ALMOND SHORTCAKE MINI TARTS WITH VANILLA ALMOND CREAM CHEESE AND BLACKBERRIES by Lori @ Creating Beauty in the Kitchen

Messy kitchen? Don’t worry, this next guest blogger with make it easier… errr, messier. :D

 Lori and I got along when we talked about being messy in the kitchen. :D I love Lori’s sense of humor and her being so helpful. Or let me just say – I love anything about Lori. She’s such a sweet gal, kind and ready to lend a helping hand. What more would you expect from Lori?

Hmm, I know when you here of Lori’s name, the first things that would come to your mind are no-refine sugars and low glycemic food. But isn’t it amazing when she can turn naughty foods into healthy ones? Well, let’s see what Lori is bringing today –


 

It is no secret around these parts that I enjoy Jhuls greatly! She is giving, thoughtful, spunky, caring, and oh so funny!! <3

 That is why when she asked for guest posters, there was no way I was going to say no….even with being busy unpacking, painting, cleaning, etc. When she thoughtfully said, ” I know you are too busy, you don’t have to push yourself. ” My quick response was, “No, I WANT to do it my friend! I WILL do it! ;-) <3 Please count me in!”

 So, here I am Jhuls! I am so grateful for your friendship and am honored and delighted to get to do this for you! 

 What did I bring you? Well, something sweet of course! :-)

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I loved these mini tarts! The delicious tastes of almond, cream cheese, and blackberries all mingled together!

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Almond Shortcake Mini Tarts with Vanilla Almond Cream Cheese and Blackberries

*Created by Lori @ Creating Beauty in the Kitchen

(Low-glycemic, gluten free, no refined sugars.)

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup honey + 1/2 cup honey for cream cheese topping
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract + 1 tsp for topping
  • 1 tsp pure almond extract + 1 tsp for topping
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 package cream cheese
  • Blackberries

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the wet in another. after they are mixed, combine them together and stir.
  • Pour the batter into the mini tart pan….3/4 of the way full.
  • Let cook for 18-20 minutes.
  • Wash blackberries and set aside.
  • While tarts are cooking, prepare the cream cheese topping by mixing the cream cheese, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp almond extract, and 1/2 cup honey. Use a mixer to combine thoroughly.
  • When the tarts have finished cooking and have cooled a bit, layer the cream cheese topping onto them, then add some fresh blackberries.

Enjoy!

Big hugs Jhuls! <3 What a joy to do this for you and your readers! Hope you love these as much as I did! :-)

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Wow! Lori! Did I tell you that your photos are amazing? As well as your tarts? :D How’d you do turning bad guys into good ones? That’s what you call a real talent. I also love Lori’s decoupaging talent. Just check this new post. Lori, what talents are you still hiding from us?

Please check out Lori’s blog if you haven’t. Enjoy this treat and have a lovely day! ;)

Thanks a bunch, Lori. <3

 

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CHILLI POPPERS by SKD @ Aromas and Flavours (a guest post)

I love spicy foods. Do you? Sometimes, I get stomach problem when I eat too much of spicy something. How about you? If I get stomach problem when I eat something spicy, I always tell myself ‘Next time, I will not eat too much of this.’ or ‘I will not put too much chilli on this.’ But promises are made to be broken. :D

Oh my, even if you made a promise to yourself and you trust yourself that much that you will keep your promise, I tell you – you will never let these Chilli Poppers go. There’s no harm in breaking your promises when it comes to food. Well, take it from thenotsocreativecook who always promises herself to eat moderately. You know I can’t keep that promise. :P

What can you say, SKD? :D

SKD is blogging from Aromas and Flavours.   When you go to her blog, you will smell those yummy foods she shares. SKD is also a sweet and thoughtful blogging buddy who never forgets to put a smile on your face. And this, Lemon Honey Glazed Chicken with Roasted Baby Potatoes , Quinoa and Corn on the Cob, my friends, are just one of the recipes that takes my breath away.

Oh, wait! This is a guest post, right? So, why am I still talking?

SKD, the floor is yours!


 Chilli Poppers

When one of the most creative cooks of the blogosphere asks for volunteers to do a guest blog for her, you are a mixed bag of feelings. Excitement, happiness, hesitation, acceptance and confusion follow in quick succession. Jhuls is one gem of a person, a beautiful blogger and an expert in cooking. To step into her domain and stay put on one of her pages, (until she has had enough of you and decides to put you into trash  ;)  ) you really have to match up to her standards. But it is not every day you get this opportunity, so I decided to grab this offer with both hands and ladles and forks and spoons :D

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This is my first ever guest post and this is for You, my dear Jhuls <3

After much thinking,( because there isn’t  a thing which this Gourmet queen hasn’t  churned up yet ) I set my mind to making  Chilli Poppers.  This is a beautiful snack which can be served as a Hors d’oeuvre at a party or a tasty appetizer at home. It is crisp on the outside with warm and juicy cheese bursting with flavors in your mouth with every bite. I used the Anaheim peppers because of their mildness. You can use Jalapenos as well, but make sure you remove all the seeds.

What you need :

  • 10-12 Anaheim peppers/ Jalapenos

For the filling:

  • ½ a cup of Cream Cheese
  • ½ a cup of mayonnaise
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp. Red Chilli flakes ( optional )
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano

For the batter:

  • 4 tbsp. All-purpose flour/ plain flour
  • 3 tbsp. Cornflour
  • 2 tbsp. Rice flour
  • Little salt
  • Ice cold water

For the coating:

  • 1 cup bread crumbs

 How to get going:

  1. Wash and dry the peppers. Make a long slit through the middle but make sure you don’t slit up the tip.IMG_20140704_131629
  2. Deseed carefully.IMG_20140704_131702
  3. Mix all the ingredients for the filling and put it in a piping bag. IMG_20140704_131637
  4. Pipe in the filling carefully into each pepper.
  5. When all are done, keep them in the refrigerator for at least half an hour to chill.
  6. Make a thick batter with ice cold water.
  7. Dip each pepper into this batter.
  8. Roll in the bread crumbs.IMG_20140704_165819
  9. Deep fry or bake.( I prefer frying it)
  10. Serve hot.

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Thank you Jhuls for having me on. Hope I keep your readers entertained till you are back. :)


Whoa! Are those rockets? I think those Chilli Poppers will take you outer space in seconds. Err, when you forget to deseed them. :P

Thank you for this wonderful post, SKD. You are the gourmet queen. ;) I really appreciate all the efforts. <3 How do I return back the favor? :D Okay, I would share these poppers to you. :D

My time is up for now. I will be back again with another guest blogger. The next one is one of the bubbliest and I think her middle name is spelled MESS. :D

 

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VIENNESE WHIRLS by Michelle @ Giraffes Can Bake (a guest post)

Get your eyes ready as this next guest blogger will make you drool over with her gorgeous looking and yummy treat for today. Ooppps! Not only for today, but she has also brought many droo-licious sweets. She is a sweet giraffe… err, person who loves to bake. Like her sweetness, she bakes lots of sweets. :D

I will not let you wait longer; I bring you Michelle @ Giraffes Can Bake -

When Jhuls said she needed volunteers to write guest posts for her, I jumped at the chance! Jhuls is such a sweet, lovely blogger and I am more than happy to help her out wherever I can, but my motivations are also a little selfish I must admit! I’m a big fan of her blog so it really is an honour for me to be able to guest post, I feel a little starstruck to be honest! I just hope my offering is up to her usual standards.

2014-08-19 15.44.55I am bringing some of my favourites to sweeten up you lovely readers of Jhuls, Viennese Whirls. These are made up very soft and buttery shortbread, buttercream and jam. Despite their name, they are a British treat, they don’t have much at all to do with Austria! Ever since I can remember, Viennese Whirls have been a favourite of mine, the super buttery shortbread just melts in your mouth, and the buttercream and jam make it the perfect tea time treat. I’ve stuffed myself with many store bought versions of these but nothing beats the homemade ones! There are another version of Vienesse Whirls that are just the shortbread and then they’re dipped in chocolate, but these ones are far superior in my opinion.

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I’m so happy to share this Vienesse whirl recipe with you all because not only does it produce some of the best cookies you will ever eat, but it’s so simple to make – the hardest part is piping the dough (it takes a bit of muscle and patience!). The shortbread is extremely short – and by that I mean there are equal amounts of butter and flour, so definitely not one for the diet! There is very little sugar too, all the flavour really does come from the butter so you want to make sure you use the best quality butter you can. I use Danish butter because it has a higher fat content and I like it’s slightly tangier flavour, but if you’re not in Europe it’s not worth paying the import costs – regular butter will be just as good!

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You can use any flavour jam you like on these, I normally pick raspberry as it’s my favourite for these treats. You can also flavour your buttercream with anything you like to suit your tastes, but personally I think vanilla buttercream is the best option – that way the butteryness (totally a word!) of the shortbread can really shine through! Have I mentioned yet how buttery this shortbread is?!
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Viennese Whirls
Makes: 10-12

Ingredients

For the shortbread:

  • 250g very, very soft unsalted butter (but not melted)
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 250g plain flour
  • 50g corn flour
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 200g icing sugar (plus extra for dusting)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Raspberry Jam

Method

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper

Put all the shortbread ingredients in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until it all comes together and forms a soft dough

Spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.

Pipe the dough on the cookie sheets into rosettes, about 2.5” in size. The dough is very soft but it will still be hard to pipe. I tend to put all the dough in the piping bag, but then only push a small amount down to the nozzle at a time to pipe, it makes it easier to manage.
 
Bake for 10 minutes or until they are a light golden colour and firm to touch. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Be careful, they will very delicate.

Beat together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla until it has all come together and beat for a few more minutes so it is light and fluffy. Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag with a star nozzle attached.

Spread jam on the flat under side of one cookie (about a tsp of jam, but use your judgement on how much jam you want) and pipe buttercream in a rosette on the flat side of another cookie. Sandwich the two cookies together, being very gentle as they are very delicate. Repeat with the remaining cookies.

Dust cookies with icing sugar and serve. Will keep in an airtight container for 3-5 days.

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Standards? What are standards, Michelle? :D This guest post and everything here is amazing!! <3

Michelle is sweet – she never fails to leave me sweet messages. Now, aren’t you convince that her sweets are as sweet as Michelle:D Um, don’t tell me you missed these Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes. I did not. In fact, I took more than my share and I tell you, Michelle always saves something for me. :P

Thank you so much and I am honored to have to here today, Michelle. I am so blessed to have you as my blogging buddy. <3 I know everyone enjoyed these. Right, folks? :D

I’ll be back after a few days with the next guest blogger. Clue? No, clues! :P

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APPLE HONEY & NUTS GALETTE by Sonal @ Simply Vegetarian 777 (a guest post)

Get your veggies out, let’s sit down for a while and we will have our veggie lessons from Sonal.

Oh, wait? Sonal isn’t bringing veggies today?

She’s bringing what?

Oh, Apples. Okay… fruits! Is she bringing them in a basket disguising to be an old lady thinking she would convince the Princess to eat them?

Hmm, not only apples? Then what? Apple Honey & Nuts Galette? Whoa! That’s sounds something new to the Princess… I am sure she would love that.

So c’mon, Sonal. Bring it on -


Apple Honey & Nuts Galette

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Jhuls had posted a week ago about bloggers pitching in for Guest post on her blog. I pounced at it. I mean it’s Jhuls, for God’s sake. I don’t have to think twice to say yes to her. She blogs from The Not So Creative Cook. You may think “not creative”, hmmmm but heck she is super creative.

I just adore Jhuls for her fun in the moment and spunky nature. Always a game and a friend’s friend. So much energy? How Jhuls how? You can match my almost 4 year old at the energy and fun level. Loads of love dear girl. Her Tricky Tuesdays and commitment to Introducing New Bloggers is really commendable. Just so inspiring. Yay :).

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I wanted to bring a dessert to her for the Guest Post. So, today I bring Apple, Honey and Nuts Galette ! A crispy pie crust engulfing some fresh and crisp gala apples, a good drizzle of honey, cinnamon, a dust of sugar and a generous sprinkle of nuts like almonds and pistachios and baked…boom…a gorgeous galette is ready and that too without any eggs in it :). I know Jhuls love eggs but this is eggfree!

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This is how we do it!

Yields : 6 inch squarish Galette

Kitchen Equipments Required : bowl, parchment or butter paper, baking sheet, rolling pin, chopping board, knife, oven, plastic cling wrap.

Ingredients:

Dough :

  • All purpose flour : 3/4 cup
  • Butter, cold : 4 tbsp, cut into small cubes.
  • Water : 2-3 tbsp, cold
  • Sugar : 1&1/2 tbsp
  • Vinegar : 1/2 tsp. vinegar actually prevents any gluten formation and keep the pie crust flaky and crisp.

 Filling :

  • Apples, sweet and firm rather crisp : 2 small, washed, peeled, cored and sliced very thin.
  • Cinnamon : 1&1/2 tsp
  • Sugar : 2 tsp
  • Honey : good amount to drizzle
  • Almonds, pistachios, walnuts : 2 to 3 tbsp. You can pick any one or mix the nuts.

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Method : 

Refer to the pictogram towards the end for more clear idea.

Making the dough: 

  1. Take a bowl. Add flour to it. Add cold butter cubes.
  2. Rub the butter in the flour with tip of your fingers. Do not over rub. We don’t want to melt the butter. You may use fork or pastry cutter instead.
  3. Now add cold water, 1 tbsp at a time. Bring the dough together, just gather. We don’t want to knead the dough.
  4. Once the dough is all gathered, wrap it up in the plastic cling wrap tightly and refrigerate it towards the end of the refrigerator for 2-3 hrs.

Rolling, Filling and Baking :

1) Preheat the oven at 425*F.

2) Cut a big sheet of parchment or butter paper.

3) Unwrap the refrigerated dough in the middle of the parchment paper.

4) Roll it out gently on top of the parchment paper into an approximate 7-8 inches square. Roll it into 1/8th to 1/4th inch of thickness. Now this is going to be a slipping dance but it’s worth it since there is no breaking and transferring the galette later on. You can place the butter paper with filled galette as is to bake.

5) Now score the galette lightly with a knife to carve a smooth square. Check picture no. 2 in the pictogram.

6) Drizzle the rolled out pastry sheet, generously with honey. Refer picture no. 3.

7) Now arrange the thin slices of apple, overlapping a little covering the inside of the scored area. Drizzle the top with honey again. Sprinkle with cinnamon powder, sugar, and then nuts. Refer to picture no. 4 & 5.

8) Now fold the edges of the pastry sheet on top of the nuts and toppings, pressing a bit for it to stick. Refer picture no. 6.

9) Now lift the parchment paper with folded galette and transfer it I the baking sheet. Bake the whole thing at 425*F for 25 odd minutes till the folded sides of the pastry turn golden. You may use broiler towards the end for a minute or less for that nice red tone.

image10) Cool for 5-10 minutes and slice with pizza cutter. Serve warm. Just yummy and so much flavor and textures in the same bite.

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Now, the Princess is full. And you should know that the Princess is selfish so she didn’t share this to the dwarfs. :P

Thank you for doing this, Sonal. And I am very much happy that you are one of my guest as well as one of my amazing blogging buddies. <3 Thank you for the sweet and wonderful words about me. :D

For more of Sonal, please check her at Simply Vegetarian 777 (if you haven’t).

I hope you enjoy this; I know Sonal would love to make another batch for everyone. :D

 

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ALMOND FLORENTINES by Jaclyn @ Tenthousandthspoon (a guest post)

I am glad to be back for another Fiesta Friday. I am not bringing something I made; I am bringing something I stole from someone else. Sshhhh! Don’t tell anyone.

Nah! Jut kidding. :D

Don’t panic; I still have something for you – not only food, but a new friend as well.

Meet Jaclyn – (more of her at the end of this post)


Hello! I am Jaclyn from Tenthousandthspoon. Jhuls asked me to guest post and so here I am. Hehe. I met her through Instagram and have always been amazed by her cooking and baking skills. As I am really more of a photographer than a cook, I hope I don’t embarrass myself too much today. Haha.

I made Almond Florentines using a recipe I adapted from Seasons and Suppers. Compared to other recipes that required butter and flour, this one just had egg whites and powdered sugar. It resulted in a very light and crisp cookie that is just too addictive for words. It’s fantastic on its own but adding that touch of melted dark chocolate to its base, just skyrockets it to perfection.

I hope you’d enjoy them as much as we did. 

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ALMOND FLORENTINES

Recipe Adapted from Seasons and Suppers

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/3 cup icing/confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla or vanilla bean paste
  • Dark Chocolate 

 Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300° F. with rack in centre of oven. Prepare and grease your non stick baking sheet really well.  
  2. In a medium bowl, combine almonds, egg white, icing sugar and vanilla. Stir gently (so you don’t crush almonds) until combined.
  3. Spoon 1 tbsp  balls of mixture onto prepared baking sheet, about 4 inches apart. Using your fingers or a fork, flatten the balls into 2 1/2 to 3-inch discs. (You can dip fingers/fork in to cold water if they are sticking). Try to avoid having gaps between the almonds and be sure that the cookies are fairly flattened.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 7-10 minutes. Then try pry the cookie gently from the tray using an offset spatula and then transfer to the cooling rack. I made the first batch on a parchment paper and let’s just say that made me cry.
  5. Once cookies are cool, melt the chocolate for the bottom of your cookies. Flip cookies over. Spoon a puddle of melted chocolate in to middle of cookie and, using the back of a spoon, spread it out to the edges of the back of the cookie. Allow to stand until the chocolate has set.Allow chocolate to set before storing cookies in an airtight container.


When I started at Instagram, Jaclyn was one of the first people I followed. I fell in love when I saw her photos – awesome! If I am not mistaken, she had over 3K followers when I started following her – that was June 2013. And now? Well, see it for yourself.

One of the funny things I could not forget about Jaclyn is – she said she usually posts breakfast foods as she does her thing when her kids (Zoe and Sage – cute names, yes?) are still asleep. One day, one of her kids woke up and I think she saw Jac taking photos in the morning and asked what she’s (Jac) doing… Jac said to her kid to go back to sleep as she was just dreaming. Hahaha! I hope I said the story right, Jac. If not, please feel free to correct me on the comment below.

Thank you so much for this, Jac. I am so honored to have you as my guest.

Jaclyn also blogs from Tenthousandthspoon.

I hope everyone say ‘Hello’ to Jac – she’s friendly, she won’t bite you. :D

Also, check out these two previous guest post -

Ultimate Chocolate Cake by Joice @ County Baker Mom

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Frangipane by Sarah @Sarah’s Little Kitchen

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Thank you, Angie. Thank you, co-hosts.

Happy FF#33!

(New to Fiesta? Click the image below for the guidelines.)

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Enjoy the weekend and enjoy the party!!

I hope to talk to everyone soon.

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FRANGIPANE by Sarah @ Sarah’s Little Kitchen (a guest post)

Sarah is one of those cute little girls you could see on the corner with her big grin holding a slice of cake, brownies or anything sweet during Fiesta Fridays. :D Peace, Sarah! But you look cute when you do that, especially when you do ‘carolibombing’ and bring it on FF table. Oh, I could kiss you for that. :D

Sarah is one of those few people I introduced in my ‘Introducing ‘new’ bloggers’ series. But, we have already chatted before I introduced her… and since then, we have talked and talked and talked… and exchanged lots of emails.

Let me ask you something – when you hear/see Sarah’s name, what are the things that come to your mind? Me? Sweets. Desserts. And here is Sarah doing another ‘caloribombing’ –


Hi guys!

The pie I made this week really gives me nostalgic feelings.

I don’t know if I’m aloud to talk about nostalgics at my age already but I do it anyway! Nah!

As a little child, I spent a lot of my time with my grandparents. They always gave me so much sweets and ice cream! I suppose that’s what grandparents do ;)

Most of the time, they gave me little frangipanes. And a lot of other cookies of course…

But these frangipanes really were my favourites.

Oh don’t worry, I didn’t get just one! Oh no! I could eat as much frangipanes as I possibly could…

Now trust me, my entire body existed out of stomach ;)

I have absolutely no idea why it took me so long to actually make some myself! I guess I was just afraid I wouldn’t be able to succeed… But I did! :D

And I did a great job, if I say so myself, because this frangipane tastes exactly like the frangipane my grandparents gave me.

Maybe I should give them some of this delicious frangipane so they can get nostalgic feelings as well ;)

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FRANGIPANE

What do we need:

  • 1 crumbly pastry (I used one from the store because I didn’t have time to make the dough myself :s)
  • 125 g crystal sugar
  • 125 g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 40 g flour
  • 125 g almond powder
  • 100 g apricot jam
  • 2 leaves of gelatine
  • 4 spoons of powder sugar
  • 1 little spoon of water
  • 1 beaten egg
  • baking tin

How to:

Mix the sugar together with the butter until everything is absorbed.

Add the eggs and blend well.

Sift the flour and the almond powder and mix it well together with the rest.

Put the crumbly pastry in the baking tin. Cut the surplus off and keep it to make the decoration afterwards.

Use a fork to prick holes in the crumbly pastry.

Soak the leaves of gelatine in cold water and heat the jam a bit.

Put the gelatine in the heated jam and stir until it’s completely absorbed. Let it cool.

Put the jam on top of the crumbly pastry and let it cool until the jam is almost completely cold.

Put the batter on top of it.

Roll the leftovers of the crumbly pastry out and cut them in little straps. Put the straps on the batter to make the decoration.

Use the beaten egg to brush the crumbly pastry.

Put the frangipane in the oven for 35 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade.

If it’s done, check with a sharp knife.

Tip: Check in the middle because that’s where the glazing is going to be and the cut won’t be noticed this way.

Mix the powder sugar with the water to make the glazing. Put it on the frangipane.

Done! Enjoy it!

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Have a delicious day!
xxx Sarah <3


We had a delicious day, Sarah! Thank you so much for bringing another delicious dessert. And thank you so much for being my guest. I am sure the crowd enjoyed this as well. :D

For more caloribombing from Sarah, please don’t forget to check the rest of her recipes at Sarah’s Little Kitchen.

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ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CAKE by Joice @ County Baker Mom ( a guest post)

Joice always calls herself ‘a lazy blogger’ – she cooks and bakes more, than blog. Am I right, France? :D Well, you may be wondering why we call each other ‘France’. Joice and I were best friends when we were in grade school. Even we were in the same classes (except for Values Education as we have different religion), we write each other letters almost everyday. FRANCE means Friends Remain And Never Can End. I don’t know if you have that stuff when you were in grade school, but we had. :D

When I published my post of mine looking for volunteers as guest bloggers, I expected Joice to email me and say ‘Hey, France, I’d be happy to do a guest post for you.’ But, I waited… waited… and waited. Then I thought ‘Hmm, this girl is busy with something else.’ So that’s when I decided to email her to invite. And I was right – she’s busy. Lucky me – she had already prepared something and wrote back to me the next day. :D

I bring you Joice @ County Baker Mom


Hello again :) just like I’ve  said in my recent post my dear friend  invited to write  a guest post which  made me confused as I am not used in doing it. Anyway, this is a great opportunity for me as well as Jhuls will feature me on her awesome blog  thenotsocreativecook.

Who would not love chocolate cake? I guess everybody wants it. Me?well I am not really that type of person who loves sweets but I’m kinda sweet person (harhar) because I love making sweet desserts to my love ones and friends. And today I am sharing with you one of the most loved  and popular cake in the world. :)

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Now,lets talk about this cake. First, the cake itself is super fluffy and moist. Second, the icing just had the right amount of sweetness. Having all the qualities that I’m looking for a  perfect cake I can now call this as my ultimate chocolate cake I have ever made for now :)

ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CAKE

CHOCOLATE CHIFFON CAKE

 Ingredients:

 {A}

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoon of unsweetened baking cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup boiling water

 {B}

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour (or 1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour)
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

 {C}

  • 7 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 {D}

  • 7 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup sugar

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  Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
  2. Mix {A} in a small bowl.  Set aside to cool for about 20 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine {B} well.  Add in {C} and cooled dissolved cocoa.  Beat with electric mixer or by hand until smooth and well blended.
  4. Beat {D} on high speed until frothy.  Gradually add in the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.  Gradually and gently fold in egg whites into egg yolk mixture.  Pour batter into ungreased 10″ tube pan or square pan.
  5. Bake for about 60 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched.  Invert pan into wire rack immediatelyand cool completely.
  6. Carefully run a thin knife around sides and center of pan and invert cake onto a large serving plate.

OLD FASHIONED CHOCOLATE ICING

(makes about 2 1/2 cups icing)

 Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk, divided ( I used evaporated milk)
  • 2 tablespoons butter

 Procedure:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, cornstarch, sugar, and 1/2 cup of the milk.
  2. In a medium saucepan and over a low-medium heat, bring the remaining milk to a soft boil.
  3. Add the chocolate mixture from step 1 to the boiling milk.  Whisk continuously until mixture is thick and of a spreading consistency. (This will not take very long.)
  4. Remove from heat then add the butter.  Mix until butter is fully melted and incorporated.  Set aside to cool. (The icing will thicken a bit more upon cooling.)
  5. Spread frosting in between two cakes layers, on top and sides. Decorate as desired


Yeah! Who doesn’t love chocolate cake? We need to talk. :D

I wish I could have a slice of this right now. Thank you so much, France. I know you were busy when you did this and I am so appreciative of you for that. And again, thank you for being one of those few people who inspired me and convinced me to start a blog. I will talk to you soon. I hope the move went well and good.

I know everyone enjoyed this drooli-cious cake – c’mon… have a slice and tell me what you think. ;)

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Fiesta Friday # 32

(This is a scheduled post. I will get back to everyone whenever I am available.)

I will ask you something –

Do you believe that stars and constellation can be seen with your naked eyes?

So, you think people who will say that are crazy??

Or not??

Here’s the thing –  [I think] about 6 years ago, I was in a plane… it was night – or middle of the night – I haven’t checked the time. Anyway, I was asleep and traveling alone. When I woke up, I opened the window and I ‘saw’ stars like what you see in movies, as well as constellation. I can’t figure out the names as I forgot all their names. Excitedly, I told the story to one of my closest friends and she was like ‘??’. Later on, she told me that maybe I was just dreaming. I insisted that I was not. I had the chance to travel with her more than a year ago and confidently told her ‘Maybe I could see the stars again!’ I can’t remember what was her reaction. It was more than five hours trip and I chose the time of flight – night time. I tell you, I barely closed my eyes [to sleep] just to wait for the stars to appear. I was upset that I did not see even one. I told the same story to my co-worker who has been close to me for almost a year. She told me, I was just dreaming. I insisted the same thing – NO! I WAS NOT DREAMING.

The sure thing I could remember that happened? I was sitting and I woke up; opened the window and saw stars like this.  And I was like ‘Whoaaaa’. And I can’t remember what I did next.

After two persons told me that I was just dreaming, what do you think? Was that a dream? Or was that real? Ugh! I couldn’t even figure it out. :|

…or am I crazy?

Uh, please tell me not. :D

Anyyywaaayy, it’s Fiesta Friday and it’s okay to be crazy today. It’s fun to have a crazy buddy, right? :P

Hey, I brought something today… Please be good to me. :D errr, not from me… but, from Linda and Martina. ;) They are the first two who have submitted their guest post.

For those who have missed them, please check them out -

GRATIN DAUPHINOIS by Linda @ La Petite Paniere

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BASIL GNOCCHI by Martina @ Make, Shake and Bake

DSCF3314I know, they are amazing! But you can say that again. :D

And I know I owe you a reply back. Please bear with me as thenotsocreativecook is trying her best to get back to the normal ‘program’ and posting of ‘series’. I promise I will be back. <3

I hope you enjoy these!

Thank you to the ever kind, Angie, and to our co-hosts.

Happy FF#32!

(New to Fiesta? Click the image below for the guidelines.)

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Enjoy the weekend and enjoy the party!!

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BASIL GNOCCHI by Martina @ Make, Shake and Bake (a guest post)

Martina and I met each other during Fiesta Friday. I am not sure when’s the exact date, but I could not forget when she entered holding these Peach and Honey Mini Bundt Cakes  and I immediately ran to her – to say ‘Hi’ of course… and okay… to take some of those gorgeous cakes first and foremost. :D Nope! I will not lie and I will not be ashamed to tell you that. :P

I have heard so much of Martina [from the gossips] during FF, but they are good talks – one of them is that Martina loves to help people. I even remember those film crew people she had prepared lunch for – oh, what a kind-hearted she is.

For my second guest blogger, here’s Martina @ Make, Shake and Bake -

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When Jhuls needed some help to cover her absence in September, I knew I was going to volunteer. Then you ought to know, Jhuls is a very special lady. She introduces “new bloggers” and shares tricks and tips about food and cooking weekly. I find that very admirable, then let’s be honest, who else would spend so much time to do such a lovely thing? So of course, I want to help if I can. My pleasure.  :)

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I decided to do some cooking for a change. I had a few weeks off work in August and plenty of time to not just bake but try some cooking for a change. I don’t feel quite at ease when I cook just yet. I guess baking is more natural to me. But when a recipe works, it is ever so pleasing and I felt this wasn’t bad at all. So I hope you all enjoy!

BASIL GNOCCHI

Ingredients:

  • 750g freshly boiled potatoes
  • 200g flour
  • 50g parmesan
  • 1 fresh egg, beaten
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • A few sprigs of basil, finely cut

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Instructions: 

  1. Pass the freshly boiled potatoes through a sieve. If you don’t have any fancy appliances like I did, a fork will do too, but you must be very thoroughly otherwise you’ll end up with tiny pieces of potato in your Gnocchi.
  2. Add the flour, parmesan, egg, basil and salt to the sieved potatoes and mix well with your hands until no longer sticky.
  3. Work the dough into roll of approx. 1 ½ cm thick diameter.
  4. Cut into pieces of approx. 2cm and carve with your fork.
  5. Place the Gnocchi into simmering water until they float to the surface. That means they’re ready to be enjoyed.

This is a huge batch and I froze over half of them. But they usually have even a better texture if you boil them from frozen. It keeps them more together.

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I topped my Gnocchi’s with some fried zucchini, cherry tomatoes and basil, tossed together and topped with Parmesan (in case you were wondering. :)


Wow! You must have worked for too long for this, Martina. Where did you get the patience? :D I could see that this is an easy recipe, but time consuming. Gnocchi is just one of those recipes that I want to try. Thank you for sharing this to me and to everyone. Thank you for being my guest – I am so honored to have you and I am so grateful to you for helping me out. <3

Enjoy this meal, lovely friends! ;)

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GRATIN DAUPHINOIS by Linda @ La Petite Paniere (a guest post)

It’s been… what? Three weeks? Since I announced that I need volunteers to be my guest blogger for the month of September. I am blessed to have some bloggers who emailed me, saying that they will try to come up with something for me – I was so touched. And honestly, I secretly wished that I hope at least ten blogging buddies will email me – but, I was surprised to receive fourteen; I am so grateful to everyone. <3

thenotsocreativecook will be MIA for a while but I am so thrilled to have some blogging buddies to keep my blog kicking. So, by the time you are reading this, I am already somewhere out there.

To start off, I present to you my first guest blogger – Linda @ La Petite Paniere. I cannot remember when Linda and I started chatting, but it’s already quite a long time now. One of the things that I always look forward to seeing from Linda’s blog are the Algerian recipes. Do you remember this Batata Koucha? Oh my, I really want to give this a try. My mouth is watering again. :D

And without further ado, I give you Linda –

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Another Guest post for a another special one, for Jhuls, I think everybody knows Jhuls, our dynamic, funny and generous friend. Last time she asked for some volunteers to do a Guest Post for her. I think it’s a great idea to help and contribute in our big Blogosphere. I appreciate Jhuls for taking time to visit my blog and to put a smile on my face with her sweet comments and for all the Awards that she gave me (thank you so much).

Once again I jumped on the occasion. Jhuls has a fabulous Blog The Not So Creative Cookalthough the name says otherwise, she is actually very creative and she knows how to cook, bake and much more :D She is always friendly with others, and I like her weekly introduction to new other Bloggers! Go visit her fabulous Blog, you will be surprised as me by her heaps of joy…

Today I prepared for you a Gratin Dauphinois, I like this simple rustic dish made with potatoes, milk and garlic. This dish is from the region called Dauphiné in France South-East of France. A classic French dish and can be eaten alone or accompanied with meat on the side.

GRATIN DAUPHINOIS

(A real Gratin Dauphinois has no cheese and no eggs.)

Ingredients:

  • 6 large potatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • A pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 400ml of milk (full fat for me)
  • 300ml of liquid cream or liquid whipping cream

Procedure:

  1. Image 2Peel and wash the potatoes.
  2. Cut the potatoes with a Mandolin (if you don’t have Mandolin, just cut thin slices).
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C degrees.
  4. Grease an oven dish (for me …)
  5. Rub with 1 clove of garlic the oven dish.
  6. Layer the sliced potatoes into the dish.
  7. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper and grate the second clove of garlic on the top of the sliced potatoes.
  8. Add a second layer of potatoes and proceed the same way for the rest of the potatoes.
  9. In a bowl add the milk and the cream.
  10. Add a pinch of salt, a pinch of black pepper and a pinch of nutmeg grated into the bowl.
  11. Mix all the ingredients together and pour the mixture on the top of the sliced potatoes.
  12. Cook for 1h30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  13. Remove from the oven.
  14. Serve hot.

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This dish is creamy, the crust is crunchy and soft at the same time and the potatoes are extremely tender.

Jhuls I hope you will love my Gratin Dauphinois :) Enjoy your break and I hope you will come back full of stories!

Bon Appetit.


I really did enjoy that, Linda. And can you tell that I love potatoes?? :D Batata Koucha and Gratin Dauphinois – on the list now. I hope I would have all the time to make these when I come back In Shaa Allah.

Not only Linda is a good cook and baker, she is also an amazing blogging buddy who is always there to leave heart-warming comments.

Thank you so much, Linda. I hope one day I could return the favor to you. <3

I hope everyone enjoyed this. I am sure Linda [and I] would love to know your thoughts – leave your thoughts below and we’ll give you a plate of this. :D

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