Not a while ago I was a person who would just wrinkle her nose passing by any banana bread. I might have mentioned this earlier, in this post. I just didn’t like the idea of cooking/baking with bananas at all. Now the first banana bread that made me change my mind was a wonderful banana bread made with almond meal… but I’ll tell you all about it one day in the future as posting two recipes with the same main ingredient in one month is a stretch already.
New ingredients (and there are still a few on my list) or new and challenging recipes are something that I am easily drawn to. As a matter of fact, quite often that would be my first choice. It is so challenging and exciting to make something new! The thought you have to put in, the energy, not to mention the adrenalin, is enough to make any food making lover all excited. This is how it looks, at least around here: There is always an intriguing reason to start with a new recipe. Sometimes I just read quite a few recipes that include the new ingredient – hoping at the same time that I can bring it down to only one recipe. In the end I discard all that has been read and start from scratch thinking only how much sweetness, sourness, bitterness and God knows how many other ..ness –es I can combine together to get the desired taste. The small moment of truth is that building/creating the recipe is definitely one of the most exiting things for me to do. Continue reading
When I decided to make my first truffles I had no dilemma about where to look for the recipe. Who else to look up but Alice Medrich, the lady who started her career making and selling truffles! The rest is really a history. I am sure that there is not a person or maybe I should be more specific, a person involved with food (even just as a gourmand), who hasn’t heard of this lady. Her recipes are unique in delicacy, balance of ingredients and beauty. I have loved everything I’ve baked from her recipe collection and these truffles are just another winner.
Truffles are a simple but rather rich dessert. They can be nicely accompanied by a glass of wine or nice sip of liqueur. I’ve made many different ones but these are my latest favourite. The texture is just divinely smooth.
It was an early hour, I was still drinking my first coffee. Maksim looked like he was deep in his thoughts and just when I thought how quiet and peaceful mornings could be – the first words came out. Mum, does a train crossing gate have cells? When he saw my eyes open wide, he decided to explain – because it moves by itself! Hmm, well you know that train crossing gate have a motor that operates mostly on power and… Oh yes, I know, but what do we call those little things …? Oh yes, I know, atoms! You see mum most people think that houses are built out of bricks but you know bricks are built out of atoms! So the bricks are built out of atoms and then the houses are built out of bricks! Isn’t that right mum? Hmm, well…
This conversation took place just a few weeks before our new venture was about to start. Prep 2015 and Maksim as a part of it! If we ever doubted that he is ready for school, well I guess this was the time to erase all doubts and start just looking forward to it. And we did! We are still enjoying this venture that just started I know, but a good start is all we wanted for now! So a celebration took place. A few times now, really. We have baked many cookies and cakes, but I’d like to share this little simple recipe because I still think …”little cakes for a little boy” – even though he is ready for school.
Today we went to visit our friends who live in the same city but 40km away from us. That can make things difficult, mainly finding the time or the whole day for a trip like this. Then again, the bonus besides seeing the friends is that they live near the beach and one 5 year old boy with rather strong opinions pushed us all in that direction. Well, I guess who would resist 40 km driving over a beautiful day spent in good company, with good food, wine and of course cakes. I promised (firstly to myself) to make buckwheat cookies and another cookie (which is going to be part of one of my next posts since I haven’t taken the photos yet) but at the last-minute I decided to make this cake as well. I have seen it on Jul’s Kitchen blog, I was instantly attracted and I couldn’t stop thinking about it; literally. Something had to be done and I was just looking for an excuse, if one needs an excuse for a cake like this.
I felt almost guilty for having a fabulous day, doing everything I wanted and all in the company of 5 year old. We bought a brooch that I had wanted to buy for some time (M got to choose which one from the choice of few though), I had a coffee in one of the cafes I wanted to visit and by the end of the day I got to bake one of my favourite sweets. Luckily Maksim loves buying new things, he is becoming a fan of hot chocolate and baking is one of his favourite things to do (not a surprise really) actually we bake together so often that I should have called this space – baking with my son, that would be so true. So maybe I should feel less guilty?! Because after all I made sure we filled a few rolls with chocolate – just to be on the safe side because although sesame seeds are one of his favourite, I doubted tahini filling would make Maksim’s day as much as it made mine.
Baking with buckwheat flour is such a natural thing to do in my baking world. Adding chocolate to any recipe with buckwheat flour, again, makes perfect sense to me but this time sadly, something went wrong. The most confusing and stressful part was that I couldn’t even say what. It looked like the tart refused to talk to me. No response whatsoever just a silence and deep chocolate darkness. Food is a reflection of our soul, mine is in need of a decadent combination of buckwheat and chocolate and I don’t give up easily. The tart, which was mercilessly falling apart on me, needed to be made again and once the matter was settled I started all over again. One of the obvious problems, which I can see now, is that when I make something constantly and I think I am in no need of a recipe, mysterious and sometimes unsolvable problems can occur. Once I realised that I really do need to rely on figures, and not just on my sometimes volatile emotions, I decided to make a firm promise to myself to use pen and paper in the kitchen as much as any other tool !
Buckwheat flour and I have a rather long history. The first thing that would cross my mind and is related to this flour, would have to be pastry sheets made of buckwheat flour and all the beautiful pies made out of them. Cheese and spinach to start with then apple pie, pumpkin pie and any berry pie and I can go on like this forever, obviously. I am quite sure you get the picture but just in case, I’ll tell you one more story: Last year my son and I made a trip across the world to visit the grandparents. We hadn’t seen each other for some time and we were all looking forward to it. Alas, when we arrived to my mum’s house late in the evening, we were all tired and Maksim had a temperature as well but I can still remember how my heart melted when I saw the choice of food my mum had made for us. A buckwheat filo pastry goat cheese and spinach pie. I could not think of anything that would make me happier or anything else that could bring back so many memories. Maksim didn’t eat much that evening or any other actually whereas with me it was quite the opposite.
You could think that this might be the wrong text for this post but so far I haven’t managed to find this filo pastry in this part of the world, so I might never have a chance to make a real post about it. I’ll just enjoy this one, entirely. So I played with buckwheat flour for some time and these beautiful cookies would always come back. In different shapes, different flour combinations beside buckwheat flour of course and always accompanied by chocolate. So finally I had to write down a recipe.