Thursday, 12 June 2014

HsB Dessert World Cup 2014

Today the FIFA World Cup 2014 has officially started! 
Whilst following the real games, taking place in Brazil, I will make my very own world cup of sweets: 
the HsB Dessert World Cup! 

For every real soccer team I have selected a dessert and as teams move on towards the finals I will also eliminate recipes. 
At the end I will bake the recipe of the winning country. 
So let the matches begin and may the best recipe win!


Group A
Brazil - brigadeiros
Mexico - churros
Camerun - banana and pineapple salad
Croatia - palacinke

Group B
Holland - stroopwafel
Chile - empolvados
Australia - lamington cake
Spain - crema catalana

Group C
Colombia - brazo de reina
Ivory Coast - 
Japan - green tea ice cream
Greece - galaktoboureko

Group D
Costa Rica - postre de tres leches
Italia - tiramisù
England - fruit cake
Uruguay - postre chajá

Group E
France - macarones
Switzerland - Toblerone mousse
Ecuador - espumillas
Hunduras  - rosquillas en miel

Group F
Argentina - alfajores
Iran - ranginak
Nigeria - puff puff
Bosnia Herzegovina - halva

Group G
Germany - Schwarzwälder Kirsch-Sahnetorte
Portugal - pasteys de nata
Ghana - accra banana peanut cake
USA - chocolate chips cookies

Group H
Belgium - waffles
Alegria - tamina
Russia - pavlova
South Korea - kkultarae

Monday, 9 June 2014

Pizzata esagerata

Dear readers,

you must know that anywhere I go I end up having to make pizza for the people I meet, since my talking about the blog and the baking ends up with people being curious and wanting to taste something.

Sooooo this Saturday we had an amazing pizza evening, hosted by me and my Neapolitan friend Alfredo. I made the dough, he made the tomato sauce, and his decent oven (not like mine) made the rest. We cooked for twelve people and made a total of five delicious pizzas: a classical margherita, a marinara, one with olives & mushrooms, a white one with potatoes and three cheeses, and one pizza "estiva" with rucola and cherry tomatoes. Unfortunately I could not photograph all pizzas because we were all so hungry and greedy that they did not last long... hahaha!

Alfredo and I like real professionals woke up and met early to go to the supermarket and start making the dough so it could grow, grow, grow until the evening. Then we waited for the hours to pass and went jogging and to the beach... after that we worked like real pizzaioli! There is not much left to say; it was a really nice evening, we had fun cooking, and it was nice to see all guests satisfied. Even if we were all full we could not stop eating... Yum!

This is Carlitos, a 65kg Dogue de Bordeaux simply adorable!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Bake fail


Can´t stop laughing about it! This week is the week of my first official monstrous baking failure. What happened? I tried to make a cake in Erasmus-student-kind-of-kitchen-conditions and it has proven to be a mission impossible. I started taking pictures because I thought it was actually funny, but I did not know I was going to photograph a war scenario...

I knew from the very beginning it could go bad, but never thought it was going to turn out this bad... First of all the kitchen of my shared flat is not equipped for the needs of a passionate pastry chef ;) It does not have adequate bowls, a spatula, a whisk, a scale, let´s not even mention an electric mixer... Whilst dreaming of my Kitchen Aid and of a soft and warm cake I decided to try anyways and I dragged into this moment of excitement also my flat mate Gabriela.

We started by "measuring" the quantities with an 250 gr. Nocilla glass; who knows what went wrong here... We continued by mixing all ingredients in a cracked, Chinese dragon bowl and as you can imagine eliminating all flour lumps with just a fork was kind of hard. In the absence of a real sifter, the best idea I had was to use the colander and this worked actually quite well.

Then the question was: how do we beat the egg whites? Well our grandmothers did not have electric whisks and they managed, so will we (we thought)! Actually Gabriela did a pretty good job with those. After the first 5 minutes of beating - with a fork! Remember we have no whisk! - she lost the sensibility of her arm and she managed to just keep going and going till the egg whites were pretty stiff.

Surprisingly enough there was/is a Pyrex dish which made me hopeful or actually confident in the good result of the whole operation...

Last but not least, the hint that should have made me realise this was never going to work is....... this amazingly professional oven that of course every baker uses..... to warm up croissants maybe, not for cakes :( hahahaha! Well you can just imagine the result. The cake did not grow of an inch, it got burned on the bottom and on the top, whilst the core remained liquid; not edible at all. As much as I hate to throw away food, this cake headed to bin right away, I was so disappointed that I did not even take a picture to show you.

I miss my oven, mixer, appliances, my 1000 cookie cutters, my shaped moulds, my muffin paper cases, my coloured sprinkles, my 10kg of flour kept in the freezer, everything. I am starting to feel the withdrawal symptoms. I need to bake!

Have a laugh, better recipes will be up soon
Tiny Hand With Heart