Birthday Marble Cake

It was my birthday on Monday. Another year older, and this year has been, well, a lot quieter than the last one in some ways. But aside from the fact that I’m at that point where you really don’t want to get any older, I’m kinda glad we’re getting to the end of 2015.

I’m spending the week before and after Christmas away from home, at my parents in Hervey Bay. And very much enjoying having a much bigger kitchen to play in, even if I am missing my Kitchenaid almost as much as I miss my husband who doesn’t arrive until VERY LATE Christmas Eve. He can’t be too late though, because he has my Christmas present!

This is the cake I made for my and my twin sisters birthday. I found the recipe through Pinterest, and like a lot of things you find in Pinterest, the recipe was deceiving. To my eye, things were in the wrong order, and the instructions were a bit vague and abstract. So I’m not sharing the actual recipe because I don’t want you to fall down the same rabbithole.

When I’ve had a chance (and Christmas week is NOT the time for experimentation) I’ll work out the kinks and post it.

In the meantime, its a Chocolate and Peanut Butter marble cake, with a Peanut Butter Ganache Icing and Chocolate Drizzle. Its probably one of my ugliest cakes. But, version 2 will be better, with the kinks firmly ironed out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Its just a little crush

I have a girl crush. It’s true, I even told my husband about it (and my sister, my friends at work, pretty much anyone who’ll listen really). While my adorable niece was napping during my babysitting stint, I discovered Rachel Khoo and her little Paris kitchen.

I watched the first three episodes of the first season and I was in love. Her bright red lipstick, polka dot dresses, and her attitude in that tiny tiny kitchen were like a life affirming slap in the face. I wear red lipstick (not everyday granted), and have a growing collection of polka dot dresses and my kitchen IS MUCH BIGGER. Sadly I think we’re about on par for bench space though.

But it has encouraged me not to use my kitchen as an excuse not to try something. And while we’re enjoying a break in the relentless humidity I’m taking my inspiration from her and making a quiche. Not a quiche lorraine though, because I have some things to use up.

I had a quick look around the interweb for some shortcrust pastry recipes, and in the end went with the recipe from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking…..but not the method (blasphemous I know!). I really did just put everything except the water into the food processor and blitz it, then slowly added the water. When I tipped it out onto the cling wrap I realised the butter wasn’t as combined as I’d hoped.

I was valiantly hopeful that it wouldn’t matter. It probably didn’t….until after frying off some red onion and bacon and popping the oven on to preheat I realised that my kitchen was now too hot for pastry. I tried to roll it out….but it stuck to my baking paper, and was really more like a pastry spread. Much like what happened last time I just made the most of it, and spread it into my tin, the popped it into the oven for 10minutes.

My filling was red onion, bacon, a mixture of eggs and buttermilk, nutmeg, salt, pepper and then asparagus and a sprinkling of feta.

It made a very nice dinner for us, once I’d calmed down and gotten over my second pastry fail in a row (hey at least it was still edible). But my big takeaway right now is, if like me you live somewhere that is crazy hot and humid for a portion of the year, BUY pastry for that season, don’t try to make it. You’ll just end up frustrated and disappointed.

We had leftovers for a late lunch with a scoop of tomato relish. Now that was VERY nice.