Archive for March, 2010

Uprooted tree

Yesterday I saw this uprooted tree on my way home.
You might not be able to see it in the picture, but that chunk of land & roots was huge!

xx Chrisje

The best chocolate cake in the world

Earlier today George’s mum and stepdad came round to visit us for Mothers Day (today) and Georges birthday (tomorrow). As I did last year, I have made George a birthday cake, one with a beautiful brownie-like consistency, simple yet so mouthwateringly good.

So I’ve decided to share the recipe with you. Don’t worry, it doesn’t need many ingredients, and it’s quickly to make. It is nice with buttercream icing, or without, or warm with some vanilla icecream. This recipe serves 8 to 12, depending on the size of the pieces. Unfortunately no picture of the end result as it got eaten before I had the chance!

Easy chocolate cake
Ingredients:
200 grams of unsalted butter
200 grams of good quality chocolate (of 70% cocoa or higher)
100 grams of flour (sieved)
300 grams of fine caster sugar
6 medium eggs

Directions:
Melt the chocolate with the butter au bain-marie, or in a bowl in the microwave on a low setting, stirring well every 30 seconds. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
In a separate bowl, whisk the caster sugar, the sieved flour and the eggs. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Put the cake batter into a spring form and put into the  preheated oven for 40 minutes.
Let cool before cutting and serving.

If you’ve tried my recipe, please let me know what you think! 🙂

xx Chrisje

My macaron adventure

This month’s edition of delicious. features some pretty pastel macarons on the front cover, as well as a quick and simple enough looking recipe on page 75. Reason enough for me to take the plunge and have a go, is what I thought!

I have to admit, if I’d be waiting any longer for good reasons to start tackling my ‘issue’ with the macaron recipe, I’d have accumulated enough reasons to NOT follow through. So today, when I woke up at ridiculous o’clock (8.20 am) and couldn’t get myself back to sleep, I decided to venture into the kitchen and get my ingredients out.

Looking back at it, I was naive. Meringues have never been my strong point – I’ve tried once, failed, never tried again – and I think that the fact that I’ve never actually had a macaron (shame!) has not helped either.

To make a long story short, I won’t bore or bother any of you with my massive failure – but my little chocolate flavoured rounds of joy were the colour of expensive dark chocolate, the consistency of chunky mud (I could unfortunately not recreate the so called ‘magma like consistency’ that was quoted in a few recipes) and tasted like brownies. Yes, nice with some peanut butter, but oh so far away from the meringue I was expecting.

I’m not yet defeated though. Next time I will try the basic recipe, no colourings or flavourings, to see if that will get better results. I’m not expecting massive changes, it could be that I’ve maybe skipped a step or haven’t read the recipe properly, so the only way forward is to keep trying!

Once were past this point, I can put into practise my ideas. I’ve noticed, for example, that there are no such things as cinnamon macarons. I do not know if this combination is impractical or just not tasty, but I absolutely love cinnamon, so I think cinnamon macarons are the next step. I will keep you updated 🙂

As for the (pastry) chefs and macaron experts there, does anyone have any tips for me for next time? Thank you.

xx Chrisje