Archives for category: Food and cooking

Hi all:

As you know I’ve started NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I promised you I’d be taking blogging easy and reblogging or reposting some old posts, but before that, I had some things pending that I tried to fit in (yes, I pre-program some posts).

As people seemed quite keen on the recipe I shared for Créme Catalane, I decided to leave you another one of the recipes I share in my book I Love Your Cupcakes, this time a good old-fashioned cake. This one I’ve actually baked myself, although some time ago, and the recipe I used is slightly different to this one, but I must say this one looks awesome:

Still from the film Julie & Julia that I recommend, especially if you're a foodie and a blogger

Still from the film Julie & Julia that I recommend, especially if you’re a foodie and a blogger

Reine de Saba

(Chocolate and Almond Cake)

Yield: One 8-inch cake

Recipe by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking

For the Cake:

4 ounces or squares semi-sweet Chocolate

2 tablespoons of Rum

4 ounces softened butter

⅔ cup granulated sugar

3 egg yolks

3 egg whites

¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

⅔ cup pulverized almonds or 1 cup of almonds to pulverize

¼ tsp almond extract

For the Glaçae au Chocolat (Chocolate-Butter Icing):

2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate

2 tablespoons of Rum

5 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup cake flour (scooped and leveled) turned into a sifter

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter and flour the cake pan.
  2. Set the chocolate and rum in a small pan with a tight cover, and place (off heat) in a larger pan of almost simmering water; let melt while you proceed with the recipe. Measure out the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Pulverize your almonds in your food processor, about a cup. Add a tablespoon of sugar to avoid the almond oils to lump up.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes until they form a pale yellow, fluffy mixture.
  5. Beat in the egg yolks until well blended.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt  until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.
  7. With a rubber spatula, blend the melted chocolate into the butter and sugar mixture, then stir in almonds, and almond extract.
  8. Immediately stir one-fourth of the beaten egg whites to lighten the batter.
  9. Delicately fold in a third of the remaining whites and when partially blended, sift on one-third of the flour and continue folding. Alternate rapidly with more egg whites and more flour until all egg whites and flour are incorporated.
  10. Turn the batter into the cake pan, pushing the batter up to its rim with a rubber spatula. Bake in middle level of preheated oven for about 25 minutes.
  11. Cake is done when it has puffed, and  2½ to 3 inches around the circumference are set so that a needle plunged into that area comes out clean; the center should move slightly if the pan is shaken, and a needle comes out oily.
  12. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run knife around the edge of the pan, and reverse cake on the rack.
  13. Allow it to cool for an hour or two; it must be thoroughly cold if it is to be iced.
  14. For the Icing, place the chocolate and rum in the small pan, cover, and set in the larger pan of almost simmering water.
  15. Remove pans from heat and let chocolate melt for 5 minutes or so, until perfectly smooth.
  16. Lift chocolate pan out of the hot water, and beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time with the help of a rubber spatula. If the mixture starts to cool off too fast, place the chocolate pan again in hot water and beat in the butter until it fully incorporates.
  17. Then beat over the ice and water until chocolate mixture has cooled to spreading consistency. This will take about 3 minutes.
  18. At once spread it over your cake with spatula or knife, and press a design of almonds over the icing.

Notes:

  • You can replace the rum for coffee: 1 tablespoon of instant coffee dissolved in 2 tablespoons of boiling water.

http://www.thefoodieskitchen.com/en/2013/02/reine-de-saba-chocolate-and-almond-cake/ (downloaded in June 2014)

Here I leave you a link of Julia Child baking the Queen of Sheba Cake. I must admit the version I have baked myself had neither coffee nor rum and it did not add any frosting, although her version looks Amazing! (And if you’ve never watched the movie Julie & Julia I can’t recommend it highly enough, especially if you’re interested in cooking and blogging.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8clrnFM3Ys (it was working at the time of publishing my book in September 2014)

This one from wildcranberryhookedrugs-wordpress-com looks much more like mine

This one from wildcranberryhookedrugs.wordpress.com looks much more like mine

As you can see from my blog (and thanks to Sarah Vernon from whom I “borrowed” the icon for award free blog. Don’t miss the chance to check her fabulous blog First Night Design) I’m an award free blog. For a variety of reasons. A bit over a year ago there were so many awards making the rounds that I could no longer find people who had the time to keep the chain going or to comply with some of the requirements, and I felt I was spending more time doing that than actually blogging. I wanted to focus more on may writing so I decided (after seeing what great friend and blogger Teagan Geneviene did), to do regular posts sharing some of the blogs I’d come across that I thought might be of interest to some of my readers.

Net World Network Image courtesy of Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Net World Network Image courtesy of Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So far I had only done a couple of these posts and kept a list going. The list is getting quite long now, and in the last few weeks I’ve been nominated for a number of awards. Although I’m not going to follow the rules (sorry, I’m award free), I wanted to thank Jo Robinson (who was on my next list and you must visit as she’s extremely entertaining in showing us life on the wild side, and she’s tremendously generous with her advise on writing, interviews and has joined a team doing great job to promote other writers, that now I’m a part of too, although not very active until after November), Lord David Prosser (a gentleman who shares his life, writings, reblogs and interviews his fellow authors, actually, me just last week) and Elaine Canham (who makes me laugh often when she shares funny stuff, and can write about the trade, about a bus trip, or reflect incisively on everyday life, and who was also in my list of new blogs to recommend) for their nominations. Do check them out, they’re amazing.

And here I leave you some other blogs I’ve discovered recently and I hope you enjoy too (if you haven’t met them yet):

Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life (Sally Cronin’s blog: great blog full of information on health related topics, personal experiences, special features like the Sunday interviews, where Sally interviews writers, artists, musicians, and she’s also fabulous at discovering and sharing other people’s blogs. She reblogs fabulous content too and I rely on her to keep me up to date with great content I might not have come across. Unmissable!)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/

Cyndy Noke (pictures, books… Cyndy keeps making me add to my long list of places to visit. She has a wandering heart and itchy feet!)

http://cindyknoke.com/

Inesemj Photography (photography with a wonderful eye for spots and places you would not have thought about, Irish themes, and wonderful and interesting information, including tips on photography)

http://inesemjphotography.com/

Janet Weight Reed (artist who shares her work and experiences related to art. I love her love of colour and her hummingbirds! And don’t miss her posts on her process of creation and her videos. And she’s even gone where no other people do, and read my cupcake book and left me a wonderful review. Thank you Janet!)

http://jcrhumming.wordpress.com/

Confessions of a writer (James Naith. Just go on and check)

http://jamessnaith.wordpress.com/

Ronovan Writes (Ronovan not only interviews other authors, and thanks for the wonderful interview, Ronovan!, but also offers his advice and experience in promoting others. He has teamed up with our friend Jo Robinson and keeps building up a group of people invested in promoting writers. Yes, he’s also decided I might be able to help with reviews and other content.He bogs his own content but shares most advice for writers in this great resource. Do not miss!)

http://litworldinterviews.wordpress.com

Chronic Conditions and Life Lessons (Kim Goselin. I met Kim through Sally Cronin and she’s one of a group of bloggers who regularly meet in Twitter and we keep each other going. I hope we can all make it in person one day.)

http://kimgosselinblog.com/

Cate Russell-Cole (I’ve know Cate for quite a while now but she had to take a bit of a break from blogging. Now she’s back offering comprehensive advice on writing, sharing any useful information she comes across and also taking part in NaNoWriMo. We’re writing buddies, so she’s having a bit of a breather in November, but go and check all of her advice. Go Cate!):

http://cateartios.wordpress.com/

 

Billy Ray Chitwood (he has quite a few blogs going, but he’s a prolific writer and juggles them very well. I appreciate his reflections on life, love his very short fiction, and recommend that you check the comments too, as recently he even offered us a masterful rendition of a song in the best crooner style):

http://www.thefinalcurtain1.wordpress.com

http://www.billyraychitwood.weebly.com

 

C-Dog and Company (Because dogs and cats are family…) by Debra Levy. (I started reading her posts about her pets but it didn’t take me long to realise the whole universe meets there):

http://cdogco.com/

Aquileana (I reccomend this blog especially if you enjoy Mythology, Philosophy and the Classics. Exquisite taste in choosing classics and gorgeous images and art works to illustrate the stories). The blogs are in Spanish and English so if you want to practice…

https://aquileana.wordpress.com/

I’ll keep noting down blogs, because there are so many great bloggers around I think this will go on, and on…

Ah, I did promise I’d do the workplace/writing place blog (thanks Jo) but due to my current circumstances it might be a while, but if anybody wants to take it up and show us (pictures are more than welcome) their writing place, consider yourself nominated!

And just in case you didn’t come across my two previous post about blogs to check, here are the links:

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/blogs-i-follow-come-and-have-a-look-today-blogs-on-writing-and-personal-blogs/

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/and-more-great-blogs-10-best-insight-technology-photography/

As an aside, I Love Your Cupcakes is now available in paper. Anybody needs any presents?

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

 

Thanks to all of you for reading, to the fantastic bloggers for visiting, to my friends and fellow bloggers for the nominations, and you know, like, share, comment, and of course, CLICK!

 

Hi all:

As you’ll know if you follow my blog, recently I’ve published a romantic novel (I Love Your Cupcakes).

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret (cover by Lourdes Vidal)

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret (cover by Lourdes Vidal)

A big part of the action takes place during a TV cookery game show. Or, to be more precise, a baking contest. Last week I did mention some of the best known contests of this type (and even one of the winners), but my true inspiration came from watching sometimes (mostly when I went to visit my parents) a couple of programs, Cucake Wars and a reality TV program set in a Baltimore bakery, Charm City Cakes (the program is called Ace of Cakes and it is truly amazing).

I leave you links to the programs in case you fancy a peek:

Cupcake Wars:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/cupcake-wars.html/

Ace of Cakes:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/ace-of-cakes.html/

And this is the link to the shop itself:

http://charmcitycakes.com/

And as I don’t want you complaining that I’m only leaving you links, here is one of the recipes I share in the book (there aren’t many because it’s strictly a work of fiction and what the teams create during the contest has all come from my head…so beware!).

Crema catalana (cibo360)

Crema catalana (cibo360)

(Image from: http://www.cibo360.it/cucina/mondo/crema_catalana.htm)

Crème Catalane

Ingredients

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 200g sugar
  • 3/4 litre milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 piece of lemon peel
  • 3 tbsp corn flour

Steps:

  1. Beat the egg yolks until light then whisk in 150g of the sugar
  2. Place the milk in a saucepan together with the cinnamon and lemon peel – bring to the boil and then remove from the heat and strain.
  3. Whisk the milk with the egg mixture
  4. Dissolve the corn flour with a little milk and whisk into the mixture
  5. Place the mixture over a low heat and cook, stirring constantly until it begins to boil
  6. Put the custard into a pudding bowl or smaller individual bowls and allow to cool before placing in the fridge
  7. Before serving sprinkle a little sugar on top and caramelize it by placing under a hot grill briefly until the sugar melts and turns brown(or using a kitchen torch or an iron burner).

http://www.euroresidentes.com/euroresiuk/Recipies/desserts/crema-catalana.htm

Just in case you fancy more pictures, here is the link to my Pinterest board on cupcakes, sweets and other nice things:

http://www.pinterest.com/olganm7/food-ideas-for-pos-book/

And I also leave you a video I created (but I must warn you my style creation videos is…well, mine):

http://youtu.be/oGFcWLwoFfA

Thanks to you all for reading, to the various blogs for lending me their recipes, and if you’ve found it interesting, like, share, comment, and of course, get CLICKING!

Hi all:

If you’ve been reading me for a while, you’ll know that on Friday’s I bring you guest authors (classics or modern ones) and/or new books. As you know (because I won’t let you forget it!) I just published a romantic novel where a big part of the action takes place in a TV baking competition (I Love Your Cupcakes). As coincidence would have it (and don’t you love coincidences!), just about a week ago I was delighted when I discovered that one of my new followers in Twitter, Brian Emmett, was the winner of The American Baking Competition 2013.

(If you want to check out the program, here is the link:

http://www.cbs.com/shows/american-baking-competition/)

And I thought I had to grab the chance and introduce you to him:

Brian Emmett, winner of the American Baking Competition

Brian Emmett, winner of the American Baking Competition

Brian is a family man who spent (like many of us) part of his childhood watching and helping his mother and grandmother cook and he credits them with learning much of what he now knows.

According to his author page in Amazon:

Brian Emmett, the ultimate “foodie” and home entertainer, has been baking, cooking, serving, and designing the most unique culinary experiences for over twenty years. He was the 2013 season one winner of The American Baking Competition on CBS. He currently resides in Itasca, Illinois, with his wife and daughters, where he’s a principal at Our Marketing Works, LLC. Bake Off is his first cookbook.

Rather than tell you a lot about him, I think you’ll get a better sense of who this lovely man and fabulous cook is, by checking his sites (and don’t miss the videos of his appearances on TV!):

https://twitter.com/BrianEmmettBake

https://www.facebook.com/brianemmettbake

http://instagram.com/brianemmettbake

http://www.brianemmettbake.com/

Now, you know me too well and you must suspect there’s a book coming… Brian is preparing a book collecting some of his favourite recipes, and it is due next April, but you can pre-order it either directly from his site or here:

Bake Off: The American Baking Competition Cookbook (Kindle Edition)

Cook up some delicious, down-home goodness with this cookbook of more than seventy-five sweet and savory recipes from Brian Emmett, grand prize winner of CBS’s The American Baking Competition.In 2013, Brian Emmett burst onto the culinary scene with his charm, confidence, and superior baking and cooking skills on season one of The American Baking Competition. He won over the hearts of Americans nationwide, who watched this enthusiastic husband and father immerse himself in his passion—and, ultimately, take home the illustrious title of “Top Amateur Baker.”

Now, in Bake Off, Brian shares over seventy-five recipes that leave no doubt as to why he was crowned champion on the show. This cookbook encompasses a hearty mixture of The American Baking Competition favorites, brand-new concoctions, and Emmett family recipes passed down through generations. Staying true to the show’s theme, there are plenty of sweets: From miniature tarts to his famous Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookie, Brian’s baked goods are sure to satisfy even the most demanding of sweet tooths. But Bake Off also features a strong savory element with classic, feel-good recipes such as Sunday Brunch Strada and Beef Chili with Buttermilk Cornbread.

So grab a spoon, America—Brian’s back, and he’s ready to dish!

You can pre-order the electronic version, here:

http://www.amazon.com/Bake-Off-American-Competition-Cookbook-ebook/dp/B00LD1MFEO

Or in paper, here:

http://www.amazon.com/Bake-Off-American-Competition-Cookbook/dp/1476772568/

I know this is a bit different, so many thanks for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment and CLICK! And of course, thanks to the fantastic Brian for his visit! I know I’ll follow him and his recipes. Will you?

(As an aside, if you live in the UK you’ll have heard of the Great British Bake-Off… Yes, that’s it!)

PS: Oh, and I’m looking for baking and cookery blogs, so if you follow some great ones, leave me the links in the comments! Thanks so much!

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