For this inspiration post, rather than link to mouthwatering recipes like I have done for these posts in the past (here and here), I wanted to highlight a few new (to me at least) blogs I bookmarked recently:
1. Pink Patisserie – not only am I in love with the look of Maria’s blog, I also love her beautifully photographed posts and intriguing recipes (Compost Cupcakes anyone?).
2. Noisette – I first came across Sarah on twitter when we started exchanging tweets on possible flavour combinations (I feel like our tastebuds are very much on the same wavelength). One day I hopped on over to her blog and was floored by all the beautiful shots of mouthwatering baked goods (have a gander around her blog and tell me your chin did not hit the floor when you saw her take on ‘croquembouche’ using hot cross buns).
3. Chantelle Grady – a photographer and stylist who probably does not need much introduction, I only recently came across her website and blog and fell head over heels for her beautiful food shots, especially all the ‘chiaroscuro’ ones.
4. A little zaftig – a beautiful blog with lots of delicious sounding recipes and beautifully photographed dishes. But, to be honest, what attracted me to the blog in the first place was the recipe for hand-pulled cotton candy. Yes, you read this correctly, hand-pulled cotton candy … so this girl has been a fan of candy floss since she was a little girl mesmerised by the sweet sugary clouds her parents would sometimes buy her at the Christmas market. In fact, one year I was close to buying a candy floss maker when I saw it on offer in a kitchen store (but in the end decided my dentist would no longer be my friend if I did so). I always wondered whether it would be possible to make candy floss at home without having to buy any special equipment, especially after seeing an all together different type of candy floss on a trip to Thailand with Alessandro a couple of years ago – as a snack some market stalls were selling stacks of small pancakes with a bag of candy floss that were basically thin strands of pulled sugar. To eat this, you would take a small bunch of the strands and roll them in one of the pancakes. Well, thanks to this blog I now know how to make this at home and it doesn’t even seem that difficult (as in I could see myself giving this a try On.My. Own!). Watch this space!
5. Honest Fare – another beautiful little blog (no wonder she was a Saveur finalist this year!) full of wholesome and delicious recipes (and, as luck would have it, she even posted about cotton candy a while ago and even included a video on how to pull it yourself!).
And yes, I am still loving this whole having a kitchen and all my cooking and baking supplies thing I get to enjoy in our new flat and have been cooking and baking up a storm. Our house-warming brunch featured the fluffiest and most delicious pancakes I have yet been able to make (I put it down to using yoghurt and 2 types of leaveners), a double batch of my Breadcrumb Baked Donuts, a batch of my Baked Wholemeal Blueberry Donuts, and the most perfect blueberry muffins I will need tell you about very soon (after the fourth batch that was devoured in less than 48 hours it is safe to say they are a complete success). When it comes to meals in my flat, I am still head over heels for the Sprouted Kitchen cookbook – I made the cornmeal pancakes with cherry compote the other day and the tea-poached salmon noodle bowl has been made countless times already. I am also thinking of making a batch of the oatflour chocolate chip cookies to have as a plane snack for our trip to Bali later this summer. The other day I also made a single batch of cucumber jam adapting this recipe from Fanny’s blog which is how these pictures came about – cucumber jam is definitely an unusual flavour (the sweet vanilla flavour comes out strong but there is also the unmistakeable freshness from the cucumber), but it does go incredibly well with toasted sourdough bread that has been slathered with a thick layer of salted butter. If you are wondering what else you could do with cucumber jam, I can imagine it goes really well in cupcakes.