Baking madness

 

I am in baking mode, if I have few hours in my hands I start cooking. I am kind of going bananas…..or nuts. Same idea, one great tasty result- BANANA BREAD.

I love the banana bread, especially for breakfast, with a wee bit of chocolate on top of it. Well, I like to add some chocolate inside of it too, but there is no such thing as too much chocolate.

banana bread (adapted from Jamie Oliver)

115 grams walnuts 

245 grams flour

150 grams sugar

1 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2  eggs

113 grams butter

3 ripe large bananas

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts.On a separate bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. With a rubber spatula lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients just until combined . (The important thing is not to over mix the batter. You do not want it smooth. Over mixing the batter will yield tough, rubbery bread – Jamie says) Pour the batter into a pan lined with baking paper. Bake until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan.

Tulip fields forever

It is that time of the year again – TULIP”s time.

Almost every year, since I live in the Netherlands, I go on a “pilgrimage” to the tulips fields on the Bollenstreek route.

 This year, I went with my friend Su for a bike ride and a picnic at the tulips fields. Gorgeous flower, perfect weather, good wine – a good recipe for  a nice picnic in the garden of the castle.

 We waited for a bit for prince charming that didn’t show up, so as replacement we had some strawberry tarts and good white wine.

strawberry tarts

 

pate sablee

150 gr flour

80 gr butter

1 tablespoon cold water

1 egg yolk

pinch of salt

vanillaPre-heat the oven to 180 C. In a large bowl cut the cold butter in small cubes, add the flour, egg yolk, vanilla and salt and start working the dough until the butter mixes with the ingredients and then form it into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes – 1 hour. After the dough rested in the fridge, take it out and roll it out on a floured countertop until it is thin. Carefully place the dough in a tart tin (24 cm diameter) and  press it slightly into the tin. Prick the bottom of the dough all over with a fork and bake for 15-20 minutes until it becomes golden.

 creme patissiere

312 ml milk

2 egg yolks

80 g of sugar

2 tablespoons of cornstarch

vanilla

Boil the milk in a pan with 50 g of sugar. Separately mix the egg yolks with sugar and cornstarch. When the milk reaches a boil, slowly start incorporating the egg mixture, while whisking continuously to ensure that the custard is smooth. Boil until the custard thickens.

strawberries

Wash some fresh strawberries and cut them in thin slices :-).

Assemble the tarts, by pouring the creme patissiere in the pate sablee crusts. Decorate with strawberries.

Easy breezy delicious – Insalata Caprese

It looks like spring finally took over and the grey, gloomy days are gone. And what’s best to celebrate such great days than an easy breezy delicious Caprese salad.

There is not much recipe to go with it, all you need is good ingredients:

Buffalo mozzarella

Tomatoes

Fresh basil leaves

Olive oil

Sea salt or fleur de sel

Balsamic vinegar