insert birthday song [here]

salted caramel & buttered popcorn cake

This is not an original thought. In fact, I’m just waiting till it becomes as popular as red velvet. And really, I wouldn’t be lying if I were to tell you that it should be MORE popular than red velvet.

This is what comes of the “monkey see, monkey do” effect. I saw this cake… first in an article written about a famous restaurant. Then again on a blog. & slowly slowly, I see more & more variations of it popping up before my eyes. Each time becoming more & more enticing.

Really, you have to be a fan of buttered popcorn & salted caramel. Then again, who isn’t. Did you ever try those buttered popcorn jellybeans? This is just like that. You kind of think “uh, WEIRD”, but then you have a bite & it becomes *MIND BLOWN*!

So. Um. Yeah. I totally made one for myself.

It’s my birthday & I can do whatever the heck I want. Including make my own cake.

…let’s be honest though, those who know me, know I’m far too much of a control freak to ever let anyone else make me a cake.

As for this one? This buttery, delicious, salty masterpiece? Well, the idea may not be original… but the recipes I wrote are completely my own. Who knows… maybe if I’m feeling in a particularly good mood, I’ll release it.

If you really want to see them happen, you should totally click on the link bellow. You can pledge & call it your birthday gift to me. Put it this way… my writing a book, means you can make this cake at home all by yourself

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1226098115/eating-like-you-mean-it/widget/card.html?v=2

Sour cherry pie… on KICKSTARTER!

There’s a sour-cherry-pie & our very own KICKSTARTER project!!!!

sour cherry pie

It’s been a very long time coming.

The idea to write a cookbook started back in the summer of 2011. Back then, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing or how I was going to achieve it. Mel was equally as clueless & baffled as I was. We wanted to cook though. We knew with absolute certainty that some how, we were going to make it happen. So we just started.

It took place in his grandmother’s kitchen, me with my camera in hand, him with a scribbled piece of paper in the messiest handwriting one can imagine. I used to have to chase him after it was all done just to get the recipe & write it down in a format that made sense. He’d always assure me that he would remember, but if I had let even a day go by, the whole thing was lost.

Slowly a collection of images started growing on my computer, & a bunch of notebooks were being filled to capacity. The quality wasn’t where we wanted it to be, but it was a start.

Then came the food stalls at The Meet Market once a month… & popularity started growing. Friends would insist that we should open a restaurant, but we were still set on the idea of a book, & still just as lost at where the starting line actually was.

sour cherry pie

….eventually came the blog. A place we called home & rambled at you time & time again. It was a better way to keep track. A better way to get feedback & reviews. To start building some confidence in what we were creating.

In the spring of 2013, someone suggested we start a campaign on kickstarter. We didn’t have a clue what that meant, & quickly forgot about it as we got consumed in our daily life. Again in the summer, we were reminded of it all & finally started talking about doing it seriously. Well, I started talking about doing it seriously, he wasn’t so sure, in fact, he was rather sceptical of it all. I knew that if I put it together & he could get a visual, he would be on board with it & see my vision.

Then it happened. Life changed forever & in one night, he was gone from this world. It’s strange the path that life takes. It can be unbelievably tragic, & so beautiful at the same time. The memory of it all is still as heartbreaking as it was then… & yet, even at it’s most painful, I can smile knowing that he lived his life exactly the way he wanted to. He was happy in his existence. He didn’t let anyone dictate who he was or how he should be. He went doing something that he loved, & I’m thankful for that small favour.

Life has continued in his absence, much to my shock. I’ve had to learn how to walk & talk & exist in a world where he doesn’t. I’ve had to discover who I am all over again, & learn how to smile once more. & some how, I’ve managed to find joy & beauty in the world. I’ve also discovered determination. This project is part of that discovery. This project encompasses everything that I am, & everything that I was. It shows the life I shared, as well as the new beginning I’ve had to create & discover. It is absolutely filled with love, & the desire to create stronger bonds with the people around us. Thank god for those people.

I think it’s because of the love & support I received from others, that this book is taking on the shape & form that I plan for it. It’s not just about cooking for people, it’s about making an event out of every meal. A meal that will take you time to consume, time spent with close friends & family, hopefully laughing & savouring the dishes made. I suppose for that reason, it won’t just be a collection of recipes categorised into sections, but rather several recipes grouped together to make up a dinner party, brunch, or even a picnic. You won’t have to flip through & try & guess which recipes work together, it will all be laid out. Your starter, salad, main, dessert & even a cocktail will be mapped out from start to finish in a cohesive manner, ready to make. Of course you’re allowed to flip through & pick & chose should you wish, but you won’t have to.

If you want to contribute to our kickstarter project, just click here!

Ingredients, crust:
– 160g GF oat flour
– 200g GF white flour blend
– 160g almond flour
– 2 tsp xanthan gum
– 30g white sugar
– 1 tsp salt
– zest of 1 lemon
——————–
– 250g unsalted butter, melted
– 1 egg yolk, room temp
– 60g buttermilk
– 60g dark rum

Directions, crust: (make one 9″ pie, 3″ deep, or four 5″ pies, 1.5″ deep)
1. combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl & whisk to combine. Create a well in the centre & set the bowl aside.
2. in a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients & beat them together. Pour the wet mix into the well of the dry ingredients, & use a fork to slowly incorporate the two. Once the mixture becomes thick enough, you can continue to work the dough with your hands until it all comes together completely.
3. Divide the dough into two equal portions, flatten each into a disc, tightly wrap with cling film & refrigerate for two hours.

Ingredients, filling:
– 750g sour cherries, pitted
– 200g red apple, purred
– 30g lemon juice
– 200g white sugar
– 30g corn starch
– 1 tsp vanilla bean powder
– 30g unsalted butter, cold & cubed
—————-
– 1 egg, lightly beaten
– 2-3 tbs of demerara sugar

Directions, filling:
1. pre-heat the oven to 250C
2. combine all the ingredients together & mix well, set aside.
3. butter a 9″ (or four 5″ pie plates) pie plate & set aside.
4. lightly dust your work surface with oat flour, remove one of the discs of cold dough from the fridge, un-wrap & roll it out into a circle a little bigger than your pie plate. Gently lift the dough from the counter, & line your pie plate with it. If the dough tares a little, don’t worry, you can gently manipulate it & press it back together to seal any holes.
5. pour in the pie filling you made. Take the cubed butter & sprinkle it over the top of the filling.
6. remove the second disc of dough from the fridge, once again dust your work surface with flour & roll the dough out to the size of your pie plate.
7. slice the dough into strips about 1 to 2cm wide. One by one, place the strips on top of your pie in a lattice formation.
8. trim the edges of the dough around the pie plate & press the sides down with a fork for a decorative pattern. Brush the crust lightly with the beaten egg, & sprinkle with demerara sugar.
9. (for a 9″ pie) cover your pie with a sheet of aluminium foil & place your pie in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes at 250C. Reduce the oven temperature to 175C & continue to bake for another hour & a half to two hours, or until the filling starts to bubble up & over the edges.
9. (for 5″ pies) cover your pie with a sheet of aluminium foil & place your pie in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes at 250C. Reduce the oven temperature to 175C & continue to bake for another hour & 10 minutes, or until the filling starts to bubble up & over the edges.
10. once done, remove your pie from the oven & allow to cool completely before cutting.

Tips & tricks:
*** if you line the bottom of your oven with aluminium foil before you start, it will be much easier to clean afterwards. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to scrape off burnt sugar before, but trust me, it’s no picnic.
*** if you don’t allow the pie to cool completely, the sugar won’t set & the pie will run & fall apart instead of coming out in nice clean slices.

guilty feelings

I’ve got a red grape jam recipe that I’ve been sitting on for almost a week now.

Why haven’t I shared it yet?

Well… a cake order took precedence.

MY BLOG IS BEING OVERRUN WITH DESIGNED CAKES!

designed, gluten-free cake featuring the sea, music & a sail-boat

Not going to lie. I absolutely love having the work & the opportunity to keep creating more cakes… I feel with each one we do, Eirini & I improve constantly.

A big part of me misses the regular updates of recipes that could be created on a daily basis. Not cakes. Not overly complicated, time consuming, energy sucking monsters… but healthy, filling & satisfying recipes.

I’ll post up the Jam recipe next. I promise. For now I have just one more cake though. (one more for now).

designed, gluten-free cake featuring the sea, music & a sail-boat

A special order for a greek-american who loves Syros, the sea & singing/music. I think we managed to capture the order pretty well. As always though, I’m left looking at the cake & only seeing the flaws. The areas where “I could have done better”. This is in no way a comment on Eirini, as it’s the parts that I did where I’m left with criticisms. Still, I am very happy with the cake as a whole.

The recipe used was a modified version of the dark chocolate quinoa cake. I’ve posted the recipe again with the alterations made in order to satisfy the requirements of this order…. ENJOY!

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boozing it up with lime, rum & chocolate!

lime, rum & chocolate macarons

For months now, every time I post up a macaron recipe, I get a private message from my mum saying how I better make her macarons when she comes for a visit.

I’m talking about a woman so obsessed with the little cookies that she used to occasionally frequent a bakery in Paris that was renowned for its macarons & pay €4 for a single cookie!

….talk about setting the bar high.

Suffice to say, I wasn’t about to say “no” to her request. It just so happened that I’d been dying to try a new flavour combination & I had been holding off for her arrival so as not to overwhelm everyone with my fascination with constantly making these french (italian) cookies.

Want to hear about the flavour I’ve been dreaming about?

Chocolate. Lime. Rum!

Tell me that you aren’t drooling….

Actually, maybe you haven’t heard of the combination before so you don’t know what the appropriate level of excitement is here. Let me help you with that. The correct level of enthusiasm would be a “HELL YES!!!!”

I’m telling you, chocolate & limeexcellent. Lime & rum, excellent. Rum & chocolate, excellent. You just can’t go wrong with it. Now wrap that all up into a single macaron which is a breathtakingly good cookie all on its own, you just have pure magic.

I’m not ashamed to say that my mum was over the moon about them. I think she even managed to disappear 7 of them in a row without blinking. I’d call that a success.

I even got an “these are excellent” from Mel… & he’s not an easy person to please when it comes to food.

So there you have it. I made excellent macarons with a flavour combination that was just killer. Do it, do it now!

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chocolaty cake for the sports lovers

basketball & soccerball cake with the NIKE logo & "JUST  DO IT" slogan.... with a chocolate cake in side & a mascarpone filling... gluten-free

I think the thing I like most about making cakes, is the reactions of the people receiving them!

This girl who ordered this, wanted to give the cake as a gift to two of her friends who had their nameday on Monday. One friend was heavily into basketball, the other was a lover of all things NIKE. You can’t see it in this picture, but the side of the cake had a football (soccerball for you Americans) pattern on it!

Eleni, the girl who ordered it loved it so much, she ran up to me & hugged me!

That’s the kind of reaction that always makes me endlessly happy.

Any way, there’s a rich chocolaty cake in the middle of all that decoration, & a mascarpone filling to it….. It’s a little sweeter than my usual cake, but that’s also because I was making it for teenagers… and you can never have enough sugar when you’re a teenager!

gluten-free designed cake

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