brandy cheese cake with caramelized pecans – gluten-free

We’re back!

It feels like we’ve been gone a life time. I think in all honesty, we probably have been.

Ok ok ok ok fine, I exaggerate everything. I know this. Maybe I should just explain.

It was time for us to make a couple changes to the site. Now, whilst I know that currently you can’t see any of those changes, they are in fact working away behind the scenes. Silently taking effect.

There’s more though. Not only have changes been happening in the technical background, but life changes have been occurring too! Want to take a guess?

Actually, there’s no time for guessing. There’s far too much to catch up on. So here it is…

I moved to London!

I can’t believe I just said that out-loud, but it’s true. This bless-full event happened on Friday evening. As in the Friday that just passed. As in, three days ago.

Big change huh? I can barely believe it myself if we’re being truthful about it. Still, I’m a firm believer that change is a good thing. Or can be a good thing. Haven’t figured it all out yet. There are plans in the works though to try & attend ‘Le Cordon Bleu‘ cooking school though. I suppose I should really get a move on & see if I can make that happen since the course starts in two weeks. TWO WEEKS. Time to get a move on.

Whilst all these big, life changing things have been happening & all has been silent & still on the blog front… things have been happening in my kitchen. I’ve been working away like a mad woman obsessing over textures, flavors, colours & more. Don’t worry, you were never forgotten about. Never in a million years. So here we are. First day back & I’ve got magic up my sleeve.

Can I hear you say “brandy & caramelized pecan cheese cake“? Oh yes please. Aaaaand my pretties, it’s gluten free too. Oh how sweet life is.

So here it is. A treasure that I’ve been sitting on just waiting for the day I could bring it to your attention once again. And no, I didn’t actually sit on it, that would have been messy.

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It’s a little overdue. Actually, it’s a lot overdue.

At the bakery we’ve been referring to the holidays as the “silly season”. Not because there’s anything actually silly about the holidays, but rather because we’ve been so crazy busy that it’s completely rediculous.

Yea, holidays in a bakery are nuts.

Technically, this recipe is a holiday recipe. Every year at the beginning of december, Mel’s grandmother goes into the kitchen. Then, before we know it, the house is filled with giant plates stacked with cookies & dusted with a thick, powdery layer of icing sugar. It looks like elves took over & snowed on all the holiday plates.

From what I’ve understood, the recipe came from her mother & she’s been making it every year…. two years ago I was lucky enough for her to share it with me, & now we’ve been making them together since.

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French onion soup…overanalyzed

I first ate this soup in a town called Avignon in France and was amazed by its simplicity and deep flavour. Since then, whenever a restaurant has it on its menu, I always order it. Searching in vain to relive that first experience. Now that the cold weather calls for something like that, I decided to make it myself. This soup has very few and simple ingredients but relies on quality and patience in three key areas.

One is the slow low-heat caramelization of the onions… any hasty attempts to skip this will ruin the result. Second is a good quality beef stock, (again requiring time but not much effort.) Third is off course, the amazing bread & cheese topping finished under the grill right before serving.

Unfortunately I didn’t document my stock process which I left cooking overnight, so I promise to include a post later on. There are however, many virtually identical recipes out there. You can pick whichever you like, but here also there are a few simple procecess that must be followed. Good quality big bones with lots of marrow, a good caramelization of both meat and vegetables, and a low-heat simmering for at least 5 hours. Plan ahead and enjoy.

– Mel

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chestnut soup

We’re back to soups, chestnut this time. I know it sounds a little odd, but hear me out. It is cold outside. It is the time of year where you start finding street venders selling these little gems roasted on every corner. Soups are good for you, they warm the soul. Chestnuts are sweet in a comforting way. Yeah, I’m clearly all about comfort eating.

I know our soup images seem repetitious, I can’t find a way around that at the moment. Maybe we’ll do something crazy like photography it in a mug. Then again, that would just be silly. So I’ve just been reminded by my dearest little Julia who looks like an elf, that I do like pictures of soup in mugs. The reason she knows this, is being a food photographer herself, she showed me her portfolio & her images of soup in mugs & I was thrilled… I forgot. I’m going to copy her now. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Enjoy the soup. The sweet, hearty, chestnut soup.

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