Friday, July 31, 2009

Chocolate Cake

It's Dennis' birthday in 2 days time and I've decided to bake him his all-time favourite chocolate cake. One thing he really dislikes is when I try to sneak in something fruity. Once it was mandarins, another time it was apricot, but most other times its whichever fruit is available in the fridge. The worst ones, or so Dennis claims, are those with tiny seeds like raspberry or passionfruit. He insists that they disrupt the consumption process and thus enjoyment of the cake.

Anyhow, this cake is meant for him, no raspberries, no strawberries, nor passionfruit, nor apricots, just chocolate and chocolate only. Well okay, its got a wee bit of coffee but I'm sure he'll fancy it more than the fruits.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Spinach with Ricotta and Pecorino Cheese Bread

I usually find difficulty in sticking to recipes, but this time I went way off. What started off as an attempt to bake a loaf of raisin walnut wholemeal bread turned out to be spinach with ricotta and pecorino cheese instead.

It all began with me realising that I had run out of walnuts. Of all the nuts, I like walnuts the least, along with pecans of course, so I hardly keep stock of them. Raisins I have plenty. You can throw them into cakes, salads, bread or just have them as a snack.

Next, I realised that my packet of wholemeal flour was still unopened. I have too many half used bags of flour sitting in my cupboards. But it was the jar of leftover spinach with ricotta and pecorino cheese pasta sauce that did it. Not having a recipe for this bread though meant had to go blind, adding in the flour a handful at a time til the dough felt right.

I'm quite pleased with the result.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Oatmeal Buttermilk Bread

Yes, more bread. You see, ever since Dennis got me a KitchenAid, bread making no longer requires a colossal amount of work. Besides, I love eating bread, as does my dad, so the fresh loaves do disappear rather quickly I might say.

Next up, is a recipe adapted from an old edition of Delicious Days. The article also lists the numerous health benefits of eating oats, but I'm sure we're all aware or could google it up. Plus, I'm not in the mood to re-type it all.

The fun part about baking is that you can always improvise. I didn't have rolled oats, so I used muesli - thus the presence of raisins and sunflower seeds in my loaf. To which I think turned out for the better.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Zopf Backen

Zopf, or rather pronounced as "Tzopf" with the t, is a Swiss bread typically served on sundays for breakfast. It's also traditionally offered at New Year's and at meals marking the Emmentaler cheese harvest. Its form is its namesake - a braid. Zopf has a very slight tang due to the inclusion of sour cream, and since I had parma ham, air-flown (in my brother's suitcase) from Italy, I added some in too. I doubt the savoury addition is old-line, but what does it matter, I'm not Swiss.

There are many different ways to weave a zopf, but the more common methods are from either 2 or 4 pieces of dough. I took the easier route and went with 2 pieces.