Speculoos biscuits and travel adventures

stringIn February of this year I was in Belgium. It sounds so far away from where I am at this moment that it’s quite hard to comprehend. Like a lame tourist, I indulged in waffles and ‘frites’ because I believed that was what I was supposed to do. I bought loads of chocolate (some amazing, some disappointing) and generally ignored the fact that my cholesterol was probably going through the roof! But speculoos was a shining beacon of delicious individuality amidst all the tourist trappings. Continue reading “Speculoos biscuits and travel adventures”

Honey jumbles and celebrating food

closeI’ve had one of those weeks that really inspire you to love food. I had fabulous breakfast with a friend (which I couldn’t help myself but Instagram, check it out!), I reminisced about chocolate milkshakes, I watched my mother darling throw together an amazing meal to entertain a crowd and I had an unexpectedly delicious meal last night in Newtown.

I feel as though there are times in your life where you’re more appreciative of food than others. And seeing as I’m in this deliriously food-focussed mood, I picked out a jar of honey I’ve had sitting in my pantry for months and decided to make the most of it. Continue reading “Honey jumbles and celebrating food”

Rich chocolate cake and edible flowers

sliceI have wanted to use edible flowers for so long. Pre-blog. The idea that such beautiful decorations are edible fits in well with my general approach to cooking – I don’t like things to just look good, I want them to taste good as well.


So when I stumbled across some gorgeous edible flowers at Leichhardt organic markets, I bought them on impulse. Continue reading “Rich chocolate cake and edible flowers”

The difference between polenta and semolina

There’s no recipe to post today, just a little guide to baking with semolina/polenta. In my last post I made a cake with semolina in it.

I found out the hard way that polenta and semolina are not always interchangeable when I made a lemon semolina cake about three months ago. I Googled “can you substitute semolina with polenta?”

“Yes” was the resounding answer.

My cake said otherwise.

While they essentially perform the same role in a cake, the outcome of my baking with polenta was a grittier, denser texture than I was looking for.

Semolina
This is polenta, the fiend that ruined my cake!

Semolina is wheat, polenta is corn. ‘Polenta’ may also refer to the grain or the dish that results from using polenta.

There are occasions where you can substitute one for the other, but not all the time. They both have their benefits:

  • Semolina is high in protein and fibre and low GI, so it’s good for you! Semolina is a good option for people who need to monitor their glucose levels, like diabetics or dieters.  It is also a good source of vitamins E and B, which help your immune system.
  • Polenta is made up of complex carbohydrates high in dietary fibre, which means that they are a better source of energy than simple carbs. Polenta is also high in zinc, and iron.

When buying polenta or semolina, go for the most finely ground version you can find (unless the recipe specifies otherwise.) Generally cakes will call for semolina or polenta without indicating how coarse/fine the ingredient should be – if in doubt, opt for the finer alternative

My Lemon semolina cake (in which I used polenta instead of semolina) turned out even worse because my polenta was quite coarse – a similar size to couscous – and made my cake crumbly. And a little hard on the teeth.

I still Instagrammed it, because I’m lame. (http://instagram.com/p/Y7iBbAg76M/)

My advice? Tweak recipes where you need to, but if you’re really unsure, save your time by popping down to the shops and picking up the right ingredients!

Peanut Butter Cookies and Instagram

Cookiesmay not know that I was prompted to start this because of Instagram. I wish I was kidding! I’m one of those people who cannot resist sneaky snaps of her teacup, or of freshly baked biccies.

I’m an Instagram tragic.   (proof here: http://instagram.com/gabbyeq)

The boy and I started house-sitting in April and I had recently been made redundant – what is a girl to do in her copious amounts of spare time? Instagram of course! Once people cottoned onto the fact that I was mostly cooking and taking pictures of said cooking, it became a bit of a joke that I spent all of my time this way.

#bakingwithgab was born. Continue reading “Peanut Butter Cookies and Instagram”