Friday, 21 December 2012

Brown butter cupcakes & caramel-apple topping

This is another one of my go-to cupcake recipes: brown butter cupcakes. The batter is so extremely delicious that I have to be careful not to eat half the batter before I manage to fill it into cupcake liners. The dough may actually be a tiny tad more delicious than the actual cupcakes... which are amazing, too, though.

They are the perfect canvas for any kind of frosting - they don't overshadow extravagant frostings but are so yummy on their own that a simple vanilla or chocolate frosting would totally suffice.

The cupcakes taste a bit of vanilla and caramel, which is why I like to pair them with a caramelised apple topping.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Icebox biscuits: lemon and chocolate

Advent season = biscuit season! 
Chocolate icebox biscuits.
The great thing about icebox biscuits is that you can prepare the dough well in advance and have it in the freezer for up to one month. Prepare the dough at the beginning of December and should you find yourself in a buscuits-needing emergency - tadaa! Just whip out the dough, cut the frozen dough in slices (that is if you're really short on time - if you have another hour you could also defrost the dough and cut out shapes with cookie cutters) and put them into the oven for 10ish minutes. There you go. Freshly baked biscuits in less than 20 minutes. Having said that, I took some more time with mine to make 'em pretty.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Baking Extravaganza

I just wanted to share some impressions from my recent baking extravaganza... detailed posts and how-tos to follow over the next weeks.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Cinnamon-chili-cayenne chocolate cupcakes

Cinnamon-chili-cayenne chocolate cupcakes

These Cupcakes taste like Christmas. I promise. Like a slightly spicy-hot Christmas. Not too chocolatey with a chili-cayenne kick and a distinct cinnamon taste, these cupcakes may even appeal to those who don't like their baked goods too sweet (don't get me wrong, they're still sweet... they're frosted cupcakes, after all. But the slight spiciness distracts from the sweetness a bit.).

Romantic country-style Advent calendar

Romantic country-style Advent calendar

Ok, so this may be a tad late to copy for this year's Advent season but maybe it is something that can inspire for next year? Last week I made this rather feminine, romatic-y calendar with a slight ethereal feel to it... for a guy. So it may not exactly scream "I AM A MANLY ADVENT CALENDAR" - but at least it goes lovely with my interior decoration style - which is feminine shabby chic/country style. Or, as my two best guy buddies put it: "It's a doll's house. I half expect that wall to open and a giant hand to reach in to rearrange stuff."

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Spiced & roasted chickpeas - an easy hostess gift

Spiced and roasted chickpeas: curry and cayenne pepper on the left, cumin and pepper on the right.

I said it before: I try to avoid coming empty-handed when I'm invited over to someone's house for an evening of eating/drinking/playing games/whatever - especially if I don't know them too well. I do it often enough (more often than not) but at least I feel slightly to quite uncomfortable about it. 
(My boyfriend can attest to that: 9 out of 10 times when we meet up to go anywhere it goes like this:

Me: Oh gosh. I don't have anything for them.
Him: That's ok.
Me: ...I just didn't have time to bake anything!
Him: Don't worry about it, no one expects you to.
Me: Well, I expect myself to.
Him: ...)

So when I was supposed to go to my boyfriend's friend's brother's birthday, I panicked. I had subzero time for baking or anything of that sort. In times like this, I turn to one of my favourite food items: chickpeas.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

The truth about shabby chic

For some pieces of furniture, shabby chic comes natural. This stool belonged to my grandma.

Alright. You may not believe it, but I baked loads... before I started this blog. It just all comes together at the moment, moving flats and all.

So, in order to give this blog some life, some content, something, I decided to share my renovation experience.

The word of the year/past years when it comes to decorating surely is "shabby chic". I opted for this trend cos I like it and, well, sometimes it is so much less work. Unfortunately I didn't take pictures of the one dresser I painted, but trust me. As soon as you decide for shabby chic, only one layer of paint sometimes is all you need, no need to be thorough (unless the piece was originally a hideous orange or something. Cos the base colour will shine though). Just make sure to use a brush, not a roller. You wanna be able to see the strokes. Especially if your base is dark wood and you paint it white...

Anyways, I realise this is a bit frustrating without pictures, so I will talk you through "shabby chic" with another piece of furniture, a bureau, where I remembered to take pictures fairly early on. Here I did "shabby chic" the old-fashioned way, sandpaper and all. Trust me, not as easy as all the living and decorating magazines would have you to believe. But still easier than being neat and thorough...

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Chocolate biscuits with a zesty, caffeiny and crunchy kick

Espresso beans and orange chocolate biscuits

Hello everyone. I originally intended to post once a week - which I still *want* to do but, oh well, life gets in the way sometimes.
I didn't have time to bake the last weeks, so I have to use my notes on a recipe which I baked shortly before I started this blog. The reason I didn't post this earlier is just that it was only today that I rediscovered my notes under a pile of paper labelled "important stuff"... ooops. 

Right. What did I bake? Cookies. Or rather biscuits. As a German who studied Linguistics in the UK, I have my own, although somewhat vague, notion of what is a cookie and what is a biscuit. Cookies for me are chewy and/or chunky. Biscuits are smaller and crisp (though I suspect I may not be alone with this notion).

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Choc-choc-chocolatey Chocolate Cookies with Coconut Oil

Very chocolatey crunchy chocolate cookies with all kinds of chocolate and coconut oil

Since I started baking, I find that I can't eat many store-bought cookies, cakes, brownies or cupcakes anymore. There are only few I can tolerate... the rest just tastes so artificial and full of preservatives. So when a box of uniform-looking chocolate cookies appeared at work, I was suspicious. But - whoa. They tasted SO GOOD. So unlike other store-bought cookies... crunchy, chocolatey (but not too much), not too sweet and a hint of coconut. Delish. In fact, they were so delicious that I only remembered to take a picture when I had already eaten approximately 65% of the cookie. So, apologies for that. This is what they and the package looked like:

Monday, 20 August 2012

Easy hostess/host gift: self-made chili vinegar or chili oil

Self-made chili vinegar

Ok, so this one isn't about baking and doesn't invole an oven in any kind. But, meh, who cares.
I was invited for dinner to a friend's place and usually I don't like turning up to stuff like that empty-handed, especially if I suspect the person may have put some effort in having me over (she did, it was delicious and a lovely evening - so I was very glad I had prepared something for her).
So this time I turned to Martha for inspiration. I like looking at Martha Stewart's website, I like the style and sometimes they have nice ideas. Yes, sometimes I like to browse the crafts pages, the wedding etiquette pages, the hostess gifts section... Does that make me older than I am? Well, I always suspected that I am a little bit 1950s housewife on the inside.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Zebra cupcakes with vanilla and chocolate buttercream

A few weeks ago I came across a recipe for zebra cupcakes. I had made a lovely zebra cake once before (of which no record exists... so I have no choice but to rebake it one day. It is a tough life.) and it had been quite a hit (mostly with myself. I loved it.) so of course I had to try a cupcake version. As a bonus, I topped it of with vanilla and chocolate cream cheese frosting - to keep in line with the zebra theme.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

The beginning

So… another baking blog, huh? Does the Internet really need that? Maybe, maybe not. I don’t even think anyone will read this. The thing is just – I have been baking so much and for a while I had some real hits… but for the life of me, I cannot remember the recipes. So I figured, better start writing it down. For my own reference. And some friends have been asking me for recipes – especially for my macaron secret (it’s no secret. It’s no magic. It really just is pure… luck? Persistance? But we’ll come to that) (and I don't even get them right half the time!).