Peace and quiet – Apple cinnamon pound cake

Apple and cinnamon pound cake

I can’t remember when I was little and I came home tired from school to find that delicious smell of apple pie in the oven and finding my mom in an apron with a tall glass of cold milk and a big smile on her face. Mainly because my mom never baked apple pie, doesn’t like milk and she was rarely around when I came home from school (she did wear aprons though, and she cooked a lot, hence the me). So whenever I have apple pie-cake/chocolate cookies/glasses of cold milk, I pretend I do have that nonexistent memory, simply because it appears to be something that everyone has in spite of rarely anyone actually having a mom who did any such things. And pretending that makes me find so much peace and comfort in those classic flavors. Because even though it’s not something I learned when I was little, there’s something undeniable warm and homey about apple baked goods. I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s embedded somewhere in our unconscious, but there’s something about that smell, fresh from the oven, that makes me feel like I live right next to the orchard where those apples where lovingly hand picked and placed in an immaculate wicker basket, covered with a red and white checkered cloth and then brought inside, waiting eagerly to become a cake. It’s a pleasant image, and one not to hard to keep in mind as you munch away on your cake. This pound cake isn’t too sweet, so you can have it with your morning coffee or as mid-afternoon treat, and you won’t feel like you’re over-indulging. It’s not the kind of cake that will disappear in an instant but that will see you through three-four days, just sitting on your pantry, homey, familiar and warm. Ready to help you feel that comfort of fake memories, or if you’re lucky, real ones. Read more for the recipe. Continue reading

The classics – whole wheat banana and cream crumble

Whole wheat banana and cream crumble

After an eon of not posting anything (and I do have stuff to post! like pan seared artichokes and honey mustard glazed salmon with a wilted spinach and goat cheese salad…I just haven’t had the time to get to the actual posting part) I’m coming back with one of the absolute classics in my sweet stuff repertoire. And it’s just as good as it sounds in the title….. Yep. Just what you read. Bananas in sweet caramelised cream with a topping of crumble that melts in your mouth and golden sliced almonds. And no, I am not talking about something you can only try in heaven. Oh no…this dessert (or breakfast, or lunch, or dinner, or snack) is as easy to make as it is to commit sin. You’ll bake it in 5 minutes and watch as it disappears in 2.

I’m not exaggerating. In fact, I even doubted posting this recipe for the sake of everyone’s health. But hey, when have I ever concerned myself with that? (ok…..I have…but this is whole wheat, and brown sugar! I know…I know) But enough with singing it praises, go make it!

Making the whole wheat and brown sugar crumble Continue reading

Work for it – Key lime pie

Key lime pie with meringue topping

I’ve always been exceedingly good at procrastination. Really, nothing gets done better than when you leave it for 20 minutes before it’s deadline. Particularly if its something you don’t actually want to do, like balance your account or cleaning out your closet. But I don’t stop at that…oh no. It can take me quite a while to start even on the things that I love doing, and that, I can tell you, is a terrible habit, because if one of those things happens to involve oven and chilling times and quite possibly an exact time to be served….well, really…you shouldn’t postpone getting started. Because you might just end up running around the kitchen with sticky meringue hands looking for the torch and leaving sugary fingerprints all over your house, encouraging your creamy tart filling to set with only 5 minutes time of fridge rest, and ruining your pajamas with flour and syrup because you also put off taking a shower before starting.
Which is so not what happened to me as I made these pies. So not. Really. Ok, it totally was. But in my defense, I did make two of them, and in spite of all the rushing, they turned out absolutely delicious (can key lime pie ever not be?) and gorgeous looking. I used Deb’s at Smitten Kitchen version of the filling, with my own shell recipe and a regular italian meringue topping. You can find both links after the jump.

Limes, eggs, pie shellRolling out the dough to make the shell

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Tiny dinner again? – Chocolate and Peanut Butter Tartlets

Chocolate and peanut butter tartletsChocolate and peanut butter tartlets

I have continued to neglect the uploading of recipes….I know…I’m terrible. But I’m always busy or sick. Right now I’m recovering from my 4th respiratory disease of some sort in less than two months. It’s crazy. Just when I’m getting back on the wagon, back to a good daily routine with lots of exercise, cooking, crafting and gazillions of endorphins per day (either from exercise or chocolate…you guess)….no, my body says. And its back to resting for three days straight without doing anything fun. Hmmph. This has to stop! The good part of not posting though, is that I’ve cooked a lot of new things in between posts, and so I can pick the yummiest! This time I present you with a hard to surpass combination; chocolate and peanut butter, on a crunchy, buttery, flaky tartlet. Sounds delicious? That’s cause they are. I created these because I had a birthday dinner party for one of my best friends, but she’s super tiny (tinier than me) and so I made mini everything for dinner. (Yes, again) Tiny burgers, tiny fries, tiny salads, tiny stuffed portobellos, and of course, tiny desserts! Pavlovas, which I’ll post as soon as I sort the photos out, and these incredibly good chocolate peanut butter tartlets. The tartlet shells are a bit tedious, yes. But you can skip that and make a regular size tart using a pastry ring, because the filling is really really easy and fast. Just make sure you weigh your tart shell properly. Read more for the recipe!

(The above mentioned tiny dinner. See why I had to make tarlets?)

tiny dinner

Beating eggs into doughSablageShort pastry dough

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The cake that disappeared – Berries and cream crumble

Mixed Berries and Cream Crumble

So I’ve been not posting for a while. And I’ve been cooking like crazy! I know, it’s not right. But I just haven’t had the time to be organized and write the recipes for the stuff I’ve been doing. (Not to mention a couple failures like uncooked cannelloni of which we ate only the filling after they’d been in the oven for hours. Shame.) But not to worry, I’m back with a killer recipe. This weekend was my sister’s birthday, and we had a lovely dinner party. This crumble was the dessert in a menu of shrimp dumplings, rib eye in caramelised shallots, green beans, sticky jasmine rice and oven-cooked baby portobellos. It was a lovely dinner with incredibly fun guests, but whom I loved all the more because they ate absolutely everything and even came into the kitchen to ask for seconds. But the one that was really complimented was the crumble cake, which after having extinguished it’s happy birthday song and candle was left for a few seconds in my sister’s hands to be cut and served while I took a  few pics. When I put down the camera, it had pulled a disappearing act and not a crumb of the crumble was left! (I did get to try it of someone else’s plate though, and I got to see why, If I may leave all modesty apart). As far as cakes go, it’s incredibly easy to make. And I’m guessing with a side of vanilla ice-cream, pretty close to going into several favorite dessert lists. On to the recipe?

Crumble base

Strawberries chopped

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