I returned home to the lovely Emerald Isle two days ago and already India feels like a distant blur. Suddenly my home town seems very peaceful and quiet after the cacophony of sounds over in India, although we did get a little break from the beeping when we went down south to Goa, so back we go to this day last week.
We grabbed one last coffee in Glenz and did a quick stroll around the humid streets of Delhi before getting an Uber to the Delhi airport, cost INR300 between 3 of us. Once we got to the airport we saw that there were long queues at each entrance, it soon became apparent that we needed a print off of our ticket itinerary to get into the airport. We chatted to one of the security guards and she was very helpful, she told us that we had to go to the first entrance and print off the ticket from the airline desk. INR75 later we had our print outs and we had gotten into the airport, checked in and left our bags and we had some falafel wraps for breakfast. As we were boarding our Air Asia flight we could hear music blaring from the airplane, it was the song ‘On the Beach.’ It was like something out of a club on the plane, between the pumping tunes and the condensation that was so heavy I felt like I was at a concert. Throughout the flight it felt like everyone seemed to know each other on the place, there were big groups of friends and large families all chatting to each other. We landed a few hours later and grabbed a taxi to our hostel, Old Quarter by Hostelcrowd, in the Fontainhas area of Panjim. Continue reading “Raindrops keep falling on my head….”→
I am back in Delhi, back to the starting point of the tour and it suddenly seems less chaotic now after the last few days in Agra and Varanasi. It even seems less humid too, maybe I’ve gotten used to the heat……doubtful though.
Anyways time to go back to last Saturday morning where we left beautiful Abhaneri by private bus and arrived in Agra. Our hotel, Karan Villas, was on the outskirts of the city but very close to the infamous Taj Mahal. We had the option of getting up to see the Taj at 4.30 for sunrise the next morning or doing it ourselves another time. Claire and I chose to go see it ourselves that afternoon. Continue reading “Beep, beep, beepity, beep”→
I mentioned a while back how I was asked to make a friends wedding cake and it seemed like my friend’s wedding was aaaaages away, well those months have flown by and the wedding has arrived. As I’ve got previous posts on these recipes I won’t be going into as much detail with the baking process this time. I got the lime and coconut cake recipe from http://www.bbcgoodfood.com, the red velvet cake from the Jamie Oliver website and the chocolate biscuit cake from a friend that I adapted a little. I used http://www.cakebaker.co.uk/baking-tin-size-conversion-calculator.html to convert the ingredients from the original cake tin to what I wanted. I had three fresh cakes to make, a few things waiting in the post that I had ordered but I had a plan. Continue reading “Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married……”→
I made these cupcakes a couple of weeks ago and was delighted to have another excuse to make them. I used my usual coconut and vanilla cupcake recipe and took a leaf from Donal Skeehan with the addition of strawberry jam in the icing, the cupcakes are topped off with crumbled meringues and sliced strawberries, yummy. I doubled the ingredients to make about 21. Continue reading “Eton mess cupcakes”→
I’ve been pretty lax with the blogging lately, although I have been baking, I just haven’t gotten around to writing about any of it. Today I noticed a couple of bruised bananas in the fruit bowl and I was delighted, not your usual reaction to bruised bananas but if you’ve ever made banana bread/cake you’d understand my rejoicing. I pretty much lived on banana bread when I was travelling around South East Asia two years ago so I love any excuse to make it. I found a recipe in an old recipe book, The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook and set about making some yummy banana loaf. Continue reading “Bananaaaaaaa…..”→
We were treated to some actual summer weather this week in Ireland, I know, shock, shock, horror, horror, miracles do in fact happen, ha ha. Anyways with this beautiful weather came the usual aroma of barbecues being lit up in every second garden and everyone losing the run of themselves and wearing every bit of their summer wardrobe that they could find. I even cracked open a dusty sun-cream, life was good. So with Costa del Carlow in full force I decided to try out a summery recipe for a change. This months Easy Food made my decision pretty easy (ba dum, dum) with their cover photo showing off a delicious looking strawberry and cream cake, it screamed summer. A quick scan through the ingredients and it was decided as I only had to grab a couple of ingredients in the shop, happy days. Continue reading “Strawberry fields forever…..”→
I went to Paris last week with a couple of travel friends and ate an obscene amount of food, if only I could have eaten croissants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, sigh. So here’s a few foodie highlights from the trip. Continue reading “Ooh la la and scones….”→
I’ve been pretty lazy with blogging lately but I’m going to make it up with not one but three blog posts today, I don’t like to do things by halves, haha. Anyways I decided to try out another flavour for my friend’s wedding cake over Easter, purple velvet cake. Thanks to Google I soon discovered that there weren’t many recipes for purple velvet cake, the one I did find had yam powder in it which doesn’t sound like an easy ingredient to find in Ireland. I decided I’d make a red velvet cake and put in purple food colouring instead of red, surely that would work right?!
I found a Jamie Oliver recipe for red velvet cake that looked easy enough and off I went. http://www.jamieoliver.com/news-and-features/features/how-to-make-red-velvet-cake/
I preheated the oven to 180C and greased two 8″ cake tins, you can use three tins for this recipe too.
I sifted 250g plain flour, 1 ¼ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda and 40g cocoa powder into a big bowl. I poured 240ml vegetable oil into a bowl along with 300g golden granulated sugar and mixed it with a freestanding mixer until it was pale.
I added in 2 large eggs, one at a time followed by 2 tbsps of purple food colouring and ½ tbsp of vanilla extract . At this point the cake batter began to look like something out of Willa Wonka’s factory or something the Cookie Monster would eat, ha.
Next step was to spoon in 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix well, it was at this point I realised I hadn’t done the coffee. So the next 15 minutes went by in a blur of speed coffee making and cooling. I made 200ml of coffee and put it into the fridge then the freezer to cool. I mixed in 240ml of buttermilk into it. I read over the recipe again and cursed, it was supposed to be 100ml of coffee. Off I went to repeat the whole rigmarole once again and I finally had the coffee and buttermilk mixture, at least I wouldn’t have too much of the carton of milk leftover anyways.
Anyyyyyways, after adding in 1/3 of the dry mixture I stirred in half of the coffee/buttermilk mixture and stirred in half of what was left of the dry ingredients. I stirred in ½ tbsp of white wine vinegar into the remaining buttermilk mixture and poured it in, followed by the rest of the flour.
Once all ingredients were combined I poured it into the two tins and popped it into the oven for about 40 minutes. Once I took it out of the oven I realised that it was more of a reddish/chocolate type of velvet cake rather than a purple velvet cake.
While the cake was cooling I made the cream cheese icing by beating 175g of unsalted butter until pale, I added in 400g of icing sugar in stages and mixed it together.
I spooned in a tablespoon of the 300g of full-fat cream cheese, I scraped down the sides of the icing with a spatula and then added in half of the cream cheese, mixed it together for half a minute and then mixed in the rest of it. Next came the decorating part.
I spread a teaspoon of icing on the stand and put one of the cakes on top of it. I spread the icing on top of the cake and added the next layer. I covered both cakes with the icing.
I added in some purple food colouring to the rest of the icing to make up for the lack of purple in the cake and then spooned it into an icing bag. I used a plate to practice a few designs and settled on a few little rosettes on top, dots at the bottom and some writing on top. I won’t be giving up the day job just yet but it was good fun all the same.
So it wasn’t quite the colour I wanted it to be but it tasted really moist and even two days later it was lovely and moist, it disappeared fairly quickly too. 😀
Most of my friends know how mad I am about coconut, I would eat it in all of my dishes if I could, I even have coconut moisturiser and shampoo, that’s how bad my obsession is, haha. Anyways there’s a reason why I keep harping on about coconut, stick with me. I finally got around to visiting the infamous vegan restaurant The Happy Pear in Greystones yesterday. It was worth the road-trip, there was plenty of choice and my mam and I had some delicious vegan food. Continue reading “Crazy for coconut….”→
In keeping with the wedding cake theme, the next layer I’ve been experimenting with this week is chocolate biscuit cake. I’ve such a tough life, haha. One of my friends mentioned how she had tasted a biscuit cake recently that had ginger in it so I said I’d try some ginger nut biscuits instead of rich tea biscuits for a change. Continue reading “Death by chocolate”→