Charming San Francisco

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After my whirlwind time in LA, I headed up to San Francisco for a couple of days. My time there was far more laid back.

Here are a couple of my observations:

The hills are far steeper than I imagined them to be.
It’s an easy city to navigate. I had almost no problems finding my way from and to certain spots.
I love the fog.
The weather is nothing like in other parts of California and I love it.
Redwood trees really are massive.
Layering clothes is the way to go.
70s music videos are the best.
Alcatraz tours are booked out weeks in advance (such a bummer).
Ghiradelli dark chocolate sea salt caramel is the holy grail.
Sausalito is a picturesque spot to eat lunch (or breakfast. Or dinner.).
The Mission district has great graffiti.
Guacamole is everything.

Thank you, Gina and Staci for welcoming me in your charming apartment. For showing me around and for loving food as much as I do. I had the best time.

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(Skinny) Apricot Loaf Cake

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Apricots are in season once again. My mum brought home a bunch from a friend’s garden and I didn’t know what to do with them. All I knew was, that I  was sick and tired of the usual apricot cake recipes.
So I went over to Pinterest and looked around for a bit. Pinterest never fails to provide me with fun and easy recipes, today was no exception. After a while I found a recipe that sounded promising. I altered it a bit. You should know by now that I’m a lazy baker ;-)

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Ingredients

2 cups / 10,5 oz / 300g all purpose flour
1/2 cup / 3,5 oz / 100g brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup / 6,7 oz / 190g greek yoghurt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1lb / 450g ripe apricots (cored and cut into small pieces)

Optional
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
I imagine cinnamon would work too.

I didn’t use any of this and it still turned out really well.

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What to do

Pre-heat the oven to 360°F/180°C. Butter and flour a loaf pan.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl beat sugar and eggs together. Gently mix in the yoghurt. Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apricot pieces. Make sure it’s all blended well together. I was a bit concerned at first because the batter was firmer than what I usually work with but don’t let this deter you, mine turned out really well and moist in the end.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Mine was done after about 40 minutes.

Recipe Source (I altered it slightly)

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Bonjour Paris

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I swear I have no idea how it’s been over a month since the last entry! Time flies when all you do is work and uni work and studying and more work (and trying to figure out summer plans).

I apologise. I’ll try to do better but June will still be an incredibly busy month for me uni wise. Summer plans are in the making and it’s looking to be a great and exciting summer.

But for now, let me tell you about how I got up at 3.30 this morning to catch a flight to Paris with my parents and grandparents.

I’ve been to Paris twice before and I only had good memories and experiences. So far it’s been great this time as well. The weather could have been a tad better (rain, rain and more rain) but overall it could also have been a lot worse.Paris is always charming. The boulevards, the passages, the food and drinks and the general atmosphere. I often forget just how much I enjoy being in this city.We’ve rented a quaint apartment. It’s three storeys but still kind of small. The window in my room leads to a rooftop terrace and I couldn’t be more in love. It’s kinda perfect. We’re getting breakfast from the Boulangerie across the street, bought some essential food items and enjoy our evenings sipping wine and cidre on the terrace (even more so once the weather is a tad better).It’s the perfect break from all the uni stress the past few days and I cannot wait for tomorrow to explore more.Bonjour, Paris.Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset IMG_6400Processed with VSCOcam with f3 preset
/ Hot chocolate literally came as melted chocolate with hot milk extra. Best one yet.
/ “Trapped” at a café waiting (in vain) for the rain to stop. After having the most expensive cappuccino yet (6,60€!) we caved and invested in some umbrellas.
/ View from our rooftop terrace. So charming.You can follow me along and see more pictures on my Instagram account.

Rhubarb-Strawberry-Apple Pie

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Rhubarb is back in season, and if you can remember from last year, I go absolutely crazy whenever rhubarb hits the markets.

It’s not a joke, it’s something I take very seriously! I love it. It’s just so easy to make and I love the crisp and sour taste!

Last year I made Rhubarb – Curd Cheese Cake and Rhubarb – Curd Cheese Tartlets. I was tempted to just go back and repeat these recipes because I couldn’t really find anything that tickled my fancy but then I stopped and thought “well, why not do your own thing?”

Why indeed?

Among my friends and family I’m mostly known for three things and ironically I haven’t posted either of those recipes here yet.
As it is I’m known for my Chocolate-Coffee Cake, my Chocolate – Banana Bread and my Apple Pie.

Then I started thinking – I could make that Apple Pie and just switch apples for rhubarb. And yes, it really was that easy. Kind of.
I had to tweak it a bit as I went but if you’re like me and enjoy the hands on cooking more than the fussy weighing of the exact amount of grams, then let’s get started, shall we?

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Ingredients

400g flour
40g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
200g butter (unsalted at room temperature)
1 tbsp vinegar

1kg rhubarb
400g strawberries
1 apple
200ml strawberry juice*
50ml maple sirup (honey works just as well)
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp rum
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 egg
2 tbsp milk

* I used strawberry juice but rhubarb leaves more juice than apples so I ended up having a lot of liquid in my fruit mixture which I had to drain out again. So you can either forgo the strawberry juice (as well as the lemon juice as rhubarb is already very sour) or you can just put it in and then drain the excess liquid before you put the fruit on the dough.

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What to do

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

For the dough you mix together the flour, 25g sugar, salt, 175g butter (room temperature and cut in small pieces), vinegar and 9 tbsp cold water until you have a smooth dough.
Divide the dough into two pieces, wrap in foil and let it chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

Wash, clean and cut the rhubarb and apple into small pieces. Don’t worry if they’re a bit bigger as it will cook and soften anyway. Add the strawberry juice, lemon juice, maple sirup (I usually always use honey instead), cinnamon and rum and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Wash and cut the strawberries and add them to the mixture. If you think this isn’t sweet enough you can add some (brown) sugar or more honey if you want to.
In a separate cup put together the cornstarch with 3 tbsp cold water and stir it until it dissolves. Add this to the fruit mixture and let it cook for another minute or so. Leave the mixture to cool.
If you have used the juice (or even if you haven’t) and the whole mix seems very runny, try to get rid off the excess liquid by draining it.

Grease a form with the remaining butter. Roll the dough until it fits the form, put it in and then prick the bottom with a fork.
Put the fruit mixture in the form. Roll the remaining dough and cut into stripes so you can braid it on top of the fruit.
Mix the egg yolk with the milk and brush it on top of the dough.

Bake for around 60 minutes.
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A couple of days later I basically made the same thing but without the strawberries. I also tried my hand at braiding the crust around the form. With the leftover dough I made some rustic tartlets filled only with rhubarb (cooked with honey, rum and cinnamon – basically that’s all you need!).
It really is easy and such a fun and creative way to try new things.

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