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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Vango turns 40!

chocolate & hazelnut layer cake with a delicious purple basil whipped cream filling & decorated with crystalized purple basil leaves.... entirely gluten free

Haaaaaaaave you met Vango?

No?

Vangelis happens to be the Co-Head of the happy little catering company known as Chili Catering. The very same company I’ve been working for, for the last 2+ weeks. With him, I also work with Eirini, you know, that wonderful girl I made the strawberry & mint macarons with & also did a series of trials before arriving at the idea of a roulade with.

chocolate & hazelnut layer cake with a delicious purple basil whipped cream filling & decorated with crystalized purple basil leaves.... entirely gluten free

It’s a fabulous team. There’s also Costas, he can come across as a little grumpy & be hard to know, but once you crack through, he’s pretty fantastic too.

Back to Vangelis….

Did you know he’s turning 40 today? That’s quite impressive if you ask me. He’s been persistent that he wants nothing to do with a birthday cake…

Eirini & I don’t care one little bit what he wants. We’re going against his wishes & whipping him up one any way. Why should he get to deny us the joy of making a cake just because he’s said so?

chocolate & hazelnut layer cake with a delicious purple basil whipped cream filling & decorated with crystalized purple basil leaves.... entirely gluten free

Since he’s quite the Chef & very imaginative with flavors, I’ve decided to do a cake that will be layered…. • hazelnut • hazelnut & milk chocolate • hazelnut & dark chocolate •
Then, in between each of these delicious layers, there will be a wonderfully light, basil whipped cream.

layers of hazelnut & chocolate sponge cake filled with a purple basil whipped cream... gluten free

It’s heaven.

Even more heavenly, the design.

More often than not, I finish a cake & I’m sorely disappointed with it. Not that it isn’t good, it’s just, I always tell myself “I can do so much better”. Not to brag or anything, but I am so ridiculously pleased with myself over this cake that there is no bringing me down. Not today. Can’t wait to show him what Eirini & I did!!!

Did I mention that I lovingly crystalized each & every basil leaf myself? From purple basil plants growing in my garden which I actually grew all by myself from seed?!?! Oh yea, every single part of the process.

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a challenging povitica, for me.

The Daring Baker’s October 2011 challenge was Povitica, hosted by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk. Povitica is a traditional Eastern European Dessert Bread that is as lovely to look at as it is to eat!

Oh…. and if you don’t have a clue what I’m on about with that first paragraph, then here’s some background info. I joined a site called “The Daring Kitchen“. What it is, is a site for bakers & cooks like Mel & I who keep blogs. What the site does is assign a ‘challenge’ every month, which absolutely must be completed or you get kicked out of the club. You’re only allowed to miss two challenges a year.

Doesn’t sound too hard now does it? Well let me tell you, when I saw the povitica challenge, I was trying to think of any way I could to get out of it. I’m not great at making bread… let alone bread that looks so pretty.

So, two Sunday evenings ago during our cook time, all I had made was extracts & I was not feeling motivated at all to make the povitica. The problem was, I’ve told myself I have to make at least two things ever week & extracts barely counted as one! It was raining, dark & I was feeling particularly grumpy.

After a little verbal encouragement (berating) from Mel, I got my act together & made the damned bread… with little to no enthusiasm whatsoever.

To my complete surprise… it wasn’t as hard as I thought! Even more surprising was the fact that even though I didn’t get it right, I was excited to try it again the next day! I don’t normally react to failure all that well, but this was a failure I was happy to over come, especially since the failure itself tasted so delicious.

Anyway, I’m glad I tried again because the results were amazing. I ended up using a lot more flour in the recipe than the original creator had said would be needed, but that’s not a big deal in all honesty. I hope you’ve all enjoyed the pictures so far…. now time for the recipe.

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