Quatre-quarts with Berries and a Lemon Drizzle

What do you do when you have an overload of berries that are threatening to go bad? Right, you bake! Or at least, that’s what I do. I bought blueberries on sale at the supermarket, but they were kind of mushy and disappointing, which made them perfect to put in a cake. Somehow, blueberries completely transform when they bake – both in taste and flavour. I also had a bowl full of fresh red currants from my parents’ garden, so I figured I’d throw some of those in, too.

At first, I didn’t really know what to bake – the first thing that came to mind were muffins, but that seemed kind of boring, since that’s pretty much always my go-to for when I have leftover fruit. Then I remembered this cake I baked years ago – a french cake called a quatre-quarts, only back then I used a whole lot of apples instead of berries. Turns out, a quatre-quarts is pretty much just a pound cake or a sponge. Who’d have thunk!

I also added a lemon drizzle to this cake, because lemon drizzles make everything better. It’s a fact. The cake turned out absolutely scrumptious – definitely a good one to have added to my repertoire! The fresh berries and lemon-y taste make it a perfect summer treat.

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Chocolate Brownie and Orange Tart (with hazelnuts)

Back in 2015 I baked an absolutely delicious chocolate brownie and raspberry tart for my birthday. It was a huge success, and not that difficult – despite it having quite a few steps. This tart right here is a variation on that one – I used orange instead of raspberry and added some more hazelnuts to the equation.

It looks a tiny bit less appealing than the raspberry one because the orange coulis almost looks a little green (it isn’t; that’s just the brownie shining through), but it tastes just as delicious – or perhaps even a little better! I adore the combination of orange and chocolate, and the hazelnuts lift it up even more. I roasted these in the oven for a few minutes – that makes them taste even yummier. If you’re not a fan of nuts, however, you can easily leave them out.

I’m still having some trouble getting back into blogging and reading, which bums me out a little. I’m going to keep trying, though! I really love this blog and this community, and I definitely want to keep it all going.

Also, an exciting life update: I found a job! At a book store! It’s only a part time gig as an on call employee person thingy (and not yet enough to live off of) but it’s perfect for me. I had my first couple of days last week and it’s even more fun than I imagined it would be. Perhaps I’ll do a life update post soon to tell you all a bit more about what’s been going on with me post university. But first, let’s get to the recipe!

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Bonbons and Meringues

… or “that time when I jumped around the kitchen with glee”. But that’s a bit too long for a title, isn’t it?

Basically, this post is me bragging about making pretty things, because man, did I feel on top of the world when these didn’t fail but were in fact a pretty big success!

I mean, I tempered chocolate for the first time and didn’t screw it up. That’s big, you guys. That’s really something. Which is not to say that the whole process went completely smoothly… My mother can attest to the fact that it was a hectic mess. But it worked! The only thing I’m a little bummed about is that the pictures didn’t turn out great – it was a cloudy day and it was already starting to get a little dark… And I’m not great with the photo-editing. But oh well, you win some, you lose some, eh?

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Blueberry and Mango Muffins

I haven’t really baked a lot lately, but the weekend before last I suddenly got the urge again. I didn’t feel like going to the supermarket, so I had to make do with what I had lying around. I’d completely forgotten about it, but I still had quite a lot of blueberries in my freezer, and also some frozen mango pieces from the last time I baked these mango blondies.

Muffins are kind of my go to baked goodies for when I want to whip up something delicious but easy, and that’s how this blueberry and mango muffin recipe was born. I also added a little ginger to the recipe for a bit of extra flavour – but it’s a very subtle bit of extra flavour, so if you really love ginger you could a little more. I wouldn’t add more than 2 teaspoons of ginger in total, though.

Anyway, these were a definite success! My boyfriend (who hasn’t yet gotten used to my baking skills – which is nice) was kind of blown away by them (always a nice reaction to get), and my mother came over especially the next day to also taste them – and loved them as well. Turns out, mango, blueberry and ginger is an excellent combination!

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Meringues 2.0

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Those of you who’ve been following the blog for a while now might remember that back in the summer I tried my hand at baking meringues. They didn’t come out exactly as planned as I couldn’t get the egg whites to whip up stiff enough, but they looked pretty cute and tasted all right too, so it was a semi-success.

I vowed to try again, and when my parents got me a Kenwood stand mixer for my birthday in October, I was already excitedly planning another meringues-making session in my head. Didn’t actually get around to it until the day before Christmas, but isn’t that always how it goes. Cut to another 2,5 months later and here I am finally posting about it.

Anyway!

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Gingerbread Cookies

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I had a lovely day with my family, eating lots and lots of food – including these gingerbread cookies, which turned out to be a huge success. Definitely one to remember for next year!

I hadn’t expected to make quite as many cookies as I did – I’m pretty sure there were about 120 of them! Of course, they were quite small and not very thick, so that may have something to do with it. If I had actual gingerbread man cookie cutters there might not have been this many. Not that I’m complaining! They turned out to be delicious, and I had a lot of fun making them, especially once I got the hang of piping the icing.

This week is technically a week off, at least from my internship, but I’ll probably spend most of it working on my very last university project/assignment/thingy. January will be the last month of my internship and then I’m done with university… Out into the ‘real’ world I go – terrifying yet exciting! I do think I’ll have much more time to blog again, which is something I’m really looking forward to.

But first things first; let’s get to the recipe for these yummy cookies!

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Lemon and Ginger Chocolate Brownies

This weekend, I had one of those days where I was just completely exhausted and done with everything. I was wound up about a couple of different things, and as a result I kind of just broke down. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has days like that! In my experience, you just have to let it happen and try to be kind to yourself and do things that make you happy.

To me, that’s baking brownies.

I had the idea for these lemon and ginger brownies for a while now, ever since I first tasted what’s become a new favourite chocolate bar, which (unsurprisingly) featured … lemon and ginger. After tasting (and loving) that flavour combination I thought: “I’m sure that’d work amazing in a brownie.”

And I was right! These brownies may look like regular ol’ brownies (which are pretty freaking good as well), but they do indeed feature ground ginger and the zest of a lemon – it adds a great kick to an already delicious brownie!

Oh, and I’m feeling fine again, by the way. It must have been all that chocolate…

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Recipe: Rocky Horror Road

This week was Books Baking and Blogging’s third blogoversary! I didn’t pay any special attention to it on here on the day itself (the 28th) because even though I knew it was coming up, I still kind of forgot about it so I didn’t have anything planned. Plus, I didn’t have time to really come up with anything special anyway. However! I do want to thank you all so much for making this blogging thing so much fun! Three years is a long time and I’m really proud for sticking to something for this long (and still have fun with it!), but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without this fun community. So thanks, you guys!

Now, onto what you’re all here for! Last week, one of my friends hosted a film  night because he’d never seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show (and neither had I, by the way – loved it). Of course, I decided to bake something – because I always do for those film nights. Or in general, really. I came up with the perfect treat for this particular occasion: Rocky Road!

It was extra perfect because it’s quick and easy – and I unfortunately haven’t had a lot of time to bake recently. This rocky road only required some melting action and a bit of chopping and stirring and then it was all up to the fridge to do its thing. And the result was absolutely delicious!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

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Decadent Three-Layer Brownies

These brownies are more commonly known as “slutty brownies” but I don’t like that name, so I went for “decadent three-layer brownies” instead. It’s still the same type of brownie, though: a layer of cookie dough covered by a layer of Oreos covered by a layer of brownie.

I know.

They’re as good as they sound. Interestingly, though, they taste far more delicious when they’re completely cooled down than when they’re still warm, which is counter-intuitive to me, but hey. You live, you learn.

Although there are quite a few steps, these brownies are definitely easy to make. I simply combined two of my other recipes and threw in some Oreos in between. They’re very dense and heavy, though, so I cut these into rather small pieces. But I’m not here to judge: you do you.

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Banana and Blueberry Baby Bundt Cakes

Ah, the alliteration in this title tickles my language-loving heart. And it wasn’t even on purpose! Except for the “baby”. The original plan was “mini bundt”.

Anyway.

I’ve had a very productive weekend! I’ve been saying for months now that I want to redo the blog’s entire recipe index: I wanted to divide the index into categories and have a picture for every recipe instead of just a list of titles. And I finally did that this weekend! I’m pretty proud of how it turned out, I must say, so I’d love for you to take a look. While I was at it I also completely redid my About Me page, because when I read back what I wrote in 2013 I might have cringed a little bit.

And then there was this bake! Those of you who follow me on Twitter might remember that I bought a couple of mini bundt cake tins on sale a while ago, and I decided to use them for the first time this weekend. For the flavours I used the fruits I had lying around, namely banana, blueberry and lime. The lime isn’t in the title of this post, but it was already getting quite long, so I decided to sacrifice it. It happens. Plus, the whole “B”thing. You guys get it.

I whipped up these mini bundt cakes in no time, and apart from being freaking adorable they’re also really tasty! The glaze adds some lovely colour as well as moisture (I might have overbaked these a little) and it’s just a perfect little snack to go with a cup of tea. If you want to bake more than 6 of these you can easily double the recipe, but I’m not sure if doubling will be enough for one large bundt cake. It might be! Let me know if you try that. In any case, I hope you enjoy these!

Also, apparently this is my 300th post on the blog! How cool is that?

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