All posts filed under: cakes and desserts

Holiday Series: Santa Cookies and the Perfect Punch

What are you doing these days to prepare for the holidays? Are you hosting a party, or simply arriving as a guest? Or perhaps a family holiday in some far away ski resort is the theme for this year’s celebration – or time alone with a loved one. I always wonder, and it seems we all ask one another the same question. At work, or via text – what are you doing this holiday season? I’m hosting a small dinner party. I’ve got my decorations up, but not so much the menu. But a few things have been added to list of possibilities. In the meantime – I got sidetracked with these wonderful reads:

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} …

Let’s Start With Recipes

For the love of baking season, I could not help but share some of my favorite recipes – you know – to try out before taking a batch to an upcoming party or get-together. Oh and by the way, I booked myself a tiny trip to this place and although I normally work while on vacation, the views from my hotel room help make up for the fact that I do.  I’ll share more shortly {featured image source for inspiration}

Food: Saturdays Are For Baking

I’ve been craving cinnamon swirled baked goods – mostly brioche with my mother’s recipe. But I decided to go with this one instead – a simple loaf, which can either be smothered in Marscapone and cherry Jam or eaten simply with a cup of coffee, I think the fact it is an easy recipe to follow, I will put my hair up, wear my cozy slippers and head to the kitchen to bake before anyone wakes up: Eh hum – don’t let the butter scare you – it’s a croissant style loaf. INGREDIENTS 1 3/4 cups warm whole milk 1 tablespoon instant yeast 2 tablespoons honey 4 1/2 – 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling 2 teaspoons kosher salt 6 tablespoons (1/2 cup) salted butter, at room temperature 2 sticks (1 cup) cold salted butter, sliced into thin pieces 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 1 egg, beaten, for brushing  {more} After breakfast, hopefully we can pull off a trip to Napa to see the colorful Autumn landscape and have some wine of course 🙂 – stay tuned! And oh, what are you doing this weekend?   

Let’s Start Monday Right

I hope your weekends were grand and that you had a chance to decompress from the hustle and bustle of every day life. Perhaps your Monday is just beginning where in other places it’s nearing bedtime or beyond. But since I live in San Francisco, and my day is just beginning, as usual with the commuter train experiencing delays, I sit in my car near the station and list down all the beautiful things I want to share with all of you this week.

Zucchini Muffins Kind of Day

I watched a movie on the Hallmark channel last night – where the perfect single mother bakes zucchini muffins for a road trip to drive her perfect daughter from Los Angeles to Oregon, where she would be attending college. Cute movie, great chemistry among the characters Amy and Noah, and perhaps it is one of the only films from Hallmark where there is actual sexual tension portrayed between the characters. So, besides the chemistry, all I could focus on was the zucchini muffins. Funny how things work on the ‘interweb’, because all of a sudden this recipe popped up across my screen and naturally, since it’s all gluten-free, I decide to bake them over the weekend and…share with all of you right here: INGREDIENTS 1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 medium/large) 2 eggs 1/3 cup olive oil (or avocado oil or coconut oil) 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar 1/4 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt 3/4 cup almond flour 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (or superfine rice flour) 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1/2 …