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

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

For a spotty friend – Almond and chocolate scones

Almond chocolate scones

I’m a huge Dr. House fan. I’m also a huge scone fan. And how might these two relate? (apart from Hugh Laurie being british) Well, I was watching an episode about two weeks ago in which a family went scuba diving to an old shipwreck and got infected with what appeared to be smallpox. Which was eradicated quite a bit ago. and as I was watching the show, I was also getting a few spotty-faced snapchats from a friend who’d been infected with…wait for it…..chicken pox! Which is almost eradicated even in little kids…so how she got it was also a mystery worthy of House. And so while watching the family slowly die in isolation, I thought up these scones to bring to my friend who was also in isolation (though thankfully not dying, just quite itchy) and who, like me, also finds solace in crumbly pastries which you can have for breakfast, lunch or dinner. (because scones are just awesome like that). So if you have a friend in need, or just want a snack to munch on while you watch House re-runs, go read more for the recipe. Continue reading

Grown up kids – Oreo and peanut butter cupcakes

Oreo peanut butter cupcakes

When I was an annoying pre-teen my diet consisted solely of quesadillas and oreos. It’s true, there was a time in the life of this foodie where I totally missed out on one my favorite things in life; eating. I do have to say though, in defense of quesadillas and oreos, they are both incredibly good. I’m pretty sure there aren’t many mexicans out there who’ll deny the deliciousness of cheese, tortillas and salsa. And what can I say about oreos? If you don’t like them, there’s probably something severely wrong with you. Like get-your-butt-to-the-doctor-wrong. Especially if the wonderful cookie sandwiches come accompanied by peanut butter and a tall glass of cold milk. Am I right? Peanut butter and oreos is the ultimate pre-teen combo…and teen, and young adult, and adult and senior. Because it never gets old. At least for me it will always be one of those childhood flavors that I will never outgrow.
And so were born these oreo cupcakes (and cake!)….stuffed with cookies and topped with a not too sweet, melt in your mouth peanut butter frosting. Also topped with more oreos, because you can’t have too many of those. I actually made these for a co-worker who recently left our office and who needed something to remember us by, and what better way than using an already full of memories combination of flavors?Read more for the recipe! Continue reading

Pumpkin galore – Pumpkin cream cheese pie bars

Pumpkin cream cheese pie bars

I know that posting a thanksgiving-y recipe on the very same day isn’t nice. But I’ve got a good excuse: I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving! Because in Mexico we have turkey for Christmas, as is proper. With pears and potatoes and lasagna. As is right. And of course by that I mean as we’ve always done chez moi. : )
But back to the thanksgiving issue. I actually made this for a themed dinner, and since it’s pumpkin season regardless of the holiday and the puree was homemade, I was left with about 1 lt. extra of the stuff. And the stuff is so yummy! You can make all sorts of pumpkin dishes, apparently something  I’d never been aware of because we just don’t have that tradition. But now I am, and the inevitable pinterest search for pumpkin recipes did not disappoint. (Which probably means that I will disappoint and keep posting pumpkin truffles and pumpkin bread and pumpkin soup way past the appropriate date. I’m not even sorry). So, to begin with! Pumpkin cream cheese pie bars. This recipe, which I found originally at Taste of Home, is actually a bit complicated. But definitely worth it…pumpkin meringue over creamy cheesecake? Definitely worth it. And besides, the layers are so decorative you might want to make them just because of that. And you can cut them into decent-sized bars, or just make one large cheesecake! Sounds good right? Read more for the recipe. Continue reading

Quick Treats – Baked cinnamon donuts

cinnamondonuts

If you’re a foodie like me you might relate to the both terrible and awesome experience that is visiting a cooking/gourmet store. Endless shelves of stuff that you dream of having in endless supply, molds to bake any cookie or cake imaginable, all sorts of decorations, appliances that keep you from crying as you dice onions (Ok that one doesn’t exist, but what are you waiting for inventors??) shiny new knives, bowls of every size, and every kind of spice under the sun. It’s sheer torture. The truth is you’d need a kitchen the size of a soccer stadium and a wallet the size of Bill Gates’ to be fully satisfied at such a place… but still, every time I walk out of there with even just a little bag, I feel like a kid with a brand new toy. And that’s exactly what I got, a brand new toy for making baked donuts, which are way better than regular donuts….only because they’re not fried. Its strange, but I’ve never been a fan of donuts. I think they’re just too oily, or maybe too thick…or something else entirely which I can’t exactly pinpoint. But what’s great about my new toy is that it makes medium sized donuts that don’t require tons of oil… and baked donut recipes abound in the blog-pinterest-foodgawkersphere! So the very next day from getting my toy, I found this awesome recipe at The Chic life, which will give you freshly baked donuts in under half an hour. Yup, that’s right. You can bake them pre-breakfast! Because nothing compares to having a just baked, quick, easy delicious treat to accompany your morning coffee. Read more for the recipe! Continue reading

Ultimate richness – Spiced orange & grand marnier pound cake

Spiced orange and grand marnier pound cake

 

I don’t know what it is about pound cakes that’s so good….maybe it’s the in between-ness of a cake and a pastry, or the soft texture that just goes so well with milk or tea, or the variety of flavors…I don’t know. I just know that its great. And you know what else I know is great? Grand Marnier. I know this because its given me plenty of fun, in margarita shape. And because crepes suzette will always hold a special place in my heart. And because creme brulée is also one of my top-choice desserts. So a grand marnier pound cake? Why yes please! And mix it up with a ton of spices, and a dense, springy texture which will soak up the liquored up syrup, and you’ve got the richest, most delicious drunk pound cake. Which will also keep over a week, ( I know because as usual I overdid it and made two) making it a great treat for guests, or to accompany a cup of black tea, with a dash of milk. Sounds interesting? Read more for the recipe.

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