Spring has sprung in London
Spring has sprung in London
Baked a cake I have hardly tasted after my Grandma passed away – it is one of those “classics” that reminds me of times past. Of Sunday dinners at my Grandparents or celebrating one of their birthdays at their place. How my Grandma would have at last 4 different kind of cakes! It was a HUGE hit with the girls, and they have been begging me to make it again everyday since.
I used a recipe I found from Martha Stewart, and it goes as follows
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
STEP 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan; set aside. Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
STEP 2 In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour. Set aside 1/3 of the batter.
STEP 3 In a bowl, mix cocoa and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water with a rubber spatula until smooth. Add the cocoa mixture to the reserved cake batter; stir until well combined.
STEP 4 Spoon batters into the prepared pan in 2 layers, alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate to simulate a checkerboard. To create marbling, run a table knife (or wooden skewer) through the batters in a swirling motion.
STEP 5 Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer pan to a rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn out cake from pan and cool completely on the rack.
Cake can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.
It has been a quite busy week where home time has been mostly used to organize, clean and throw out things from the office/playroom/bedroom, to make room for a couch I’m getting as a hand me down from a friend. Window decorations coming along nicely Need some nice flower pots for the bigger plants… but getting there!
Also on Monday, I went straight from work to my reading group… who celebrated a six-year anniversary! I can’t quite fathom that we have kept this thing going for six whole years! Once a month we meet up and discuss a book we have all read… and these women all means the world to me by now. Right now we have a film maker, a teacher, a principal, an accountant from oil business, a psychologist, a doctor, a bookstore employee … and me! Out of our group of 8 we are 4 that has been going strong from the very start. As I wrote in this post “the friendships are long-lasting and quite intimate and true even though we don’t see each other on an everyday basis. I think maybe that is part of the “magic”, we get to talk about all the things we experience each on our own without being bogged down about… knowing the families/other friends that well etc… and we get a different perspective when talking things through with people who in many ways are quite different from our selves… lots of different insights, advice, tips and so on that you might not get from the ones you surround yourself with more regularly…”
There’s been food made this last week, also some new recipes tried out (like this chicken thighs with a vegetable medley and this beef tenderloin with tagliatelle in a creamy sauce , but I forgot to snap a picture of the finished results! So this week, you get to indulge in my bacon/ham pie that I made the first week of January. Bacon/ham and onion pie I used some bacon in this pie, which is the traditional way of making it I guess, but tweaked it a bit since I had quite a bit of smoked ham leftovers I didn’t want to go to waste
Bacon, ham and onion pie
5 deciliter all-purpose flour
125 gram butter
1.5 deciliter water
A pinch of salt
All-purpose flour, for rolling
500 grams onion
200 grams bacon/ham
1 deciliter heavy cream
1 deciliter milk
1 cup of shredded, preferably sharp cheese (like Gruyere)
4 eggs salt pepper
Crumble the softened butter in the flour and add water and salt. Work quickly together and let the dough rest in the fridge for half an hour. Lightly flour a rolling-pin and work surface and roll out the pie crust to fit your pie plate. You want the pie shell to be a bit larger than your plate so that you can fold the overhang under the edge. Let the pie crust rest in a cool place while you make the filling.
Cut the bacon/ham into cubes and fry them up in pan until they are crispy. Remove the meat, slice the onion and fry it in butter until it’s barely soft. Spread the onion and bacon/ham evenly into the pie crust. Whisk together the cream, milk, eggs, cheese, salt and pepper. Pour mixture over the meat and onion mixture.
Bake at 225 degrees Celsius for about 25 minutes. Serve with crispy salad and nice dressing – I love to make a garlic dressing our of light sour cream, fresh garlic, some salt and pepper to serve with this dish.
After doing my 365 project in 2012, I was kinda burned out and not ready to tackle another year of photos like that. This year I’ve made a resolution to try and take my cooking and baking to the next level. I thought maybe I could try and make something out of the ordinary every day dishes at least once a week. There are weeks where I do this many times,but other weeks were I feel stuck in a rut. It doesn’t have to be something new, either… but something out of the ordinary, like baking sweet cardamom buns for the girls on a regular Wednesday evening.
Sweat wheat buns
100 gram of butter
3,5 deciliter milk
50 gram of yeast
1 deciliter of sugar
1 teaspoon of cardamom
500 all-purpose flour
Heat the milk until it is luke warm. Dissolve the yeast in the milk. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Knead it well - I use then kneading blade on my kitchen machine for about 7-8 minutes. Let the dough rise until about doubled. I put mine on the bathroom floor, which is heated!
Turn the oven to 440 degrees Fahrenheit (230 degrees Celsius).
Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it well again.
Roll it into a sausage and divide the dough into about 15-18 pieces.
Roll into buns, set them on a plate with some space in between.
Let raise again for 15-20 minutes or so. Whisk together an egg and brush the top of the buns with it. I didn’t have an egg, and you can certainly do them without, but they come out looking “glossier” if you do this!
Cook them in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!
An then, it was gone,yet again! on Flickr.
“I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Not the best conditions for taking pics of firework… very windy where we were, and I had forgotten the remote trigger for my camera - so had to try and hold the shutter in for the time it needed while not making the camera shake… not easy! And as with the 4th of July firework shots, the lcd screen on my Nikon D90 STILL does not work, so I had no way of checking to see how the photos came out along the way, no way of making any needed adjustments.
But sometime sit is the not so perfect conditions that makes for great surprises when you get to see the pics - because I really liked this one!And this would not had been if everything was “perfect”!
"The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire."
- Pamela Hansford Johnson
Shot with my Samsung Galaxy SIII cellphone
When the sun does not set before close to midnight and you can walk home from a party bare feet in sandals.