memories ...

memories ...

zondag 19 juli 2015

Alternative apple cake

We had two apples lying around and I had a craving for baking and eating something sweet. That much coincidence must lead to an apple dessert, don't you think? 

I saw a recipe for an Irish apple cake on The Baker Upstairs that looked lovely and I used the recipe for my version of the cake. I adapted it a bit to: (a) include some almonds that were lying around, (b) add some wholesomeness by adding oats to the flour content and (c) adding some vanilla too. My fourth alternation (my idea was to add some raisins to the apple mixture - I personally love the combination of apples and raisins ...) didn't get the approval of my dad and sister so wasn't executed. 
So the original recipe was only a guideline to the measurements for me :)

It's result was a tasty cake that wasn't heavy at all. 

- 2 apples
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons white sugar
- 5 tablespoons oats, ground to resemble flour
- 4 tablespoons ground almonds
- 110 grams plain flour
- 50 grams vanilla pudding powder
- 150 grams white sugar
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 egg
- 125 ml milk

How to:
First butter and flour a round cake tin (diameter of about 28 cm). Preheat the oven to 175°C.
Cut the apples in small cubes and mix them with the two teaspoons of sugar and the cinnamon.
Mix the flour, the vanilla powder, baking powder, the sugar, ground oats and ground almonds.
Put the 8 tablespoons of butter in the flour mixture and mix it through by hand so that a course mixture is formed.
Mix the milk and the egg with a fork and add this to the rest of the ingredients. Then, mix until just combined.
Put 2/3 of the batter in the cake tin and spread the batter to cover the whole surface.
Then scatter the apple mixture on top of the batter. With a spoon, put some dollops of the rest of the batter on top of the apples. Try to spread the remaining batter as well as you can to cover the apples.
Put in the over for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned on top.
Serve slightly cooled. 


zondag 12 juli 2015

Shortbread biscuits

Being in Scotland, we just couldn't ignore the fact that shortbread biscuits were all around. Both of us received a small package of these simple but delicious biscuits as a welcome gift (next to small wine bottles, a range of teas, and some chocolates) from the owners of the cottage we rented. 

On the 3rd of July, I was to receive my results of the final exams. Not having internet, my mum would call me when she'd received them and at a quarter past 2 in the afternoon I got the long awaited call to tell me I passed and received some very good results. I was over excited and we had a mini celebration at night on 'our' little terrace with tea, wine, shortbread biscuits and chocolates. It was small, not fancy nor decadent but pure bliss knowing nothing was there to worry about under the Scottish sun :)

Home, I wanted to recreate the shortbread biscuits and as they are super simple to whip up, I could serve them in no time. I'm not claiming this is the original recipe but they were great!

Emily enjoying the evening 

Ingredients for 20 small biscuits:
- 120 grams butter
- 60 grams sugar
- 175 grams flour
- pinch of salt
- two extra table spoons of sugar

How to:
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Cream the butter and the sugar.

When combined, add the flour and the salt and mix with your hands. You'll soon have a heavy dough you can easily shape.
Put the dough on a smooth surface (I used a parchment paper lined table) and form a square shape of about 1 cm thick.
Then you can cut it into 10 long 'fingers' which you can cut in half afterwards to become 20 sort of evenly shaped elongated biscuits.

I rolled mine in a little sugar for extra texture. 

Put the biscuits on a parchment lined baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes or until sides become slightly golden brown.

Leave to cool.

They disappeared very quickly so be fast to taste-test! ;)


zaterdag 11 juli 2015

Holiday in Scotland and a basic vegetarian chili

It's been some time since I've written something here but for good reason: I was on holiday to Scotland for 11 days with one of my best friends Emily. 

Emily and I made the most out of the beautiful weather (sunny, warm: 20-25°C!) and the landscapes we cannot enjoy in our own little Flanders. 

There we rented a small cottage called Squirrel Lodge and we cooked almost every day after coming home from a good, long walk around the countryside. 

One of the easy meals we made with the basic ingredients we had on hand was a basic vegetarian chili. It was soo good to have this! We made it before leaving the house in the morning and we were glad to not have to start hurrying to make our dinner after coming back late in the afternoon. 

- 1 can white beans in tomato sauce (we used Heinz)
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 can peeled tomatoes

- 1 small can sweet corn
- 1 courgette/zuchini
- 1 red/yellow/orange bell pepper/capsicum
- 1 red onion
- pinch of salt and pepper to taste

- 1/2 tablespoon of honey
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin

To top:
- a few dollops of Greek yogurt to substitute sour cream
- grated cheddar cheese

How to:
Chop the onion, the pepper and the zuchini in small cubes.
Heat some oil in a small pot and let the onion cook a little. Once the onion looks a little translucent, add in the chopped pepper. Let these simmer for about 5 minutes before adding the tomatoes, the salt, pepper, the honey and the cumin.
When the peppers are slightly softened, add the chopped zuchini. Leave to simmer for another 5-10 minutes or until the zuchini is no longer raw. You don't want the vegetables to be too soft, a little texture is wanted!
At last, add the corn and the beans and stir gently. Let simmer another minute or two and ready to serve!

Serve with some sour cream (or Greek yogurt like we did) and some grated cheddar cheese.