Tag: baking

Shanghai Birthday Weekend

Shanghai Birthday Weekend

Birthday season is in full swing and last weekend was the most important one – mine 😉 The festivities, or the food fest to be more precise, went on all weekend and I have so many pictures:

Pastry Class

My first present I got a day early: For Saturday, Thorben had organized a secret activity and I only found out what it was when it started. He tried (and succeeded) to make me think it was a big group exercise based thing, so clearly I was a bit skeptical 😀

Thankfully, we didn’t do a crazy boot camp but a pastry class. Someone we know is a pastry chef and she taught Tim and I how to make St. Honore cake (which included pastry cream and caramel), cream puffs, Choux aux Craquelin, and eclairs. It was a lot of fun and we made industrial quantities! While it wasn’t strictly exercise, my arms still got a workout 🙂

Birthday Dinner & Cake

After all that hard work, we got cleaned up and then headed out to dinner with Tim and Boramy. It was so good and I took too many pictures. Back at home, we joined by two more friends to help us celebrate and make a dent into the cake and pastries. If I may say so myself, everything we made was amazing, so I turned 29 super stuffed and happy 🙂

Birthday Brunch

The eating continued the next day, with brunch and then more cake and pastries at our place. Even after feeding 20+ people, there are still eclairs and cream puffs in our freezer … Not that that’s a problem 🙂

Birthday Party … and more cake

The rest of my birthday was spent at the W Hotel. They had a “Viva Ibiza” Party on their beautiful terrace – you really can’t celebrate with a better view. Also, there was another cake. I love birthdays.

It was such a fun weekend and I’m so lucky to have so may wonderful people in my life. Thank you to everyone who took the time to celebrate with me, and thank you also to my family and friends across the globe who called and send birthday wishes!

Just Shanghai Foodie Things

Just Shanghai Foodie Things

In case anyone was wondering, we’ve been having a lot of fun, and eating lots of food since getting back to Shanghai.

I have 2 new obsessions. Bliss/Protein Balls and BonApp.

Before New Zealand, I’ve tried a couple oatmeal based bliss ball recipes and since getting back, I’ve gotten serious. I made Key Lime Pie Coconut bites, Dark Chocolate Chia Protein Balls, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Balls and Passion Fruit Bites. So many more I wanna try, maybe mango ones, or cherry, or lemon vanilla? It’s so fun, like baking but without turning on the oven, which will be great in summer. I was just home for a week (pictures will follow) and I brought back so many ingredients 🙂

My oven hasn’t been abandoned completely. Here is a flourless chocolate cake I baked recently:

I’ve also started writing lots of reviews and posting pictures on BonApp, the restaurant review app I use here (like TripAdvisor, but only for food). I don’t think I’ll become a food influencer soon – sadly – but it’s fun and I’ve found a place to post aaaall of the food pictures I take 🙂

And finally, it was restaurant week again! It started March 14 and I managed to go to 5 places before flying home on March 20. Most of them were repeats from the past 2 restaurant weeks, so I already knew they were going to be great. I got so excited about all the food, and my coming BonApp reviews, I completely neglected to take any people pictures. Oops. Anyway, here is some food:

Boramy, a good friend of ours, also celebrated her birthday 2 weeks ago (during restaurant week!), so we went out for another great dinner and then her party … and then had another birthday dinner a few days later. You can never have too much food when celebrating 🙂

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

On Sunday it was the first of advent and I was ready! Over the course of 3 weekends, I managed to make 6 types of Christmas cookies. A big thanks to my little elves Tim and Ellie, who made the baking even more fun!

Before going to Chifan for Charity a couple weeks ago, Tim and I made Nugatstangen and Orangenplätzchen. I finished the glazing and chocolate dipping on Sunday and also made Walnussbusserl.

The weekend after, I didn’t just bake pumpkin pies and pumpkin cookies for Thanksgiving, but also made Kokosmakronen on Saturday and Nuss-Marzipantaler on Sunday :).

Last week Ellie visited us for 4 days and we had a busy itinerary: Getting jianbing (repeatedly), enjoying her homemade scones, going to brunch, dinners and a comedy show. We also got to work and made a big batch of doppelt gefüllte Mürbchen with my mom’s amazing jam.

We finished them Saturday morning, so just in time for December and the first of advent! There is also a little advent decoration in our living room, so lots of holiday spirit all around. And of course the advent calendar my mom made me helps with that, too!

On Sunday, Boramy hosted a crafting afternoon, including Christmas tree decorating, Christmas music and hot chocolate. I supplied the cookies of course! We got very into the crafting and made some pretty awesome Christmas cards and gift labels, if I may say so myself 🙂

So that was Part I of the Christmas season in Shanghai. Up next: A “Boozy Christmas Sweater Making” class with Boramy tonight! Can’t wait!

An Epic scone bake off 

An Epic scone bake off 

On Saturday Ellie and I had a little scone baking competition in our kitchen. I had mentioned a few weeks ago that I’d just gotten an awesome scone recipe from my colleague in Germany who is from the UK, which prompted Ellie (also from the UK) to state that they could never be better than hers. So the scone-off was born.

In preparation I tried out the recipe a couple of weeks ago, both the sweet and savory version (with cheddar cheese). I thought they turned out awesome, so I was feeling pretty good about it.

Baking was a really international affair: First, it was an English-German competition in China and for the ingredients we had flour from France, sugar and salt from China, baking powder and milk from Germany, butter from New Zealand and cheddar cheese from the US. We even managed to track down clotted cream at Cityshop – a real deal for only 6 Euro, usually it costs 9 😉 The price of some imported goods is a bit crazy but in that case it was so worth it. In combination with my mom’s homemade jam it was delicious.

Shane, Pearl and Thorben got to try all of the goodies but in the end there wasn’t really a clear winner because I had made cheesy scones and Ellie the original kind which was hard to compare. Also, our jury wasn’t really helpful so I guess it was a tie. In the end we had fun baking and all got to eat lots and lots of scones, so I’d say we all won.

It was great to finally use the kitchen and the oven and wear the “Baking Queen” apron my awesome colleague made for me with her kids 🙂 Hopefully more baking will happen soon.