All posts filed under: eat

Polish Honey Cake

Without a doubt this version of a Polish Honey cake of my favorite cakes to make when the weather starts to cool off. There is something so comforting about the flavour of spiced honey. When paired with a nice cup of tea it makes for the perfect afternoon tea on the weekend. The recipe for this cake comes from Belinda Jeffery in the Australian Delicious magazine (June 2010). You can find it online here. I’ve made this cake countless times over the last 7 years & it is consistently good. The texture is soft & moist, the flavour rich & the kitchen is filled with the most beautiful aroma when it’s cooking. The honey is clearly the star of the show yet the cake isn’t sickly sweet. Instead it allows you to really appreciate the different notes of the honey. The flavour changes with different types of honey & I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with different types. My only problem is they’re all so good I can’t pick a favourite! Advertisements

Kyivskiy Dream Torte Take 2

So last week was my husband’s birthday & so to celebrate I took another swing at this Kyivskiy Dream Torte idea of mine & tried to address some of my concerns from the first iteration. I was pretty happy with the results, there are still a couple of tweaks I want to make but all in all I think this version will be pretty close to the final version. I didn’t think I changed that much until I sat down & read everything & realised I changed almost every element! Let’s start with the easy one, the chocolate hazelnut cream. In the last cake I first whipped the double cream with a whisk attachment in the stand mixer & then added the Nutella. This lead to the mixture almost looking curdled. So this time I took a different approach, I used the beater attachment instead of the whisk, I started by beating the hazelnut spread until it was a little smoother & less stiff. Then I started very slowly adding heavy whipping cream to the mix. …

Friday Night Feast – February 2017

It has been over a year since I hosted a nice dinner with friends. In between pregnancy & looking after a little bub, it just hasn’t happened. As the bub gets older, he’s beginning to form a more predictable routine, particularly in the evening, which means I’ve started feeling like I can do normal adult things again, like host a dinner party. Whilst I’m still on maternity leave & have time, I decided to seize the opportunity to host a nice dinner party with a few friends. I did make a few concessions with my meal planning for this dinner. In order for a dish to be on the menu, it had to be possible to make it ahead of time. I didn’t want to be worried about timing of things whilst trying to look after the bub if he was upset or hungry. Normally when I have a big dinner, I plan out a timetable for the day & cook to it. With a baby that’s still nursing that approach just isn’t realistic. Instead I …

Hazelnut & Blood Orange Cake

This Gourmet Traveller recipe has been on my ‘to try’ list for a ridiculous amount of time. The problem was always the scarcity of the two main ingredients here in Michigan. Blood oranges are available here around January & hazelnuts are hard to find reliably (at a reasonable price), let alone hazelnut meal*. However recently my friend told me that Trader Joes stock raw hazelnuts on a pretty regular basis, so this year when I saw blood oranges at the supermarket I decided to give this recipe a whirl. I’m glad I did, this was really a lovely cake to make. It was super easy to make & tasted fantastic. I followed the instructions exactly. My only note is that I probably poured too much of the syrup into the pan before putting the butter on, it didn’t really affect the cake so much, but because I had a springform pan it leaked a little & left a bit of a gooey mess on the drip tray. I also didn’t have much syrup left over …

Kyivskiy Dream Torte

Fresh cherries are always a part of our families Christmas meals in Australia. So when my in laws brought back a box of fresh sour cherries from the Red Hill Cherry Farm two days before Ukrainian Christmas I had the perfect opportunity to experiment with a version of one of my favourite cherry cakes, a Kyivskiy Torte. Basically it’s hazelnut meringue layered with cherries and chocolate buttercream. Whilst you can get versions of it in Detroit, none of them come close to what we used to get from Cakes of Fantasy in Ormond (Melbourne, Australia), and as a result I’ve been missing it terribly. I didn’t really want to recreate that cake exactly, (it’s a lot of work) but I did want something with similar tastes and textures.  I started with this recipe from Gourmet Traveller for a Lemon Dream Cake and this recipe from The Women’s Weekly for a hazelnut cake. There was a mismatch between the cooking times of the hazelnut cake and the original cake. So I tried to offset this by cooking the cake by itself for …

Cranberry Curd Tartlets

I’m a sucker for a good lemon tart, so when I saw this NY Times recipe for a Cranberry Curd Tart I just had to give it a go. I tried a couple of different variations of the curd & pastry but still haven’t found a combination I’m completely happy with. First off I made the curd exactly as specifed & used the shortcrust pastry I had in my freezer (made using this Jamie Oliver recipe  – I find it’s always handy to have a tart case or some pastry in the freezer). For me the curd was too sweet & the tartness of the cranberries didn’t come through as I’d hoped. For my next try I halved the sugar. This time was better, but I think I took a little too much of the sugar out. If I was to make it again I think I’d try 3/4 of the sugar. In the second try I also changed the pastry to more of a gingerbread. I used the same Jamie Oliver recipe but replaced …

Gin and Tonic

When I’m on holidays I love to take a break at about 5 or 6pm & stop at a nice bar somewhere for a drink, which more often than not, is a gin & tonic. I’m a bit energetic when I travel & try to cram as much as possible into each day, so for me, it’s a nice way of relaxing & thinking about everything that I’ve seen or done that day. Which brings me to Gin & Tonics in Barcelona… I never in my life expected to enjoy my evening holiday ritual as much as I have in Barcelona. First off, there’s the ordering. Some of the restaurants/bars I’ve been to this week have a gin & tonic menu. You select the gin you want & sometimes the type of tonic water too. I guess you can pick the gin you want back home, but it’s not formalised in a specialised gin & tonic menu so it’s just not as nice, as it is here in Barcelona. Then they bring a glass (the …