I mentioned the NYT Plum Torte a couple of weeks ago, and since then, I’ve made it several times. The Italian plums were plentiful at St. Jacobs Farmers Market this past weekend, so it only made sense to keep baking the torte! It’s an easy and winning recipe!
What have you been doing/watching/reading/visiting/making this fall? Please share! I’m always looking for new things to try.
Here is a glimpse into some of what I’ve been up to lately.
- Recently watched: Call My Agent (French, set in Paris), The Great British Baking Show (who can resist Paul Hollywood?), Sex and The City (started from the pilot episode, makes me want to to to New York), Kid90 (Soleil Moon Frye’s documentary), Mixte (French), Maid (based on the autobiography), this short video by Sadeck Waff for the Paris 2024 Olympics (watch more of his work – it’s mesmerizing!) – and I’d recommend all of them!
- Recently read: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop by Felicia Rose Chavez, The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi – I’d recommend all of these books!
- Recently played: The John Derion Painter’s Palette puzzle, Globe & Mail Saturday crossword (one of my favourite things to do over the weekend)
- Recently visited: The Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain (I’m already eager to return. My nearly-back-to-normal sprained ankle, back, and skin felt so good.
- Recently purchased: an incredible antique Italian armoire (absolutely stunning – my office design dream is slowly coming true)
- Recently made: NYT plum torte (so good that I made it twice in two weeks!), slow roasted chicken and garlic (a hit for a crowd), Ina Garten’s roasted shrimp and orzo (eaten warm rather than room temp)
Sorry about that little technical hiccup with yesterday’s announcement post. I thought the solution was going to be much more time consuming than it was, but my web host Namespro worked magic and resolved my tech issue quickly. I have been a loyal Namespro customer for many years now (too many to count), and I am always grateful for their service (which is always explained very clearly, I might add). Anyhow, I’m back in blogging action, which makes me happy.
So here we go with today’s potentially surprising duo.
dress (currently sold out)
cake, Hint of Vanilla
A couple of years ago,Â I learned about DanishÂ chef Trine HahnemannÂ as I wasÂ munching on some simpleÂ vanilla cookies that a friend made from Trine’s recipe. The little whiteÂ rings are full of goodnessÂ – they’reÂ perfectly sizedÂ and haveÂ just enoughÂ sweetness.
I didn’t make them in time for Christmas, but I did bake a batch in time for my family’s New Year’s Day feast.
before –Â little ring cookies ready for the oven
Trine Hahnemann’s Vanilla Danish Butter Cookies
375 g butter
250 g sugar
2 vanilla pods
500 g plain flour
1. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until the mixture is pale and fluffy.Â Add the egg and continue beating.
3. Split the vanilla pods lengthways and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a knife. Stir them into the flour.
4. Fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. (I knead the dough a little bit so everything sticks together.)
5. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and chill for (at least) two hours.
6. Preheat the oven toÂ 200Â°C (IÂ set mine at 390Â°F).
7. Roll the dough into very thin sausages about fix or six centimetres long. Curl each on into a ring and press the ends firmly together.
8. Place rings on aÂ parchment-lined baking tray (I put the trays in the fridge for a few minutes before putting them in the oven. This helps them keep theirÂ small ring shape).
9. Bake for about eight minutes (I baked mine for about 6 minutes.)
10. Cool cookies on a wire rack.
11.Â Store the cookies in an airtightÂ container and do not mix them with otherÂ types of cookies or they will go soft.
*Instead of converting the measurements into cups and tablespoons, I used a scale and weighedÂ each of the ingredients.
One of the first recipes I tried after my friendÂ Johanne gave me Gwyneth Paltrow’s My Father’s Daughter a few years ago wasÂ Blythe’s blueberry muffins. I have been making them ever since because they’re so darn good and easy!
I recently gave them a try using my KitchenAid stand mixer. I didn’t really need to use the mixer, but I wanted to because I love it. Here’s how things turned out.
prepping the mini muffin tins
prepping the KA mixer
prepping the ingredients
mixing everything together
fresh blueberry mini muffins – just in time for breakfast!
Here’s the recipe taken from Gwyneth Paltrow’s My Father’s Daughter:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 eggs (preferably organic)*
1/2 cup whole milk*
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tsp sugar, divided**
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
*I use whatever milk and eggs I have in my fridge.
**I alwaysÂ forget about the extra sugar, and I tend to under measure the sugar, especially in muffin recipes.
Heat oven to 375Â°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners*. Whisk butter, eggs, and milk in a bowl. Combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in another bowl. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients***; fold in blueberries. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups; spring with remaining 1 tsp sugar. Bake until muffins are golden brown and a knife comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm.
*IÂ often use mini muffin tins, and I think I can usually get 24 mini muffins and 8 regular sized muffinsÂ with one batch of the recipe.
**I threw everything in the mixer at almost the same time, and the muffins still baked perfectly.