Saturday, 31 October 2009

Platinum (or just as valuable) Pumpkin Bread Pudding

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The 2 most important ingredients in any pumpkin dessert.

Since it's Fall, and all, I've really been craving super Autumnal treats. So when I saw this recipe for Pumpkin Bread Pudding over at Smitten Kitchen, I jumped for joy. And it's supposed to be easy, too! What more could a girl ask, especially when she's having her first dinner party in her new flat in mere days?

Well, I'll tell you one thing: a girl could ask for a little more forethought. Of course, in my conniption of excitement over the purported ease and deliciousness of said dessert, I forgot how hard it can be to find pumpkin in England.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

American Style Hot Apple Cider in the UK

Pin It For any other Americans out there in the UK who are really missing their non-fizzy, non-alcoholic, hot and delicious mulled cider, I finally have a (reasonable) solution: Clive's Mulled Apple Juice, available at Waitrose.

It's basically cold apple cider, mulled with all the usual spices, meaning all you need to do is pour it into a mug and pop it into the microwave, then close your eyes and shut the double-glazed windows and set a small piece of wood on fire* and it's just like standing in the middle of a pumpkin patch on a brisk Fall day! Well, almost.

Anyway, I highly recommend Clive's. It made my Fall just that little bit more bearable over here. And if you're mad about cinnamon, like I am, you can always add a stick to pump up the spice factor.

*I am so not responsible for you setting your house on fire.

UPDATE!  I now have a recipe on the blog for making hot apple cider yourself!  It's better than Clive's, and super easy (and anyway I've had a hard time finding Clive's this year).  

Friday, 23 October 2009

A little substitution... and bibbity boppity boo!

Pin It Baking over here can be trying. Not only are the conversions a bitch (my recipes now have temps in both Fahrenheit and Celsius, and ingredients in cups and grams), and the ovens electric and therefore highly varied, but there's also the matter of being a poor student.

Point the first: poor. Meaning I don't have the money for such indulgences as a Kitchenaid mixer, or even a Cuisinart like my mom has at home (Hi Cuisinart, baby, I miss you!), or even such small luxuries as different sizes of pan/sheet/dish in which to bake.

Point the second: student. Which not only reiterates the poverty, but also means I'm here for a limited time, which makes any investment I could feasibly make seem like a stupid waste of money, since I can take very little back with me across the Atlantic.

So why do I keep trying? Because baking makes me happy.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Snickerdoodles in our new flat

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We moved into our new flat over 6 weeks ago, but the new, working replacement for our broken oven only arrived last week. So I'm sure you can imagine how much I'd been dying to bake, and the fact that I was denied only made me fantasize harder about tarts and pies and cookies and cakes.

So when the new oven was installed, I immediately started thinking about what would be my christening baked good. I settled on Snickerdoodles, because the cookies here all seem a little too sweet for my taste, and i just wanted something cinnamon-y and soft and subtle, without chocolate (I know, blasphemy).