Happy Easter! I hope the Easter Bunny brought you all lots of chocolate.
This Easter I wanted to make some special hot cross buns (as in, more special than these or these). I was thinking something along the lines of “hot cross bunnies” (haha, I’m so punny… bunny… sorry) but then I came across these spiced stout sourdough beauties from Lauren Bakes (she recently posted a chocolate chip version, too), which stopped me dead in my cutesy little bunny tracks. Her recipe contained dried fruit soaked in tea plus a sourdough levain made with Guinness, which I swapped out for chocolate porter because, well, I’ll take any excuse to buy it, really. Continue reading
I almost never buy buttermilk, but a few weeks ago I had some in the fridge (leftover from making these) and was looking for ways to use it up. Scones jumped into my head because I also happened to have some lemon curd to use up, and there is practically nothing I like better than scones with lemon curd.
Sarah from All Our Fingers in the Pie was our February 2013 Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to use our creativity in making our own Crisp Flatbreads and Crackers!
I had some trouble getting into this month’s challenge. I don’t eat a lot of crackers in the first place, so the desire to make them myself isn’t that strong, I guess. I kind of feel like I phoned this one in, which sucks because I also know how much work our host, Sarah, put into choosing, testing, and presenting the challenge recipes. So please don’t judge this challenge by my lack of enthusiasm. Instead, check out the amazing assortment of crispy, crunchy snacks the other Daring Bakers made this month.
In the winter I often get massive cravings for rice pudding – warm, creamy, comforting, and delicious. I was having one of those cravings when I found these adorable miniature Seckel pears at the grocery store, and I immediately thought of poaching them in wine and spices and serving them with rice pudding. But not just any rice pudding: sweet dessert risotto flecked with vanilla bean seeds. If you like creamy rice pudding, you’ll love this. All the stirring that makes a creamy risotto with broth makes an even creamier dessert risotto with milk.
Almost every fall, I end up with a whole bunch of apples from my Mum (usually from the tree of a friend of hers), and more often than not, those apples end up in one of my very favorite things to make: apple pie. For me, fall is not complete without an apple pie or two.
But sometimes it’s good to change things up. My friend Sibella feels the same way about apple strudel as I do about apple pie, and when I saw her recipe – complete with homemade strudel dough that you stretch and stretch until it is see-through-thin and big enough to cover your entire kitchen counter – I changed my tune from apple pie to apple strudel.
Coincidence (noun): a striking occurrence of two or more events at one time apparently by mere chance.
Serendipity (noun): good fortune; luck; the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.
Was it a coincidence or serendipity that just days after bookmarking these roasted pear and chocolate chunk scones, I discovered that the Sourdough Surprises project for this month was sourdough scones?
Pumpkin spice muffins are one of those things that seem to spring up in every coffee shop and bakery on the very first day of fall. The ones I’ve had the most are the Starbucks version – not because they are the best, but because they are everywhere. The Starbucks pumpkin spice muffin is more like a pumpkin cupcake and has a cream cheese filling inside, which, while a good idea, has sort of an odd, gelatinous texture. My ideal pumpkin spice muffin – which I have been on the hunt for – is denser, warmly spiced, and has a cream cheese filling with a much more cream cheesey texture. I tried to create such a muffin last year and failed miserably, so I’m happy to say that this recipe pretty much nailed it.
Oh hai, Riley-cat!
On weekdays I leave the house before 7 am to commute to work, and while I used to favour some kind of egg-and-toast combination for breakfast, I simply don’t have the time to coordinate that kind of thing anymore before rushing out the door. Toast and jam just weren’t cutting it – I needed something with a little more nutritional oopmh to start my day. I’ve been reading Christina‘s recent nutrient-packed muffin posts with great interest, and prompted by several rapidly blackening and fruit fly-attracting bananas in my fruit bowl, I came up with these bad boys. I added (quite a lot of) whey protein powder, and used oats (blended in a food processor) and rice flour so they just so happen to be gluten-free (which was a happy coincidence, as my wheat-free Aunt was visiting when I made them). And with only 1/3 of a cup of sugar for 16 muffins, I can honestly say these are probably the healthiest baked good that has come out of my kitchen in, well, a long time. Continue reading
Big announcement time: Nate and I bought a house!!
We moved in the middle of August and have settled in pretty quickly – we love it here. We are in Shawnigan Lake, about 40 minutes from Victoria where we both still work, but we traded up for lots of privacy and green space. Plus the Cowichan Valley has a seriously thriving local food scene, which I am very much looking forward to exploring!
Kat of The Bobwhites was our August 2012 Daring Baker hostess who inspired us to have fun in creating pâté à choux shapes, filled with crème patisserie or Chantilly cream. We were encouraged to create swans or any shape we wanted and to go crazy with filling flavors allowing our creativity to go wild!
Challenges like this are the reason I joined the Daring Bakers: ridiculous, whimsical, finicky, cream-filled pastries. I LOVE IT!
Seriously though, why NOT make cream puff swans? They are super tasty and anyone who sees them will be very impressed. They won’t be able to help it. Continue reading