Wednesday, 25 May 2016


I took a quick look at my blog today and that's when I realised it has been over a month since I posted! That's way too long and I apologise! The reason is my preparing for the Midsummer Market @ BoscafĂ© Merlijn on the 18th and 19th of June. My sisters and I have been labelling, photographing, pricing, instagramming and promoting all the products I will be selling. First I thought: there's no reason to share it with you guys, for it is likely none of you will be in Kranenburg Germany next month. But my sister convinced me to share it with you because it's something I really love doing and what makes me smile every day! So here it is: my Midsummer Market Preparations-story. And I promise I will keep you posted this time. And who knows: maybe I will see one of you next month at my stand. Fingers crossed! 

The first week of May I booked myself a short holiday in the region of Calvados in Normandy, France. Not to relax and wonder around beautiful gardens (altough I did get some of that in Bayeux) but to visit farms, artisan factories and local shops with handmade delicacies. I really love Normandy food and I decided to share my enthusiasm at a local Midsummer Market. So there I was, strolling the small aisle of the store of the best artisan fudge farm of Normandy: that of Caramels d'Isigny. And seriously, I wanted to take everything home! Luckily my boyfriend was there to remind me of my budget, so I didn't go totally wild, but I bought some kilos of the very best Normandy fudge in all the flavours you can imagine (chocolat, vanille, coffee, calvados, strawberry, apple, salted butter). It's like the Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans from Harry Potter but better. Because these haven't got earwax or vomit flavours, so no worries with these ones! 

After visiting the fudge factory I went on visiting an organic cider farm and I wanted to buy more than they had in their little shop. So I was lucky enough to be invited to their bottling barn! I was allowed to take a couple of pictures and I left with a trunk full of organic apple juice, pear juice, cider and cider vinegar. After that I visited a very small cookie shop in Asnelles, or a biscuiterie as the French call it. I bought very cute little chocolate and butter cookies and rather large beautiful seashell-formed cookies. But I wasn't finished yet... I went to Vire, for the one and only andouille asselot sausages! Dried and smoked handmade pork sausages with different flavours (herbs, camembert, nuts). After that I decided I needed a rest to admire all the lovely products I bought. With a small glass of red wine and a piece of local Neufchatel I celebrated my journey. 

Since then I really can't wait for it to be the 18th of June! 

Friday, 22 April 2016


Spring! Bring it on with this luscious Victorian sponge cake with strawberries en raspberries! A sponge cake is a cake made of biscuit dough (sugar, eggs and flour). First you whip the sugar and eggs until they have multiplied by ten. Then you fold in the four. This way you will become a light but high risen cake. The British call this a Victorian sponge because queen Victoria had a piece of this cake every day with her afternoon tea. Totally called for when you're the queen of the United Kingdom. After having a piece yourself you can only agree with her 100%!

This is a first-rate spring recipe and not only because of all the lovely soft fruit. Sponge cake is a yiest-less cake and is therefore a traditional part of Jewish Passover. With Passover the Jews celebrate the exodus of Egypt and their liberation from slavery. They fled during the night and had no time to bake bread using yiest, for it had to rise several hours. That's why they baked flat, unleavened bread. And that's why sponge cake is still baked with matzo-flour during Passover. 

Victorian Sponge with Strawberries & Raspberries 
8-10 pieces

6 eggs
150 gr sugar
100 gr flour
pinch of salt
400 ml cream
250 gr white chocolade in small pieces
150 gr strawberries, halved
150 gr raspberies
icing sugar to decorate

1. Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Place chocolate in a bowl and pour over half of the cream and set aside for 1 minute. Stir until chocolate has melted. Add the rest of the cream and stir until smooth. Leave to cool and place in the fridge for at least one hour.

2. Preheat your oven to 200C. Line two baking tins with paper. 

3. Mix the eggs and sugar in a large (!) bowl and mix them with an electric mixer for 8 to 10 minutes or until the mixture is white and very fluffy. Fold half of the flour into the mixture and if the flour has completely been incorporated fold in the rest of the flour. Pour the batter into the two tins as evenly as possible. Bake for 15-25 minutes in the oven or until they are light golden brown and bounce back when you press them with your finger. Leave to rest. Don't you worry if the cakes sink in a little bit, totally normal, won't affect the taste. 

3. Mix the melted chocolate-cream mix with an electric mixer until you have soft peaks (do not mix too long for you will get chocolate-butter!). Place one of the cakes on a plate using a cake-server or spatula for remember the cake is fragile. Cover the cake with one third of the chocolate mousse. Place the second cake on top of the first and also cover this one with one third of the mousse. Use the rest of the mousse to cover the sides of the cake (you can see I didn't because I was a bit too generous with the mousse in the first place). Place the cake in the fridge for a couple of hours to set. Be sure to cover the cake with plastic wrap if you plan to let the cake set overnight. 

4. Before serving: cover the cake with fresh strawberries and raspberries and dust with icing sugar. 

Have an extra large slice of cake with your afternoon tea and imagine being queen Victoria on her royal balcony. Enjoy!