Sunday, September 30, 2012

Irresistible brownies



Last week my friend Ani made these brownies: they were SO good, the texture, the combination of flavours, the richness. They smell, look and taste divine. I couldn't wait until this weekend to try this recipe myself. 

And just as promised by Ani and the author of this recipe at the Smitten Kitchen, they are indeed very easy to make, in 45 minutes tops. 



Just ensure you have high quality dark chocolate (again, Valrhona Le Noir 61% puissant et chocolate is the best one i've tried so far), bake them at +180C for 25-max 30 min, and do NOT try to eat them straight from the oven (my mistake): the flavour and true awesomeness come later once they cool down. 
Buon appetito!



Saturday, September 29, 2012

...

A tribute to a very special friend whose heart gave up way before his time... The most generous, coolest, kind and living-life-to-the-fullest. 







The absolute best chocolate chip cookies

When it comes to baking, there is nothing better than a recipe that promises 'The Best XYZ that you ever tried' and actually delivers, time after time.

This recipe can be found here and it's exactly that: 'The only chocolate chip cookie i will ever need to know how to make for the rest of my life', as the author put it. I totally agree. 

It's so worth a bit of a mess in your kitchen, and it's super easy to make, promise. 

Patience is indeed a key ingredient here, and i normally chill the dough for 2 days before the actual baking. Baking temperature that works best for me is 180C, with 12-15 minutes in the oven.

Must confess i found it challenging to stick to Secret 1 - mix of bread and cake flour. The latter is impossible to find in Copenhagen (if anyone knows where, please do let me know, thank you!), so instead i add the usual type. 

As for the chocolate that goes into it, i use my favourite Valhrona Le Noir 61% dark chocolate couverture instead of chocolate chips. I simply chop Valhrona 200 g bars with a large very sharp knife - super easy.  

And by the way, i normally use only half the size of all ingredients suggested in the recipe: less mess in the kitchen, and the output is still big enough to feed all your loved ones:)

Happy baking and enjoy your weekend !

Friday, September 28, 2012

It's the weekend !

The working week is finally over, and it's time to relax and pamper ourselves: lots of sleep, delicious brunch, good company, a movie, a new book, perhaps some baking. And of course we need to catch up on all the hot happenings in our cities. 

If you happen to be in Kyiv this weekend, don't miss the coolest art space in Ukraine - Mystetskyj Arsenal (Art Arsenal). 

Magnificent site that is now hosting Art  Arsenal, was for many years used as a facility for military needs. Now its vast territory is a (new) home for modern art - exhibitions, performances and presentations. An absolute must-see.





As for Copenhagen, check out Designer Forum running Friday-Sunday this week. It's a fun place to see all your favourite scandinavian designers and shop till you drop  - at hugely discounted prices. Clothes, footwear, accessories, for women, men and kids, you will find it all there. 


Have fun and enjoy your weekend !

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Little miracle cuticle worker

In the past few months i've been regularly asked by my friends about one particular beauty product: it did such a brilliant job on my nails, and saved so much money that otherwise would have been spent on manicures. My many friends, colleagues wanted to know immediately what this miracle product was and where exactly they could buy it.


So if you do stick to the routine and continuously apply this product, day in day out, morning or evening, then in a few days you are guaranteed to get very pretty, neat and polished nails. This product is the best i ever used for my cuticles, and it's called CND Cuticle Eraser. I regularly get my supplies from this (amazing) cult beauty products site.

They deliver from the UK to the majority of the European countries, the service is always excellent, fast and efficient. 

And by the way, Cuticle Eraser goes very well with this sheer sweet pink Essie nail polish called No Pre-nup.


Enjoy your beautiful nails.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The unbearable lightness of cheese-cake


Good evening From Copenhagen

Our first post From Berlin-London-Copenhagen-Kyiv (FromBLCK) is about baking. Happy baking, that is: easy, with relatively little mess in your kitchen afterwards, something that tastes amazing, makes the whole place smell like heaven, and of course helps you relax and forget about all your troubles. 


I've never really been into baking, until last winter when i was studying for my (tough!) Danish exams. Stressed out and anxious, i somehow came across a fairly easy recipe of the carrot cupcakes during my study break. As it turned out, baking can do wonders to your stress level and in my case massively reduce the anxiety. I was so much 'in the flow', that i forgot all about the PD3 (Proeve i dansk 3..), plus the end result was so delicious, i couldn't believe i actually made it myself. 

Many months later, i'm still doing baking for dummies, slowly building my confidence in the kitchen and trying various not-uber-sophisticated recipes. I'm so much into it now that i started baking on a weekly basis. My all-times favorite dessert is a cheese-cake. of any kind. and i would love to share this simple winning recipe with all the devotees of a good cheese-cake. 






The recipe i used for the crust and filling of this particular cheese-cake, is from here.

I used Digestives instead of graham crackers, and less sugar for the crust. Didn't get to use that large roasting pan with water in the oven, and simply baked it in a springform for 50 min. Important! once the cheese-cake is baked, do not open oven door, just turn the oven off, and let the cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking.

I replaced the blueberry topping with my favourite chocolate one:
- 3/4 cup of heavy cream (piskefloede in danish)
- 150-180 g of any high quality couverture chocolate 60-65% cocoa (Valrhona Le Noir 61% puissant et chocolate is the best one i've tried sofar: it is quite pricey in Denmark, so if you find it - much cheaper - in Berlin and London, do stock up on those massive 1 kg bars!).
HOW-TO: stir cream and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat until smooth. Let it cool a little, then pour it over your cheesecake. Chill until topping is set. I also added those little adorable dark and white chocolate hearts. They are by Dr Oetker, and here in Denmark you can find them in Kvickly (the one in Noerrebro Runddel definitely has them:)
Keep the cheesecake refrigerated. It always tastes better if made 1 day in advance. 

Enjoy and please do share the best, well-tried recipes of your favourite kind of a cheese-cake.