Monday, 28 November 2011

No Cake Please It's My Double Birthday!

Mrs Mulford's Croquembouche - Sugar Spun Caramel Choux
What no cake? Has Marie Antoinette left the building? It was my birthday and my Foodbuzz birthday this November. I decided to combine the two in this blog and do something a little instead of you seeing a round up of my recipes, I thought it would make a change for you see what I actually made from your blogs. And what did I eat for my birthday?
Eric and his Croquembouche

A croquembouche, a wonderful tall tower of light choux pastry; I filled mine with alternate layers of bittersweet chocolate cream and whipped cream, then sweetened the outside with drops of caramel and spun sugar. I used the  choux recipe from Eric Lanlard's Glamour Cakes which I prefer. The online version by Eric for Delicious Magazine  is different but I left the link for you to see. Eric is a very successful chef and we are very lucky to have lured him over to the UK. The best tip in the book; make the caramel in two batches.

Speaking of tips and recipes, I need to say a big 'THANKYOU' to my Foodbuzz friends and list the blogs that I actually baked, even if that meant going on line to get a speciality ingredient or measuring in cups!
I cook at least once a month from Foodbuzz recipes and I find myself using internet recipes more and more, even though I still love my books. Some of the personal stories behind some of the recipes have been sometimes funny, other times heart wrenching and I find myself listening to you.
A birthday card from my sister, is that really me?

So another year older and  here's my 'Big Thank You Blogroll' to the following Foodbuddies from Foodbuzz who inspired me to cook something from their country :

1. Citrakale aka Citra in Turkey. Thank you Citra, I have made this just with mushrooms and also spinach and cheese, now a regular favourite here; Tavuk Mantarlı börek (Chicken Mushrooms Pastry) .

2. Cake Duchess aka Lora in South Florida, USA. Thank you Lora, your whole site is a wonderful cornucopia of temptation and since we don't have these in the UK I had to make Gooey Sticky Cinnamon Buns .

3. Gastronaut Adventures aka Gunnar in Sweden. Thank you Gunnar, I had forgotten how good and easy it is to make real fruit curds and I had to follow you on the Masterchef show, brave man; Lemon and Lime Curd.

4. Amybites aka Amy in Chicago, USA. Thank you Amy for making my addiction to butterbeer worse or should we all be blaming JK Rowling? No, of course not! I was in a real hurry to make these and it was worth every bite; Butterbeer Cupcakes .

5. Dream of Cakes aka Eftychia in Limassol, Cyprus. Thank you Eftychia for sharing all your delicious cakes and sugar craft. What I also enjoy, are your traditional Cypriot recipes especially these very tasty shoes which I made with ground pork ! Papoutsakia .

And it took two people to tempt me into baking macarons:

5. Mad about Macarons aka Jill in Paris, France. Thank you Jill for your ravishing photos of Paris, increasing my envy levels as you enter another hallowed patisserie and generally hitting every taste bud receptor with your lovely flavour combos; To Orange Blossom and Paris Lovers .

6. Eat Live Travel Write aka Mardi in Toronto, Canada. Thank you Mardi for Macarons - Some Tips and Tricks which finally pushed me over the edge to Macaron Home Heaven. Mardi, where do you get all your energy from?

7. Our Adventures in Japan aka Kat and Satoshi in Osaka, Japan. Thank you to Kat and Satoshi for all your lovely recipes. I have gradually acquired many Japanese ingredients over this year but things like fresh daikon are a rare find in the UK but this is such a  tasty and quick recipe: Daikon wrapped Pork

8. The Little Foodie aka Mariko in Hawaii. Thank you Mariko for sharing this lovely family post and now I know what Lilikoi curd  is when I visit Hawaii some time soon ( ;-D ) Sunrise Layer Cake

9. A Culinary Journey with Chef Denis aka Chef Dennis. Thank you Chef for being such a brilliant Foodbuzz ambassador and putting up with some many women in your life! Can't be a bad job after all.....>< Anyway amongst your many lovely dishes  I made Roasted Branzino - Sea Bass. Sea bass is one of my favourite restaurant fish dishes and I guess I was just lazy about cooking it at home, now a firm home favourite, thank you.

10. Sage Trifle via the Hendersonville/Carolina Epicurean aka Rocquie in NW  Carolina,    USA.  Thank you Rocquie, I love food history even the relatively recent stuff and I was really pleased to make this for a valentines dance this year and it was very popular too; Orange Kiss Me Cake .

11. In the Kitchen with Kath aka Kath (and Bob!) in Seattle, USA. Thank you Kath there was just something about your pie..sigh...Blueberry Pie. Blueberries are now readily available in our supermarkets in the UK . Traditionally blackberry and apple were more commonly used here but they have been elbowed out of the way by this pie and the juicier the better. I could cut into that pie crust right now...

And finally:

12. Cakewalker aka Brooks. Thank you Brooks for all your lovely cakes and sugar craft but what I really wanted were your Brown Sugar Burger Buns!  In fact, we didn't put burgers in ours; we just had them with bacon, lettuce and tomato and the rest with lovely fresh butter. I have been trying lots of different breads this year and learning that US flour and other countries flours are not all the same and so yielding different results. This was the first time I had used brown sugar in bread making and there was a nice change to taste. Thank you for the inspiration and it was so much fun watching you and rooting for you in the competition too. Happy baking, my friend.

There are many more waiting on the saved list that I couldn't mention here but it has been a very interesting and tasty year.