The Wimbledon tennis tournament is on now, and I am so excited! I used to watch the tennis matches regularly when we lived in England, and I vividly remember the competitive spirit and effervescent anticipation which always surround this event. To Brits, Wimbledon is more than just tennis: it’s a unique and exciting competition, a long-standing tradition, and a symbol of the great British summer. Now is the time for Brits to celebrate this season and its finest produce, from tender asparagus to rosy rhubarb, from delicate peas to crunchy cucumber and zucchini (“courgettes,” as they are called in England). Now, references to strawberries and cream (Wimbledon’s famous snack) can be found in all cooking shows and magazines – and for good reason. After all, strawberries are at their best during this period, so why not celebrate their majestic perfection and exquisite flavor?
There’s nothing that says spring like a cake. A vibrant cake, liberated from all the heavy toppings of the winter season, bursting with fresh fruit flavors, and lightly dressed in layers of whipped cream. There’s nothing overwhelming, nothing forced, nothing artificial with this cake. Spring shines through it and lets us know that warm weather is here – thankfully, to stay.
I don’t bake a lot during spring, but whenever I do, I like to make a light cake. It’s sort of an unspoken tradition in our house: my husband has never been a fan of heavy, buttery cake fillings, and whenever he gets a craving for something sweet, he asks me to make a fruit cake, and then pairs it with light whipped cream. Earlier this week, he wanted me to bake a cake. Thankfully, his request coincided with a great offer I had received from Hamilton Beach. As a Hamilton Beach Ambassador, I was asked to review two of their most popular products and to let my readers know what I thought of them. Hamilton Beach sent me a 6 speed stand mixer and a SoftScrape 6 speed hand mixer free of charge for me to review. All opinions expressed here are my own.
Update: This location has closed and the owners have moved to Michigan.
I drove to Beijo de Chocolat on a cold and rainy evening, after a busy day at work and very little sleep the previous few nights. I was upset with the weather which had long been testing my patience, and secretly wanted to be home, under a warm cosy blanket and cuddling a hot cup of cocoa. The allure of unique and well crafted chocolate flavors was hard to resist though, so I decided to honor Beijo de Chocolat’s invitation to “a night of chocolate and crêpes.” I wanted to experience their renowned chocolate craftsmanship first-hand – and I’m glad I made this decision.
It all started last week, when I bought some Granny Smith apples from the local grocery store. Initially I wanted to use them in a salad, but then I got very busy with work and school, and time flew by like in a dream. On the plus side, those extra few days gave me the chance to reflect more on my options, and in the end I changed my mind completely – for the better, I think. I decided that I should try to make a special cake – a cake that meant the world to me when I was a child: Méro.
Right before Christmas when I made mom’s spice cake I promised myself that I was going to make it again soon and add raisins to the ingredients list. I was curious and worried at the same time: curious to see if raisins worked well with all the spices in this cake, and worried that the quantity I’d estimated I needed to use (1 cup raisins) would be too much and would make the cake overly sweet.
I just love the taste of this brownie! I made brownies the other day, following a recipe which was shared with me by my mother-in-law. I took the pictures for this recipe with my phone. The photos are not top notch – yet, the flavor is there, and it’s fantastic.
I am a big fan of chocolate, and this brownie is everything I could ever want: moist and chocolatey, it satisfies my sweet tooth while also being big on flavor. The inclusion of the jam on the ingredients list is ingenious and adds extra moisture, and the bittersweet chocolate sauce is a personal favorite of mine.
I don’t know about you, but for me the holiday season means baking – a lot. I have found that there is something very satisfying and comforting in baking a cake, especially during the festive season. It relaxes me and it allows me to be creative and to show the others how much I care about them. Moreover, as I gather my ingredients, get my tools ready and butter and flour my baking pans, my mind journeys into the past and memories, some seemingly long forgotten, come back to life and to me. I think baking is a personal enterprise by definition. Whenever I bake I like to reflect on what that particular recipe means to me. I also like to think of the earliest recollection I have of baking that cake/those cookies. Despite my best intentions, sometimes the memories are scarce. Thankfully, on many occasions, there are plenty of things I remember. Such is the case with the cake I am going to write about today: my mom’s spice cake.