My sister is visiting me in Berlin at the moment. So I had a day off and we went swimming in Badeschiff.. which on really hot days is a paradise for smug hipsters and their possies.. but on moderately hot week days.. it is a nice place to chill and swim outside. We got the latter.. thank GOD!
We also decided to make eclairs of all different kinds… We did the classic chocolate glaze with creme patissiere. Then we made rosewater glaze… for some others, and finally, white chocolate glaze (with pink food colouring) with mango creme patissiere…. THOSE ONES WERE FANTASTIC…!
If you are going to try and make these.. I would say just clean up as you go along… you are going to need a LOT of pots and pans and having a partner in crime is also great. Sloj (my sister – photographed below, her real name is Selina) was so helpful and a great baker!
I have always loved fruit. Growing up my mum would buy it and the next day it would all be gone. I was a bit over the top.. if I had one delicious tasting peach… I would eat about 3 of the same batch. As Marge Simpson quite eloquently put it, fruit is natures candy… and sometimes it hits a spot that chocolate and sweets just can’t.
My mum is Sri Lankan, but she grew up in Malaysia. As a result she introduced me to a wealth of crazy looking, and sometimes crazy tasting fruit such as rambutan, dorian, jack fruit and my ultimate favourite mangostine. When we would go to Malaysia to visit family and friends everyone would laugh at how I would eat the stuff by the kilo… and then I would sit quietly as I felt… a little bit sick from eating too much.
However, figs are not a fruit that I have eaten or used in cooking a lot in the past. Actually having moved to Berlin has made me much more aware of them. The turkish shops in my area all stock 2 kinds of fig… not sure if they are different types actually or if they are just at different stages of ripeness. But anyway, apparently they are quite the luxury product, selling at 69 cence a piece. I wanted to use them as a garnish on this cake, because they are have such a wonderful palette of colour inside, from green, yellow, red, brown and purple… even magenta! Cutting them up was a visual delight!
I don’t know if I have mentioned the fact that we have the most generous of neighbours. A family who bring us food a couple of times a week. When I moved in I was astonished at this… especially as we don’t often give them anything and although, their kids borrow our bike pump once in a while or come up and ask for newspaper etc, that is hardly worthy of the year round cooking the wife does to fill our stomachs. Stuffed courgettes, vine leaves, moussaka, salads… you name it.. they bring it.
As it is Ramadan at the moment and they are fasting, the family have been bringing us stuff EVERY night.. as soon as the sun sets. So I thought, I should make something luxurious to say thanks in a way. I hope they liked it! My flatmates had a piece and said it was good.
For my mum’s birthday, my dad got her two places at one of Eric Lanlard’s (of Channel 4’s Baking Mad) baking classes. So, on Thursday we both went to his cafe in Wandsworth “Cake Boy” for the French Country Baking course.
Eric is originally from Britanny in France, so the following three cakes are exquisitely and classically French. The first one, is his pear tarte tatin, the second the britanny speciality – gateau breton, which is sort of like shortbread but with apple in the middle. Popular the world over at weddings, christenings etc.
The main reason I am posting this cake today… is NOT to give you a delicious recipe. I wanted to write a quick post to let everyone know that I am going to be selling many of the cakes I have shown on the blog… and many more. Tarts, pies, donuts and cookies too… down at the Maybachufer Market (by Ankerklause) on Kottbusser Damm this saturday. My darling friends Cleo and Minette are going to come and help me… and the prices are extremely reasonable – 1,50 for most things.
If you live in Berlin and you would like to try my cakes, come down and say hi! I’m going to be showcasing my new recipe – caramel and pear tart!
One thing I have learnt about baking, is that things don’t always go the way you wish. And while I sometimes feel like throwing the whole thing in the bin (like a cry baby), most of the time… you can turn your baking ruin into something cool and unexpected.
The fashion with baking at the moment, seems to be neat, smooth, perfect looking things. But when I showed my flatmate the final Hazelnut and chocolate cake, he said it looked delicious. So , sometimes as a baking enthusiast you have to try and be more diverse and less uniform and think what do people like to eat, rather than.. what looks like all the other photographs on pinterest. Therefore… I have to admit, despite being horribly disappointed by the result at first.. because I wanted it to be perfect with no drips or smudges, I quite like the blatently home-made hodge podge look of this cake. It is drippy and slidy.. and not particularly stable at times… so I felt it only fair to add the word “mudslide” to its name. Continue reading
So.. you may have realized that peach, like rhubarb is one of my ultimate FAVOURITE fruits – particularly to bake with. I love the way the flavour goes all sweet when baked – it reminds me of school desserts. Don’t worry, I loved my school dinners. The cooks were ACTUALLY called Mrs Cook and Ms. Pie… I know whenever I tell people this, they laugh and say… “you were in primary school and you were gullible.” true, but I still don’t think it was a lie. WHY would they lie about it, just WHY? I still hope and pray that it was one of those rare but amazing comic coincidences that are just awesome. Or maybe their names got them into cooking?!
So, here is the recipe, and it can be applied to any cake size – cupcakes, muffins or even a whole cake! Mini Bundts are not necessary – even though they are awesome.
Happy Tuesday! So, I am writing from my bedroom in my ridiculously sexy flannel pjs. I am ill at the moment and have been written off work… I have something similar to chicken pox… I know… rather disgusting! Thus why I have been off the baking and blogging recently! But there is only so many series I can watch before I start to go a bit nutty. So, I thought I would dig up some baking I have done over the past few weeks and edit the photos for a post – I took lots of photos for this so I had been leaving the editing until I had some spare time which never happened. They are delish – really rich sponge! I think one right now would be just what the doctor ordered… oh.. I forgot NO CHOCOLATE OR NUTS for me until the rash has gone (hahah.. I’m such an awful whiner and matyr… I know). This is slightly more time consuming than many of my recipes, but easy none the less. They are my adaptation of Black Forest cakes, in mini form.
My flatmate went to Australia this morning for almost a month, so I wanted to bake some brioche as a mini fairwell thang. Little did I know you have to leave it in the fridge over night. So no fairwell brioche, baked it today instead. It is pretty easy and very delicious… been snacking on it… and it is almost gone. Oops.
If you haven’t had brioche before, it’s French and a sweet kind of bread. But definitely NOT as sweet as a cake and I love the the fact that it has a consistancy that can be torn apart – like bread, rather than crumbled like cake. If you’re German it’s kind of similar to Milchbrot.
A slice of brioche is perfect with a cup of coffee… but some people add jam too. Here is le recipe. Continue reading
So, you may have noticed that I have a thing for tea cakes. I think they are very sophisticated and sweet and less cutesy than their american counterpart the cupcake. You may also recognise this strawberry sponge from somewhere else! I had some strawberries that were getting a bit mushy (as you can see) and so I thought a cake would be the best place for them… I know.. it’s a recurring trend. So, just use the sponge recipe from my Strawberry cake recipe.
Tea Cake Baking instructions:
All you need is a cupcake tray WITHOUT THE CASES. Grease each case with butter and tap with some flour OR use grease proof paper cut into a circle at the bottom of each case. Then add the mixture until about halfway up, and bake for about 10-12 minutes at 175°C.
Leave them to cool a bit, and then twist the top with you finger tips to loosen…
Then munch awaaaaaaaay.
Happy Weekend people! I am going to be at the Hive blogger conference this weekend. See some of you there!
When everything is just pissing you off… and even listening to Fighter by Christina Aguilera won’t give you a boost, all you need is a heart-warming sticky date & ginger cake. And maybe an episode of Game of Thrones with your flatmates. Or listen to a bit of Machel Montano... Ok.. so I am feeling the Carribean warmth and ginger cake to give me a lift.
Really not in a good mood at the moment. But I kinda just wanna scream F*** EVERYTHING, except cake of course. If you wanna join, just comment and we can scream it together. wooooooooooooo!