Sounds completely ridiculous, I mean come on, the French Riviera?! Nice, Cannes and Monaco are all the places where all the high class people chill out on their yachts and attend fabulous parties! That is only one side of the Cote d’Azur’s story, though… Continue reading “French Riviera on a Budget – Nice in September”
I did not dare to bake a soufflé for a long time, I have been watching way too many episodes of ‘MasterChef Professionals’ where they always emphasized how easy it is to mess it up. The other day I took out a few cute little ramekins from the cupboard that I haven’t used for ages, and realized I bought them a year ago, saying they will be perfect for either a soufflé or crème brûlée. Was ashamed to admit, in over a year I never attempted to challenge myself with any of them, so I figured it is about time!
Turns out it is actually doable…
Well, it is all true, you must be very careful and patient every step of the way, opening the oven too early is the first and most important mustn’t if you don’t want it to collapse in a second.
To me, a soufflè is a dessert that isn’t mousse, isn’t either a sponge, something in between. Turned out to be a delicious breakfast (true story, Greg has a difficult life:)) with raspberries on top. Was not even near to perfect, so if anyone has any tips please let me know! Unfortunately I didn’t take photos of the inside as I didn’t take it out of the ramekin, but honestly, texture could be improved.
- 7 oz dark chocolate (200g) personally, I can’t stand milk chocolate, but feel free to use that if you’d like or even mix both, but then be aware as less sugar is needed
- 4 oz caster sugar (120g)
- 4 oz butter (120g)
- 1.7 oz flour (50g)
- 4 eggs
- a pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 375 F (gas mark 5 or 190 C). Slowly melt the chocolate and butter on a top of a double boiler, or just use a non-plastic bowl above a pot of simmering water. Once all melted and mixed together, let is stay until cools down a bit (important, as we don’t want the egg yolks cooked), then add the egg yolks. Mix the sugar and flour together then add it to the chocolate mixture. Get a separate bowl and place the egg white into it. Either with a whisk or a hand mixer until little peaks are formed (be careful to carry out this step properly!). Then add this to the chocolate mixture VERY GENTLY, working it SLOWLY in.
Fill the already buttered ramekins until they are a bit more than half full. This is where I made the mistake of being afraid they would grow to tall, so I put too little into the cups. Bake them for about 15-20 minutes. It does depend on the oven though, so make sure you test its strength beforehand. I am not sure how many ramekins you could fill up with this recipe, as I only needed 2 for breakfast, put the rest into the fridge.
It is very rich, so definitely goes hand in hand with whipping cream and raspberries, strawberries. Enjoy as much as we did 🙂
I will skip Bangkok for now, as we escaped the city as quickly as we could. And was wise to do so! On the 11th day morning – as a result of the monsoon’s arrival – we ended up in Cambodia. Well, that was unexpected! But more on that in another post. Continue reading “Phuket in September – West coast of the Thai islands”
As mentioned before, we held a BBQ over the weekend. Because of the excitement of my very last exam I just didn’t feel focused enough to pull off a more complicated recipe, but I definitely wanted a home-made dessert for our guests.
Ingredients (makes about 30 pieces of medium-sized balls)
- 4.4 oz rich tea biscuits (125 g)
- 2 oz cherry conserve (60 g, any other conserve works just fine)
- 1.5 oz caster sugar (45 g)
- 1.2 oz butter (35 g)
- 0.4 oz unsweetened cocoa powder (11 g)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1-2 tbsp rum or brandy, both works
- few tbsp of sweetened dessicated coconut
Start by taking the butter out of the fridge if that is where you store it, as it has to be soft enough to to be mixed with the other ingredients. Put the biscuits into a large enough bowl, break each into 3-4 little pieces and get a rolling pin to crush them into a smooth enough powder.
If done, mix the butter, cocoa powder, rum, lemon juice, conserve and sugar with the crushed biscuits until smooth and gets an even colour. Once that is done, taste – depending on preference, add more sugar if not sweet enough, if it is too runny add some more crushed biscuits, if too hard then add more butter.
Take a plate and put 1 or 2 tbsp of the dessicated coconut on it. Form little balls out of the chocolate mixture and dip them in the coconut.
Bank-holiday weekend with eternal sunshine… As the day before was spent with BBQing at least 6 kg (almost a stone) of beef ribs and chicken thighs marinated in different extremely spicy Nando’s sauces, alongside with great amount of tequila shots, God knows how many pitchers of mojitos and pálinka jelly (jelly made out of traditional Hungarian fruit brandy)… I was pretty certain we are not going anywhere the next day. BUT following the smart rule – after finishing one alcoholic drink we must drink a cup of water – paid off, no hangover whatsoever the next day.
So hopped on the bikes and off we went. My first aim was to find rapeseed fields as I noticed the lovely colours before from the train. Greg’s aim was to make me cycle so far, I’d get tired and pissed because of his white lies “Honey, just another mile and we’re there”, which I heard at least 4 times. He loves pushing my boundaries – which I am grateful for – but only a few days afterwards.
The rapeseed fields along the way were breathtaking:
And another photo of the lovely town of Saffron Walden, which I found so pretty and livable, I wanted to move there straight away.
Being quite used to taking smaller trips between our major holidays – I found myself craving everything that is even a little bit different to the environment we tend to spend our days in, manoeuvring between the office, lab, uni, local shops and home. I am actually lying, the past month have been exceptionally colourful for me. Having friends and parents visiting us meant we could discover the sights of our beloved Cambridge and London, over and over again. And not to forget my spontaneous surprise holiday to the jewel of Eastern Europe – Budapest. Still, all these places are familiar to me – and I have been missing the adventure and the excitement of discovering new places.
This year is the first one when we neither had the time nor the funds to take a refreshing getaway during the Autumn/Winter months. Well into May now, I am desperate for a change of scenery, the obsessed research prior to the holiday, impressing my wonderful fiancé with the hidden gems I found at 3 in the morning, during one of my slightly over-the-top ‘I am just way too excited to sleep, what if we travel there and miss something?’ nights.
Don’t take it the wrong way, travelling has not become a stressing experience for me, BUT it is certainly not for relaxing. We try to fit in more chilling days, but after a day, boredom knocks on the door. And the fear, what if there is the loveliest little chapel a mile away from us, and we are just sitting on the beach not being aware of it? The urge, to soak up all the unique and unfamiliar in a new setting is something I neither can nor want to suppress.
Finally getting to the point, my impatience resulting in high levels of enthusiasm was proven to be a good lawyer (once again…) and the fiancé finally gave in – not that he is going to suffer because I am forcing him to go on a holiday… But his work situation is a bit different as I am still a student.
Surviving the longest and most excruciating Winter ever, I just can’t help but realize how much time we spent inside the house, visiting the gym a few times a week – but still not feeling quite healthy. We both decided we need an active holiday, even more active than our usual ones. No sightseeing – which could be almost just as tiring though – but actual walking and hiking. The original dream was to fly over to Belfast and do a 4-5 day car trip (with daily hikes inserted) on the Causeway Coastal Route. One of our friends is from Banbridge (very close to Belfast) so we figured it could be a perfect holiday for the four of us, one that we have been planning on for years, and as her fiancé has never been to that part of Northern Ireland, they were in straight away. BUT – the rather ‘evil’ then still boyfriend decided to propose to me… (the bastard! :)) meaning he spent hundreds and hundreds of pounds on the perfect ring. So we figured let’s see, what we can find in the UK.
Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland (Game of Thrones fans – a great amount of scenes are filmed here)
Scotland – even though I’ve had dreams about the Scottish Highlands and Islands ever since I moved to the UK – was ruled out as it is too far. Two options – Lake District or Snowdonia. Conducted my research properly – and decided on Snowdonia, as Wales is still closer than let’s say Windermere. We have only been to Cardiff before, but we grew interest in the Welsh language (they have some seriously unpronounceable words over there, even worse than Hungarian the language), culture and – of course – cuisine.
In a little over a week, we will be driving up to Beddgelert near Snowdon mountain, that we will climb the following day. We will be doing some wild camping, which I am a bit concerned about, but only because of the cold. Every 100 meters (328 ft) the temperature drops a Celsius (33F), and even though it will be almost June, I don’t have high hopes for good weather (deep inside hoping for a nice surprise) as the top of the mountains tend to be still covered with snow well into May. In two weeks time I will have my own photos to show you after the trip I’m impatiently waiting for!