Very soon we will be travelling across the world to visit our family and friends. Now that we are so close to packing and leaving I can’t stop thinking about all the important and maybe not so important but inevitable things that I need to organise before the departure. Who is going to water our plants? The Christmas tree needs to survive because we will be back by then and we are going to need it and the blinds need to be fixed…but I better stop before you lose all interest.
Instead, let’s talk about things that we like to do or make, for people we love. Lately I am more for doing and making as opposed to buying, when it comes to showing emotions or gratitude. Maybe that is because I am in a very creative phase of my life but I have grown to like the idea so much that I might stick with it for a while. Creating a gift for someone is like giving away a bundle of feelings, more that anything else, and I find that absolutely precious. Raising a child has actually helped quite a bit with developing this idea. For example, Maksim’s last birthday party was done exactly the way he wanted, I just followed all his steps. Interestingly enough that didn’t include any presents from our side, instead he wanted us to make a 7 layered cake (most wedding cakes that I’ve seen would have been smaller) and we needed to add all the decorations he wanted and mostly, created himself. So we rolled up our sleeves, baked together, got dusty with flour and sugar, ended up covered in food colouring and most importantly, had heaps of fun. We had a special time for ourselves, created something magical and gave it away to the people who joined us at the party. I call that – a circle of happiness!
If I am to be a cake, I choose to be this one. That is all I have to say.
It looks like my admiration exceeds my words, which, I have to admit doesn’t happen very often; Just when I am in the presence of perfection. This, coming from the person who has declared her whole life, that there is nothing better than a chocolate cake, is a great compliment. So by now I guess everyone understands that I am in love with this creation called “Bundt cake”.
I grew up knowing this cake as a Kuglof ( a famous European fruit cake, also known as Gugelhupf, Kouglof, Wacker etc ). Here I am not talking about classic kuglof. My cake and traditional version have only the shape in common. This characteristic circular cake shape has been somewhere in the recesses of my mind for a very long time – years probably. As has the beautiful ceramic baking mould that has been sitting in a dark corner of my kitchen, waiting for some fresh ideas. And then one day, the idea came: my own mixture of ingredients baked in my long forgotten bundt cake pan. The result is a delicious spelt cake that tastes amazing and looks simply divine. This cake is just a confirmation to me that there is rarely a single thing that can cause good or not so good kismet. Yo have to have at least two good things, preferably matching nicely together, to have a good outcome. So I had this shape of cake in my head for a long time and only one flour was present the whole time; spelt flour. I believe that is a good combination and thus Spelt Bundt cake was created.
Quinces are in season! It’s Autumn in this part of the world and besides the wonderful changes in nature, especially its colours, quinces would be one of the first signs that the seasons are changing. Next is Winter in its white clothes but that is another story to tell. Old habits are hard to change. Speaking as a true continental climate adorer – I know.
In my opinion quinces are slightly neglected, compared to other fruits. Back in time, when my mum was a little girl, they used to keep them in their pantries or kitchens through the whole winter, just for the sake of the wonderful aroma. Somehow they used to stay fresh for a long time. What memories and what a special place they had back then.
So quinces are popular – where I come from. You can find them hanging from beautiful quince trees in many backyards, back home. My in-laws have a few of them in the beautiful orchard, surrounding their holiday house. We ate many unique cakes made with this golden fruit and I will share some of them, but what I really want to do this time is the jam. Quince jam! Continue reading