Saturday, May 10, 2014

Lesson 6: apples and cake

- A beautiful plate with apple pastry - cinnamon ice cream - crumble
- Quatre Quart Cake and marbled cake (not worth showing, and for some reason I preferred my mum's recipe)
- Mini cakes

Lesson 5: caramel and puff pastry

I had been waiting for this one: pâte à choux! I had been dying to make my own éclairs and choux à la crème!
We learned how to make puff pastry. The key to the perfect balance between enough volume and enough color is to use half water half milk.
And we made caramel with salted butter!!!!! Amazing!
A beautiful dessert plate of caramel ice cream with crumble and apple salad.
And of course the art of the perfect Crème Caramel.

Lesson 4: crême brulée and bavarois

3 variations on crême brulée:
- vanilla
- coffee
- orange

3 variations on bavarois:
- tropical fruit jelly + tropical fruit bavarois + tropical fruit salad and coulis
- vanilla bavarois + chocolate bavarois + crumble
- raspberry jelly + lemon and basil bavarois + raspberry salad and coulis

Lesson 3: Ice Cream and Crispy Biscuits

First encounter with a "turbineuse" or an ice turbine. We made delicious creamy vanille ice cream.
To accompany this, we made 3 different type of biscuits: tuile, kletskop and sesame biscuit.

Lesson 1 & 2: little tartelettes

Lesson 1 of my "Dessert" class was all about crême anglaise, crême patissière and crême royale. Not really worth taking a picture, but super interesting because these are the bases for a lot of pastry recipes.

Lesson 2: we made 3 different little tartelettes.
1/  Pâte sablé with almond cream and baked fruit
2/ Pâte bretonne (yum yum) with crême royale and fresh fruit
2/ Pâte aux amandes with crême royale and fresh fruit


I also started experimenting with cakes.
This is what I've made so far:

1/ Tangerine Cake
This is actually a pudding that you're supposed to steam in the oven. The tangerine sirup on top is delicious and the cake is super moist. A big hit at the office (my guinea pigs)

2/ Lemon and Poppyseed Cake
One of my colleagues is from Serbia and was telling me about the cakes with poppyseed he was eating as a child in his home country. So I decided to make one with lemon. As it turns out, he remembered a cake with poppyseed and chocolate, so I will have to try that some other time.
This recipe comes from Rose Levy Beranbaum. The cake is also moistened by a lemon sirup. It is so fresh a delicious. Awesome.

3/ Maple & Caramelized Pecan Cake
A sweet recipe from Delia Smith, ideal for autumn and winter time.
Two layers of cake with a delicious mascarpone frosting with maple sirup and caramelized pecans.

4/ Iced Honey and Spiced Cake
Another recipe from Delia Smith. A spiced cake with honey icing. Jummie

5/ Really Really Dark Chocolate Cake
Man, this one was awesome to make. A chocolate cake with a chocolate sirup to make it darker and more moist. Wham Bam!

6/ White Chocolate Pound Cake
I tried this recipe because one of my colleagues sent it, as a request. I was alright, but I think the white chocolate flavor didn't really come through.

7/ Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Layered Cake
Awesome!!!! Another recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum. Four layers of thin chocolate cake, moistened with raspberry sirup and with raspberry chocolate ganache in between each layer and frosting. So delicate and powerful at the same time. The photo doesn't do the cake justice, because it really looked nice. I guess the lighting wasn't so good when I took the picture...

8/ Cake with Passion Fruit Curd and White Chocolate Frosting
Boy, do I love Rose Levy Beranbaum. Every recipe I try is just amazing!
Two layers of cake, moistened by passion fruit sirup, with a passion fruit curd in between, with white chocolate frosting on top and a swirl of passion fruit curd.
The bitterness of the passion fruit complimented very well with the sweetness of the white chocolate frosting. Very fresh.


Here's a couple of crazy, outrageous cakes I've made so far that kids (and adults) want to dive into :-)

1/ Chocolate Explosion M&M Fortress
Awesome idea. Bake a double recipe of a quatre quart with some cocoa powder. Slice it in half.
Spread some whipped cream with crushed M&M's on the first half.
Put the second half on top. Then cover the whole cake with cocoa butter cream.
Surround the cake with Kit Kat cookies. I used a cute little ribbon to tie the whole thing together, in case the buttercream would start to melt...
And top with loads of M&M's.
There you go. The Chocolate Explosion M&M Fortress.

2/ Maltezer Sheep
Bake a double recipe of a quatre quart with some cocoa powder. Slice it in half.
Spread some whipped cream with crushed Maltezers on the first half.
Put the second half on top. Then cover the whole cake with cocoa butter cream.
Arrange Maltezers on top of it, to look like a sheep.
Mold a sheep's head with marzipan or whatever is in your kitchen that could serve for this.
You could try the same, but with a marshmallow cream and little marshmallows to create a white sheep.

3/ Easter Bunny
I found the idea for the shape of this bunny via Pinterest. And the recipe for the cake on Martha Stewart's website.
So bake the fabulous recipe of the Hummingbird Cake. Next time, I will bake half the recipe because it was to big and my bunny turned out to be very fat :-(
Then make some Orange & Ginger Buttercream to frost this baby.
And use coconut flakes to get the fluffy coat of my Easter Bunny.
Decorate with Easter colored pastel M&M's.

4/ Bicycle Cupcakes
As my colleagues and I would go on a team building activity together, a "wielertoerist" tour in the hilly Oudenaarde, I decided to make cute and energizing cupcakes for each team.
The cupcakes are a variation on my apple & pecan muffins. They are filled with dried fruits and pecans. Topped with fondant, I drew a little bicycle on each one, with the color of every team.


There are two things I've always wanted to make: Gentse Mastellen en Scones.

1/ Gentse Mastellen
This little sweet bun loaded with cinnamon is a traditional recipe from my home town, Ghent. My great grandmother loved to have her mastel on Sunday for breakfast.
You can eat it as such, or cut it in half, spread some butter and brown sugar, and then put it under a hot iron! Sooooo jummie.
I've tried the recipe from "Bloch" and it was a big flop. The ratios are not OK, the dough is to wet.
But the recipe from "Ons Bakboek" (Boerinnenbond) is perfect.

2/ Scones
The ultimate British scone! Jummie
I tried the recipe from "Bloch" and again a flop. The ratios are good. But you should never ever top scones with an eggwash. And the baking time was to long.
The recipe from Delia Smith "Cakes" however is perfect. Just double the amounts because it only bakes 6 scones...


So here's the first couple of experiments I did with cheesecakes.

1/ The Ultimate Classic Cheesecake
The ultimate cheesecake! It's a lot more work than the regular recipe where you whisk everything in a bowl and than bake everything for an hour. Nope, you have to make a curd and italian meringue. It's almost like a chemistry lab type of job. But it's soooo worth it!
The cookie base is half digestives and half spekuloos.
The cream cheese mixture is vanilla and lemon.

2/ Pumpkin Cheesecake
Soo jummie! A variation on the Ultimate Classic Cheesecake
The cookie base is with gingersnaps.
The filling is with pumpkin and cinnamon.
Can be topped with roasted pecans.
I'm dying to try the same recipe, but with a crême brulée type topping (caramelized crust)

3/ Nutella Cheesecake
Same thing, but different. The Nutella flavor is very subtle and next time I will add a little bit of salt...
The cookie base is with mikado cookies.
The filling is Nutella of course.

4/ Ispahan Cheesecake
The best recipe so far!
Inspired by Pierre Hermé, the French patissier, who combined raspberries, lychees and rose flavor, and called it Ispahan. This cheesecake is soooo fresh and refined! It's a winner!
The cookie base is biscuits de Reims.
The filling is with 40% raspberries 60% lychee and rose sirup.

Patisserie Virginie

It's been ages since I posted something on my blog. But I'm going to give it a shot.
In november last year, a friend of mine challenged me to make the best cheesecake ever (it should be at least as good as the one from Julie's House in Ghent). After a long search on internet, I found the ultimate recipe! Julie tasted it, loved it and asked if we couldn't work together on developing new recipes. That's how I decided on the 1st of January 2014, as a New Year's resolution, to 1/ try a new recipe every week and 2/ enroll for a Patisserie class.
Every Sunday, I try a least one new recipe and every Thursday I take an amazing class in the CVO, called "Desserts". My teacher, Mia Ackaert, is absolutely amazing. She is so passionate and explains everything like it's a science class. I love it!!!
For inspiration, I took a trip to Paris, to the fabulous shop of Ladurée and bought these...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New quotes

I love you with all my butt.
I would say heart, but my butt is bigger.

I'm not fat.
I'm just easy to see.

Age doesn't matter.
Unless your a cheese.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


I made this cute and jummie cupcake to thank Anne P for taking me around in Antwerp to find the perfect dress for my sister's wedding.

Cross stitching for a friend

I made this for Mary's 60th birthday.

Some nice quotes

Make tea, not war.

You can't buy happiness
But you can buy chocolate
And that's kind of the same thing.

Don't put the key to your happiness
in someone else's pocket.

If life gives you lemons
Make lemonpie.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Prince Charming

Do you think that if I kiss him, Prince Charming will appear? This one is for Fabulous Fab, one of my friends.


I made these delicious cherries to cheer my sister up before going to the hospital.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Handsome boy

Look how happy Cezar is in his new summer outfit! I found the pattern in an old, vintage magazine filled with cute baby knitware.

Sleeping Bag for Cezar

I made this cute sleeping bag for little Cezar, to keep him warm during the cold winter nights... It can be used recto-verso, but my sister prefered the white side. I love the egg shape.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cesar is born

Look at this cutie!!!! Doesn't he look like a happy little boy with the gift I gave him? By the way, this is my newborn nephew Cesar, the most handsome boy on the earth. And the smartest ;-)

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Spring Carrots

Aren't these little spring carrots just adorable? This a birthday present for my godmother, who's a amateur gardner and a great cook. They just fit in perfectly in her vegetable and herb garden.

Super Dry Dude

Meet the Super Dry Dude.
When my brother first found out that I was knitting and crocheting, he made fun of me and said I was just a big geek. But when he saw my Mr Moustache puppets, he quickly changed his mind and asked me if I could make one for him. But not any amigurumi, I had to think really hard and create a special one for him...
So this is the Super Dry Dude, with the colors of Super Dry, the brand he represents, and with a motor helmet, his big passion.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

My labels

Yes! My new labels finally arrived! The only problem is that my amigurumi dolls are usually to small to have a label on them...


This is Clara, a colorfull variation on my Miss Kitty Cat. My friend Marie Gabrielle just gave birth to a little girl, Clara, and I'm going over to meet her this week. The photo below are my try-outs to find the perfect little flower to top her head.

Beautiful weekend

This weekend the sun finally decided to come out and made me hope for spring. Aren't my orchids just gorgeous? There's nothing like a little sunshine to charge your batteries.


This smiling little dude is Emiko, my japanese recto-verso amigurumi animal.
He just makes me smile :-)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Candy Ass

Finally some crafting for myself! I really loved doing the cross stitching for Siska and I wanted some inspirational quote, a mantra, for myself. So I did "Candy Ass". It's supposed to inspire me to lose wheight and at the same time to be proud of my curves. It's a girl power thing.

Shopping in Paris part 2

I also discovered in the same shop these two fantastic cushions. They remind me of Alice in Wonderland and really reflect me, myself and I. And they fit perfectly on my two frog chairs (crapaud).