Thursday, 7 May 2020

Gugelhupf Cake Recipe



Gugelhupf Cake

This is one of my favourite treats and reminds me of my holidays in Zell am See and Innsbruck with my husband. Served both in cafés and Austrian homes, Gugelhupf cake is an absolute classic. There are also sweet raisin-filled yeast bread versions of this cake but the marbled one is equally as delicious.

this is a picture of gugelhupf cake dusted with icing sugar


You will need
  • 170g unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 330g  plain flour
  • 170ml milk
  • 330g icing sugar (plus a little extra to decorate)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp cocoa
Instructions
  • Preheat your oven to 170°C  and coat the bundt cake tin with plenty of melted butter.
  • Whisk the butter with the egg yolk until foamy, add all the icing sugar, and stir until creamy. Add vanilla extract or sugar (sachets of vanilla sugar are very common in Austria and Germany but I've never seen them here)
  • Beat the egg whites until stiff. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Mix half of the flour into the butter mixture and combine. Add the milk, combine, then add remainder of the flour. gently fold in the egg whites.
  • Pour roughly half of this mixture into the cake tin. Add cocoa to the rest and mix. Pour the darker batter on top of the lighter one into the tin.
  • Drag the handle of a wooden spoon or a fork through the batter and wave it around to achieve the marbled look.
  • Bake for 50 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes on a cool rack, then take the cake out of the pan. Dust with icing sugar before serving.



    If you have a go at baking this please tag me in any photos you share, I would love to see.

Gemma
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Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Kimchi fried rice - Kimchi-bokkeumbap 볶음밥


I'm always inspired by my friends Instagram story cook-alongs (I'm looking at you Sophie) but end up eating the same handful of meals on repeat.  I've got a lot more time to cook now that I'm currently working from home and cutting out my daily commute so no excuse not to try some more adventurous dishes.

I've attempted to cook kimchi fried rice for friends a few times but the recipe I'm sharing here is my favourite version. Kimchi fried rice (Bokkeumbap) is a popular Korean fried rice dish that is a great way to use leftovers and provides a super quick and comforting meal. This Korean recipe takes only 20 mins to make from prep to dinner table, ideal for a midweek treat. 

This dish is easy to customise and I've made it with less chilli flakes for friends who don't like things as hot as I do. You can also swap out the pork for tofu, spam or bacon and drop the egg and swap the kimchi for a vegan variety.


Serves: 2
Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins 

You will need:
  • 115 grams kimchi, chopped (I used this one)
  • 3 tablespoons of kimchi juice 
  • 2 teaspoons gochugaru (chilli flakes)
  • 1 teaspoon gochujang 
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce 
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil 
  • 2 servings cooked rice (day old is best) 
  • 115 grams pork belly 
  • 2 Spring onions (finely chopped) 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped  
Directions
  • Cook chopped pork belly in frying pan until slightly browned  
  • Add half of the spring onion and all of the kimchi and cook on high heat 
  • Mix the kimchi juice, garlic, gochujang, gochugaru, sesame oil and soy sauce together  
  • Add the rice and mixed ingredients to the pan and reduce heat to medium
  • Stir until everything is well incorporated and the clumps of rice are broken up, cook for 3 to 4 minutes. 
  • Top with a lovely, runny fried egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds and remaining onions to serve.

    I've also made a recipe card for those who like to print and save these kinds of things 😊
This is a photo of kimcho fried rice with an egg on top

Gemma
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Tuesday, 31 December 2019

My Walt Disney World 2019 Trip Photo Diary


I’ve travelled to all sorts of exciting places with my husband, Martyn. We've been to the top of the Austrian Alps, travelled on the most scenic railway in the world and toured the remote Scottish Highlands on our honeymoon. We've shared our love of adventure and railways but this trip to Florida allowed me to share my cherished childhood holiday memories with him and I attempted to bring him into the cult of Disney (my brother and I are already fully-fledged members).

Martyn is used to me watching Mulan and Tangled on repeat and I think he agreed to join me on this holiday because he knew I really wanted to visit Disneyworld again but I don't think he expected to actually enjoy it himself. (He really did)

The first evening of our trip was spent at the hotel after two exhausting days of travelling. We chose to stay at the Coronado Springs Hotel which is part of the Disney resort. It has a Mexican and American South West feel and is set alongside a pretty lake and had an impressive Aztec themed pool. It isn't as ostentatiously Disney themed or aimed at children as some of the hotels in the resort as it has some conference facilities but it suited us perfectly. The rooms had been recently renovated to a very high standard and had all the amenities we needed. 


I wanted Martyn to get a traditional Disney experience on the first day of our 9-day trip so we headed to the Magic Kingdom park on our first full day. You're struck by how beautiful the park is before you even enter when you're greeted by colourful floral displays and a steam train.

When I entered the Magic Kingdom for the first time since I was 14 and saw the castle at the end of Main Street I got a little emotional. The quote above the entrance reads "Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy." which is 100% true. The theming of each distinct land in the park is so detailed and immersive you are transported to another world. 




We both adored the classic attractions like Peter Pan's Flight, "it's a small world' and Tiki Room which you don't really find in UK theme parks where thrill rides are the main draw. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was a great addition to the park which wasn't there on my last visit. This new coaster was super smooth and the mine carts swayed and tilted with the track. 

The 20-minute long firework, music and projection extravaganza Happily Ever After is the perfect way to end a day in this park. The show is a feast for the eyes, using Cinderella Castle as a backdrop and contains two of my favourite Disney songs - Out There and Go the Distance from the often-overlooked films Hunchback of Notre Dame and Hercules.

The Magic Kingdom is really iconic with its castle but Disneyworld is made up of a number of parks, all of which have a different theme and feel. The Animal Kingdom lets you explore the wonder of amazing rainforests, African savannas and Asian jungles in an immersive wildlife experience. 

The highlights for me were the Kilimanjaro safari where you can see up to 34 different species including giraffes, hippopotamus and lions and Expedition Everest, a thrilling roller coaster that travels backwards as you are being chased by a yeti. Fun fact - Expedition Everest is the most expensive roller coaster in the world. It was reported to cost $100 million to build.







During our time in Orlando, the Epcot park was hosting Festival of the Arts and there were lots of booths with artists, performers and food inspired by art. I particularly enjoyed the Disney on Broadway performance in the park where I was able to enjoy songs from favourites like Aladdin, Little Mermaid, Frozen and High School Musical performed by Broadway stars. The park is also home to the World Showcase where you can learn about cultures from 11 countries and sample their food and traditions. 





The park I most enjoyed spending time in and soaking up the atmosphere was Hollywood Studios. Most of my childhood memories come from this park - the Beauty and the Beast live show, Fantasmic and the thrills of Tower of Terror. I love the feel of Old Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard all lit up with neon lights.

My last visit to this park was in 1999 so I was excited to return and see the new Toy Story Land. I thought the Slinky Dog Dash coaster would be an attraction aimed at children but it was ideal for all ages. It twists and turns past giant toys in Andy’s oversized backyard! It's even more impressive at night when it is all lit up. I recommend trying to get a place in the queue when the fireworks are going off just before park close as wait times can be very long early in the morning. 








A few aquaintances scoffed when I, a 32 year old woman, said I was going to Disneyworld. I know some people travel to seek out a type of authenticity or cultural discovery but there's nothing wrong with a simple, fun holiday. Is Dinsey a man-made construct? Yes. Does that make it any less fun or valid? Not really. I had an absolute blast on my holiday but also equally enjoyed my rail trip to Switzerland. 

An aspect if the trip that I loved but haven't touched on in this post is all the Disney dining and treats. You can read all about my favourite Disney eats in an older post and what I packed for my trip here

Roll on Disney 2021!! (trip planning in progress) 


Gemma
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Sunday, 6 October 2019

My favourite foods at Walt Disney World - Quick Service Dining Plan

My holiday to Florida back in February feels like a lifetime ago now. I’ve had blog posts in my drafts for months but I’ve been taking a little blogging hiatus. You might have thought I had disappeared forever or not even noticed my absence but I’m back and ready to bombard you with all my travel tips and photos!

Since I’ve returned from my Disneyworld vacation I’ve had friends and family ask me for holiday planning tips, itineraries and food recommendations. Going to Disneyworld can be overwhelming so I thought I would write a series of blog posts sharing my highlights of what to see, where to stay and what to eat. The next time anyone asks for tips I can send them the links ;)

I got quite a good deal when booking my trip to Disneyworld resort in Florida. I got a very reasonable rate for the hotel as some construction work was going on elsewhere on the site. I also got free dining, a $100 Disney gift card and Memory Maker for unlimited ride photos. There was also an offer where I got a 14-Day Ultimate Ticket for the price of a 7-Day Ticket for entry to all Disneyworld parks including the water parks.

I booked through Virgin and these types of deals tend to come around once a year and are available at the moment until 22nd October. This was a good deal for myself and my husband but you can stay off-site, takes snacks into the park and get hotel discounts at other times of the year so I recommend working out which deal works best for you and your family. 

The Quick Service plan I had looked a little like this:

• 2 Self Service meals, with 1 alcoholic or soft drink per meal
• 2 Snacks
• 1 Refillable Resort Mug per stay

You get this every day you stay at the resort and it was more than enough as Disneyworld portions are far from small. Enough of the details, let's get to the food!

The Polite Pig

This is a picture of brisket from The Polite Pig in Disney Springs

I love a chicken tender or a burger as much as the next person but this isn't all Disney has to offer. There are a number of independent restaurants in the Disney Springs area and one of the foodie highlights of the trip for me was our stop at The Polite Pig, run by a local husband and wife duo. 

I opted for the tasty Coffee Rub USDA Prime Brisket served with Jalapeño Cornbread, Signature Polite Slaw and sweet potato tots. The brisket was tender and the coffee rub was very subtle. This was included in our meal plan - no cash needed and I simply had to scan my MagicBand at the till and the appropriate number of credits were be deducted from your account. Don't forget to visit the sauce bar if you eat here and try out all the amazing BBQ and ranch sauces. 

Refreshment Port - Poutine


This is a picture of classic poutne in epcot

The Traditional Poutine served up at the Refreshment Port in Epcot was a great use of a snack credit and filling enough to have for lunch. This is the Disney version of a Canadian favourite French Fries, Beef Gravy and Cheese Curds. This little stand also has seasonal specials and is serving up Duck Confit Poutine at the moment. 

Storybook Treats - Peter Pan Float


This Peter Pan Float at the Magic Kingdom was ideal on a roasting hot and humid day in the park. It's Sprite topped with lime Soft-serve and a Chocolate Feather. It comes in at $5.99 and is snack credit eligible. So refreshing! 

Karamell-Küche - Mickey Krispie treat with Werther's caramel

This is a picture of a rice krispie treat from Disneyworld


The Karamelle-Kuche shop in the Germany Pavilion in Epcot is a caramel lovers heaven. It features freshly made caramel popcorn, caramel apples, strawberries, marshmallows along with gourmet caramels, cookies, brownies, fudge, and cupcakes. I couldn't chose just one item from caramel counter of dreams so I picked up this Mickey shaped krispie treat and a huge bag of popcorn.




Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie - Macaron 


Epcot really is the park filled with foodie treats and the macaroon with raspberry and lime cream that I got there didn't disappoint. The fresh fruit and sharp lime cream was the perfect filling for a sweet macaron. 
The deli–bakery counter is stocked with goodies such as salads, quiches, soups, and delicate pastries. Breads and pastries are made in the bakery above Chefs de France and offers a pretty authentic Parisian experience.

The Trolley Car Café - Carrot Cake Cookie


You can pick up this humongous carrot cake at the Starbucks in Disney's Hollywood Studios. This store has all your typical Starbucks offerings plus some Disney bakery treats and things unique to this location. If you're in Hollywood Studios I would say this is a must try item and would easily service two people. It isn't over spiced and has the perfect cake to frosting ratio. 

Top tip - the Starbucks stores across Disney all have free iced water which you can help yourself to instead of buying bottles water and save some serious $$$. (The water from the drinking fountains tastes gross) 

Mickey Pretzel - Available at stands all over the resort


A giant pretzel, shaped like Mickey which comes with plastic cheese. Dreamy! These are a classic and available all over the parks. I grabbed one of these as a substantial snack to eat whilst watching the nighttime show Fantasmic. Some of my other favourite Mickey shaped snacks I tried during the trip were the colossal cinnamon swirls available at Starbucks in Animal Kingdom and the Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Sandwich - cookies and cream ice cream sandwiched between chocolate cookies. 


Contempo Café Breakfast



D-Luxe Burger - Disney Springs 


D-Luxe burger was high up on my to-eat list before heading to Florida - I had heard some great things about it from Disney Vloggers. I opted for the barbecue burger - a signature blend beef patty topped with a fried onion ring, smoked gouda, bacon, barbecue sauce, grilled onion and lettuce. De-lish! As I was on holiday and living my best life I washed this down with a artisanal gelato shake  - I highly recommend the chocolate one. 
The fresh cut fries are a must because of the sauce bar where you can stock up on three-mustard and honey, garlic ranch, curry ketchup, chipotle mayo and buffalo sauce. I'm a little bit obsessed with ranch sauce so I loved the help yourself sauce station. 

This place get very busy and we had to wait a while for our food to come so I recommend ordering your food via the Disney Experience mobile app before heading in. There are also some secret menu items on the mobile app so worth checking out. 

Big Top Treats



Big Top Treats is a feast for the eyes and filled with counters of treats made on site - lots are inspired by Dumbo and the circus. Some of the treats you can find there are cotton candy, house-made popcorn, candy coated apples, chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolate dipped marshmallow wands or pretzels, character inspired cake pops, assorted Disney themed cupcakes, and crispy treats.  It’s fun to watch the sweet treat creators dipping and designing these special treats right in front of you. 

The candy apples and cupcakes look and taste amazing but can be enormous or a little tricky to eat. My top pick from big top treats is the chocolate dipped rice krispie treat covered in M&Ms. These freshly made ones are so much nicer than the pre-packed ones you can pick up all over the parks. 



Joffrey's Coffee strawberry ice tea & doughnut 



A big shout out also goes to Tangierine Cafe in Epcot. where I had a relatively healthy Shawarma Chicken and Lamb Platter which came served with a side of Hummus, Tabouleh, and Tangierine Couscous Salad with fresh Moroccan Bread. This was a welcome bread from all things fried or sweet. The peanut better and chocolate cupcakes at the Coronado Springs Resort cafe were also magnifique and worth checking out if you stay at that resort like we did. 

This post barely scratches the surface of all the food on offer at DisneyWorld as this is just a selection of things I tried during my 10 day trip. I didn't even have time to try the famous Dole Whip whilst I was there. 


Any fellow Disney enthusiasts have a favourite park treat? 

Gemma
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