Monday, February 27, 2012

Clementine Cake

With my home reconstructions over (Thanks God!!!!) and all the dust cleaned up (no kidding ….) here I am attempting to keep this blog up and going.

Coming back to food …. I don’t know about you but I love eating seasonal food. I think there is something special about having produce when it is supposed to be there. I love going to the supermarket and finding in the shelves what is in season.

The feeling becomes indescribable when I am in my Asturias garden produce!!! I can tell you month by month what I eagerly expect. Blueberries in July, pears in October and rhubarb in April are my favorite by far.

Clementine is one of those fruits that are a must during their season. I use them for everything and anything. On juice, on dressings, to cook meat, in marmalade, to bake…

The cake is a Clementine cake. The recipe is from “Everyday Food”. The cake itself is just beautiful and tasty. I added a couple of things of my own to please my sweet tooth mother. I cut the cake in two layers that I soak in tangerine syrup. I also made a clementine curd as a filling changing a bit the lemon curd recipe. I covered the cake with Swiss meringue and garnished it with sanded clementine and peel.

I highly recommend the cake!!

I hope you like it!!


Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan

3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon fine salt

2 cups granulated sugar

6 large eggs

2 tablespoons finely grated tangerine zest, plus 1/2 cup tangerine juice (from 6 tangerines)

2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier

3/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt cake pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in tangerine zest and juice and liqueur. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions yogurt, and beat to combine; beat in vanilla. Transfer batter to pan, smooth top, and firmly tap pan on a flat surface to remove air bubbles.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack, 30 minutes. Invert cake onto rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and let cool completely. (With a serrated knife, trim cake to sit flat, if necessary.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Home Make Over

Just in case you were wondering what have I been doing since I said I was coming back, I have prepared this “non cooking” post.

I have been thinking lately so much about the image of my blog and what kind of make over I would like to have that I got carried out with my apartment!!!!

I bought my place twelve years ago. Right after I finished my studies in Rouen (France), I found a nice job in Madrid. After few years saving money I could get myself in buying my own place.

I still remenber those days. It was a mix of excitement and expectation. I also remenber the shooping for the apartment : the bed, the sheets, the tv... and my first night at home. I had my bed, a tv and a chair! And it was great!

During all the years that I have been abroad I have kept my apartment closed only coming every since and concentrating all my energies in my Asturias house (now that is a RENOVATION!!!)

So now that I am back at my place, my brain is boiling with ideas so I decided it was the time to make a “couple” of needed improvements.

The first one was to get rid of ugly and big plaster furniture in my living room. The shelves have been the first to go. They are working in reconstructing the ceiling and wall.

I can wait to see the rest of the furniture to go!!!!!

I will keep you posted on the rest of the works and my furniture shopping in Madrid!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Check 1-2-1-2 and Lemon Pudding Cakes

I love lemon! In every single possible way …. With fish, pasta, in lemon curd, cookies, lemonade…And desserts. All kind of desserts!!

In my constant research of new desserts I found this simple yet tasty lemon puddings. The texture is fluffy and light. Best thing is the sauce that remains in the bottom. I think I will bake them during the Christmas season …

Hopefully, during the season, I will have free time that I could use to do, among many things, an interesting recipe research. I am also doing a good home-glamour-make-over. I am painting, changing curtains, organizing my china, glassware and tablecloths. Now that is going to be interesting!! I will make sure to keep you posted.

In the mean time here I am trying new lightings, new home “locations”, new accessories…. Finding a way to post during the weekdays when I get home and there is not natural light…sounds familiar, ah?

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Return of the Baking-Jedy


Months ago I said that I will post on my "Le Cordon Bleu" course and I didn´t. Well, they say better late than ever …. So here I am!!!

At the beginning of the summer I joined LCB to attend the basic level of the Pastry Chef Diploma. I had a lot of expectations. I wanted to learn, from professional chefs, how to bake things, as simple and complicated at the same time, as croissants, brioche or charlotte cake… the bases of French baking. I also wanted to know much of a baker I had in me. Is this something that I want to make a career of?

Overall, I can say that mi time at LCB was fantastic. The facilities are amazing. The kitchens have every sort of tool that you can think of. Everything is spotless, and this is one of the big lessons. About the chefs, is such a pleasure to see the difficult techniques done in such a talented and gracious way.

I have also meet very nice people. Those people have a real passion for baking. This takes me to “the baker in me”.

Reality is that I do not see myself in bakery baking for living. I love baking, but baking at home, for family and friends. For the fun of it! And I love baking simple, innocent, comforting goods despite the fact that now I have the skills for a more challenging recipes.

So if you are thinking of joining the school I highly recommend it! The only negative is that from the first tasting with the chefs, you will think that any dessert in any restaurant is just not good enough!!!:-)

On another note, I am coming back to blog-land. I think I have figured out what do I want to tell and how to express it in images. This is going to be a big exercise of organization. I hope you have a little patient ….

By the way …. So happy to be back!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Le Cordon Bleu



A year ago I decided that I needed a changed in my life. And I did changed!!!
In my new life my job is not the most important thing in my life. I don´t travel like crazy. I get off at 6.30. I ride my horse everyday. I sleep in my bed. I go to my Asturias home whenever and I bake non stop!!!!

So since as now I do all the things that makes me happy ... I thought that it was the time to take my "I am happy while I am baking" to the next level.

Here I am, tomorrow is my first day at Le Cordon Bleu!!!!!! Do you imagine if this is really my thing and I become a pastry chef?? Now that´s a change!

I will keep you posted on my Cordon experience. What we learn, what we bake, my progress, exams ....

Wish me luck!!!

Mariola

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hot Milk Sponge Cake and See You Soon!

I feel that reached this point it would be more honest and straight forward to take a break from my blogging life. Although I enjoy cooking and sharing what I do with my dear ones, I do not feel the need of blogging about it. I am just not inspired!!

Do not get wrong! My free time at home has reduced by a factor of a 1000! My loving horse Oberon gets the largets part of my free time and my desire of having my appartment almost perfectly tidy the rest of the time ...

Do not think I will be gone forever .... my closest friends know that I "disapear" from time to time but I always come back.
It feels that I need the time for me. And my new ME loves myself and has promise to take care of me. So there you go!
Thanks so much for being there, for sharing with me your comments and experiences, for being so nice and supportive. I will see you very soon!!

The recipe is from "The Amish Cook´s: Baking Book" which has got all my attention in the past weeks . I highly recomend it!! The cake was yummy and fluffy!

I hope you like it!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Strawberry and Lemon Whoopie Pies

Life has been busy these past weeks. Between my job, my horse and my baking I have not had that much time left for anything else.

To recuperate energy I went to spend some days off to my Asturias house. I have been gardening, specially concentrated in my peonies and rhubarb, reorganizing the furniture I brought from Switzerland and exercising

So now back in Madrid, and getting ready for a new week and before it gets crazy I wanted to post my whoopie pies.

Whoopie pies are my new favorite thing. Original from the Amish, nobody is really sure where the name comes from. The only thing for sure is that in any variation they are terrific.

This recipe is from Martha and needless to say is just great.

I hope you like it!!

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons light-brown sugar

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup whole milk

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 cup fresh strawberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, 1 cup brown sugar, and lemon zest until light and creamy. Add vanilla and egg and beat to combine, scraping down bowl as needed. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk and ending with flour mixture (scrape bowl as needed). Beat well to combine.

Drop batter in 2-tablespoon mounds, about 2 inches apart, onto two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until puffed and pale golden around edges, 17 to 19 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cakes cool completely on sheets on wire racks.