Thursday 26 April 2012

Caramel & Pecan Sticky Buns

When a cooking magazine cover makes you do a double take from across the room (and upon closer examination far outshines the pouting cover models on display next to it)... you buy it. Such was the case with the April 2012 issue of Bon App├ętit. The cover boasts a close-up shot of a stunningly seductive caramel and pecan sticky bun that verges on the pornographic. I immediately bought the magazine and, yesterday afternoon, satiated my lust for this dessert. These sticky buns have it all:  buttery, flaky, soft dough that pulls apart; oozing honeyed caramel; roasted crunchy pecans; and a sweet cinnamon butter swirl.

Saturday 21 April 2012

NYC in Bites (with a Grand Aioli)

I love experiencing a city through its food - researching in advance, asking locals where the best places are,  or those happy accidents where you stumble upon a delicious place in a serendipitous way. I experienced a bit of all of the above last week while staying with my dear friend M. in Manhattan, and wanted to share the highlights with you. I tasted NYC's best cherry cheesecake; experienced country-style Chinese food; waited in line for free gourmet ice cream sandwiches; threw a dinner party with fresh produce from the local greenmarket and got converted to a Dough Brooklyn doughnut lover before ever having my first bite!

Friday 13 April 2012

Manhattan Floats in Manhattan

I find myself relaxing before dinner on a rooftop with friends at the southern tip of Manhattan, sipping rose, gazing north towards the city that has stimulated my appetite and my ambition since we first 'met' last year. I am here for a week over Easter - eager to experience the city, drink it all in and let it seduce me as it does: in small bites, chance encounters, glasses raised, and avenues traversed. Easter Sunday my friend M. and her husband were invited to an Easter dinner and, in true New York hospitality fashion, an extra chair for 'my friend from out of town' was added. I don't think it hurt that I was advertised as a food enthusiast who would gladly bring her famous homemade ricotta. I felt immediately welcomed into the fold of this assortment of friends. Nothing brings lawyers, writers, actors, musicians, and actuaries together quite like good food, prepared with love. And nothing cements new friendships quite like freeflowing wine, excellent cheese, and homemade Manhattan floats - cherry soda topped with a boozy bourbon ice cream, a sumptuous dollop of vermouth whipped cream and a cherry drunk on moonshine.

Thursday 5 April 2012

Heirloom Carrot Cake (Gluten-Free) with Creamy Coconut Milk Drizzle

Recently I’ve become enamored with vegetables. I can’t seem to get enough greens (kale and I are in a long-term relationship). What I love about vegetables is how they love you back when you eat them – skin glows, hair shines, energy abounds and life is digested with ease. A love affair with vegetables is the answer when balancing the equally-important occasional indulgence in buttery baked goods. I’ve been experimenting with incorporating vegetables and alternative grains into my baking. I've tried Dinner With Julie's black bean brownies, for instance, as well as Naturally Ella's pumpkin pie millet porridge. There are so many options available today to supplement or replace traditional ingredients without compromising on flavour. This Heirloom Carrot Cake is chock full of pleasantly plump raisins, golden-toasted walnuts, coconut and spice, all naturally sweetened with honey and topped with a creamy coconut milk drizzle.