Eat more cake… damn!

I think, mankind doesn’t eat enough cake anymore.

And by cake I mean the good old-fashioned kind of cake. The one where you cut a piece, YOUR piece, off. The one you share with others. Possibly even while sitting around a table, having a meal with people you like, perhaps celebrating a special occasion.

(Carrie Bradshaw voice) Is it possible that the cupcake craze is a metaphor for what is going on in our society? That we are not willing to share anymore but want the whole cake just for ourselves? That we wanna grab our cake, schlep it to a place were we are all alone and gobble the whole thing down like a troglodyte?* After all, that’s what a cupcake is, right? Think about it..

However, I didn’t mean to write this post to share my deep, dark, bitter thoughts about the downfall of society and its reflection in cupcakes. My intention was to write about the beauty of birthday cakes and how happy the thought of it makes me!

YAY, it's a birthday!

YAY, to the sudden mood change!

I truly believe that certain occasions call for cake. Birthdays are such occasions. And weddings.

So, when I found out that my lovely friend Rebecca was celebrating her 65th birthday, I felt the sudden urge to bake her a cake ( it also made a good, long overdue new post). Of course I was fully unprepared, but by now I have some go-to recipes that always work and are fast and easy to make. I decided to make a quick chocolate cake with a peanut butter filling and some candied peanuts. Chances are, you have all necessary ingredients at home.

Of course, Rebecca never asked me for a cake. Maybe she doesn’t even want it. But that’s not my problem. She gets a freakin’ cake because it’s her effing birthday. Period.

And maybe, hopefully, she finds someone to sit down and share it with. That would make me really happy.

The cake dictatress (that’s moi) says:

SHARE YOUR CAKE, MAKE IT A BETTER PLACE! Period. Period.

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Oi!*

I know, I know, I was really lazy lately but that’s just because I was somehow busy with doing other things like doing tastings and working on my… aehmm … “business plan”.

Yep, you heard me right, I’m a business now (it’s still a far cry from actually having a business). I own everything an entrepreneur needs: Business license – check, Sellers Permit – check, Business account – check, no money – check (Hey, who needs money when you can have a cookie? Mo’ money, mo problems, right?) access to a commercial kitchen – check, business ideaS – check, check, check, business logo – in the making, business plan – oi…

Sooo, start ordering from me now – you know how to reach me!

The holidays are around the corner and that means dieting season is finally over!!!! Now is the time, to gain back all the pound you’ve lost during summer – preferable by eating wonderfully delicious pastries! You don’t want to freeze during winter time, do you?

And after all, someone has to pay my bills!

To give you an idea what I was doing lately, here are some picture of my latest work. Enjoy!

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*1) Oi (play /ɔɪ/) is an interjection used in British English to get the attention of another person or to express surprise or disapproval.

Pad Thai Popcorn

Don't let these spice-morsels fool you... this is not your average caramel corn!

Don’t let these spice-morsels fool you… this is not your average caramel corn!

This time, I’ll keep it short and sweet because I really, really have to deal with some other sh..enanigans.

Hmm, how to describe it best…? Can you imagine how it looks like when a really, really big-ass alien, with eight arms but only one eye and strongly impaired vision has a nervous breakdown in a kitchen?!

It looks bad. And of course, he and his eight arms didn’t stay to clean up. So, I have to do it.

Good thing, ALF-invasions sometimes also evoke brilliant new ideas. Like Pad Thai Popcorn.

That doesn’t make any sense to you?

You are absolutely right. But the Popcorn is still delicious. Continue reading

My new favorite Snack

Even though I had a really great, super active weekend, I still found time to prepare some treats for the Saturday night Kirtan at my yoga studio. “Pat, pat, pat” on my own shoulder… I know, I know, I am amazing!

Wrap, grab, go.

One of the items I made was a no-bake Power Bar. So far, my attempts to make a tasty Granola-Bar-like treat at home, ranged from “ughh” to “baaahh”. Honestly, that’s not surprising! Have you ever read the list of ingredients on one of these things? If you did, you shouldn’t want to eat them anymore. What makes most of these bars taste good, is a huge load of sugar often paired with a whole bunch of other obscure ingredients. Unfortunately, the few bars that don’t contain all that crap are usually the “bird food” kind of bars. So, when I found a recipe for Power Bars on Heidi Swanson’s site, I had to try it. Usually, she’s a guarantor for great recipes.

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My kitchen crush

Harold, my secret crush

Harold, my secret crush

I have a confession to make. I have a secret crush. His name is Harold. We first met a couple of years ago, when I was still back in culinary school, and he quickly became an important part of my life.

It was love at first sight. Suddenly, because of him, it all (well, a lot) made sense to me. He enlightened me on so many levels, I can’t think of living without him anymore. Every time I have a problem, he knows the answer. And usually, it’s actually pretty simple..

Good for you, dear readers, he doesn’t believe in exclusivity. Not, that he ever told me so, but for some reason I still know, that he wouldn’t want me to keep our relationship a secret any longer. I mean, look at him. Can these eyes lie?! So, ladies and gents, with no further ado, may I introduce you to Harold McGee.
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The big C

One of mother nature's biggest gifts to mankind - the big C

One of mother nature’s biggest gifts to mankind – the big C

I guess, this post was kind of unavoidable… So, let’s get over with it right now!

You know what they say about opinions, don’t you?

When it comes to the big C, this is so true. Everyone has one. There are mainly two schools: the crunchy, crispy, flat and the chewy, gooey, soft. And then, there are those who want a crunchy bite on the outside with a soft, gooey inside.

These are the eternal caviler. They will always know a place that offers a better chocolate chip cookie. Popular favorites are Levain Bakery, Jacques Torres, their mom’s kitchen or a friends mom’s (aunt’s, girl/boyfriend’s) kitchen. Especially with the latter, nostalgia plays an important part; chances are, it simply was the Tollhouse recipe from the backside of the Nestle bag and time blurred the memory. Chances are also, that, after blind-testing  that exact same cookie, they would tell you, they had a better one at exactly the place you got the test cookie from.
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Vegan Banana Chocolate Everything Cookie

The Barry White meets the Beatles kind of Cookie

The Barry White meets the Beatles kind of Cookie

After the epic Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookie failure, which I – by the way – still don’t understand, because they were seriously effing delicious, I decided to play it safe with my next attempt to impress M’s co-workers with my baking skills. And by safe I don’t mean safe in the sense of Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies (WHAT, the hell can you not like about the line-up of ingredients in this cookie? It’s like the Beatles-Rolling Stones – Barry White Combo under the Cookies… Barry White being the Bacon, Mick Jagger as the Chocolate Chip and the Beatles are the doughy glue that hold it all together), I mean safe as in “these cookies can’t do any harm to anyone” (except you have a severe gluten allergy or hate bananas, which, now that I think about it, already disqualifies them for a good amount of people, but whatever…). They are vegan, they are almost healthy but still yummy, have chocolate (if you want it) and are foolproof to make.

These cookies are  a little on the caky-er side (something I’ve noticed with other vegan cookies as well) but the good news is, that you can totally under-bake them since there’s nothing in it, that could cause any harm.
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When it rains, it pours

Sometimes, strange things happen. Or better: Things happen in a strange order. First it’s all Murphy’s law (Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong) and then suddenly it’s all Anti Murphy’s law… Ok, I’m being a little (a little lot) dramatic, but you get the point.

However, moving from New York to Los Angeles, not only left me with a broken heart and an awesome tan, but also with no job. “Well, that’s nothing new”, those of you who know me might say, and indeed, it isn’t, but this time it was a little different. A) I wasn’t planning on changing my career again (though, it did cross my mind), B) I expected LA to await me with wide open arms and C) very much related to B) I didn’t know the limitations of LA’s culinary scene yet. Put this in a tall glass with some ice, pour some water (tears or sweat are totally fine) on top, stir and voila, that’s my life. And yep, I am fully aware that this analogy sucks and didn’t make any sense…
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The weekly cookie

I heart cookies. I really do.  I like the crunchy ones just as much as the gooey ones and I don’t really prefer chewy, crumbly or chunky… it doesn’t matter to me. I like the simple yet versatile nature of them and I like that I can enjoy them at any time of the day because they never weigh me down like other desserts can. Actually, it’s the opposite, they are the perfect pick-me-up. But, of course, there are a few things I am not exactly crazy about.
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