Sugar Thumb’s 1st Birthday and some other stuff

orange and cream cheese cake | Sugar Thumb

 

Happy Monday all! After a weekend of baking, early nights and day time drinking I am feeling pretty relaxed. As I mentioned last week, my blog turned 1 year old on Saturday (my dad also turned 58 – happy birthday dad: you rock!). Being the baking maniac that I am I thought I would throw a little party for my friends to celebrate this blogiversary, as many of them complain about all the cakes they see in their newsfeed that they never actually get to try.

I baked baklava, banana loaf (with a whole banana in the middle), mini chocolate and raspberry tarts, banoffee pie, strawberry tart with creme patissiere, and this wonderful orange and cream cheese cake – the recipe for this one is at the bottom… the recipe for the baklava is coming soon!

orange and cream cheese cake | Sugar Thumb

orange and cream cheese cake | Sugar Thumb

cakkkkkkkkkes galooooore – here’s my friend Victoria digging into some baklava!

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Family Traits: Chocolate Digestives

chocolate digestives | Sugar Thumb

One of my earliest memories of my father is his love of digestive biscuits. He would always buy them over biscuits that I thought were exciting and delicious… like bourbons or custard creams. And I always found it crazy… they are made from spelt flour and he genuinely loves them. It’s especially weird because I definitely get my chocoholicism from him.. he often has drawers with chocolate bars in in his office.. which makes me smile when I see it. So when I saw that the wonderful Kathryn had teamed up with Food52 and baked chocolate digestives I just had to bake some as they make me think of my dear paps! And with a good layer of chocolate on top.. they truly are dreamy! I won’t duplicate the recipe – if you want to make the recipe you can find it here on food52.

chocolate digestives | Sugar Thumb

Happy weekend everyone! Hope you have a good one. It’s my blog’s first birthday this weekend so I am having a little partay in Berlin for the occasion – I will share these next week along with some recipes!

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Baked apples with chocolate, quark and currant jam

Baked apples with chocolate recipe

Baked apples. I love them because not only do they taste goooood, but I can also fool myself that they are healthy even if I put chocolate, quark and jam on them. The way I see it, it’s healthier than putting all that stuff on a giant cupcake. But maybe that is a strange way to look at things.

 

Baked apples with chocolate recipe

Also…. OMG, the new game of thrones just blew my mind. Don’t worry. No spoilers here, but seriously, people who don’t watch game of thrones. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?! The wolves, the lions, the battles… the black magic. I love Arya and obvs khaleesi, they are my two favourite characters. Its such a great show because it portrays women as strong, powerful and important. My two fully grown male flatmates said “so excited to see who Arya kills this season”. When have boys ever been excited to see a girl in battle. Never. That’s why it’s great.

Baked apples with chocolate recipe

Moving on from swords. I had to go and do my washing yesterday in the laundrette because our washing machine is still broken. I hopped on my bike with a bag full of laundry and with about as much balance as a clown on a tightrope (very little), I made my way – wobbling under the weight of the laundry. But I had one of those moments, when I was crossing the canal at Friedelstrasse when I felt so calm and I looked at the water and just thought “wow. I really like it here”. Another note – has anyone been to the launderette on Ohrlauer strasse. All the washing machines have women’s names. Quirky.. or possibly sexist. Not sure which one ?

 

Baked apples with chocolate recipe

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lemon meringue pie and some DIY (it rhymes….!)

Lemon meringue pie recipe

Today is one of my best friends’ birthdays : Happy Birthday Philippppppppa! She is an absolute gem. We met in the first week of university, her room was over the corridor from mine. She used to be drunk after ONE snake bite. Now she is 25 and several snake bites later, she is still one of the funniest people I know, even if she doesn’t always mean to be :).

easy lemon meringue pie recipe

Lemon meringue pie recipe

Lemon meringue pie recipe

As you can see I also made lemon meringue pie. I love lemon meringue pie, it’s so tangy and sweet. This is a really easy and foolproof recipe. Lemon Meringue pie makes me feel like I’m in some farm yard home in the Southern states of the US, sipping milk from a jar and dipping my toes in a pond. No idea why.. maybe that’s a really bizarre association? Anyone else feel the same? Continue reading

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Herbed mushroom and Marscarpone Tortellini Recipe

easy tortellini recipe

So, tortellini was quite the challenge without a pasta roller. I have to admit and while it is definitely doable, if you want really thin, delicate pasta you should buy one. I have been looking for pasta rollers and this is the best pasta roller I found for good value. I have ordered it, so next time I make pasta, I will use it and give you a proper review!

But don’t worry, I made these without a machine and just by hand with a rolling pin and they were delicioso but just a lot of work for the hands! At the moment I am trying to eat a bit less meat. Which Is why I chose to make mushroom and marscapone tortellini. So, SO delicious.

Herbed mushroom and Marscarpone Tortellini recipe

easy pasta dough recipe

easy pasta dough recipe

 

If you love pasta and you have a pasta roller, it’s great way to show off at a dinner party. “well, I actually made the pasta from scratch”. Unless they say “it tastes kind of rubbery…” in which case you may have gone slightly awry …haha.

Additionally.. if you are a bit on the broke side then this would be a great mother’s day present for a pasta loving mother. Cooking tortellini for her from scratch with a bottle of wine… yumm…

Also.. i finished True Detectives. it was pure amazingness. But don’t worry, I won’t spoil it for you. But I am now going through a huge Matthew Mcconaughey phase. I watched Dallas Buyers’ Club last night. Also amazing. Jared Leto was so good. Highly recommend watching it.

I am seriously itching for payday. I have so many cool DIYs in my head for my room renovation and I can’t do any of them yet. BRING ON APRIL!

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Redcurrant and Lemon Whoopie Pie Layer Cake

lemon whoopie pie layer cake recipe

 

Happy Friday people!

Couldn’t be more ready for chilling OUT. Friday night in with some delicious pie of some description… some mash and tea sounds awesome to me. I just read over that again and it sounds slightly sad.. but I couldn’t care less. This week has been one of those weeks where I have had something to do every second of the day. I am redoing my bedroom. Mainly because it’s such a nice room with so much potential and I have just shoved a hodge podge of different furniture together without any scheme. Working at a furniture shop every day, means looking at a LOT of nice furniture and a LOT of beautiful rooms and homes. It’s given me home envy. While my budget is pretty low, I have decided to just paint a lot of things. I’m also going to buy some nice wooden boxes from a craft shop near me and use them as dislay boxes like this. Such a great way to show off nice ornaments and add something more interesting to the walls. Caitlin, Manda and Marla run one of my favourite non-food blogs called The Merry Thought. They made these diy copper and marble shelflettes recently and I am in love with them. So great having such a wealth of DIY ideas on blogs – it means redecorating on a budget can be so much more fun! Anyway, I know I am mainly a food blogger, but I am going to be doing some posts that include photos of my new room because I thought it would help anyone else redecorating on a budget. Also my friend Holly is an interior designer, so I’m going to be asking her for a lot of advice… which I will definitely share!

lemon and redcurrant whoopie pie recipe

lemon and redcurrant whoopie pie recipe

Moving on from home design, how amazing are whoopie pies? I only jumped on that bandwagon very recently and it was extremely full.. because they are just so good. So I thought, I would make a whoopie pie layer cake. Just because. Every year when I see redcurrants in the shop I swoon. They add such a necessary tang to extremely sweet cakes (this one is EXTREMELY SWEET). Super easy to make. You will need a piping bag ! It’s the perfect size for two or three people to share  without feeling sick afterwards.

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Apple and Gorgonzola Pizza {vegetarian recipe}

apple and gorgonzola vegetarian pizza recipe

 

It’s a sorry state of affairs, when your biggest achievement of the weekend is not being hungover. But I would just like to say – I wasn’t hungover at any point and it was fab. My boyfriend and I went to watch Toby and Reece, my flatmates, in an English comedy night called Adorable Creatures. It’s in Rixdorf in Neuköln. I had never realised how wonderfully serene and rural Rixdorf is. It’s like a small piece of idyllic country living in the extremely urban Neuköln landscape. I was seduced by the place.

On Saturday, I headed down to Freckles with some friends – including my friend Minette who is allergic to eggs and nuts. Thus why we went to Freckles – it’s vegan. I was trying to not be bias against vegan baking when I arrived, but once I had tried the cakes, I had to take my hat off to them. They had this amazing apple “meringue” pie.. and I have no idea how they made such an amazing substitue for meringue without egg OR dairy. I will have to ask and then update you all. I would recommend Freckled Heaven to vegans or non-vegans. Great cake!

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Rose Macarons recipe and tips

rose macaroons recipe

Yesterday was my friend Toms birthday. He loves a baked good, so I made him these pink macaroons which are rose flavoured. Plus my mum bought me some of that cracking candy you used to eat as a kid, in gold, so I added some of that on top too! Really cute.

The key with macaroons apart from the biscuits themselves is a delicious filling. It’s what makes it. My favourite macaroon filling was always passion fruit, because it brings a tang to the sweetness. Rose is also delicious though so don’t you worry!

rose macaroons recipe

A lot of people think macaroons are really hard – and I wouldn’t say mine are completely perfect but I think knowing a few of the following tips will make this recipe a far less intimidating venture:
 
1. When you pipe macaroons out, don’t do it like icing. Just place the pipe in the middle and pipe down onto one spot, until you have made the size of circle you wish.
2. Piping macaroons often leaves a little peak at the top of the macaroon. If you want a smooth look, dip a teaspoon into cold water and brush the bottom of the spoon over the peak to flatten it.
3. Once you have piped out the macaroons, leave them to dry for about 10 minutes BEFORE putting them in the oven
4. Once you take the macaroons out of the oven, pour some water between the baking tray and the greaseproof paper. This will make some steam which will help to loosen the macaroons and prevent ripping when you try and remove them.

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Baked Peaches with vanilla and brown sugar

baked peaches and nectarines recipe

Yesterday was a scorching 15°C in Berlin. I could’ve danced with joy all day. I didn’t, but I could have! With Spring comes the arrival of new fruits and vegetables at the market. I ran up to the guy at the fruit market as they were closing and asked ” do you have nectarines?”. They FINALLY did. They weren’t ripe yet, but I was so so so so impatient, so I thought I would bake them with some vanilla and brown sugar at a high heat. It softens them and brings out the natural sugar like a treat!

I have just woken up.. and I have to leave for work in about 10 minutes, so this post is going to be mega MEGA short. But enjoy these – they are so amazing with vanilla ice-cream and I will be back with a more informative post soon!

baked peaches and nectarines recipe

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Banana and Apple Fritters: Two ways

banana and apple fritters recipe

A couple of weekends ago I was in Freiburg visiting my boyfriend, he was having a reunion with all his friends from around the country. I was the gatecrashing girlfriend, haha, and I loved it! They are all lovely and hilarious- I turned up late on Friday night to find a kitchen full of half drunk guys who were all hyper. Hilarious. One of  his friends, Mike, made some delicious banana fritters. Sidenote: DON’T DEEP FRY WHEN YOU ARE DRUNK – I have a scar on my arm from doing that with fish cakes as a student – BIG mistake. Mike’s banana fritters were so quick to make and so delightful, so I thought I would give them a go. Thanks MIKE!

 

banana and apple fritters recipe

 

While I was at it I thought: two birds,  one stone. So I made banana fritters with chocolate batter and apple fritters with cinnamon batter. Both were amazing and super quick. I had an hour in my lunch break to go home, grab some lunch, buy some apples and bananas, make the batter, do the photos, fry the stuff and have a taste. Which proves to you how simple these are.

banana and apple fritters recipe

 

Sorry for the slightly uncrisp photos of the final fritters… I was rushing a bit! On the way back to work I forgot to stamp my ticket and got fined. SOOOO annoying. The ubahn controller was even taking the piss out of me a bit – ego definitely bruised. Lesson 1. – always ride with a stamped ticket.

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