I am almost to ashamed to admit that I don’t have that many animal recipes on this blog even though I am a huge animal lover. For that reason today these cute little hedgehogs from pie crust need to be published. I am a huge fan of anything related to fall. I love to watch hedgehogs looking for heaps of leaves, it is so cute to see squirrels happily looking for nuts or birds being content that there still is enough food.
Today I am going to introduce you to dulce de leche. Never heard of it? This is Spanish and literally translates as “sweetness of milk”. In English it is often translated as milk caramel. Its taste is similar to traditional caramel, but since it is prepared with milk, it has a slightly different taste. Dulce de leche is widely used in Latin America and served with desserts, pastries, but also along cheese or as sweetener for coffee.
It has been a while since I last did a how to post. Shame on me. For that reason I wanted to give you twelve tips today to produce the fluffiest, lightest and best sponge batter. I love cakes with sponge batter, I especially love sponge rolls. If you would like to check out my recipes, please scroll down. I love sponge rolls, because they are fast to prepare, look all fancy and are perfect if you have company coming over. Sponge is also a nice and unassuming companion for any layer cake you want to create. It does not take over flavorwise, it holds back and nicely complements whichever buttercream or frosting you have in mind to fill it with. But sponge batter can be a bit hard to prepare. If you are not careful, it can get dry and it may not rise as much as you had hoped while baking. For that reason I have twelve helpful tips for you how your sponge batter is going to turn out perfect.
#1 Your eggs need to have room temperature
Eggs are what makes a sponge cake fluffy and light, so be sure to use the best eggs you can find and have them at room temperature. Why? Because they will be much easier to beat and will take less time. So be sure to use them at room temperature. If you are anything like me, you will most likely forget to take them out on time. So here is a little trick, put them in a mug with warm water while you take care of step two and you will be good to go.
Beating the eggs is one of the most important steps for fluffy sponge batter. This is because you are beating in air into the eggs so that they can lift the batter while it is baking. So if you don’t want your beaten eggs to deflate while you are rushing around finding utensils and measuring all remaining ingredients, prepare and measure out everything beforehand. Believe me, your batter will come together much better and you will be less stressed out when you start beating the eggs.
#3 Beat egg yolks and egg whites separately
There are different ways of creating fluffy sponge batter. You can either beat the eggs as a whole or you can do it separately. I seem to always get better results beating the egg parts separately, so this is why I recommend you doing it, too. I didn’t own a KitchenAid for many years, so I had to use a handheld mixer and believe me, if you want to beat the whole eggs, you will need to beat them for at least ten minutes or longer. Not so much fun with a handheld mixer, is it? Also, if you beat your egg yolks and egg whites separately, the total amount you need to beat is still much lower, so I still do it that why. And here is another tip, if you use a handheld mixer, start with the egg whites, you can then just continue beating the egg yolks without washing anything.
#4 Beat your egg whites in a fatfree enviornment and don’t beat them for too long
You need to be absolutely sure that your bowl and mixer are completely fatfree before you start beating the egg whites. If there is a little bit of egg white in your egg yolk, that’s no problem, but if you have egg yolk in your egg white, it may not get stiff. To help stabilize your egg white, I always recommend a pinch of salt or a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Here in Germany we don’t have cream of tartar, so this is our way to stabilize it. I usually add the salt when the egg white is foaming and changes color, becomin white, which usually happens after a minute or so. Originally I thought I had to beat the egg white until stiff peaks form, but I learned recently that that was a little over the top, you only need to beat it until soft peaks form (see picture below). This is another reason for me why I prefer beating egg whites and egg yolks seperately, it doesn’t take that long.
You have no idea what to do with leftover egg whites or egg yolks? Here are some recipes for you to use them up! Scroll down if you want to know how to freeze properly. And yes, it is possible to also freeze egg yolks, just use a little trick.
#What to do with Egg Whites
The easiest way to use leftover egg white is to make meringue. Meringue basically means beating the egg whites with sugar until stiff and firm and then drying this mixture in the oven at low temperature. There are a lot of delicious recipes with meringue, either as frosting, as an entire part of its own or as decoration for cakes. I give you some options below, click on the links to get to the recipes.
You would like to improve your food photography faster? Then these tips are for you. Often people are surprised when they hear that I started taking food photography seriously about a year and a half ago. The surprise stems from the idea that developing skills takes a long time. However, if you set goals, you will see that you will develop your skills much quicker. Just as an example, below are pictures from 2018 compared to 2017.
Same recipe of my favorite chocolate chip cookies, above from 2018, below from 2017
Do you see any difference?
This is because I set goals for my picture taking. If you are interested in getting five hands-on tips, head over to Emma on the blog The Food Blog Collective. Emma offers a lot of wonderful tips for new food bloggers, I wrote down my five tips how to improve your food photography with goal setting faster here.
Hi guys, I have decided it is about time to finally write another “how to” post. This time I decided to focus on pie crust or shortbread. Why so? Because many people are afraid of it, many are scared to even try it. Which is a shame, considering that you can make soooo many wonderful things with it.
At the end of this post you will find a list of recipes you can make and believe me, there is so much more than only pie you can make with! As you can see from my pictures, cookies or tarts also taste wonderful with it. You can make decorations such as the featured roses or surprise somebody with cookie stamp cookies.
So let’s have a look at the basics, what is important for pie crust? Continue Reading…
I have been taking pictures for about a year now and my passion for food photography is just beginning. I am definitely not a professional, but I love my camera, which is a Sony Nex7, this is not a DSLR, but a mirrorless camera. Mirrorless cameras are cheaper, easier to handle and perfect for me. So far I have bought one more lens and a tripod, that’s about it. I have often been asked whether I have some tips for beginners of food photography. As stated, I am not an expert, but I would like to present to you some practical tips, which really helped me during my journey. These are my down-to-earth tips. Let’s see:
#1 Take pictures and then take some more
It is so easy to get lost in tutorials and Youtube videos. But if you want to improve your photography, you actually have to take lots and lots of pictures. Period. You will only get better over time and if you practice regularly. Try to set a realistic goal. I, for example, set the goal to take pictures of at least one recipe every Saturday. The idea is that I take pictures of which I can use five for my blog. Sometimes I feel that the pictures will turn out beautifully. This was the case with the blueberry hand pies you see below. It was so much fun taking them! On the other hand, taking pictures of the apple roses cake was a pain. I took four times more pictures than for the pie until I was finally satisfied. Sometimes you may lose your mojo. I most certainly do. But the trick is to stick with it and just continue. You will not be perfect, but praticing regularly is key. On average I take pictures for half an hour. I don’t know why, but usually I get tired after that. If I had set the goal to take pictures for two hours, I probably would have given up. Be realistic setting your goals and then take pictures regularly.
recipe: cute blueberry hand pies
recipe: cake with apple roses