Lovely Leftovers

2017-02-20-20-05-18-smMost days I eat dinner leftovers for lunch. Sometimes they’re okay, sometimes they’re lame, occasionally they’re quite good.

But some leftovers are always nice.

During crazy cake season, I make a lot of icing, marzipan, and other special items for decorating cakes. Invariably I make too much–after all, I don’t want to run out in the middle of decorating a cake.

Some leftovers are eaten as-is–meringue mushrooms were a huge hit one year, as I recall, as were chocolate leaves.

Other leftovers need to be incorporated into something else to be enjoyable. This week I had a lot of marzipan leftover. Marzipan is okay on its own, but it’s much better with chocolate.

I rolled the leftover marzipan into 24 little balls, and placed each ball into the middle of a chocolate cupcake. The presence of the marzipan flattened the cupcakes (and made little belly buttons in some), but the chocolate-almond combination is excellent.

Best leftovers I’ve eaten in a long time. Now, if only I could justify eating them for lunch…


2017-01-22-07-09-00-smI’ve been threatening to make brioche for some time. Last time I made it was about seventeen years ago.

Not that I don’t like brioche–I love it–but I reckon that’s about how frequently one should eat it if one wants to live to a ripe old age. Three eggs provide most of the liquid, and 175 grams of butter give it that unbelievable silky texture. The butter and egg also make the dough incredibly sticky and difficult to work with, so it’s not something to make every weekend.

A cool, drizzly evening and the promise of a rainy day today made Sunday morning decadence sound like a good idea. I made up the dough after dinner Saturday and left it in the fridge overnight. This morning, it was a simple thing to roll balls of dough around chunks of intense dark chocolate and spoonfuls of sparkling red currant jam and pop them into little tart tins.

Half an hour later, these gorgeous little buns emerged from the oven. They were every bit as good as I remember them being seventeen years ago.

It may be another decade or two before I make brioche again, but something that decadent doesn’t need to come around too often. The memory is just as tasty as the real thing.

Baking Bellybuttons

Before baking--moons in the night sky. How romantic!

Before baking–moons in the night sky. How romantic!

I had to bake on the equinox. Something to celebrate the season, and the coming long nights.

I had some marzipan left over from recent birthday cakes, so I made chocolate cupcakes, each with a little ball of marzipan dropped into the batter–you know, a moon in the night sky.

After baking--bellybuttons.

After baking–bellybuttons. How…um…something.

But the marzipan moons sank, leaving the cupcakes looking a bit like bellybuttons.

Delicious bellybuttons, I might add…



chocbar2 smJ.K. Rowling got it right when she decided that the treatment for dementor attack should be chocolate. Dementors (for the one of you out there who hasn’t either read the Harry Potter books or seen the movies), are horrible creatures that suck all your happiness away, leaving you with only your worst memories.

I’m convinced dementors primarily attack teenagers. In fact, one ambushed my daughter the other day. It was terrible…anger and tears that no motherly words could console.

Fortunately, I knew what to do. We were in town at the time, so treatment was as near as the corner petrol station. I raced in, bought a chocolate bar, and administered it to my daughter.

The effect was immediate and dramatic. Crisis solved! Dementor banished!

Looks like I may have to keep some chocolate on hand for the duration of the teen years…and it must be time to start teaching them the patronus charm.