Here are some snaps from our trip to Riga, the capital city of Latvia. It was an incredibly different experience to some of the other European countries we’ve visited. Riga is much more subdued and much less touristy: which made it a great city to explore and discover. Until the next adventure!
One of the dishes that I thought I’d probably never make was Creme Brûlée. It’s one of those desserts that is just perfect to have in a restaurant after a fancy meal: creamy, vanilla-scented with a crisp caramel coating that almost tastes bitter. A dish that I thought that couldn’t be made any better at home. Let me tell you now, I was so wrong. I have made the Perfect Creme Brûlée.
Now I know what you may be thinking: how is this creme brûlée any better than any other one I’ve had? Believe me, I don’t say something is ‘perfect’ without it being downright the best homemade version I’ve ever had. This dessert is so creamy, the custard is smooth and silky and is studded with flecks of fragrant vanilla bean. It is topped with coarse sugar and caramelized using a blowtorch (you can also use the broiler!) to give the dessert a thin, glass-like ceiling that is oh-so-satisfying to crack with your spoon. But I haven’t even gotten to the best bit yet, which you may not want to tell your friends, it’s incredibly simple to make (GASP!).
Making a good creme brûlée is actually much easier than I thought. There are only a few simple steps between you and the Perfect Creme Brûlée! You simply have to infuse some heavy cream with a vanilla pod. Then, you pour the hot cream on top of some egg yolks and whisk thoroughly. Next, you pour the custard into ramekins or brûlée dishes and bake in a water bath for 40 minutes. Finally, you allow the brûlées to chill in the fridge until you are ready to caramelize the tops right before devouring!
Just look at the crack of the crust! Make sure you use a coarse sugar (not fine) as it allows for a crisper topping that is less likely to burn. No black brûlées here!
I remember so clearly my first time in Paris. I was backpacking around Europe with my best friend, so young and ready to experience everything the world had to offer. Paris, my friends, was ever so generous. It started my love affair with all things French, and I have been back to Paris a few times since, and it has never let me down. Looking back through some old photos on my Instagram, and I had to share some of my most recent Parisian experience with you. So here it is: France in an Instagram: Paris Edition 2.
One of my favorite things about this time of year is some of the different produce that you see in the supermarket. From rhubarb to leeks and venison to goose, this time of year is all about the produce that gives us some of our most comforting dishes. Walking into a store to see all these wonderful ingredients in abundance is heart-warming, but there is only one thing that truly makes my heart skip a beat: a blood orange.
There is just something so special about an ingredient that is familiar, an orange, that when sliced reveals a surprising red-tinged flesh that makes the tart, subtly sweet juice it is known for. Whenever I see them, I always leap to grab as many as I can. I love them so much one of my first recipes on this blog was for Blood Orange Mimosas (which are still a MAJOR fave).
The other week I picked up a lovely bag of blood oranges and knew that I needed to make something special. I instantly thought of some sort of pie to really show off the flavor of the blood oranges. But what better way to top a pie than a billow of pillowy, marshmallow-like meringue? Blood Orange Meringue Pie? Turn on your ovens, it’s time to get baking!
This Blood Orange Meringue Pie is absolutely delicious. The filling has a great orange flavor and is flecked with pink from the pulp of the blood orange. The custard is as smooth as silk and is a great partner to the fluffy meringue and the crumbly crust. This pie is different than most in that it has a graham cracker crust rather than a traditional pasty crust. I really enjoy the graham cracker here with the addition of cinnamon which gives the crust a subtle spiciness. If you’d prefer a pastry crust, you can make your favorite pie dough, blind bake, then pour in the filling and bake as directed in the recipe.
One note when making any kind of meringue pie: if your filling is cold when adding the meringue, your meringue may weep (leak! Yuck.). To prevent this, add the meringue on top of the pie whilst the filling is still hot to help cook the meringue from beneath. You could also try an Italian meringue, where the meringue is cooked by adding a hot sugar syrup to the egg whites while whipping. Either way, you don’t want a weepy meringue.
There’s just something about sprinkles that just makes me smile. Especially rainbow sprinkles. They just remind me of birthday parties and childhood and about eating cake without any guilt (and loads of frosting on your face). Last year I made a Homemade Funfetti Cake that went down a storm with the teachers at school, so I’ve decided to share the recipe for these gorgeous, portable, single-serving Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes which are not only ADORABLE but super moist and delicious.
But this post is not just to celebrate these delicious Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes, no matter how irresistible the may be. This post is to celebrate 4 YEARS of this little blog I have been writing. There’s not many things I can keep going for more than 4 years! So I’m going to do a little dance and look forward to what the year ahead brings. Ok, back to the reason why we’re all here: the cupcakes!
These Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes are great because they are SO easy to whip up and taste so much better than any *cough, cough* boxed version. They are super moist and packed with that cake batter vanilla flavor. These little beauties also hold up incredibly well when topped with dollops of whipped buttercream frosting and tons of rainbow sprinkles. Makes sure you don’t skimp on the frosting or sprinkles, though. They totally make these cupcakes shine!
Don’t you just want to take a big bite? I love the first bite of this cupcake the best, because it reveals the surprises inside. The speckled interior is enough to blow anyone’s mind! But to get that great, confetti-like surprise inside, make sure you don’t mix your sprinkles too well into the batter as they may bleed their color. You want to keep that vanilla cake white, with pops of color throughout.
Top tip: when decorating cupcakes, make sure they have cooled completely before topping with any frosting. If they are still warm, the frosting can melt! I have definitely had some good piping work go to waste as it has slowly slid off the top of a still-too-warm cupcake.
Another year bites the dust! And what a year it has been! Here are the most popular recipes of 2015, ending with your favorite recipe of the year! What did you enjoy most? I would love to read your feedback for The Best of 2015 in the comments! Happy New Year!
Welp! That’s all for this year folks! See you in 2016! x
Chocolate’s not usually my thing. I was always a vanilla kid. I mean, don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t turn it down, but it’s not usually the flavor I’d choose first. But every once in a while there’s a dish or a recipe that surprises me, and my tastebuds for that matter. This cake is one of them. This luscious Chocolate Yogurt Bundt Cake is unreal. Rich, but light. Decadent, but not too sweet. Chocolatey, but not overwhelmingly so. It is the perfect balance of moisture and crumb and is topped off with a gleaming chocolate ganache glaze.
This Chocolate Yogurt Bundt Cake has a little secret ingredient: coffee! Coffee really is chocolate’s best friend when it comes to chocolatey baked goods (see here and here). It gives the chocolate the punch it needs when being baked, allowing the chocolate to keep all it’s richness. The coffee also ensures a really moist cake! As a hint to what really gives this cake it’s great flavor, I decorated it with come chocolate coated coffee beans! A great little crunch and pop of coffee when taking a bite!
Another great thing about this cake is that it’s quite easy to whip up. Yes, there is some stovetop action necessary, but I didn’t even need to get out my mixer when whisking together this batter! Happy (with fewer dishes) hubby!
When you’re mixing up this gorgeous beauty, be sure not to skimp on the ganache. It really does take this Chocolate Yogurt Bundt Cake to the next level! It is amazing when still warm, but even once it has set, it is velvety smooth and delicious. Make sure not to put the cake in the fridge until the ganache has set, or else the chocolate will lose it’s decadent shine!