Monday, 30 April 2012

A life full of cakes!!




Carrot cake with cream cheese icing and marzipan decos


I love doing cakes!! Especially when it involves fancy decorating :) Though I hate washing the unlimited pans, platters, palattes and all those small piping nosels later and they surely take up a lot of time and energy but its just so much fun doing all the tiny little details from scratch because when the cake is finally ready, it makes you feel so proud of yourself for creating something that is not only aesthetically appealing but truely and uniquely yours.


Almond sponge with red berry compote filling and stabilised whipped cream cheese icing


It seems like our social life has taken a fantanstic boost ever since weve moved to this new location as we are now always having something on the agenda to look forward to. Lately, there has been a whole series of dinner parties, baby arrivals, birthday celebrations, coffee meetups, kindergarten events and many other fun activities that I had not done in a long time. Now if youre thinking what does my social life have to do with cakes, well that exactly what it is about.


More cakes!!


It seems like my world is all rotating around cakes these days as there has hardly been a cakeless event in the past few weeks. Even if I am not making them myself, I am going to places that have them.



German cheese cake with strawberries and dark caramel drizzle


I wont be posting any recipes today as most of these are repeats of some of my favourite classic plain, chocolate or sponge cakes (look into the cakes folder for recipes) but this is mainly to give an idea on how to decorate the same cakes in different ways.




My all time favourite plain cake with cream cheese flavour


Dark chocolate cake with raw egg yolk icing



I know, this all seems tedious and daunting, but trust me folks, making a cake from scratch creates lasting memories. Unlike the "manufactured"ones, these are actually a great way to express your love, care, individuality and flare!!!! In case you still have doubts, have a look at the image below. I am sure, no box mix can give you this texture.....


A slice of heaven for all you cake-lovers!

Happy caking you all,

Monday, 23 April 2012

For you darling!

Okay, I have no idea what should I be writing about today. Seriously, Ive got nothing in my mind right now. Dont know why but Im just not in the mood of blogging these days. Probably because Mr. Schee was home last week and when he is around, its usually hard to find spare hours for social networking, blogging and other related stuff. Not that his prescence puts a spanner in my personal works but since its so rare to have him home on week days, I actually prefer pushing aside the regular chores and investing this time into more non-routinely activitites -  doing things what I cant while he is at work. Needless to mention that mental rest is on the top of all :D

Seriously, words cant describe how good the restless spirit in me feels while taking the "please-take-it-easy-lessons" from my gorgeous spouse. Somehow he makes it much easier for me to just sit around and do nothing or just pull down the blinds in the middle of the day and get some sleep without having to think about the non-ending list of tasks that keeps on bothering my nerves otherwise...Ive watched more movies in five days than all of the past year, enjoyed reading and being read to our favourite books and was able to sleep undisturbed whenever and whereever I wanted. To make it short, its been a beautifully lazy and comforting week where I was able to do a whole lot of nothing.

Since my DH had been so caring all these days, the inner cook in me literally felt seduced into pleasing him with an elaborate meal of his choice. So, here is what he got in return....







Its a tender beef steak served with fruity sauce and German pasta called Spaetzle. There is no hard and fast recipe, I just took whatever was on hand, played with the proportions, added the flavours he likes and followed a cooking method that I personally prefer for cooking beef but trust me folks, the result was spectacular. Here is an estimate of the ingredients I used:





Cooked Beef With Fruit Sauce


Ingredients:

400 g thin beef steaks
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
2 tbs oil
1 carrot
1 orange
1 glass apple juice
1/2 cup frozen or fresh red berries
fresh rosemary or thyme
salt, pepper
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp plain flour
1 tbs butter


Peel and slice the onion. Fry in oil for about a minute.





Add garlic cloves and meat. Fry on both side for a few minutes.



Add in the spices, herbs, half of the orange (without peel) and the carrot slices.

Tip: Adding half a teaspoon of ANY of your favourite spice mix, e.g. Italian, Maxican, Yellow Curry, Tikka Masala mix etc. gives an additional boost.




Stir and cook for two minutes on high. Pour in the apple juice and add the berries.


Bring to a boil and cover with lid. Pressure cook for about 10 minutes. Open carefully.

Remove the beef slices and sieve the liquids (if any).

Melt butter in a small sauce pan and add in the flour. After a few seconds, add in the tomato paste, stir and add the liquids.
Tip: In case no meat juice is left, add half cup apple or grape juice.




Also add juice of the remaining half orange. Adjust the seasonings and cook just until thick.

Boil pasta in salted water, toss in butter and extra salt. Wash some fresh grapes and here it is



As expected, the dish went down a storm and tasted incredible. Tender, juicy, fruity and filling.





And here is an image of the crowning glory. Its just another beautiful version of the coffee cake posted here.





Wishing you all a lovely day with your loved ones,

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The good old days...

Everytime I make a tuna casserole, it brings me back to the golden university days where canned tuna was the most favourite of all the visitors my small studi kitchenette ever used to get. All bombarded with assignments and deadlines, there was hardly any time for sumptuous meals in life, so a quick baked tuna casserole was indeed one of the ineffable joys that my friends and I used to indulge in occasionally. I repeat -  "joys" that we used to allow ourselves. It had all the qualities the poor lonely souls away from home could dream of: tasty - warm - fresh - nutritious - convenient and above all inexpensive!

The good old university days are over but I still treasure the tasty memories of it and its actually quite nice to revisit the cherished times from the past by having the old favourites served on the dining table every now and then.










Tuna Cake


Ingredients:

6 potatoes
1/2 cup canned sweet corn
180 g canned tuna
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp powdered chicken/vegetable broth, optional
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 tbs all purpose flour
2 tsp oil
2 tsp butter
1/2 cup grated cheese like cheddar, gouda or emmental
1 egg
Red chili flakes, optional

Wash, peel and slice potatoes.





Boil potato slices in salted water. Drain and line the bottom of a greased spring pan with these.





Try placing the slices as close to one another as possible, itll help against a sticky cake base later.




Spread a layer of canned tuna over the pototoes.




Then a layer of sweet corn.




Season with salt and pepper.

Heat butter and oil in a sauce pan. Add flour while stirring continuously to avoid lumps.

Remove from heat and pour in milk and heavy cream. Keep stirring. Season with salt, pepper and powdered broth.





Transfer back onto the heat and cook until thick and creamy. Add egg as well as the grated cheese and mix well.




Pour the sauce over the potato-tuna base. You may like to sprinkle the chili flakes on top for a spicy touch.




Bake in preheated oven at 190 C until set.

Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit.





Remove from pan and decorate with mashed potato rosettes (optional).






Cut in slices and serve with warm baguette.