This week’s Pause·itivi·tea is brought to you by Baking: a family tradition! I could easily spend an entire day in the kitchen. I find that baking is very therapeutic, as well as a great way to bond with a family members or friends, and it has the added bonus of resulting in something yummy! Suffice it to say, that is what I found myself doing last weekend and is the positive moment of my week.
(Extra points for those of you who find my Little House on the Prairie reference).
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been helping my Mom whip up all kinds of treats in the kitchen. I’ve spent many hours watching my Mom cut apples and knead pastry for her famous apple pie. You could say that I became a baker through osmosis, soaking up every little tip, shortcut, and hack that she passed along to me. And yes, I was a girl with an Easy Bake Oven, but it quickly became a child’s toy where my baking skills were considered. I moved onto the real deal (a Whirlpool oven) early on and it’s been nothing but sweet treats since then!
Last Saturday was designated to be a day of baking, just as it was for the Ingalls, as I lined up two new recipes for the morning and afternoon. I cheated a little bit with the first one though, since it was a box recipe for Stroopwafel* cake. I found this box and a package of stroopwafels at the Dutch vendor in the St. Jacob’s Farmers market, but you can also buy the box online.
*Stroopwafel is a Dutch biscuit made from two, thin waffles stuck together with syrup.
The only ingredients I had to add were eggs, butter, and chunks of stroopwafel. It turned out quite well and was very similar to an angel food cake, but with chunks of stroopwafel and caramel morsels. It was the perfect treat to have with my afternoon tea.
The second recipe I attempted came as a result of having an excess of heavy cream on hand. I could think of no better use for it than to make my favourite dessert: crème brûlée! Having made it before, I decided to try it with a bit of a twist this time around and searched Pinterest for something fairly easy. I was thrilled to discover a chai crème brûlée recipe (chai being another favourite of mine), which was very simple and only required the addition of chai tea leaves or bags to the custard.
Thankfully, I had a whole tin of David’s Tea chai leaves on hand (a Christmas gift from my Aunt), which made for an excellent spiced custard. Next time, however, I will be sure to use a finer strainer because I still found very fine tea leaf granules made it through into the final ramekin. Although they are completely harmless and are no detriment to the flavour, they didn’t make for a very nice texture in the final spoonfuls. Additionally, since I used a small torch, my sugar top was not evenly caramelized but it still turned out wonderfully. It is a skill that I hope to master along with more crème brûlée creations!
All in all, it was a Saturday very well spent. The only downside is that my treats have disappeared quite quickly, even without my brothers around… 😉
Do you love to bake? If so, who taught you and what is your favourite recipe?