December 29th, 2014


Hot Cranberry Orange Cake (and the new Willow Bird Baking!)

My blog has just had a huge makeover! The new design includes a slideshow of featured recipes, a beautiful hand-painted logo, and an amazing new Recipe Index with photo galleries! I'm in love. Please come see if you're interested.

In the meantime, CAKE. This beautiful and simple cake is glazed right out of the oven. It’s the perfect balance of tart and sweet, and would be ideal for breakfast or dessert.

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To read about how this year of teaching compares with last year and see more cake photos, come see the full post on Willow Bird Baking!

x-posted to food_porn, picturing_food, cooking, bakebakebake

Over-the-Top Loaded Potato Nachos

Over-the-Top Loaded Potato Nachos: roasted potatoes with tangy nacho cheese sauce. Perfect as a New Year’s Eve party appetizer! Orrr for eating all by yourself if you're stingy with your nachos.

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To read about my (lack of) social skills, hear about two other bloggers I love, and see more photos, come see the full post on Willow Bird Baking!

x-posted to food_porn, picturing_food, cooking, bakebakebake

Rum Baba

I often cook pastry with my son. We usually work in a kind of tandem. He loves to play with dough, and I like to eat it all.

To say the truth, it has become kind of tradition. And the initiative in most cases comes from my little son.

We have already cooked Gugelhupf with him, and we make Tiramisu very often, as well as lots of other desserts.

There are several recipes I brought from my trip to Armenia still waiting to be uploaded.

The procedure is usually the following: we sit down on a sofa with my laptop and my son chooses a dish by a photo. And the next day we cook it after buying all ingredients necessary.

This time my son has chosen this splendid Rum Baba: a great dessert on the Christmas Eve. One can enjoy it with a bottle of fine wine (but don’t give it to your child, OK?).

Dough ingredients:

  • 150 g flour

  • 6 g fresh (pressed) yeast

  • 65 g milk

  • 2 eggs

  • 60 g raisins

  • 20 g sugar

  • 20 g rum

  • 35 g butter


  • 1 l water

  • 500 g sugar

  • 100 g rum

  • 1 vanilla bean

  • Mint


  1. Prepare syrup first and then allow it to cool down, because hot rum baba shall be put in cold syrup.

  2. To prepare syrup, put water in a saucepan, add sugar, vanilla and mint.

  3. Bring to the boil, cook for 4-5 minutes, put aside to cool down.

  4. To prepare dough, mix all dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, salt) and put in a deep bowl.

  5. Warm the milk up to30ºC (86ºF), add yeast, eggs, rum and mix thoroughly.

  6. Add liquid composition to flour and mix for 15 minutes.

  7. The dough shall be elastic and not sticky.

  8. Finally, add butter previously warmed up to room temperature and cut in small pieces.

  9. Leave dough in a warm place (up to 40ºC, 104ºF) for 1 hour.

  10. After the dough has risen and become 3 times bigger, punch it down and put into baking cups (either silicone or metal).

  11. Leave the dough to rise once more (it will take about 20-30 minutes) and put into the oven for 35 minutes at 180ºC (356ºF).

  12. Babas shall become golden brown.

  13. Take hot pastry out of the forms and put immediately in cooled syrup.

  14. Turn babas over from time to time and syrup them, allowing syrup to soak in.

  15. Then put pastry on a metal grid, allowing extra syrup to drain away.

  16. Rum baba is best served well cooled with berries and mint syrup in a plate.

  17. And bon appetite! ... With love :)

Read more interesting recipes at

Honey-Drizzled Cranberry Brie Pastry Braid

If you're having a New Year's Eve party (or even if you're just staying home in your jammies), this has to be on your table! This Honey-Drizzled Cranberry Brie Pastry Braid is totally gorgeous, absolutely delicious, shockingly easy! No, really, it's super simple to make.

Toast pecans for this recipe by baking them on a baking sheet for 4-6 minutes at 350 degrees F, tossing occasionally, until fragrant. If you wish, you can prepare this braid in advance: just complete all steps to assemble the braid, cover it with plastic wrap on the parchment-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate overnight. Set it out on the counter in the morning as the oven preheats, egg wash it, and then bake as usual. I included some photos on the blog that show the process of marking and assembling a Raspberry Almond Braid as an example. It’s super easy to do, but a little fiddly to explain in just words, so hopefully the photos will help.

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To read about how I was an accidental jerk in fourth grade, see braid assembly photos, and continue to bask in the glow of my blog redesign, come see the full post on Willow Bird Baking!

x-posted to food_porn, picturing_food, cooking, bakebakebake