Posts from the ‘Cake’ category

I used to be such a picky eater, there used to be a loooong list of ingredients I refused to eat. Even when my interest in food and cooking grew and the list gradually got shorter, the thought of eating certain ingredients or dishes was simply horrifying. Bananas, mushrooms, everything that sounded really exotic or was just simply new to me, I would not eat.

Banana date cake

Then I moved to Beijing and I had to step out of every comfort zone that I had. New friends, different language, different culture, different food and no kitchen. Some things were easier to adjust to than others: food was one of the easier ones, living without a kitchen was definitely not.

Banana date cake 2

When I went back to the Netherlands last summer I couldn’t wait to try out all the new recipes I had been wanting to make for over a year, and inspired by all these new experiences I found my way back into the kitchen. One day I suddenly realized I had made pasta with mushrooms for dinner with this banana-date cake for dessert. I had finally conquered all of my silly food quirks. I now firmly believe that mushrooms are awesome, bananas are my favorite fruit snack and I will never let a chance go by to try out new flavors and ingredients.

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Carrot Cake

Eating healthy and cutting back on sugar is going pretty well, most of the time. But sometimes I just can’t resist and I give in to the craving and indulge in something not-so-healthy. And when I do, I do it right. Like this ridiculously scrumptious moist and sweet carrot cake topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting.

Carrot Cake 2

I always thought frosting was overrated, it would just be an extra trip to the gym without actually adding something to the cake. But boy, was I wrong. This fresh and slightly tangy frosting turns a decent cake into one big party in your mouth. Note to self: make that extra trip to the gym and get yourself another slice of this cake.

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Brownie Bites

Brownie cookies, need I say more?

I won’t anyway, cause I’m going to jump on my bike now and cycle to the beach and let my freakishly white skin catch some sunlight.

Have a great day!

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CoconutLemonCake

I’ll have two tests on Thursday and two papers due this weekend. What I would normally do in these circumstances, when I would be home that is, is to lock myself in the kitchen and start procrastinating by baking and cooking like a madman. I still have to wait 3 more nights until I’m back in my (even though I’m sharing it with 7 others, I like to think it is completely mine) kitchen, so for now I’ll just have to stick with talking about it.

CoconutLemonCake2

I made this cake last winter on my short visit home and every single person who tasted it was smitten with it. The cake is moist and sticky and the coconut and lemon make it taste fresh and light. Last winter it gave me the feeling that the days were not as cold and dark as they actually were and I’m imagining that when I would eat it in summer, the coconut and lemon would cool me down from the summer heat.

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I arrived at my parents’ place late last night. My dad made me bitterballen (a Dutch snack) and then they sent this tired jet-lagged girl to bed. I woke up before 6 am and immediately was energetic, it was already 1 pm in Beijing after all, so I got up and started my first day back home.

PearChocolateCake

I think it goes without saying that one of the first things I did was baking a cake, or at least make an attempt. It didn’t go as smoothly as I hoped though. It started with using the wrong chocolate. I only realized that I had been chopping up milk chocolate when it was too late, so I decided to just use that one. And just when I patted myself on the shoulder for not letting the butter burn, I clumsily poured some of the sizzling hot butter over my own hand – ouch. I ended up whisking the eggs with my right hand and having my left hand under the cold tap to stop the cooking process of my fingers (sorry for killing your appetite).

PearChocolate2

But despite these small (painful) setbacks, I ended up with a delicious cake that has a crunchy outside, a soft inside and is filled with soft pieces of pear and chunks of chocolate. Having baked my first cake since almost 6 months makes me feel better than I’ve felt in a long time and it makes up for any burning fingers or mean jetlags.

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I was able to control my baking cravings for 28 days. On the 29th day I made a cheesecake. But making the cake wasn’t to sooth my own needs, but it was to give one of my new friends in Beijing the birthday cake he deserved.

Making a cake in a small room in a dorm demands some creativity. I was only able to make a no-bake cake, since I don’t have an oven and because I didn’t take any of my tools with me, I either had to buy them new or try to think of creative ways to get the result I wanted. In the end it was more about the symbolism than about it being the perfect cake, but luckily the b-day boy liked it.

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I don’t like bananas. The picture in the cookbook looked so incredibly luscious, I just had to make this cake. And I reasoned that a little sticky caramel sauce would make everything taste incredibly good. Boy, do I hate to say these words: I was right. The cake is airy and light, it has pieces of banana in it, but it’s not densely packed with them. The crunchy exterior of the cake gives a nice contrast to the soft inside and the cake itself isn’t extremely sweet, so the caramel sauce brings a good balance to it. So even me, a banana-disliker, liked this cake. After taking a piece of my own, I placed the cake on the kitchen table of my student house and left it there to be judged by my housemates. When I entered the kitchen the next morning there was only an empty plate and a dirty knife left.

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This utterly delicious lemon cheesecake is soft and creamy and has the summery taste of lemon without being too acidic. The bottom is made of bastogne cookies, which is the perfect match for the lemony cream cheese mixture. Because it’s a no-bake cheesecake, it’s totally foolproof, but there isn’t any compensation on the flavor – it truly is a heck of a cheesecake.

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