Rosemary Salt & Lemon Biscuits

29 Oct

Rosemary salt and lemon biscuits

Two of the things that happen when you’ve recently moved into a new house: people you like come to visit you (yay!) and bring presents (double-yay!) :D

The traditional present on an occasion like this is bread and salt. Wikipedia says it’s “to wish sedentary, prosperity and fertility.”* I’ll gladly just take one of these three things. Oh, and the bread and salt.

Especially when it’s fancy salt.

Like rosemary sea salt. Yum!

I just had to try it as soon as possible. So I made these rosemary salt  and lemon biscuits, taking a beautiful recipe for savoury biscuits and then “adapting” it beyond recognition. It’s what I do best! :)

The result is highly satisfactory. So now I will have to try and recreate them and also remember the recipe, so I may even be able to post it on here…

 

 

* Fancy footnote to prove I’ve used a semi-legitimate source

 

Linzertorte tray bake for Austria Day 2014

26 Oct

Linzertorte tray bake

Having recently moved house, I now live even further away from my home town and feel even more obliged to bring some proper (i.e. Austrian) culture to the people here. :)

And yesterday I learned that our Linzer Torte is the oldest known recipe to take its name after a place.

Two very good reasons to forego my traditional Mozartkugel muffins for Austria day and make Linzerschnitten (Linzertorte tray bake) instead!

The recipe is my dad’s wife’s, and I like it for a number of reasons, the two most important ones being that the tray bake is a) delicious and b) a lot easier to make than the original Linzer Torte.

They key convenience factor is that with this recipe, you can pipe on the dough grid with the help of a piping bag. You do not have to roll the dough into much too long sausage-like thingies and then try and weave a beautiful grid out of the awkward dough sausages.

(Alhtough now that I am writing this I feel like playing with awkward dough sausages… Next time!)

Anyway, back to this recipe. Another thing about it is that this tray bake is considerably less dry than the original torte. Personally, I like my Linzer Torte dry as hell. Linzer Torte is perfect if you have to drink cups and cups of coffee or tea with it just so you don’t suffocate. :)

But a lot of people are, for some reason, not fond of cakes which come with the risk of suffocation. (Weirdos!) And I am on a mission to bring culture to the barbarians, so I don’t want to scare them off with the very first cake. ;)

 

Happy Nationalfeiertag to all of you!

Fischbrötchen-Kuchen

8 Oct

I call this preemptive cultural acclimatisation:

as the leaving dos continue, I have moved on, mentally at least, to my new city, which is famous for concert halls under construction – and fish sandwiches.

So being preemptive as usual, I have baked Fischbrötchen-Kuchen, fish sandwich cakes.

They are easy to make: you simply take

 

diminutive breads (= Brötchen)

 

Broetchen

and fish (biscuits)

Fische

 and then add ersatz tartar sauce (i.e. white chocolate cream cheese cream) –

and you get

Fischbrötchen!

Fischbroetchen

Another Baketastic Day!

29 Sep

Yesterday was another day I spent doing basically nothing but baking.

The occasion? My favourite cake eater is leaving the company he’s been working with for the last sixteen years, and today was his leaving do.

And because he’s so popular and has so many friends at work (especially on days when he brings cake), more than one cake was required.

 

I love my intense baking days, but they are always really exhausting, too, and I’m still rather tired today.

So I’m giving you my list of cakes baked yesterday in photos with no stories to go with them. Feel free to make up your own – the more gruesome, the better! :)

 

For those of who you like a challenge: spot the cake for which I used food colouring! ;)

 

 

Cherry And Mint Chocolate Tray Bake

Cherry And Mint Chocolate Tray Bake

 

Coffee Cream And Walnut Cupcakes

Coffee Cream And Walnut Cupcakes

 

White Chocolate Chip Cake

White Chocolate Chip Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

 

Sesame And Pear Cake

Sesame And Pear Cake

 

Hazelnut And Courgette Balls

Hazelnut And Courgette Balls

 

Lemon Tray Bake

Lemon Tray Bake

 

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

A Monster Wedding Cake

24 Sep

Cookie Monster Wedding Cake

 

So my friends asked me for a special wedding present: to bake their wedding cake. How reckless can one be!?

Yours truly felt insanely flattered though, especially since they specified two kinds of cakes I’ve made a few times before which they wanted. Compliments hardly come any bigger than that, do they?

As cake toppers, they asked me to bake Cookie Monster muffins like I’d done before, and to make one a girl cookie monster. As you know, I am always happy to comply with gender stereotypes, and even happier to dye desiccated coconut pink! :D

Voilà: A Monster Wedding Cake.

 

monster-wedding-cake-2

 

The three layers at the bottom are courgette cake – a hazelnutty cake with a hint of cinnamon, which is all lovely and moist from all the courgettes which go into the cake batter. The bride requested the courgette cake.

And the groom did not request anything.

He demanded my poppyseed cake for the top layers. :) Mr. Groom Man is a seriously massive fan of my poppyseed & yoghurt cake.

 

So I happily complied; I baked three courgette cakes and two poppyseed & yoghurt cakes and made a massive bowl of cream cheese & white chocolate cream to go between the cake layers.

The couple and I had agreed on a semi-naked cake, so I just added some vanilla icing on top of the cake and let it drizzle down the sides of the cake.

 

The worst part was transporting the cake to the restaurant where they had their reception! I am sure my man would have turned grey (if he still had any hair on his head) driving at about walking speed on a dual carriageway, and I had a heart attack, or two, or seventeen, every time we had to go around bends in the road or, even worse, roundabouts!

But we and the cake made it to the restaurant safely. Phew!

And it was a wonderful wedding, and a beautiful day starring a beautiful bride and a dashing groom.

 

Cookie Monster Wedding Cake Toppers

No, not them. I was talking about the actual bride and groom.

So here’s to a very happy married life for Alex and Evelien, who, if they ask me to bake a cake for their wedding anniversary, will have to transport it themselves! :-Þ

Backen für Wacken / Wacken baking

4 Aug

POPPYSEED AS BLACK AS MY SOUL —

Backen für Wacken

 

At an age when others start to consider quitting their dirty Heavy Metal festival lives, I am attending one for the first time in my life!

My partner said I have to join him and his mad friends at the Wacken Open Air festival.

He promised me dirt and limited hygiene facilities and music played by bands I don’t know – how could I resist!?

So I went along and I had an awesome time. I got dirty and listened to music by bands I didn’t know and fell a tiny bit in love with the lead singer of one of the bands and let the heavy bass thudding from the stages lull me to sleep at night.

 

There are people who say that baking cakes is not Heavy Metal. I beg to differ!

Exhibit a) to prove my case:

Backen für Wacken (2)

 

I had been asked to make my poppyseed cake as victuals for the days on the dusty field somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Of course I obliged – and I WACKENed the cake with the help of a home-made stencil for the festival logo.

Our friends liked it so much they cut all around the poppyseed decoration and ate the rest of the cake first in order to keep the logo intact for as long as possible. Way to flatter the Heavy Metal bakesteress! ;)

 

The answer to life, the universe and everything: lime & white chocolate shortbread

21 Jul

 

lime & white chocolate shortbread

 

Last weekend, it was the most specialest (!) birthday of the year, and this year was even more specialer than usual! :D

How exciting is turning 42!?

Well, I wouldn’t know. But my partner’s 42nd birthday was pretty exciting, I can tell you!

Exciting enough to come up with a new recipe:

lime & white chocolate shortbread!

I think it’s the best summer biscuit ever. I looove the limey freshness.

 

And this is how it’s done:

Lime & White Chocolate Shortbread Biscuits

Ingredients
250 g flour
70 g sugar
125 g butter
1 egg
1 pinch salt
zest of 2 limes
200 g white chocolate

Method
Cute the butter into small pieces. Lightly beat the egg with a fork or other weapon of choice. Sift the flour with the sugar, then rub in the butter. Rub thoroughly. Add the egg, salt and zest of 1 lime and work it all into one nice dough. Cover with cling film and chill for a bit. Roll out and cut out in beautiful 4s and 2s and hearts.
Bake at 170° C for about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
Decorate the shortbread biscuits with the chocolate and the zest of the second lime. It helps if you melt the chocolate first.

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