Neue Moleskine-Notizbücher für Zuckerkünstler

Oooohohohoho, dachte ich eben wie ein verworrener Nikolaus, als ich meine Emails abrief: Moleskine hat neue Notizbücher! Aber nicht irgendwelche, nein, sondern das “Passion Journal Dessert” für Backverliebte – wie mich.

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Das Cover zieren eingeprägte Kuchen, Cupcakes und weitere Naschereien. Noch süßer wäre es, wenn es nicht schwarz wäre – zarte Pastelltöne hätten mir sehr gut gefallen! Laut Shop kann das Buch mehr als ein klassisches Notizbuch:

Das Journal bietet vier vorgefertigte Themenabschnitte und vier Tabellenabschnitte zur selbstständigen Gestaltung;
Glossar der wichtigsten Werkzeuge und Begriffe für einen Patissier, Anleitung zum Kuchenanschneiden, Platz für eigene Rezepte, Agenda für Partys und Raum zum Designentwurf.
202 Klebeetiketten zum Personalisieren Ihres Journals.

Hört sich doch sehr praktisch an!

Vor fünf Jahren hätte ich auch das “Passion Journal Hochzeit” gut gebrauchen können – und mir dabei die unordentliche Lose-Blatt-Sammlung erspart, die ich bei meinen Planungen immer dabei hatte.

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Ich werde zwar von Moleskine nicht für diesen Post bezahlt oder bestochen (“noch nicht”, *zwinker*), aber wer vielleicht eh noch einmal den Shop besuchen möchte: Dort haben sie gerade die “City Notebooks” mit eingebauten Stadtplänen, U-Bahn Netzen und und und … reduziert.

Mein persönlicher Favorit, natürlich, San Francisco.

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Mrs. Prosch’s Olde Bakery: the Fail Edition

Today I finally tackled “Mission Fondant”.
And I failed miserably.

This recipe made it sound oh so simple.

And everything went well as I was microwaving the fudge out of my marshmallows. But everything went downhill with adding the powdered sugar.

First, my mixer got stuck. I waved it off and decided to mix it with my hands, so I got out my latex gloves and started kneading.

Within seconds the gloves were eaten off my hands by what I refer to as “the Blob”. I painstakingly took the gloves off and tossed them, then I continued with bare hands.

 

This was when I started to get afraid. I’ve never before felt fear during baking, at least nothing worse than “Have I bought enough eggs?”.

Today I feared, if not for my life, then for my hands. The gloopy hard mass stuck to them like it never wanted to let go. Like it wanted to eat me.

I even started to fear for my wedding ring, because I thought the blob’s superhuman sucking strength would absorb my ring’s diamond. Stupid blob! Diamonds are not food!

 

I not only wasted two packages of powdered sugar, I even sacrificed my bag of marshmallows that I had kept hidden for next year’s camping event.

And for what?

For this:

 

 

A ghostly white blob, hard as stone.

And something not seen in the picture, namely my dreams of a fondant-covered wedding cake with intricate fondant designs.

Marshmallow fondant, you crushed my dreams. I will not take this sitting down. I will fight, oh how I will fight! And if it’s the last thing I’ll do in this lifetime!

 

 

Mrs. Prosch’s Olde Bakery XI: Lemon Curd slices

As announced, I got up early at a reasonable time on Saturday to bake lemon curd slices. The recipe called for a rectangular baking pan, but I don’t have one of those and thought my trusted Tchibo pie pan would suffice. It did 🙂

I used one of lecker’s recipes, as usual:

 

 

 

As you can see, this recipe is considered as “very easy” and “cheap”, which isn’t any indicator as to how yummi it is, for I’d rather have one slice of this cake than four pieces of Blackforest gateau!

These are the things you need:

 

 

You needn’t make the lemon curd by yourself, but it is really easy and I suppose much nicer than store bought curd.

Prepare your pan and get rollin’. First you butter it. Butter it like there’s no tomorrow. I usually use a papertowel with a nice dollop of butter, like my mom used to

 

 

Then you can throw in some flour

 

 

Because the bottom of the pan isn’t attached to the rest you can see the holes my thumbs made.

Classy, I know.

Moving on. Fill the pan with your dough:

 

 

The recipe calls for 15 minutes of baking, but it took about 20 to be done all the way through.

After the sugar-lemonjuice glaze, it looked like this

 

I’ve never been a big fan of glaze, but this is pretty, no?

 

 

Looking at this, I’m sorry that we ate the last of it during Sunday’s rugby match

Mrs. Prosch’s Olde Bakery X: Lemon Curd

It’s been awhile since my last baking extravaganza in May, when I baked the infamous rainbow cake. A lot has happened since then, albeit not on the baking front. For one, I am now maid of honour to the rainbow-cake-birthdaygirl! And I was asked to bake the couple’s wedding cake to which I answered:

“Challenge accepted!”

Which has been followed by sleepless nights and moments of “I can’t do this, was I crazy to say yes?”, followed by other moments when I was like “Kowabunga, I got this!”.

But this is not about the wedding cake, there will be posts about that, once the whole secrecy is over.

This is about my friend’s (semi-)annual DVD-girls-night and its culinary aspects. See, everyone brings something to the table. This year, to the surprise of everyone, I said: “I’ll bring a cake”. Surprising indeed 😉

I flicked through my recipes and found one for “lemon slices”, which sounded perfect for these late summer days we’ve been enjoying this week.

The recipe called for lemon curd (glass). Where the fudge can I get this? Certainly not in my regular supermarket. Heck, I thought, I’ll just make some.

After some googling I found “Joy of Baking” and this recipe. Not only did they tell my what lemon curd is, they also explained for what it is used, what aspects you’d have to be careful about and how long you can keep it in the fridge. Then, after explaining the whole procedure, they followed with a short and easy-to-understand instruction:



“Lemon Curd: In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended. Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes thick (like sour cream or a hollandaise sauce) (160 degrees F or 71 degrees C). This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the lemon zest and let cool. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover immediately (so a skin doesn’t form) and refrigerate for up to a week.

Makes 1 1/2 cups (360 ml).

Note: If you want a lighter lemon curd whip 1/2 cup (120 ml) of heavy whipping cream and fold into the lemon curd.

Source:

Sorosky, Marlene, Easy Entertaining with Marlene Sorosky, Harper Collins. New York: 1988.

Here’s the recipe, if you’re not lucky enough to attend our DVD night and might want to make some yourself:

Lemon Curd Recipe:

3 large eggs

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar

1/3 cup (80 ml) fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons) (do not use the bottled lemon juice)

4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tablespoon (4 grams) finely shredded lemon zest

What stumped me for a second was the stainless steel bowl. I don’t have one of those! I ended up using a small pot on top of a bigger one with the hot water, and it worked just fine.

I whisked and whisked till the curd thickened and lost its see-through quality. It became a lovely, cloudy yellow and lost the foamy glaze it had before.

I was so excited to pour it into my little mason jar that I almost forgot to add the butter!



Good thing I have this funnel, otherwise I couldn’t have gotten the good stuff into the tiny jar



Once I had it all inside I added the soft butter I had forgotten  before and gave it a good stir. Fortunately, It hadn’t been too late.

Look at it: doesn’t it look like sunshine in a jar?



After posting this I’ll return to the kitchen to make the pie, which you’ll see in the next post. Its’ recipe only calls for three table spoons of lemon curd, so I’ll have to figure out what to do with the rest. Any suggestions?

Mrs. Prosch’s Olde Bakery IX: Rainbow Cake

Today was a friend’s birthday and she deserved something nice and pretty. Since she got a pocket knife as a gift, albeit a pretty one, something special was warranted, something girly.

In the last months my dreams were haunted by technicolour cupcakes like those:

Oooh, pretty!

When my favourite cooking magazine‘s last edition had a rainbow cake in it I knew I had to try it.

I tweaked the recipe a bit and went for buttercream instead of whipped cream – I just had to call my mother for my grandma’s recipe 🙂

The dough had to be divided into five parts, meticulously measured by yours truly, and coloured with simple food colouring.

Then I baked each layer individually, let them cool off and put them atop of each other. Some cherry marmalade went into the middle parts, so the layers stuck more and the cake was a bit juicier.

Not very pretty yet, right? That’s because the layers aren’t evenly thick, a job only achievable by cutting the excesses off – who has the time for that?

That’s right, I don’t! I’ve got buttercream to make!

Already looks nicer, doesn’t it?

You can almost taste the buttery vanilla on the tip of your tongue, can’t you? Thought so.

The best part of the cake: when still uncut it is pretty on the outside, but it’s nothing compared to the beauty you find upon slicing it open. And you can’t say that for many things.

Lookit: All sweet and virgin-y

The fun part was when the birthday-girl saw her cake and happily exclaimed: “Oh look, a princess-cake!” But then, when it was cut open, her reaction was topped and there were “oohs” and “aaahs” galore, what a surprise!

I mean, seriously: Those innards, peeking out of the cream? Wowiez. Definitely worth the work.

Mmh boy, that was yummy. After this post I really wish I’d taken home another piece… not that there were many left 😉

I could think that it was because the cake was delicious… But I have the nagging suspicion that the guests were only curious to find out if they’d have any similarities with the famous nyan-cat the next morning 😉

 

Pretty (,) Useless Stuff

What was that? You said you wanted to buy me something? My oh my, you shouldn’t… But if you insist: I found some veeeery nice things online. Pretty and useless stuff. Mostly useless. In the sense of “I don’t need this, but I want it!”. The Geek would probably scratch the “pretty” and just call it useless ;).

Look at those measuring cups:

 

 

Aren’t they lovely? I might already have some, but not nearly as pretty.

Or this cupcake kit? I think the birds say “Eat me!”

 

 

Just as these erasers say “It’s ok that you made a mistake, here, let me rub my butt against it and it’ll disappear in no time”

 

 

I think they’re Princess Peach approved.

With this wallet, no one is going to hornswaggle you. They will assume you know your maths.

 

 

I’m a sucker for mustaches. They say “I’m a badass and a gentleman!”. Love it.

 

 

I’d like these for next winter. This way I’d have warm ears and good music to brighten the dark days.

 

 

Just as these would, in the right place. My ears, for example.

 

 

Oh, those whales. Will they find eachother or not? Whatever, they look happy as they are.

 

 

As does this pouch. It would be allowed to swallow my cents any day.

 

 

All items can be found at ModCloth, who should open a German shop. Just sayin’.

Mrs. Prosch’s Olde Bakery VIII: Leipziger Apple Pie

This one isn’t actually out of an old Leipzig cookbook, but snatched right off a friend’s wife’s blog.

When I saw her post my mouth immediately started to water, so I had to try this recipe.

 

 

After I had thrown the first ingredients into the bowl I noticed that the flour was missing from the recipe. This can’t scare an internet affiliate, no way José, so I just typed “apple pie” into my iPod touch and “lecker” helped me, like so many times before. So I boldly added 225g flour.

I tweaked the recipe some more and only baked the cake for about 35 minutes and it turned out just great.

 

 

But I guess I will add even more flour the next time, the dough was so soft that I had a hard time rolling it out. So hard in fact, that I didn’t even do it 🙂

I just took half of the dough and put it straight into my new Tchibo pan.

Which looks like this, btw, and is awesome. You can push the ground up and thus easily remove the pie from it . Did I mention it is red? Swoon!

 

 

Because of the dough’s softness I just left the other half of the dough on its clingy-film and pushed it down flat. So then I could flip the film over the filled pie and gently pull it off. Done! This way I didn’t even have to push holes into the pie’s top: they were already there 🙂

I really like how the cinnamon-apple juices oozed out of the little holes… mmmh!

 

 

And the best part: the whole flat smelled delicious after the pie was done.

 

 

Thanks for the recipe, Mrs. B.!

Mrs. Prosch’s Olde Bakery VI: Mole-Cupcakes

I generally don’t like bake-mixes and there are only two I use on a kinda- regular basis.

One of them is a French Chocolate Tarte and the other one Dr. Oetkers “Maulwurfkuchen” (Mole-Cake).

Named after its appearance, it looks like a mole-hill. It consists of fluffy chocolate cake with a creamy filling. I usually pimp the filling with bananas and cherry. In my book, it doesn’t get much better than cherry-banana-chocolate!

Now, I wanted to bake that cake today, but my fridge didn’t really have enough free space to take it in. And with mole-cake, not only does it have to cool in the fridge for two hours, it usually lasts several days, so it’ll have to be kept in there, too.

So last night, lying in bed and contemplating about today’s baking, I asked myself “Why don’t you just bake mole-cupcakes?”. And why not, indeed.

So I mixed the dry ingredients with a bit of milk, two eggs and butter and filled the batter into my newest muffin-liners. If you want to try it, don’t fill the liners to the brim because the dough rises quite a lot during baking.

I then proceeded to whip some cream and mixed it with the water-and-stuff creme from the cake-mix. Two hours into the fridge, and then onto the cupcakes. But first I put some banana slices on top, yummi!

For decorating the creme I used a freezer bag with a corner cut off. Worked quite well, but I’ll definately have to work on my topping-decoration-skillz.

They were yummi, but I think if I’d made them from scratch they would’ve been even better.

Mrs. Prosch’s olde bakery

I took some time out of my very moderately quite not at all busy day to do something nice for my hubby. So here’s what I did:

That first one was for the cook’s refreshment only

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then the single steps to muffin heaven

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and tadaaaa:

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I think they’re yummy and very nice, as I’m eating one that’s still warm as I’m typing this. Hopefully hubby will like them, too.