Saturday, September 26, 2020

Ptich'e Moloko (Birds Milk) Cake!

This cake does take a little bit to make...definitely make it the day before, because first of all, it needs to sit overnight, and second of all, it might not work the first time as needed so you might need to make it a few times to get the egg whites to where they need to be, so have extra egg whites for sure :) 

We used agar agar powder we got from our local International market - Talin. We got the telephone brand and that worked splendidly. 
Everyone loved the cake and the presentation is quite impressive. 

The original recipe can be found here:

We tried to have a sugar sculpture for topping, but after spending about 4 cups of sugar and a good couple of hours, we were not successful in creating a good sculpture... it may just be because it seems like they do not use straight sugar a lot of times but a sugar derivative to make the (not as good tasting) but more stable sculpture. If anyone has any ideas, we will gladly take em :) 

Final Cake!

Slice of Delicious Cake!

It was a Birthday, after all!

Ready to have toppings!


Ready to rest!

mmm the cake layers to be baked


For the Cake Layers

140 Grams flour
2 eggs
100 grams butter
100 grams sugar
1 tsp vanilla


460 Grams sugar
200 grams butter
100 grams sweetened condensed milk
160 ml water
2 egg whites
4 grams agar agar
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla

Chocolate Glaze: 

90 grams chocolate, dark or bitter preferred
50 grams butter

For decorations - fruits or berries, whatever you have! Or, you could also attempt the sugar sculpture that we had a vision but no talent for! :) 


1. Set 160 ml of water and add in 4 grams of agar agar. Leave to soak for approximately an hour.

Cake Layers: 

1. On two pieces of parchment paper, make a circle with a pencil of the size of your cake layers, we used about 9". Make sure to mark with pencil on the opposite side that you will be putting your batter onto. 
2. Preheat oven to 425 F
3. In a stand mixer, combine 100 grams of softened butter with 100 grams sugar and vanilla. 
4. Whis on high speed for a few minutes until combined. 
5. One at a time, add in the eggs, continue mixing. 
6. When combined, add in 140 grams of sifted flour. 
7. This will look like a cake mix now and should hold it's form. 
8. Divide the mixture into two, and spread into the shape of two circles on your parchment paper. Remember to keep the pencil markings on the under side. 
9. Bake each (or both at the same time) cake for about 8 to 9 minutes each until done.
10. If your cake has oozed out past the circle, you can now cut it to the shape you want. We used 9 inch rounds in a bigger springform so that the soufle would ooze around it. You can see that in the pictures, and if you are doing the same, then you don't need to cut it to a perfect circle. 
11. Cool completely. They will be thin, so this will not take long. 

Soufle *we had two people doing this step, one person doing the agar agar boiling and the other doing the egg whites): 

1. In the stand mixer bowl, combine 200g of softened butter wtih the 100g of sweetened condensed milk. 
2. Mix until creme consistnecy, it will be shiny and voluminous. 
3. Set aside for now. 
4. Bring the agar agar mixture we made earlier to a boil and mix until it reaches boiling. 
5. Add in the 460 g of sugar when all of agar agar is dissolved. 
6. Keep boiling until sugar is dissolved constantly stirring.
7. Boil until it reaches 230 degrees F or 110 Degrees C. This should take about 8 to 9 minutes. The mixture will foam and increase in volume. 
8. Place 70 grams of egg whites (about 2 to 3 eggs) into the stand mixer bowl.
9. Whip on high speed until they are slightly foamy. Add a tsp of cream of tartar. Keep mixing unitil stiff peaks. Add in the lemon juice tsp. Keep mixing. 
10. SLOWLY, on the side of the metal mixer bowl, pour in the agar agar mixture - should take about 30 seconds to fully pour it all in. 
11. You will see the whole mixture become denser, thicker, and increase in volume. It will also look very shiny. 
12. Add in the butter/sweetened condensed milk mixture we made earlier on LOW speed. 
13. When combined, stop mixing. 


1. Now, we need to work fast because this mixture will start to stiffen up due to the agar agar cooling down. So, work quickly and don't take a break! This is critical!
2. Get your springform pan, and line it with parchment paper, you can use your earlier parchment paper sheets that you baked on. 
3. Place one cake layer on the bottom. 
4. Pour in half of the Souffle mixture. 
5. Place the second cake layer on top.
6. Pour the rest of the souffle mixture on top. 
7. Spin the form around to settle the suffle while keeping the pan on the table, this will level out and settle the souffle. 
8. Place in the fridge and let it cool for a couple of hours. 

After it is cooled - add in the chocolate glaze

Chocolate glaze 
1. On a double broiler bring to a boil, and add in the 90 g chocolate and 50 g butter until well melted and combined. 

Pour the chocolate glaze over the souffle after the cake has cooled. 

Set in the fridge overnight. 

Decorate the next day with berries, sugar sculptures or fruit as desired. 


What we liked:


What we didn't like:

It is a lot of hard work - BUT WELL WORTH IT!!! It is important to time the egg whites stiffening and agar agar mixture boiling properly or you will lose one or the other or both. We had to try it several times to get it right, but so so so worth it, once again. 

What Kaspian thought about it:

YUM! All the kiddoes and adults loved the cake. 

Next time:

Next time - make it again! Yum!

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Want to see a baby chick hatch out of an egg!?

Our Salmon Faverolle chickens are hatching! A hen went broody and had a nest, but she kicked the first chick out of the nest (we saved it) and killed the second one that hatched. So, we took the nest away and stuck all the eggs in the incubator right away. Since then, we have had chickens hatching every day almost for the past two weeks! It's crazy! 

here's a video of one that hatched this morning:

here's a video of the older chicks:

Here are the chicks that have already hatched previously: 14 of them!!! They range from ages of one day to almost two weeks for the big ones. 


Rotisserie Chicken Skillet

We get the rotisserie chicken at Costco on days we get pizza. Everyone eats pizza, and Astrid eats rotisserie chicken legs. Since a few months ago, she just decided she no longer likes pizza, so that is how it is. It actually works out quite well, as we use the rest of the chicken meat, mostly breast to make fun things like chicken bacon quesadillas or this!

Original recipe:


3 cups chopped rotisserie chicken, breast, leg meat, whatever!
1 cup orzo pasta
2 tablespoons oil (we used sunflower - unrefined - our favorite!)
2 cups carrots, cut into 1/4 circles about
1 cup onion chopped
3 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup frozen peas
½ cup heavy cream - ish


1. Over medium high, cook orzo until browned, about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove to a plate or bowl.
2. Add carrots and onion and fry until softened and browned.
3. Add orzo to the carrots and onions.
4. Add in chicken stock, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Simmer about 12 minutes - covered.
5. Add in chicken, peas, cream and parsley.
6. Cook a few more minutes.
7. Serve!

What we liked:

It was different, new and fun! It was fairly quick to make for lunch and a great use of the rotisserie chicken. 

What we didn't like:

Nothing, it was great. 

What Kaspian thought about it:

He actually liked it quite a bit, so did all of the other children!

Next time:

No change. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Pork shoulder - Rosemary, mustard and garlic

There seems to be a lot more pork around in the stores and less beef lately. We also spotted some frog legs in the store... so I guess when they said there's no interruption in the supply line and we would have to be less picky when buying meat the store they meant it. :P So, we got this pork shoulder and made it into some of the best pork we ever had! This made marvelous pulled pork sandwiches as leftovers when thrown in with some barbecue sauce into the slow cooker the next day! We did marinate it overnight and used fresh rosemary cut from our bush in the garden!

here's the original recipe we modified:
the marinade

Pork shoulder with garlic poked in

Ready to marinade overnight!

All cooked!

Fall apart goodness pork shoulder!


12 cloves garlic
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons coarse Dijon mustard
1 6 to 8-pound boneless pork shoulder


1. Combine 4 cloves of garlic, rosemary sprigs, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil and dijon mustard in a magic bullet or blender. Blend until a thick paste forms.
2. Wash your meat and place in a roasting or cooking pan. Poke slits in the meat with a knife.
3. Insert remaining garlics into slits.
4. Slather with the marinade. We also placed some rosemary sprigs on top.
5. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight to marinade.
6. Preheat oven to 450 F and place meat (remove plastic wrap!) in there for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce heat to 250 F and cook for 6 to 8 hours until internal temperature of meat reaches at least 180F.
7. Remove from oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Slice meat into desired thickness pieces and serve. We served with smashed baby potatoes, but any sides would go wondrously with this. 

What we liked:

The flavor! This is a great recipe!

What we didn't like:

It does take a while to cook - so budget a whole day! Start in the morning. Although, it requires minimal attention, and the marinade is quick to make!

What Kaspian thought about it:

He liked a lot actually! 

Next time:

Clam Chowder - super easy and yummy!

We were in the mood for soup and have been meaning to make this clam chowder for a while, but ya know, life gets in the way, so this week we finally just did it! and......Yum!
This was slightly sweet, and overall delicious soup which is so quick and easy to make. We used our Dutch oven to make it and it turned out quite marvelous indeed! We also just made some frozen Pillsbury biscuits to go with this and they went SO good together - would highly recommend. The one thing that you might want to add is some green onions to sprinkle on the top, that would really add to it, but it's not necessary!

Here's the original recipe that we modified:


4 slices bacon, diced - I would say do more if you can, this wasn't quite enough, but we used thin bacon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or a couple of sprigs of fresh (we used from our garden!)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1.5 cups chicken stock
2 (6.5-ounce) cans chopped clams with juices
1 8 ounce clam juice bottle
2-3 bay leaves
4-5  medium sized golden potatoes, peeled and diced into cubes
1 cup half and half (we used 1/2 milk and 1/2 heavy cream)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, leave the bacon fat in there.
2. Add butter to the Dutch oven. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, clam juice, chicken stock, bay leaves, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes.
4. Add the potatoes.
5. Bring to a boil; cover with a lid and reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes
6. Stir in half and half and clams until heated through, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
7. Cook for another 10 minutes
8. Serve garnished with bacon and green onions if desired. 

What we liked:

It was absolutely delicious!

What we didn't like:

Nothing, it was great!

What Kaspian thought about it:

He actually loved it! All the children did. We almost didn't have any left overs!

Next time:

Green onions to garnish. 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Salmon Faverolle chicks hatching

We had 4 chicks hatch in the incubator sucessfully! 

Chiciken Katsu Curry

I know it's been a while, but here we are. Trying to make it through Zoom Distance Learning school. Wohoo last week of it!
So, we love Japanese food, and have finally gotten around to making the Japanese Chicken Katsu curry. It was our first time making it, but even with that it was totally delicious!
Here's the original recipe:


curry sauce:
1 box S&B (4-5 cubes) Japanese curry
1 large onion
1 large potato
1 carrot
2 tbsp butter
800 ml water

chicken katsu:
80 g panko breadcrumbs
4 tbsp plain flour
4 chicken breasts
1 egg, slightly beaten
vegetable oil for deep-frying - we use canola


0 - Cook rice - we use 4 cups of calrose rice and 6 cups water and cook it on the sushi setting in the multi-cooker.

1. Chop the onion, potato and carrot into small chunks.
2. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a large pan. Add the onions and carrots. Sautee until softened for a few minutes.
3. Add in the cubed potatoes.
4. Add in the approx 800 ml of water. Cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Add the whole packet of S&B curry and melt it all in, stirring constantly.
6. Let it cook for 5-10 minutes, lightly simmering while stirring.
7. Turn the curry off and let it sit, with the lid on.
8. Flatten out the chicken breast pieces between two pieces of plastic wrap. We use a meat beater tool to flatten it out.
9. Season your chicken breast pieces with salt and pepper before covering with flour first and then raw egg, then panko breadcrumbs.
8. Heat up the oil in a separate pan and fry the chicken on both sides until both sides are golden brown and chicken is cooked.
9. Slice the cooked chicken katsu into strips and lay over a bed of rice before adding the curry sauce.

What we liked:

This was surprisingly easy to make! Such a fun yummy and warm dish to create!

What we didn't like:

Nothing, it was great. The medium hot spicy was not at all spicy. 

What Kaspian thought about it:

He liked it actually! So did all the kiddoes. They loved the chicken strips most of all. Although Astrid loves plain white rice with her meals too. 

Next time:

We would like to use the air fryer to fry but not sure how well it would turn out. The crispyness is kind of crucial.