Cake, ice cream and more cake

I’ve been fairly slack in keeping this blog updated with my cooking exploits so I thought I’d bring things up to date in one go. The last 2 months have seen my kitchen pretty lively…

A Sacher Torte for my mama’s birthday

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Black Forest ice cream – my favourite flavour of all time. Ever.

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Nutella ice cream

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Papaya, sharon fruit, raspberry and banana smoothie

Smoothie collage

The incredibly bizarre combination of a dark chocolate and avocado cake in honour of the great British sporting tournament that officially marks summer, Wimbledon. I’ll admit, this one was a little strange so I’m not sure I’ll be making it again…! I might have to bake something else that’s green for the Wimbledon final at the weekend!

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Baking wheat-free is definitely getting easier and it’s so much more fun than just buying ready-made GF cakes at the store. A little kitchen creativity is definitely good for my soul.

Paris

Our third wedding anniversary happened to fall on Easter Monday this year, so we escaped for a long weekend in Paris. It was so wonderfully relaxing. We stayed with friends and I fell in love with the four-hour meals, aperitifs and slow-moving time. It was perfect. Great food, wonderful company and a magical city.

There is something about the combination of Parisian architecture, food, coffee, wine and even the smell that makes it quite enchanting and four days was an ideal amount of time to forget the rest of the world.

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If you’re a chocoholic in Paris, visit the Lindt café. We devoured a hot chocolate and mousse. It was basically melted chocolate in a cup, amazing!

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I developed a love of night photography when we were on holiday in Malta a few years ago and our hosts willingly played chauffeur for the evening tour of their home city. We set out about 9pm when the sun had set and spent about 3 hours driving around Paris taking photos of the city, alive at night. It was one of my favourite evenings.

Paris collage - night

Such a fantastic way to celebrate our anniversary 🙂

Hastings weekend

Collage 3My Christmas present for my sister was a joint present with three of her closest friends. The aim was to whisk her away for a weekend to relax and, most importantly, stop working! We booked a cottage for the five of us and enjoyed an incredibly sunny couple of days along the coast in Hastings, Sussex. The cottage was just delightful, the location was amazing and the company was perfect for light-hearted laughter as well as deep and challenging late-night conversation.Collage 1We even managed to sneak in a few extra surprises at every mealtime just so that my sister knew we had thought of her!

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I love that I get on so well with my sister’s friends as well as my own. It makes weekends like this all the more sweet.

Baking ambitions

Over the past few years, I have accumulated multiple recipe books – many chocolate themed and almost all baking themed. Most of the recipes I have wanted to try have now been attempted, but a few have eluded me thus far. So here is a little list of some of the treats that I hope to try in 2014, all adapted to be wheat-free:

For a rainy weekend:

  • Chocolate and hazelnut loaf adapted from various recipes
  • Almond and chocolate nougatines from the gluten-free baker
  • Black forest cupcakes based on ‘Cherry cupcakes’ from Hummingbird bakery
  • Chocolate souffle from Green & Black’s
  • Sachertorte from Green & Black’s
  • Marquise au chocolat from Green & Black’s

For Wimbledon:

  • Chocolate Avocado cake from Lily Vanilli’s Sweet Tooth

For my mum’s birthday:

  • Earl grey tea cupcakes from Hummingbird bakery

Summer:

  • Summer carrot cake with passionfruit from Lily Vanilli’s Sweet Tooth

Autumn:

  • Bitter chocolate orange cake from Lily Vanilli’s Sweet Tooth