Hello everyone! My name is Juliane Siu and I’m honoured to be a contributor to the Gastrofork blog. Dee and I met in 2011 when I interned for Popcorn. With a shared interest in scrumptious eats, we hit it off and the rest is history. I’m going to kick off my first post with my new favourite cookbook and blog.
A co-worker and I were chatting about baked goods one day and she mentioned that when she didn’t have time to whip up an elaborate cake, she baked something called “Chocolate Stout Cake” by Smitten Kitchen. Up until then, I never really turned to the same food blogs over again to find recipes. If I wanted to make something, I’d google it and use the easiest looking recipe that required the least amount of ingredients.
Out of curiosity and with a holiday dinner coming up, I googled ‘Smitten Kitchen’ and ‘chocolate stout cake.’ It popped up in the search results so I investigated further. Having been trained at Dubrulle International Culinary & Hotel Institute with a Pastry & Desserts Diploma, the cake looked fairly easy to make. And so the baking began. What can I say? My family and I were completely smitten with the rich, moist chocolate cake drizzled with ganache. I made a second cake and shared it with fellow co-workers the same week.
The brainchild of Deb Perelman, I became obsessed with the Smitten Kitchen blog. Perelman’s mandate is that she only makes and posts recipes that an everyday cook can make. After all, she is a mom to a toddler, and what mother has the time to spend hours slaving in the kitchen?
Not only are her hundreds of recipes easy to make, they’re gorgeously photographed as well. What’s unique about her blog is that each recipe comes with the story that inspired it. She also recounts what she’s made in previous years at the very time she publishes a new post. How cool is that? So far, I’ve made five recipes and repeated them several times. I purchased the cookbook last week and am still poring over the beautiful pages.
Having not worked in the culinary industry for years, I’m terribly out of practice as a pastry cook. But after whipping up Smitten Kitchen’s recipes and receiving ‘oohs and aahs’ from family and friends as they devour every crumb, it made me realized I never lost that baking touch.