sweet life - or: pancakes for breakfast, cupcakes for lunch

Yesterday I was very naughty ;P I decided to live la dolce vita and get high on sugar. I started my day with making a stack of these, served with lashings of dark, smoky maple syrup

then made these and just had to try one, and then try one more, and then one more to be able to decide what I thought about them

so today I thought it would be on it´s place with a bit healthier food if I don´t want to buy a new bikini before my trip.

The pancake recipe I found on Kelly-Jane´s blog and since then I´ve made them twice. They are just perfect! The recipe works every time, you don´t have to fiddle with it. The pancakes are wonderfully fluffy and taste buttery, caramelly (is there such a word?).

Here is the magical recipe, from Dorie Greenspan´s Pancakes from Morning to Midnight via Kelly-Jane:

buttermilk pancakes

1 cup plain flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 fl oz) buttermilk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, melted

In a medium bowl whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl or jug mix the buttermilk, egg and butter. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Fry pancakes.

I promised myself not to buy any cookbooks during the summer as I would like to squeeze in another vacation later in August and I´ll need all the money I can scrape together. (The cookbooks I might find in Greece or Hungary or Romania doesn´t count, of course!!) However, the first book I´ll buy this autumn will be one of Ms Greenspan´s. I don´t think I can go wrong with any of her books because I´ve seen lot of praise out there in the food-blogosphere.

My next stop was Nigella´s Cappuccino Cupcake. I´ve had my eyes on them ever since I bought the "Domestic Goddess" and now their time has come too. They looked great and they were nice but I was a bit disappointed,I guess I just expected too much. Somehow it´s my own fault, I built it up in my head several times, I thought they will be heavenly. Well, they didn´t do it for me. I won´t type in the recipe as I believe most of us has got the book but in case you haven´t and you would like to have the recipe, let me know.

So, finally to today´s lunch. I made the Saag Paneer with "fake" paneer. I wanted to use up the halloumi I had in my fridge and in Feast Nigella uses it in the Muttar Paneer, so I thought why not? This was nice but sadly it didn´t have any mmmm-factor... I based this on a recipe I found in World Food Cafe but last time I made it was a bit bland so this time I tried to spice it up a bit. I searched and found various recipes on the web, so I added cardamom, garlic, chilly powder, nutmeg, ground and fresh coriander but without a good result. Thing is that I like Saag eller Palakh Paneer very much when eating it in a restaurant, so I´ll just have to keep looking for recipes or be more attentive next time I have it and try to identify "secret" ingredients :)


Kelly-Jane said…
I'm so glad you like the pancakes - Dorie is such a genius!

I love the cappucino cupcakes, I sprinkle chopped chocolate on top as well, that's a pity you weren't too keen.

I would like to try your lunch dish too, with the fake paneer :) :) but my lot will probably refuse to eat spinach again if I try it yet - it's only been a few weeks since the last time!
Lisa said…
Oh, I've meant to make those cupcakes for AGES!! That is one cool photo you took of the finished cupcake!
Countdown to Greece!
vonsachsen said…
Kelly-Jane, these has become my favourites!!

I think I´ll try the cappuccino cupcakes again but perhaps with real espresso, not the instant stuff. I would like to have a stronger coffee taste to the cupcakes and then perhaps more tart topping. The chocolate on top sounds just right, I think these tastes would be wonderful and powerful together.

Do you have a good recipe for the Saag Paneer? Would you like to have the World Food Cafe one for guidance? (If you have one, then I´m looking forward to you cooking it ...:)

Lisa, thanks :) Please do try these cupcakes, me thinks they can be wonderful if you don´t have "fantasies" about how it would taste. Also, as I told Kelly-Jane above, I would make a few adjustments next time...

Oh, the countdown, yes :))) I AM actually counting the days, like a kid before Christmas Eve :)
Shaun said…
Vonsachsen - Good on you for adapting recipes to what you have in the fridge. At least this way you can always have something remotely exciting every night. Spices and herbs are amazing. As for the cupcakes, I, too, have just come from making some, but I used Nigella's standard recipe for vanilla cupcakes and then did her cream cheese icing instead of the royal icing. They tasted fine, and I was thinking of making the cappuccino ones, but perhaps I will put that off for a while now. Have fun in Greece!!
MidwestMaven said…
Ooh, those pancakes look so good! I am adding the recipe to my To Try pile!
Freya and Paul said…
Pancakes are a great way to get a sugar high!
I have wanted to make Nigellas cappucino cupcakes for ages as I love coffee flavoured cake. Yours look gorgeous!
And that Paneer recipe is good but anything other than paneer definitely won't have the same flavour of texture, but do try it again with paneer!
Kelly-Jane said…
No I don't have a recipe, I made a recipe with fried paneer in Feast in the curry chapter, and it was really lovely, but the oil splattering everywhere was a bit off putting. I thought of trying it again with baked paneer, just to see!
vonsachsen said…
Kelly-Jane, wasn´t it the one with green peas?

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