Friday, January 27, 2012

Daring Bakers: Basic Scones (a.k.a. Basic Biscuits)

After two months of absence from the Daring Bakers' I didn't want to miss another one, especially a challenge hosted by one of our most active and helpful members, Audax Artifex.

He chose basic scones as the challenge, also known as biscuits in North America; that's something I didn't know, as I always thought a scone is a scone everywhere. Apparently what North Americans call scones are known as rock cakes in England and Australia.

I like them both, and usually we eat them for breakfast. Something you can really manage to bake in the morning, since they are so quick to make. They were really tasty and I even managed to get original clotted cream from England.

Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mango - Plum Wine Cakes and a Happy Chinese New Year!

Today is the beginning of the Chinese year of the Dragon. It is supposedly a very good year, since the dragon is seen as strong and lucky. I always enjoyed the Chinese New Year's Parade in San Francisco or Vancouver and this year it is probably extra beautiful with lots of colorful dragons.

For the occasion I made some Asian flavor inspired cakes. We had them for our Chinese New Year's Eve dinner. They have a crunchy layer of milk chocolate and Rice Krispies. In the middle a creamy plum-wine mousse, topped with a mango glaze. The different flavors worked really well together and we enjoyed them very much.

I wish you all a very prosperous year of the Dragon. Gung hay fat choy!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Carrot Cake and Carrot Cupcakes from Miette cookbook

Last fall I was in San Francisco for a short visit. San Francisco is a place which will always be in my heart, since I lived there for a while. It is such a great place, with wonderful people and awesome food. I try to go there as often as I can, so I was very happy when we managed to stay a week in San Francisco on the way to our honeymoon in Hawaii.

One of the places I always wanted to visit in San Francisco is the Ferry building, since I have never been to its indoor market. It is not as big as the Pike Place Market in Seattle or Granville Island in Vancouver, but it has some great shops and a very good selection. The prices are pretty steep, but it is also at a premium location.

The place I was most curious about was the famous pastry shop Miette. It is renowned for his charming interior design and beautiful pastries. I really loved that store, the wallpaper, the cake stands the set-up; it's just totally cute. We were having some cupcakes, and they were equally delicious. If I would open a pastry store I would want it to look like this one.

So, as soon as I got home I got the Miette cookbook. It fits perfectly to the shop design in color and layout. There are many recipes I would like to try, but after all the Christmas baking it took me until now to make something out of the book. The first thing I made is the carrot cake plus some carrot cupcakes. I have some carrot cupcakes posted before, but these ones were even better. I really liked the addition of coconut. Since I only had my small muffin tin available I also made a small mini cake.

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