What can I say? I love sweets, in all shapes and sizes! You only live once, so why not indulge once in a while? Or, in my case, most of the time...
After leaving overcast Berlin it was a relief to touch down under the clear, blue skies of Milan. Italy was where hubs and I were to spend the bulk of our trip and I have so many things to share with you all! Once we had checked in to our hotel, we were right back out the door to visit one of the most anticipated stops of our whole trip. The very first thing we did was hop on the underground to go to Fondazione Prada and get a drink at Bar Luce, a bar designed by my hero, director Wes Anderson. If you’re not already a fan, the films to watch are Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, Rushmore just to start you off. Anderson’s aesthetic is wonderfully quirky and beautiful. I was super excited to be in a place designed by him and feel like a character in one of his films.
Lets get down to business. On this blog we are much more interested in the food adventures that I had in Berlin than my lame photographs of the architecture. But, I had never been to Berlin before and so my food adventures were less… adventurous as I had a list of all the stereotypical German food items that I needed to try in situ. After my success with the mackerel I tended to just go down the list of German food with some delicious and questionable choices.
One huge regret I have though is that I never had one of the crazy over the top sundaes that seemed to be served everywhere in Berlin. Because it wasn’t super hot and I was so full of other delicious things I just never had the dessert stomach room for one of these bad boys.
It was definitely bigger than my tiny head.
Then I ate my way through a selection of Kinder chocolates that we don’t really get in Australia. This one is the Kinder Hippo that is a creamy white and milk chocolate centre surrounded by wafer and chocolate and chopped nuts. I ate the whole packet and i’m not even sorry.
This was a strange but delicious incarnation of the Kinder Surprise. It was basically the soft innards of the kinder mixed with cereal. It was every damn where so people must like it. I did! Why did I not bring more of these home with me? Because, my lovely readers, i’m an idiot.
Taking a step away from the sweets for a minute, i’d like to introduce you to currywurst.
Berliners seemed to be obsessed with this stuff. Basically it’s slices of sausage covered in tomato sauce then dusted with curry powder. I find this disgusting but hubs loved it and had it a few times. If you’re interested in tasting this ubiquitous treat, you can find it pretty much on any street corner. There are two types, the first is the one you see above with the curry powder sprinkled on top and the second is with the curry powder mixed into the sauce. Either way, you’re getting the curry ketchup flavour. Good luck. I did not like this one. Sorry Berlin.
This was another weirdo thing that Berliners seemed to like. To me, it looks like vomit sausages. On closer inspection, they are plastic sausages filled with soup and creamy vegetables and mashed potato. Can any Germans tell me why they’re packaged like this? I have no idea how you would open these without the filling going EVERYWHERE. This makes me question the reputation of German engineering.
And then my faith in Germany was restored. When I came across this full sized fridge of sliced cheeses and wedges of cheese, I felt simultaneously elated and frustrated. How is it that we don’t have this in Australia? Germany, you got your priorities sorted.
So, Germany, you baffled and amused me. Well played.
Stay tuned for more What Katie Ate
Next stop: Milan
So this week I go back to work after two weeks of catching up on sleep and relaxing and baking. While I definitely love my job, i’m not looking forward to all the exam marking and report writing that Term 4 entails. I’ve decided that the best way to cope with the shock of being back at work is to remember a better time. And what better time than the epic European holiday that hubs and I took way back in July? I will be spending the next few weeks serving up posts about the amazing things we ate and places we saw. They will be pretty photo heavy but I think that my photography skills are improving so hopefully there are a few winners in there!
So this doesn’t happen often, but after making the waffles with homemade blueberry jam, there was a little bit of jam and cream left over. I know. Gasps all round. How could there be jam and cream left over? Well, somehow there was a glitch in the matrix and there was. So then the question emerged – what does one do with a spoonful of leftover jam and a dollop of cream? I know that the obvious answer is “eat it Katie!” but, this happened on a day when another anomalous thing occurred. I woke up early enough and felt energetic enough to cook breakfast rather than just toast some bread. This happened on a week day people!
This is not a cake.
But before we riddle, lets get to the real business of this post – goodbyes.
And so it is time for another goodbye. This time it’s my Extension 1 English class that i’m farewelling. Of course, my farewells happen with cake. After all, a class party without cake is just a class. Not that my classes are boring…
In this class we study an unusual topic that is all about challenging the things in this world that we suppose to be true. My students grappled with complex intellectual concepts that sometimes resulted in some minds being blown. But these girls persevered and trusted me when I kept telling them that it would all make sense soon. I’m so grateful to have had the privilege to teach such clever, hard working and all round cheerful girls. They tackled every challenge with unwavering good humour and this even extended to the difficult task I gave them for our final class: bring in dessert that reflected the elective that they studied this year (Textual Dynamics).
They set the bar pretty high, so I had to pull out all the stops to bake a textually dynamic cake. After considering some of the texts we have studied, in particular, the graphic novel ‘Building Stories’ by Chris Ware which looks remarkably like a board game, I thought, why not make something that looks like a cake but is not a cake?
See? Looks like a chocolate cake, but isn’t a cake.
What is it?
It looked like a cake, tasted like a cake, but when we cut it open and lollies spilled out it became clear that it was a pinata! A cakey, tasty pinata but a pinata nonetheless. This was such a fun cake to make and eat and I felt like it reflected the atmosphere of our classes perfectly.
Thanks for being such great students! <3
Pinata Cake Assembly Instructions
Firstly, you need to make your cake. I used this Chocolate Cake recipe (which is pretty much my go-to recipe)
Then you need to whip up your icing. Normal buttercream should be fine but I wanted something sturdier so I used this chocolate icing recipe from Sweetapolita
Next, using a scone or cookie cutter, cut a hole in the centre of each layer of cake and remove the circle (to eat later, but keep the circle from the top layer of cake!) Then layer each slice of cake, using the icing to keep it all stuck together.
Pour in your lollies (I used jaffas and smarties) so that they just reach the height of the second last layer of cake.
Place the final circle of cake on top of the lollies making sure that the top is level
Then ice ice baby!
For the month of September Meredith from the Poco Loco Olsons challenged us to experiment with soda bread. Soda Bread is a non-yeasted bread and is instead leavened with baking soda (Bi-Carb Soda if you’re in Australia with me!).
Does anyone else feel like their ‘to do’ list just keeps getting longer and longer? It’s like the list hydra, for every task I cross off two more take its place. Its a bit like that with my ‘to bake/cook’ list. Soda bread has been on my list of things to bake for a long, long time and, despite its relative simplicity, it’s one that I have just never gotten around to. As part of my decision this holidays to try to reignite some dearly missed creativity, I thought it was time I joined in a Daring Bakers Challenge. Embarrassingly, I don’t think i’ve participated for three or four years. Actually, I almost didn’t get this month’s challenge done. Oops!