Iâ€™m sorry about the lack of posting but I just donâ€™t have the energy, neither for baking nor for writing nor for consistly reading all of the lovely blogs that are out there 😦 My youngest son is a fussy sleeper during the night and tends to wake up a few times. Of course this has its effect on mommy 😉 I just hope no. 3 will be more like no. 1 in terms of sleeping. He seems to be relaxed enough, kicking but not kicking too hard.. Letâ€™s just hope thatâ€™s a good sign 🙂 A little less than 3 Â½ monthâ€™s till D-day (or should I say B-day) so weâ€™ll find out soon enough 😉
Even though I donâ€™t have a lot of energy to bake and write blog entries I am pretty proud of myself that Iâ€™m studying a lot more actively the past few weeks 🙂 Trying to get as much things done before no. 3 arrives because after that I wonâ€™t be able to do a lot for a while. Hope I can keep it up till B-dayâ€¦
I have several nice recipes that I want to try out (a few even yeast-based) I havenâ€™t gotten round to doing them. But my brotherâ€™s birthday is coming up and I promised to make at least one cake. It wonâ€™t be anything fancy but just something tasty and something he loves.
During our little trip to London I bought some baking ingredients, stuff thatâ€™s either hard to find in the Netherlands or a lot more expensive. The Netherlands is not very forward if it comes to baking ingredients. Things like vanilla paste are very hard if not impossible to find (I told you: not very forward). Vanilla sugar with fake vanilla is the norm over here. You can find vanilla beans but the ones you would find in the supermarket are of poor quality. I have to go to an organic shop to buy organic vanilla beans because at least those are moist and bendable (contrary to most Iâ€™ve bought in the supermarket). So when I found vanilla paste in a supermarket in Bromley I was thrilled 🙂 Besides the vanilla paste I also bought rennet, golden syrup and black treacle. And with the black treacle Iâ€™m planning to try out Veraâ€™s springerle recipe and see if I can finally use a cookie mold I bought over 4 years ago in Jordan. Iâ€™ve tried using short bread dough but I wasnâ€™t able to get the dough out, well not complete and with the impression of the mold 😉 Veraâ€™s recipe sounded like it could work for my mold so wish me luck 🙂
Trying not to let you down too much hereâ€™s a recipe of a cake with honey I made a couple of weeks ago. According to my book it is an Ukrainian recipe. Itâ€™s a spice and honey cake without a lot of butter and has strong coffee in it as one of the liquids. Seemed good enough to try out. I loved the texture of the cake, airy, moist but not too, and light because it only contains a little bit of butter. Even though they call it a spice cake in the book, the amount of cinnamon is minimal, and I even doubled it. Donâ€™t know if something went wrong when they translated the book in Dutch but â…› ts seemed very little. And even the Â¼ ts I added didnâ€™t add much of a spicy taste (like I expected). But the cake was delicious despite it. Delicious with or without a spreading of butter with your tea or coffee.
If you like to actually taste spices I would recommend adding (a lot) more cinnamon and/or other spices.
Ukrainian honey cake (adapted from the Dutch translation of Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour and Tradition Around the World by Jeffrey Alford and Noami Duguid)
makes 1 loaf cake
2 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
100 g (3 Â½ oz) sugar
170 g (6 oz) honey
4 tbs butter, melted and cooled
240 g (8 Â½ oz) flour
1 ts baking powder
Â¼ ts cinnamon
pinch of salt
120 ml (Â½ cup) strong coffee, luke warm
Preheat the oven to 175Â°C (350Â°F). Butter and flour a loaf pan.
Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until they are pale and thick. Add the honey and butter and stir until blended.
Sift the dry ingredients. Add half the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and stir until blended. Add the coffee and stir until blended. Add other half of the dry ingredients and stir until blended.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool down for 10 minutes before inverting it onto a wire rack. Allow to cool completely.