caramel wouldn’t hurt anyone. And voila! Three ultra thin layers of some of the best components of pastry: caramel, chocolate and shortbread. The result is beyond scrumptious, if that’s possible.

But that’s not all. I knew I’d have some leftover caramel from the recipe, and hence the double trouble: the day you make these you can turn into a two-treat kind of day, because if you have some extra chocolate chips and a few pretzels around, you can also make pretzelcaramelchocolatechunks. (Which don’t have a name that I’m aware of) These both make excellent gifts if you wrap them individually in waxed paper, and they keep very well as long as you keep them away from heat and moisture. So go on, read more for the recipe (s) ! Continue reading

Indulging – Double chocolate scones

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I’m writing this post and have just realised that I haven’t got a category called “baked goods” because I’m constantly baking and it didn’t occur to me that I should have a place where to put all the croissants/muffins/tartelettes that I make. So I am now officially renaming the “Muffins and small cakes” category to Baked goods & pastries. This all came up because I’m constantly making scones and only now does it dawn upon me that scones aren’t a bread, nor a cake, nor a cookie and not exactly a dessert. What are these heavenly bites then? Baked goods. If anyone has a more appropriate name for them, I’m all ears. But on to the recipe….these are actually chocolate scones. Not scones with chocolate chips in them. Oh no. These are a full cocoa explosion in your mouth. Dark and scrumptious. And of course, a few chocolate chips in there never hurt anyone …right?(hence the double). These are beyond good for breakfast, topped with apricot or raspberry marmalade, and if you’re feeling really indulgent, why not a bit of clotted cream? Trust me, you’ll never want to have eggs for breakfast again :/
Read more for the recipe. Continue reading

It’s my party I’ll be late if I want to – Lemon and poppyseed meringue cake

lemon and poppyseed meringue cake

Yet another birthday has come and gone. And while last year I was rebellious and decided to celebrate with and overdose of nutella in my birthday party dessert, (as is proper in any birthday party, anywhere, ever) this year I indulged instead in a mile high cake. Because I’m piling on the years, I figured it’s only fitting to pile on the size of the cake. This cake, with it’s polished and big look, has many steps to it, but it’s actually very easy and quick to make, (compared to other -cup- cakes I’ve made) so it was a great choice for a hectic day, in which I ran all across the city since morning and only started to prepare a full make your own grilled cheese bar about 1 hour before the guests arrived. My lateness, and the unpredictable may weather, resulted in what looked very much like an english tea party, instead of lunch. But who’s complaining? You can hardly beat a late lunch with rainy weather, flowers and cake. And gin and tonics instead of tea, of course! Tempted to do the same? Read more for the recipe! Continue reading

Fun in the sun – Amaranth fish tacos with mango sauce

Amranth Fish tacos with mango sauce

It’s already been 8 days since spring officially started, and oddly enough I spent most of my weekend curled up with a book and a glass of wine, reading by the window because there was hardly any sun, and it poured cats and dogs most of saturday and all of sunday. Not that I’m complaining, rainy weather is my favourite kind. In my opinion, summer is a month (or two) too long here in Mexico. But spring is my second favorite. Because spring means seafood, rosé and sunny terraces. And light dresses and a friendly sun, not a scorching-I-feel-menopausic-one. And that’s exactly why I prepared this recipe for the weekend, because it’s the perfect meal to enjoy on this time of the year. It’s fresh, mexican, delicious, and healthy.
I’ve raved about amaranth as a substitute for breading before, right here, and this time I won’t do it again. Instead I’ll rave about the colourful, yummy combination that’s purple cabbage, with avocado, cilantro and different favoured tortillas. But as if all of those together weren’t enough, why not top it off with a scrumptious spicy mango sauce? Still not enough? Then a second, creamy labneh and cilantro dressing will make absolutely everyone happy. You can dress your tacos with either of the sauces, or as one of naughty guests did, mix them both in the same taco! However you eat them, make sure you have plenty of tortillas, because you’ll probably end up having one too many tacos. (As is usually the case with tacos, of any kind)
Recipe after the jump.

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The killer combo – Chocolate, banana & almond tart

Chocolate banana almond tart

Recently I’ve had a ton of birthdays. I don’t know why, but March seems to be a popular month amongst people near me to turn older and remind me that in a few more months I will also be adding a year to my belt. This of course, after you’ve passed the 25 mark, is always catastrophic. And while I know that I’m not ancient and that not only the blogging world but the world in general is full of articles praising your late 20’s and telling you how it’s the best time of your life, it still panics me a bit to be reminded I’m also getting older. But. Birthdays also remind me that I have an excuse to eat tons of dessert, have too many drinks and in general be merry. Because as we get older our celebrations evolve with us, and, to my great enjoyment, increasingly involve better food and more importantly, more dessert. (And thankfully, more wine and less tequila shots). But the truly great thing about birthday desserts, is that you get to enjoy them like a little kid, because when you get a killer combo of sweet ingredients that take you back to that very first birthday when you put bananas and chocolate in your mouth, and realised the world was in fact a great place worth making a life in, we all become little kids. And in that moment the crow’s feet round your eyes are purely from smiling. (Except for those unfortunate souls who don’t like chocolate.). This tart, with it’s chocolate ganache, fresh bananas, toasted almonds and whipped cream topping, will actually make you wish you had even more reasons to feel old, just so you could whip one up once a week.
Note: while this tart is very easy to make, if you’re not comfortable making tart shells or are in a hurry, feel free to swap the one in the recipe for a store bought one. Just make sure it’s chocolate! Recipe after the jump. Continue reading