The Best Red Velvet Cake with Magical Cream Cheese Frosting

22 Jul

The Best Red Velvet Cake with Magical Cream Cheese Frosting | Korena in the KitchenI’m going to be perfectly honest here: I don’t really get what all the fuss is about with red velvet cake. In fact, most of the time, I tend to agree with the guy who said, “it’s chocolate and red food dye, f*ck that, it’s dumb” (read that entire post – it’s hilarious!). I think that most people who say they like red velvet cake really mean that they like cream cheese frosting, and for that I can’t blame them – but the “red velvet” part just seems like a gimmick. I know it is seen as a classic in the southern USA, but the recipe for the brightly-coloured, dye-laden cake was actually developed as a crafty way for a food dye company to boost sales post-World War II. Plus, I find that the flavour of red velvet cake, which is basically a buttermilk cake made with a tiny amount of cocoa powder, doesn’t taste all that unique or special in the first place and is easily overwhelmed by cream cheese frosting. So when Whittney and Sam requested it for their wedding, I knew I’d have to do my homework to find a red velvet cake with flavour.

Red Velvet Cakes | Korena in the Kitchen

Red velvet cake-off

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A Wine Tour, Cake Balls, and a Cake with Balls

16 Jul

Winer Tour of the Cowichan Valley | Korena in the KitchenLast weekend our friends Sam and Whittney tied the knot (for those who are trying to follow along here, Sam is my friend Lynette’s brother. He is also Nate’s good friend, which is how Nate and I met). We were fairly involved in the wedding – Nate was the best man and I made the wedding cake (more to come on that, I promise!) – which for me included Whittney’s stagette weekend. Whittney and Sam live just up the road from us in Shawnigan Lake in a house with lots of extra bedrooms, so the stagette was basically a big girls’ sleep-over at their house with lots of drinking and eating (Sam spent the weekend at my house with Nate).

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Happy Canada Day!

1 Jul

Candied Salmon Salad Rolls | Korena in the KitchenCanada turns 147 years old today! If you are looking for a way to celebrate, may I suggest you make these salad rolls with candied salmon, which I posted about over on the SeaChange Seafoods blog. They are perfect to take to a picnic or barbeque, and can stand as either an appetizer or a side dish or a full meal, which is how Nate and I usually eat them.

Candied Salmon Salad Rolls | Korena in the Kitchen

And while you’re here, may I also suggest that you make this cherry almond Dutch baby: it is TO DIE FOR. I made it for breakfast a few days ago and I’m still thinking about it. It tastes like a cross between a cherry clafoutis and a cherry-almond danish, ie: really, really amazing. The only changes I made were to add a bit of vanilla bean paste to the batter and to bake it in a slightly smaller (nine inch) cast iron skillet. So good!

Smitten Kitchen's Cherry Almond Dutch Baby | Korena in the Kitchen

Daring Bakers: Spelt, Date & Pecan Cinnamon Buns

27 Jun

Spelt, Date & Pecan Cinnamon Rolls | Korena in the Kitchen

This month the Daring Bakers kept our creativity rolling with cinnamon bun inspired treats. Shelley from C Mom Cook dared us to create our own dough and fill it with any filling we wanted to craft tasty rolled treats, cinnamon not required!

Tell me, where has this month gone? How did it get to be the end of June all of a sudden? I swear, the last time I checked, it was the beginning of May, I was starting a new job (yay!), and this had just happened:

Engagement ring | Korena in the Kitchen Continue reading

The Empress Hotel’s Scones

15 Jun

The Empress Hotel's Scones | Korena in the KitchenThe Canadian Food Experience Project began June 7, 2013. As we share our collective stories through our regional food experiences, we hope to bring global clarity to our Canadian culinary identity. Visit Valerie’s blog, A Canadian Foodie, on the 15th for a round-up of this month’s posts.

This month marks one year since the beginning of the Canadian Food Experience Project, and subsequently, its end as a monthly challenge. Our host and the master-mind behind the project, Valerie, has asked us to close off this phase of the project by reflecting on and identifying our own Canadian voice, hopefully honed through participating over the past year. I admit that I haven’t been the most engaged participant, sometimes barely even taking the time to read the monthly round-up of posts, but simply having this project in the back of my mind for a year, mulling over the theme for each month, has certainly opened up my awareness of Canadian food. And by that I mean more than just Canadian cuisine or particularly “Canadian” dishes, but also the ingredients that grow locally and regionally and the people who cultivate or farm them. I have to say that a lot of this illumination comes from reading the blog FEAST, which details the journey of two food writers eating their way across the country on a Canada-wide road trip. They write about the food they eat, but also about the place and the people cooking and growing it. Perhaps that is what makes Canadian food? The unique intersection of person, place, and ingredients? I guess the same could be said about any kind of food, anywhere in the world, but maybe that’s OK? Obviously I have no answers, just some questions to throw out into the ether. I have no idea if any of this has altered my “voice” to be more Canadian (has it? you tell me!), but I do think it has become part of my own personal food philosophy, and as such, will continue to be something I consider when I cook and eat.

The Empress Hotel's Scones | Korena in the Kitchen Continue reading

Tarte Flambée

2 Jun

Tarte Flambée | Korena in the KitchenTarte flambée, also known as flammekueche in Alsatian or flammekuchen in German, is a regional specialty of Alsace in the eastern-most corner of France bordering Germany and Switzerland. It is essentially a pizza topped with bacon and thinly sliced onions, and as such is totally something I can get behind. I first came across it at a local bakery/vineyard – I can’t actually remember if we tried it, but it stuck in my mind nonetheless, and soon after when I saw a recipe for tarte flambée appear on the Homesick Texan blog (with jalapenos added to Texan-ify it) I knew that I would eventually be making it myself.

Tarte Flambée | Korena in the Kitchen Continue reading

Flower Basket Cake

30 May

Flower Basket Cake | Korena in the KitchenI don’t have a step-by-step recipe post for you today, but I wanted to share this anyway. I just finished taking Wilton’s Flowers and Cake Design cake decorating course, and this was my final cake. I am pretty darn pleased with how it came out!

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Sourdough Rosette Buns

20 May

Sourdough Rosette Buns | Korena in the KitchenAfter being sorely neglected the past month or so, my sourdough starter got a workout this weekend: not only did I make these sourdough buns, but I also baked Barbara’s Perfect Italian Sourdough Loaf and used a bunch of discard sourdough in a batch of waffles for the freezer. When the sourdough urge hits, it hits hard.

Sourdough Rosette Buns | Korena in the Kitchen

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Kate’s Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

12 May

Kate's Rhubarb Upside Down Cake | Korena in the Kitchen

The Canadian Food Experience Project began June 7, 2013. As we share our collective stories through our regional food experiences, we hope to bring global clarity to our Canadian culinary identity. Visit Valerie’s blog, A Canadian Foodie, on the 15th for a round-up of this month’s posts.

May’s theme for the Canadian Food Experience Project is “The Canadian Garden”, which frankly seems like a bit of a joke at this time of the year. Even living in one of the most temperate places in the country (“Cowichan” means “The Warm Land” in the local First Nations language), my garden is mostly bare dirt at the moment… save for my rhubarb plant.

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Kade’s Birthday Cake

7 May

Baseball Birthday Cake | Korena in the KitchenAt the end of April our friends’ son, Kade, turned three. He had a birthday party in the park after his baseball game (seriously, can you imagine anything cuter than a bunch of three-year olds trying to play baseball?!), with hotdogs on the camping stove, lots of cut up fresh fruit and veggies, and a cake made by yours truly – I offered/begged his mom, and thankfully she took me up on it! She suggested a baseball-themed cake, and because Kade is super proud and excited to be on “Team Purple” (his team wears purple t-shirts), I decided to put his jersey (or a version of it) right on the cake.

Baseball Birthday Cake | Korena in the Kitchen Continue reading

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