Nezuko Cake

I make just a few anniversary cakes yearly, but when I do them, I want to be remembered.

This weekend we celebrated the 11th anniversary of my daughter. At this age, doll cakes are not in fashion anymore, so I followed her taste. Nezuko is her favourite character, so you can imagine that the cake should have been related.

Luckily, her mother bought a plotter recently, so making stencils was a piece of cake (or should have been...). Her mother also added to her tools collection a cake airbrush for this occasion. I can only conclude that, me, as her mother, sometimes I challenge myself maybe too far. But in the end, for my first stencilled cake, it doesn't look that bad. The most important thing was achieved, my daughter was very proud of her anniversary cake and me, in this way I achieved my goal, to make a cake to be remembered.

40% Kamut Sourdough Bread

Today, I made a 40% kamut sourdough bread.

But what is kamut?

Kamut is an ancient grain thought to be a cousin of durum, with a grain that is at least twice the size of modern wheat. This grain comes with nice stories behind it and has many given names. In 1949, a US airman purchased 36 kernels from a vendor in Cairo who claimed to have taken them from a tomb of an ancient Egyptian king. He brought this grain to his father who had a farm and planted them. They called it King's Tut wheat but they had only small local success with it. It was just later in the 1990 that kamut became a commercial success after being trademarked to protect and guarantee that it would be grown organically and unmodified. Demand started to grow when people found kamut to be more easily digested and more flavoured compared to modern wheat varieties.

Although the last part of the story is certain, the origin of this grain is debatable as it is highly unlikely that wheat grains could sprout after 2000 years as the seeds' ability to germinate is almost lost during this time.

Another legend says that Noah brought this khorasan wheat with him on the ark, from where, another name for kamut is the “Prophet’s Wheat".

Also, the farmers in Turkey call the grain “Camel’s Tooth” because of its specific shape.

Kamut is a good source of protein, containing up to 40% more protein compared to modern wheat and it is lower in gluten. Kamut is also higher in minerals, such as Selenium and zinc. 

Kamut flour has a yellowish colour and tends to have higher water absorption. A dough made with it, forms good elasticity but is less well performing in extensibility, resulting in dough with less volume and denser texture.

Bread with kamut flour is slightly sweeter and has a rich, buttery and nutty flavour. It is firm and holds easily anything you want to spread on it. It is easy to digest due to its low gluten content while having high proteins, fibres, vitamins and minerals. Therefore, it might be a good alternative for those with gluten sensitivities.

Now, let's see the recipe:

Chicken Soup in Instant Pot

I make this soup at least 2 times a month for years. It became my classic recipe for soup. 

The initial recipe I posted here: Traditional chicken soup. I made this soup in all sorts of ways: in a traditional pressure cooker, in a regular big pot but since I've got my Instant Pot, it is the only way I do it.

The soup is so versatile, it can accept all types of vegetables that are left over in the fridge like an eggplant, a zucchini or more tomatoes/bell peppers. 

The advantage of the Instant Pot is that I can cook the chicken straight from the freezer, skipping the time to defrost them. I do not even need to cut them because, in the end, the meat simply falls out of the bones and you can break them with just a simple spatula.

There is a secret ingredient that for me is a must: the lovage. You might not be familiar with this herb but its flavour fits amazingly with the soup. During the summer I enjoy the fresh lovage leaves but during the winter I use the dried version of it. In case you do not have it available, use parsley.

I am not sure if I can "advertise" more this soup.

Below is the adapted recipe for the Instant Pot.

Cherry pound cake

A pound cake usually is a simple recipe with 1:1:1:1 ratio of ingredients. This means that you put inside the same quantity of butter, sugar, flour and eggs. Well, that's the theory. Practically, adding that much sugar for me is a bit too much considering that these black fresh cherries are also super sweet. I then cut the sugar in 2. Sweetness turned out just perfect for me. 

Even if I love this recipe, I am tempted to play with some of the quantities to adjust to the height of the glass pan that I have.

I made many cherry cakes over the years, and most of the time I used another method, first foaming the egg whites, then the yolks and gently mixing in the flour. That recipe has no added fats and tastes drier even the cherries add moisture inside. This recipe starts by beating the butter with sugar that will create bubbles and just then, adding the eggs. The taste and texture are on the other side of the scale: creamy, soft, wetter.  
The 2 recipes might look the same, however, they will be different in your mouth.
Testing somewhere an addition of fat somewhere in the middle makes me curious about the taste and consistency. But for now, here is the recipe...

Asparagus and Mushroom Tart

It was for the first time in my life to bake a tart with asparagus. I have eaten this vegetable before but I never used it in a tart. One day, I saw it at the market and challenged myself to do something new with it.
I wanted something simple, delicious and good looking.
I served this tart to my family and it was incredibly well received.

Little did I know last week when I baked this tart for the first time that I will do it again today for a dear friend unfortunately for a very sad occasion. One of my ex-colleague and a close family friend lost his life unexpectedly after a heart attack. The pain to lose him is unmeasurable for his wife and his 2 little girls, one of them being a colleague with my son at school also. I have no words to describe this shocking news but I know that I baked this tart with all my heart. I wished I would have shared it with him alive but the faith decided otherwise. If you are up there my dear friend, this tart is for you.


Summer Soup in Instant Pot

What can be more refreshing for dinner than a summer soup?

This is an enhanced tomato soup with some amazing extra vegetables. I will be honest and say that initially, I wanted tomato soup. But looking into the fridge, I found other leftover fresh vegetables that I bought originally for grilling. I hate throwing away food and hiding them in soup seemed a good idea. Actually, it was not a good idea, it was a brilliant idea. Even my husband made the comment that this soup was incredibly delicious and he loved it.

Another aspect is that since I've got my Instant Pot, all my soups are made inside. The thing that captivated me is the easiness and the speed the soup comes out from the IP. Of course, you can do it in a normal pot, just that you'll need to be around and stir from time to time while your kitchen would be full of steam.

I can only recommend this soup to be made with fresh vegetables. If you have your own garden to grow these vegetables, that would be the ideal situation. I have a garden but I cannot grow all these amazing vegetables there, so I can only rely on the Saturday market or super market. Vegetables grown in your own garden would be much more delicious, no doubt about that.

Check the recipe below. 

Apricot Cake Hearts

For this recipe, I used the same batter as for the Simple Bundt Cake
To make it an apricot cake, I've added 500g of diced (or sliced) apricots, just before scooping it into moulds.

Apricot Mint Ice Cream


When summer comes, I tend to switch from baking cakes to making ice cream. Why? Because is so delicious, healthy and easier to make. My kids love everything that is frozen (especially if it comes on a stick) and tastes fruity.

This recipe is so versatile. You can use whatever fruits you have available, fresh or frozen. You can replace sour cream with coconut milk, whipped cream or any kind of cream that has some fat consistency. The maple syrup could be replaced by powdered sugar, brown sugar or a healthier option like honey. I let your imagination compose this recipe with any fruits or ingredients you have at hand.

Sunflower Seeds Sourdough Bread


I baked on purpose the same dough with different seed additions. This is the 3rd one of the series. The speciality of this bread is the sunflower seeds. Compared to the previous ones (chia and poppy seeds), the sunflower seeds are bigger in size. Its tip is very stiff and acts like a needle when touches a bubble. 

I did not hydrate the seeds before because I still wanted them on the crunchy side. Therefore, no wonder that from all, this was the less bumpy loaf.

In terms of taste and flavour, the poppy seeds version had the most pronounced nutty version. Which one do I prefer the most....hmmm difficult to choose from these fantastic loaves. Each is different and each is gorgeous. Maybe I should continue the experiment with other types of seeds. But until then, here is the recipe...

Poppy Seeds Sourdough Bread

Should I call this Poppy Seeds Sourdough Bread or Poppy Seeds with Sourdough Bread?

When baking for yourself you can be generous with the fancy ingredients you add. Bakeries would first calculate the costs and then add them to the dough. To be honest with you I did not measure the quantity of poppy seeds I added at the lamination phase. I added a lot (maybe a bit too much) but I do not regret it at all because the specific poppy seed flavour was predominant in this bread.

Unlike the previous bake, the seeds were not soaked in water. I just sprinkled them over the dough straight from the container. 

Let's see the recipe...

Chia Seeds Sourdough Bread


When I put myself on autopilot because I just need bread for our family I go for a recipe that I know it works. This doesn't mean that it has to be boring. Adding seeds at the lamination step may change the game. Depending on the type of seeds you add, the flavour is enriched with a nutty-specific taste from the seeds.

My next 3 posts will be about the same recipe but each time I change the seeds. This first one is with chia seeds. Chia seeds are super thirsty, you do not want to add them as such in your bread. You'll need then to keep them in water to become moist. Do this the evening before or at least when your mixer combines the flour with water, in the morning.

Adding seeds to bread not only enriches the taste but also adds nutritional value to the loaves. As you might already know, chia seeds are a very healthy ingredient, so I can only see advantages in adding them to the dough.

What do you think? Does it worth a try?

Low Effort Sourdough Bread

Making artisan sourdough bread is not simple and I recognise it. It took me years to experiment, learn,  note, understand and progress. The pandemic time made sourdough a star... it became so popular that everybody wanted to do it. Many made their own starter, others borrowed starter. Many launched themself into baking, some got the sourdough "virus" and continued to bake, and others slowly slowly dropped making it due to less time or they were not very satisfied with the results and finally, their starter died somewhere in the fridge.

But there is a huge mass of people hearing about sourdough who never tried or, tried once, failed and easily gave up. Do you recognise yourself in one of the categories above?

I find myself in the category of people starting to bake bread with sourdough years before the pandemic, intensifying and learning much more during those 2 years and continuing to experiment nowadays. Learning about sourdough is a subject that I'll probably do my whole life as you never feel you know enough.

But for those newbies and for those busy persons who never have time to make 15 steps to put a loaf on the table I made a recipe that simplifies the entire process:

Simplifying is a complex process in itself when you talk about sourdough. You can take out a step if you know what is the impact. Would you be able to still get an acceptable result? I've run maybe a dozen of bakes for this recipe to get it right. But I've learned even more about the importance of each step.

This recipe is for busy people and for newbies. But even for an experienced baker, there are times in our lives when other priorities take over our time and we still want to put sourdough bread on the table. It happened to me too. Did I miss my fancy chewy crumb? I definitely did but I used my time for more urgent or important things and still enjoyed sourdough.
In the video, I compare bread made in a simple way with one made in a complex way. When time and experience are not at stake, I know the winner recipe. But if you do not have time, to buy bread with 22 ingredients inside that were industrially risen in an hour, compared to putting 15-20 minutes of effort to make this bread, I would personally advise trying the second option. It is much healthy and at least you know what you are eating.
Needless to say that this is not my favourite bread recipe but becomes my favourite one when I am absorbed by other activities.

What about you? What do you think? Would you like to try it?

Stuffed or Mimosa Eggs

This is another childhood memory that I keep with me. My mother used to make "oua umplute" or staffed eggs with the New Year's celebration with regularity. Although I loved them, being probably my favourite dish for the New Year, I did not make them since moving to Belgium.

This holiday season was the perfect occasion to make them again. I was excited for my daughter to taste them for the first time. At least this is what I thought. When she saw them she said... mommy, you made the Mimosa Eggs! I had no clue that they were called like that as I always knew them as staffed eggs. But we learn every day something new, as well as I learned that my daughter also prepared them when being in a scouts camp.

That creamy yolk-mustard-mayonnaise combination is dropped from heaven. Some like to add herbs to this cream but I like them better without. It is such a simple and delicious aperitive for the New Year's celebration!

Happy New Year!

2023 New Year's Cake

Happy New Year! and welcome to 2023!

I was so not in the mood of baking a cake yesterday but my daughter asked for one and I simply couldn't refuse her. Being tired, I didn't want to go for a super fancy recipe so I picked a combination of my previous cakes that I was sure would work and be quick. Festive cakes usually take a lot of time to prepare and decorate, I love to launch myself into discovering them but when my mood is not there I pick something simple.

This cake although looks fancy is not difficult to make. It is a classic sponge cake (takes max 30 mins of preparation) with white chocolate ganache (takes 10mins to melt and 5mins to whisk) and covered in whipped cream (30 min to assemble and decorate).

I made the sponge cake and the ganache in the morning and late evening I assembled the New Year's cake with my daughter's assistance.

Here it is...