Posts in Make
Tonka Bean Semifreddo Recipe

Hello everyone, hope you are all enjoying the blooming spring. We’re heading into the time of the year where it is becoming rather indecent not to have a pint of ice cream hidden in the depths of the freezer for those moments when sun comes out in all its glory and all you want to do is sit outside and indulge into a frozen cream, custard or yogurt. Last year was our first summer in Switzerland and by the time June came around we were quite literally cooking, which meant banana ice cream topped with granola for breakfast and all sorts of frozen concoctions throughout the day. ana_May_02

Having a job that keeps me thinking about food almost every day, I am always on the lookout for interesting ingredients to work with. Now, for those who do not know, I happen to live in the beautiful Swiss countryside where more exotic ingredients aren’t always easy to come by, so when the lovely lady selling spices in our market procured some tonka beans, I jumped and bought them all.

Tonka bean is a curious little thing. It has a particular taste somewhere between almond and vanilla that comes even more alive once a little vanilla is added to it. There are even very delicate tobacco notes that are barely felt, but it makes for a more interesting spice altogether.

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Tonka beans work not only in sweet things where they can be baked in or just grated on top of desserts to finish them off. They are great with shellfish, though I feel a note should be made here. When it comes to vanilla undertones and shellfish the world is divided into two groups: one says they should never be seen together and the other thinks it’s like biting into a piece of heaven (when done well, of course). I belong to the latter, having tried scallops with vanilla hollandaise some four years ago and still dreaming about it to date, so I would surely recommend giving this flavur marriage a try.

If you have never worked with tonka beans on the other hand, dessert is a good place to start and a semifreddo is a wonderful way to showcase its flavor (and keep in your freezer for when the sun is out). The art of making a semifreddo is rather basic. You need to beat the eggs over a double boiler till they become light and fluffy (cooking them at the same time) and after tossing with some cream freeze completely, though it will start melting almost immediately after leaving the freezer so do take it out the last minute. I like to add a bit of crunch to my semifreddo in the form of meringues and berries for freshness, but it will taste great on its on too.

SHOPPING LIST: 2 egg yolks 1 egg 4 tbsp sugar 2 tonka beans, grated 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out 1 cup/ 250 ml Meringues (optional) 2 egg whites, room temperature pinch of salt 1/2 cup/115 g caster sugar berries to serve edible pansies, to serve (optional)

PREPARE To make the semifreddo, line a large tin (or 6 small ones) with cling film. Set aside. Place a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water with eggs, sugar, grated tonka beans and scraped vanilla seeds beating for 5-6 minutes, till thick, pale and double in volume. Take off the heat and continue to beat for a minute or two, till the bowl cools down. To speed things up, you can place the bowl over ice. In a chilled bowl beat cream till soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into eggs. Pour into tin and freeze for at least 3-4 hours.

To make the meringues, preheat the oven to 110C/ 250F. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt till stiff peaks. Gradually add the sugar beating very well after each addition. Then continue to beat till the meringue looks thick and glossy, but do not overbeat. Pipe out mini meringues on a lined sheet and bake for 1 hour. Then switch off the oven and let them cool completely.

To serve, take out the semifreddo, top with berries, meringues, pansies and serve immediately.

ana_May_02

Enjoy the sun and frozen treats, I will be back with another recipe on 15th June! -

(Photography, Recipe, Text: )

How To Make A Beautiful Wisteria + Iris Bouquet

Hello dear readers, I'm back with a new flower column for you to enjoy this month. I currently live in Germany, but I grew up in the Ukraine and one of my most cherished memories goes back to summer months spent with my wonderful grandma at our 'dacha', a small Russian summer house. This was our seasonal second home where we grew our own fruit, vegetables and flowers! I was outdoors the entire time helping my beloved granny plant new strawberries or potatoes. Luckily, my grandma loved flowers as much as I did and so together we planted peonies, daisies and my favorite, irises. In fact, I think it was her who instilled a passion for flowers in me. ana_May_02

There was no better feeling than to go home with a bucket full of strawberries or a bouquet of peonies. When my mother and I moved to Germany, my granny visited and brought a few from our dacha. She also planted peonies. With this background you might better understand my love of flowers an why I am really looking forward to share this special arrangement with you today fresh from the garden.

Anastasia Benko for cattledogs

Anastasia Benko for cattledogs

Anastasia Benko for cattledogs

Anastasia Benko for cattledogs

I instantly knew that I wanted to design a centerpiece around wisteria, this pale violet wonder, so that was my starting point. I focused on white and lavender tones to create a balanced look and started collecting flowers from the garden and the nearby forest (like the wild garlic & wild chervil). If you wish to make this kind of arrangement at home, you will need: RECIPE: a vase chicken wire pliers - to cut the wire tape - to fix the wire to the vase clean and sharp garden shears

FLOWERS: Iris Wisteria Wild Chervil Wild Garlic Columbine Roses Spiraea

Anastasia Benko for cattledogs

Once I got home, I prepared the vase and put in some chicken wire and fresh water. If the vase you are using is not deep enough, you can fix the chicken wire with clear tape to vase so you have a solid ground to work with.

Anastasia Benko for cattledogs

I started with the wisteria because those were the biggest pieces in the arrangement and because they are fairly heavy so they needed to be fixed in place first. As you can see, I put the branches in all the corners of the arrangement. Not only does that provide balance, but it also gives a structure to the centerpiece. Because the wisteria has very woody stems, I clipped up the center from the bottom of each so the stem could absorb enough water. Also, make sure to cut each flower stem before placing into water since this helps to preserve the beauty of the flowers longer. Step by step I added the Spiraea. Once I had a full clustered base I added the Iris. This time I wanted the focal flowers to be in the middle, so the main actors can be seen at first glance.

To add an interesting touch, I placed columbines, wild garlic and wild chervil in lots of layers which added a beautiful depth to the arrangement and a loose, casual feeling. The last flowers I added were a few roses, just because they were blooming too and I couldn’t resist their cute faces. In the end you can see how the various shades of white and the purple-toned flowers highlight the beauty of the white Iris. They become a loose and airy frame to this pale and elegant beauty and make the eye wander from flower to flower.

Anastasia Benko for cattledogs

I hope you enjoyed walking virtually with me through our yard and the nearby forest and making this arrangement with me. I will be enjoying every second of this arrangement and will see you in June with a new flower column. -

(Photography, Text, Styling: . Editor: Holly Becker)

Strawberry Champagne Swiss Cake Roll Recipe

Hello lovely cattledogs readers...it’s been a little while since I saw you last and since then we went on a fabulous family holiday. Instead of Bali as planned we had to change our holiday destination at the last minute. My doctors would not clear me to go overseas (I'm pregnant and the baby could arrive anytime now!) so we cancelled Bali and kept our destination within Australia and took a shorter trip to Byron Bay. It was all about relaxation and enjoying our time as a family of four - exactly what was needed. We ate in so many beautiful places, went on long rambling walks and swam in the warm sea- we all feel re-charged and ready for the next phase in our lives when baby arrives. With only a couple of weeks to go now I am in full nesting mode getting ready for this little one. Emma Duckworth for cattledogs

In the past couple of weeks I have been talking to my friends over in the UK and they are loving being in the throws of springtime. It got me thinking about my childhood growing up in the UK and some of the sweet treats that I used to love as quintessentially English. I started reminiscing about Bakewell Tart, Bread and Butter Pudding, Eton Mess, Banoffee Pie and the simple classic Victoria Sponge which is in essence a two layers of light vanilla sponge with cream and strawberries sandwiched in the middle.... doesn't get more English than that!

Emma Duckworth for cattledogs

So using the same main ingredients of the Victoria Sponge I created my version in the form of a swiss roll. I added a few extra simple ingredients such as the mascarpone and champagne and it elevated a simple recipe to the next level. The sponge is light and airy, sweet and extremely delish! The champagne soaked strawberries add that little touch of naughtiness and go so well with cream (I spent many a summer afternoon devouring strawberries and cream!). I loved decorating it with the edible flowers but if you don’t have any on hand then top with more strawberries or even some toasted slivered almonds - either way this dessert is set to look super pretty and delicate. (Tip: If you want to know which flowers are edible, you can buy a copy of Holly's book , there is a section listing them inside)

SHOP LIST For the Swiss Roll 3 eggs, separated 110 grams caster sugar 110 grams self raising flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 1 tablespoon icing sugar, to decorate Flowers, edible - to decorate

For Mascarpone Cream 125 grams mascarpone 125 ml thickened cream 1 tablespoon icing sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Champagne Soaked Strawberries 250 grams of strawberries, hulled and sliced in half 1 cup champagne (I used "Imperial - Brut")

Emma Duckworth for cattledogs

METHOD For the Swiss Roll 1. Line swiss roll pan with baking paper. Whisk the egg whites using an electric mixer until soft peaks form, then gradually add the caster sugar until firm peaks form and the mixture is stiff and glossy. Add egg yolks one at a time, whisking until just combined. 2. Sift flour and salt into a separate bowl, then with a metal spoon gently fold the flour and vanilla essence into the egg mixture. 3. Spoon mixture into swiss roll pan and gently smooth top, then bake at 180C for 12 mins or until top springs back when pressed. 4. Cool out of oven for five minutes and then invert onto a tray peeling off the baking paper. Trim Edges of cake with a serrated knife. Allow to cool.

Emma Duckworth for cattledogs

To Construct The Swiss Roll: 1. Spoon mascarpone cream across sponge. 2. Carefully place strawberries on top of the cream. 3. Roll the sponge from the short end and then place seam side down on a plate. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, then sift icing sugar over the top and decorate with flowers.

For the Mascarpone Cream: 1. Whisk thickened cream in a bowl until firm peaks form. Fold through mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla extract. Refrigerate until ready to spoon on sponge.

For Champagne Soaked Strawberries: 1. Soak the strawberries in the champagne over night 2. Sieve the strawberries (keep that juice- it will be like sweet nectar in a glass of champagne!!)

Emma Duckworth for cattledogs

Emma Duckworth for cattledogs

Emma Duckworth for cattledogs

Enjoy the rest of May and see you again next month on June 8th with another yummy recipe from my kitchen to yours! -

(Text, Styling, Recipe, Photography: )

DIY: Modern Hanging Desk Organizers
Agata Dimmich for cattledogs
Agata Dimmich for cattledogs

Hello everyone, how are you today? I have a new DIY idea for you and it's going to be fun, are you ready to play along? Home is a place where we spend large parts of our lives, so it's important to make it joyful. What I mean by that, is keeping an eye on the items we use in our daily activities like cooking, cleaning, working - are they pretty? Do they make you smile when you look at them? Or are they only functional?

I always believe it's possible to combine all of the above and make some magic happen! This is why I decided to turn super-normal cups into the DIY Hanging Desk Organizers. It's a great accessory to hold a little flower or those pens that always seem to disappear when you most need them. Problem solved! Now they will hang right in front of your eyes, so you can't miss them!

Agata Dimmich for cattledogs
Agata Dimmich for cattledogs

I have decided to go for pink and splatter combination which seems to be very much trending this year, however I encourage you to get creative and come up with your own, personalized patterns and colors.

Agata Dimmich for cattledogs
Agata Dimmich for cattledogs

Here's what you will need to complete this project: 1. 2 simple plastic cups 2. drill 3. a string 4. round wooden stick 5. pink spray paint (specific for plastic) 6. black paint (specific for plastic) 7. paint brush 8. nail and hammer (to hang the cups on the wall)

Agata Dimmich for cattledogs
Agata Dimmich for cattledogs
Agata Dimmich for cattledogs
Agata Dimmich for cattledogs

Instructions: 1. We will start off by drilling little wholes in the cups, more or less 1,5 cm down from the top. Tip: If you'd prefer your cups to hang straight, drill two holes in each cup. 2. Wash your cups well from all the dust and wait for them to dry well. 3. Using pink spray, paint one of the cups. Add splash pattern to the other, playing with black paint and the paint brush, then leave the paint to dry well (you don't want to have it on your wall! *wink*) 4. In the meantime - prepare the wooden element. Cut it to the desired size and drill a hole in it, big enough to cover the nail with it. 5. Pass the string through the holes of your cups and secure well with a big knot, then hang them on the wall. 6. At the end, cover the nail with a wooden element.

Agata Dimmich for cattledogs
Agata Dimmich for cattledogs
Agata Dimmich for cattledogs
Agata Dimmich for cattledogs

That's it! How do you like the result? I wish you an fantastic May and I’ll be back in June with another DIY idea for you to try. If you have any specific projects you would like me to do, please let me know in the comment section below. I would love to hear your thoughts! - xo

(Text, Styling + Photography: )

DIY: Spray Paint Botanical Art

There is no doubt that the urban jungle and plants in general have been trending for some time now. Everyone loves plants and flowers! That is why I was inspired to create a very easy to make botanical art print that is truly a budget DIY. You only need white paper in your favorite size, a can of spray paint in a nice color and a branch that you can find on your next walk with leaves in shapes that you like. With this simple procedure you can make plants imperishable. Very gentle reminders. Nature-Art Prints-DIY-cattledogs-KerstinR-April16 (1)

Honestly, when I tried it out the first time I was excited about the very fast result because I expected it to be a little more complicated. I've tried it a few more times since and have loved to experiment with different colors, branches and paper sizes. In only a few moments, you can create your very unique art prints. Hang them up with masking tape in a mix with other prints and photos or give it a frame and you get a very high-quality looking art print. Why not sign the lower right corner to make it a true original work? Maybe you have fun to make some gift cards with this method. Do you have other ideas for use?

Nature-Art Prints-DIY-cattledogs-KerstinR-April16 (2)

Some tips I can give you... * Keep the spray can not too close to the paper - the plant will blow away and create to many strong color points. Keep a good distance. * Use newspaper to protect surface or lay paper in a large box and remove on side, spraying in from the open side * Please do this outdoors, it's not good to inhale paint fumes the house will hold the terrible smell for hours. * Do not smoke while crafting! I hope you already know that though! * Wear an old t-shirt and shorts, something you wouldn't mind getting paint on. * Don't overdo it with the paint, go for light and airy * Don't tape the sprig or flower to the paper because then the tape outline will show! * Buy good quality spray paint, like Liquitex, or in Germany "Do It Spray" or (which also has very pretty colors) * Shake the can for the suggested amount of time on the can, or even longer! Then the spray is fine and even and won't come out in chunks or drips!

Nature-Art Prints-DIY-cattledogs-KerstinR-April16 (3)

Or try in soft pink...

Nature-Art Prints-DIY-cattledogs-KerstinR-April16 (11)

Nature-Art Prints-DIY-cattledogs-KerstinR-April16 (9)

I wish all of you an amazing May! For me, one of the most beautiful months of the year. I'll return in June with another simple DIY for you to try. -

(Photography, Text, DIY, Styling: | Editor: Holly Becker)

Sour Cream + Goat Cheese Tartlet Recipe
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Hi everyone, I can't wait to share this yummy recipe with you today because it's perfect for Spring and Summer entertaining on the patio or for picnics. Cherry tomatoes would have to be one of my favorite veggies. Baked with chicken, in salads, to snack on – you name it! And heirloom cherry tomatoes are one sure way to brighten up any dish with an array of colors. This month I wanted to create a simple savory treat of goats cheese and cherry tomatoes. Originally I was playing around with an almond and hazelnut meal tart base recipe that I’ve made before, except it was way too crumbly without a baked filling. As this recipe didn’t have a baked filling I had to abandon the idea and fall back on my go to pastry recipe. Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Now I’ll be honest, this did make me feel a like a little bit of a failure. Working as a food photographer and constantly surrounding myself with amazing creatives and foodies, not to mention the easy reach of tantalizing recipes on social media, I can get caught up in the pursuit of ‘out-doing’ myself with each new idea.

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Then it occurred to me that this isn’t what cooking and sharing recipes is about. I’m just a humble home cook, who sometimes has wins and sometimes doesn’t. I’ve made meals where my hubby and I both look at each other and think, well that was average! But it’s food that we get to eat together. We’re lucky enough to have that perspective on food. We don’t have to worry about where our next meal is coming from and have the luxury to make something else if my ‘nut meal’ base doesn’t work! ($12 worth of nuts of edible nothing!)

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Recipes should also be simple and accessible. If you don’t have the skills or desire to make pastry, or lack the confidence, is there anything wrong with buying pre-made pastry cases? I don’t think so. Joy should be in the process of cooking, and if we try and fail, it’s nice to have a back up plan up your sleeve.

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Now this recipe can be interchangeable with a good feta if goats cheese isn’t to your taste. Truffle oil is also an acquired taste for some, so please feel free to substitute with olive oil if you wish. (I love truffle oil with cheese dishes. I make a wicked white sauce for mac and cheese with truffle oil. Maybe I’ll make that for you one day).

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

I’m a big believer in using what you have, so try to use the mini tart tins/muffin trays/pie tins that you have to make this recipe. The dough and filling will make 10-12 (6.5cm x 2.5cm deep mini tartlet cases) or 6 (12cm x 2.5cm deep tartlet cases, you may just need to spread the filling sparingly). It’s preferable to use something with removable bases, but if you grease up the tin enough you shouldn’t have any problems. Heck, you can even buy those disposable little aluminum pie cases if that’ll make your life easier. If you’re feeling adventurous make a pastry boarder, or don’t. I won’t judge you. Better yet, enlist the help of a friend who can teach you. (I had some help making these tart cases. There I said it. There’s no harm in sharing the love right?).

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Ingredients BASE 250g plain (all purpose) flour 150g butter, cold and cubed pinch sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 egg, room temperature 1 tablespoon cold milk

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

FILLING 1 cup sour cream 120g goats cheese, crumbled 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoons truffle oil 1/4 teaspoon white pepper 1/4 teaspoon cumin

1 punnet, (250g approx.) heirloom cherry tomatoes, quartered ¼ cup fresh chives, diced to garnish

Salt as needed

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

METHOD On a clean and dry surface, heap the flour and make a well. Place butter, sugar, salt and egg into the middle. With clean hands, gently squeeze the butter between your fingertips, drawing in flour little by little along with the rest of the ingredients to cream them together. Keep drawing in the flour until the mixture starts to form a grainy texture. Add the cold milk and incorporate gently until the dough begins to form. Once the dough begins to hold, work the dough by kneading it a few times until smooth. (Make sure to not overwork it).

Preheat the oven to 180C.

On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 2mm thickness. Using a plate as a guide (a plate larger than your tart case), cut out 6 large or 10-12 (see notes) rounds and line your tartlet cases. Rest in the fridge for 20 mins. Remove from the fridge, prick base with a fork and blind bake for 10 mins, then remove your baking beans or liners and bake for another 5-10 mins until golden. (Be sure to watch the tartlets in the last 10 mins as different sized tartlet cases and ovens may vary cooking time). Remove and allow to cool.

Combine all of the ingredients of the filling in a dish and whisk until smooth. When ready to serve, spoon even amounts of the filling into your tartlet cases, place a few cherry tomato quarters on top and garnish with a sprinkling of chives. Try a drizzle of honey or balsamic vinegar if you are feeling adventurous!

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

NOTES Makes 6 (12cm x 2.5cm deep tartlet cases) 10-12 (6.5cm x 2.5cm deep mini tartlet cases) (Best to use cases that are loose bottoms for easy removable or be sure to grease fitted bottom cases).

I hope that you love these as much as I do, see you again with a new recipe on June 1 - xo

(Recipe, Photography, Styling, Text: Rachel Korinek | )