Daring Bakers: Kürtőskalács {Chimney Cakes}

Kürtőskalács (Chimney Cakes ) | Korena in the Kitchen

The August Daring Bakers’ Challenge took us for a spin! Swathi of Zesty South Indian Kitchen taught us to make rolled pastries inspired by Kürtőskalács, a traditional Hungarian wedding pastry. These tasty yeasted delights gave us lots to celebrate!

Once again, the Daring Bakers have introduced me to a pastry I probably never would have come across myself, and given me a history lesson in the progress. Kürtőskalács or “chimney cakes” are a traditional yeasted pastry from Szeklerland, which is an ethnic Hungarian enclave in the Transylvanian region of present day Romania. The pastry is now common in many Hungarian-speaking regions as well as the Czech Republic.

Kürtőskalács (Chimney Cakes) | Korena in the Kitchen

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Triple Berry Apple Pie

Triple Berry Apple Pie | Korena in the Kitchen

Blackberry season – my very favourite season – is here, and with it comes the urge to bake pies. This one in particular came about as the result of a very successful trip to the local blackberry patch – aka, a ditch just up the road from us – plus the discovery of a few apples in the fruit bowl that were getting soft and some local strawberries and blueberries in the fridge.

Triple Berry Apple Pie | Korena in the Kitchen

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How to Make a Fondant-Covered Wedding Cake

Fondant-Covered Wedding Cake | Korena in the KitchenAnd so, finally, here is the wedding cake I made for my friends Sam and Whittney. This is the second wedding cake I’ve made now, and somehow both of them have required me to transport all of the necessary components and equipment via ferry and cooler to Vancouver and assemble them in someone else’s kitchen in the middle of the summer heat. It just adds to the challenge, right? ;)

Cake cutting | Korena in the Kitchen

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Daring Bakers: Chocolate & Vanilla Checkerboard Cake

Chocolate & Vanilla Checkerboard Cake | Korena in the KitchenFor the July Daring Baker’s Challenge, Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to bake a cake. But not just any cake; she asked us to add in a special surprise for our eyes as well as our taste buds!

It was my birthday at the beginning of July (thirty one! how the hell did that happen?!) so, as per my favorite birthday tradition, I made myself a cake. Coincidentally, the Daring Bakers challenge this month was to make a cake with a surprise on the inside, so I made this cake, which looks like nothing special at first…

Chocolate & Vanilla Checkerboard Cake | Korena in the Kitchen

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Daring Bakers: Spelt, Date & Pecan Cinnamon Buns

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

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The Empress Hotel’s Scones

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

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Tarte Flambée

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

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Sourdough Rosette Buns

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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Kade’s Birthday Cake

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

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Petite Strawberry Frangipane Tart

Petite Strawberry Frangipane Tart | Korena in the Kitchen

While local strawberries are still at least a month off, I admit to thoroughly enjoying the juicy red California-grown gems that have been showing up at the green grocer lately. I can’t help myself – this winter felt SO LONG and strawberries are like the breath of fresh air and ray of sunlight that I’m craving right now. And while they might not be local, they are at least in season, and for that I am grateful!

Petite Strawberry Frangipane Tart | Korena in the Kitchen

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