Cauliflower soup – getting ready for the cold days

At the market, last weekend, I was looking for some veggies to make some soup. In the summer, I like the soups where you can still detect the original ingredients, the types of soups that we have in South-Eastern Europe, however autumn time is a different story. Then, I really love a hearty, creamy, rich soup. 

And this time the cauliflower draw my attention…together with some celeriac since was laying all alone next to the cauliflower. Since both are very earthy, thought they will marry perfectly in a soup. To bring in some extra flavour, I just added some watercress and crispy bacon on top.

cauliflower and celeriac soup with crispy bacon and watercress

2 tablespoons olive oil

one large onion or 2 shallots

3 garlic cloves

thyme, salt, pepper, nutmeg

3 cups vegetable broth

1 head of cauliflower

1/2 celeriac root


few slices of bacon


Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened. Add chopped garlic and the thyme, cook until the garlic softens, add the cauliflower florets and the cubed celeriac. Sautee them and the add the broth, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cover the pot and bring to
a boil.  Lower the heat to a simmer, keep covered, and let cook until the cauliflower and the celeriac are tender. 

Puree with an immersion blender. Serve warm topped with crispy bacon, watercress or shredded cheese.

Magnolia bakery’s cupcakes

Time for October’s challenge for the Dulce Romanie project. This time My fancy cake came up with the idea of baking cupcakes.

I loved this idea, especially since lately I watched one of the Sex and the City episode where Carrie and Miranda were devouring some cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery.

After doing a bit of research on the internet I found the recipe for Magnolia Bakery vanilla cupcakes.

Oh yeah…I knew that was the winner, in combination with chocolate buttercream frosting.

The recipe is pretty simple and the results is simply amazing.

magnolia bakery vanilla cupcakes

makes 12 cupcakes


171 grams flour

119 grams butter

225 grams sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cups milk

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

Start by lining 12 muffin tins with cupcake papers. Pre-heat the over to 175 C.

In a mixing bowl cream the butter until it reaches a smooth consistency, then add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the dry ingredients gradually, alternating with the milk and vanilla, mixing well after each addition. Make sure you don’t overbeat the batter. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake papers. Do not fill the liners otherwise the cupcakes will raise over the top of the papers – just fill them 3/4 to achieve an even top that can hold nicely the buttercream frosting.

Bake them at 175C for about 20-25 minutes or until they are cooked.

Chocolate buttercream frosting

2 egg whites

100 grams sugar

125 grams softened butter

100 grams chocolate

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Start by beating the egg whites with the sugar over bain marie. Whisk them until reaching 65 degrees C or until the sugar melted and the mixture is warm.

Remove from the heat and whip until fluffy and cool. Slowly add the softened butter. Meanwhile melt the chocolate over bain marie and allow it to cool to room temperature. Add the cooled chocolate and the vanilla extract to the butter mixture. Mix well, making sure the chocolate is well incorporated.

Pipe the buttercream over the cupcakes.

Apple pie – the flavours of fall

Fall is back in town, amazingly it has a nicer face than the summer had this year in the northern part of Europe. The days are shorter, but the sun is shinning a bit more than it did it for the past months. Well, I am not trying to write a weather report, but just to get into an autumn atmosphere. But despite its pitfalls, the autumn is a great season in terms of food and of flavour richness. It is a bit like an old wise person – saw it all and now is ready to share the knowledge. The fall produce is usually a bit more heavy, it takes a bit longer to understand its “wise-ness”, just think about pumpkins, apples, pears, quince, figs, beetroot. You don’t get that jumping for joy taste, but a bit more down to earth aromas and flavours.

And to celebrate the beginning of fall, I made some apple pie – thus filling the house with rich cinnamon, vanilla and fresh pastry flavours .

apple pie

serves 4


350 grams flour

225 cold butter

30 grams sugar

60 ml ice water

1 pinch of salt, vanilla

Cut the butter in small cubes. Combine the flour, salt, sugar and vanilla.   Add the butter and water and mix until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough, otherwise the pastry will become hard, rather than nice and crispy. Cover it in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes – 1 hour.

Apple filling

5 apples

4 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

30 grams butter

2 tablespoons cognac

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 vanilla beans

Peel the apples and cut them in cubes. Melt the butter over low heat, in a medium saucepan. Add the apples, the sugar, cinnamon, vanilla. Cook until the sugar is melted, for about 5 minutes. Add the cornstarch and mix well. When the apples are cooked (do not overcook), sprinkle the cognac over the apples and flambe it. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

To assemble the pies, roll out the pastry (3 mm thick) and fit it in tart tins. Fill up the tarts with the apple mixture and seal them with another sheath of rolled out dough, closing the edgesproperly. Brush the top of the tarts with egg wash.

Bake the pies in a preheated oven at 180C for 40 minutes or until they become golden and the pastry is cooked through. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

placinta de mere

  • 350 grame faina
  • 225 grame unt rece
  • 30 grame zahar
  • 60 ml apa rece
  • un praf sare
  • vanilie

Umplutura de mere

  • 5 mere
  • 4 linguri zahar
  • jumatate lingurita scortisoara
  • 30 grame unt
  • 2 linguri cognac
  • 1 lingura amidon
  • vanilie

Se taie untul in cuburi mici. Intr-un vas se combina faina, sarea, zaharul si vanilia. Se adauda untul si se amesteca pana cand untul se amesteca relativ omogen cu faina. se adauga apa rece, astfel incat aluatul sa devina compact si relativ omogen. Nu framantati aluatul foarte mult, astfel baza tartei devine ff tare. Acoperiti cu folie de plastic si lasati aluatul sa se odihneasca la frigider o ora.

Curatati merele si taiati-le in cubulete. Topiti untul pe foc mic, intr-o tigaie de marime medie.Adaugati merele, zaharul, scortisoara si vanilia. Gatiti pana cand zaharul se topeste, apoi adaugati amidonul. Adaugati cognacul peste mere si flambati-l pana alcoolul se dizolva. Lasati merele sa se raceasca.

Asamblati prin a intinde aluatul pana ajunge la o grosime de 3 mm. Se aseaza in formele de tarta, se umple tarta cu umplutura de mere. Deasupra se aseaza o foaie de aluat , ca un capac.

Coaceti la 180 de grade pentru 30 de minute sau pana cand tarta capata o culoare aramie.