All posts filed under: cakes and desserts

Weekend Wrap and This Dessert

Normally we venture out of the city on day trips to satisfy our wanderlust. But as most of you know, we are battling fires all around northern California, which seems to be the norm in recent years, except this one adds to the already sad state of our new lifestyle. So, Saturday we did some chores, and ran errands, mostly shopping for essentials – to be out but to stay indoors if you will – and in the evening had cocktails and watched silly and surely entertaining films here and here. On Sunday we took a chance, venturing across the Golden Gate, and staying close by, in Sausalito to explore and yet be ready if need be to return home and be indoors. So, we walked as usual up the steep hills, and through the narrow streets, with me wanting to capture photographs of the smoke filled air mixed with the picturesque small town of Sausalito. The color contrast to my eye was the most fascinating.   We decided this weekend, not to ponder over …

Fog, Puff Pastry and a Cup of Tea

I woke up Tuesday feeling out of sorts – especially when I made quick turns or bend downward. It turned out I was having a Vertigo episode – which I’ve had for several years, where the world around me turns upside down and I am unable to find a solid ground to stand on. These Seabands help for sure to alleviate some of the symptoms, but a few days of rest and calmness is best, along with this exercise, in case you find your way in the same Titanic as me. The worst I think is the inability to focus, or, in my case, sounds and quick movements around me flare up my queasiness. Nevertheless, I have responsibilities, work, caring for my mother and an aging dog – so I am doing my best to stay solid. Ginger tea and lemongrass help apparently. I read also foods to avoid during an episode. So, with that long intro, I am going to effort this puff pasty at some point, maybe tomorrow, but figured I’d share the …

Today’s Pretty Things

It has been a week – on a personal level, with a car break in, plumbing issues lost driver’s license, and health related concerns, and yet I am buying a bouquet of flowers, and sprucing up the house, to do my best in staying positive or even optimistic. Photographs of pretty things help, especially these lovely ones. Hang in there if you are having an equally tough week. {featured image source and full credit}

Food: Will Bake Cross-Buns For Easter Sunday

After forty minutes in line at the grocery store aiming to buy essentials, I was surprised to find a good portion of a pot roast in the meat section. Which of late has been only stocking up on ground beef, some turkey, and chicken. So I grabbed it thinking we’d have roast for Easter Sunday Dinner. Which I announced, the second I shed my outdoor clothes off in the garage, and took a hot steaming shower. It felt like a small accomplishment being able to treat the family to a special dinner – a variation of a British traditional Sunday roast I love when in England. But today – being Saturday, I will attempt to make cross-buns which I normally buy from my favorite bakery – on my way home from work on Good Friday, I stop by the bakery and grab a dozen perfectly wrapped in a cellophane bag, and tied with blue, yellow or green ribbon. Something I look forward to every year. For this year however, while we are all trying to …

Food: Carrot Cake And A Princess One Too

I had a slice of carrot cake at a restaurant, I swear was made with almond flour instead of the usual. I could taste it, and at first I had my reservations, but after bite three, I was hooked. It was a cross between Princess Cake and a whole lot of wonderful. But I must say, I still prefer my carrot cake and a princess one with their own traditional recipes: Carrot Cake Recipe  2 2/3 cups (319 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom 3/4 cup (160 grams) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) lightly packed light brown sugar 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 4 large eggs, at room temperature 4 medium carrots, unpeeled and finely shredded (about 211 grams shredded) 1/2 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, finely chopped (optional) 1/2 cup golden raisins (optional) Cream cheese frosting: 1 cup (4 ounces/113 grams) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature 2 sticks (8 ounces/226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature 4 cups (1 pound/454 grams) confectioners’ sugar 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon white vinegar 3 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream  {more} Recipe …

Food: For The Love of Cake

Cakes are the simplest of all baking you can possibly do, if you are pressed for time when asked to bring something to a holiday get-together. This recipe is literally an easy one to follow – measuring the ingredients and either whisking by hand or using a fancy mixer to blend together, pour into a baking pan and bake. A sprinkle of powdered sugar is the quickest of all decoration, and a good option for the holidays and first time bakers.. so follow along: Ingredients  9 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar 3 large eggs 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 pinch salt 1 cup fresh ricotta Zest of 1 lemon   **** I use Meyer’s lemon 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 apple, peeled and grated (should yield about 1 cup) Confectioners’ sugar for serving  {more}  

Food: Chai Infused Carrot Cake

I love carrot cake, and it is probably the only one I won’t pass up on if I were anywhere in the world offering the option. So a carrot cake recipe is always in order, and this chai infused one is one I am trying on Saturday: For the cake: 1/4 cup of almond milk 1 tbsp of Assam tea 1 cup of sugar 3/4 cup of ghee, melted 3 eggs, room temperature 1 tsp of vanilla extract 2 cups of flour (310g) 3 tsp of baking powder 1 tsp of salt 7 – 8 turns of fresh ground black pepper 1 1/2 tsp of cardamom 1 1/2 tsp of ginger 1 tsp ground cinnamon 2 cups of fresh shredded carrots, about 2 large carrots For the frosting: 1/2 cup butter, room temperature 8oz of cream cheese, room temperature 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar 1/2 tsp of vanilla 1/2 tsp cardamom 1/2 tsp ginger 1/2 tsp cinnamon pinch of salt  {more} Do you have a favorite cake? And a well-tested recipe you wish to …

Food: Chai Spiced Sugar Cookies

I don’t bake too much, but I do help my mother when she is in the mood to bake a batch of brioche and other Mediterranean pastries. But this cookie recipe is worth a share, and one I am going to bake for the office holiday party this year – or in our case, they are calling it a fall festival party at the office set for next Thursday. INGREDIENTS 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) salted butter, at room temperature 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar packed 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 2 eggs at room temperature 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more as needed 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ginger 1/2 teaspoon cardamom 1/4 teaspoon ground all-spice 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon black pepper BROWNED BUTTER FROSTING 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, at room temperature 3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature 2 cups powdered sugar 1/3 cup real maple syrup 1 teaspoon vanilla extract melted white chocolate, for dipping (optional) chai sugar, for …

Food: Carrot Cake

This morning I had a craving for carrot cake with my coffee. But finding a tasteful slice at the early morning hours in downtown San Francisco is pretty challenging. So, I settled for a scone with the complete intention of baking tonight using this must try carrot cake recipe. INGREDIENTS For the cake mixture • 2 eggs • 125ml/4 1/2fl oz maple syrup • 75ml/3fl oz mild vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing • ¼ tsp black cardamom seeds • 4 cloves • 150g/5oz wholemeal spelt flour, plus extra for dusting • 1 tsp ground cinnamon • A pinch of grated nutmeg • 2 tsp baking powder • A pinch of salt • 300g/11oz carrots, peeled and finely grated • 60g/2 1/2oz dried apricots, chopped • Grated zest of ½ organic orange • 40g/1 1⁄4oz pumpkin seeds For the icing • 150g/5oz full-fat cream cheese • 150g/5oz yoghurt of your choice • 25g/scant 1oz acacia honey • 2-3 drops vanilla extract • 1 tbsp lemon juice  {more} {featured image source and inspiration for today’s post} …