dimanche 6 mars 2011

Blog anniversary

Dear readers,

Today the blog is two years old and that feels like a big number, even if it isn't much compared to my age. Yet at the same time, I feel as if I've only scratched the surface; despite my four years in Berlin there's so much I haven't discovered yet and so much I have to learn about baking and also taking pictures. Buying my first SLR camera last spring and moving into my own place at last were definitely the biggest developments and they've really made a big difference. It's wonderful knowing that on coming home I can simply close the door behind me without having to face a noisy flatmate and cook myself something nice in the kitchen whenever I want. Berlin seems more and more like home and I'm so lucky to live here. The best thing about the last year though was the contact with all of you in comments, emails and also reading your blogs so I'd like to thank you for taking time to read my (very long) posts, often in a language which isn't your own. I have a tendency to be embaressingly sentimental so won't say too much, only that I consider you as friends, not just readers.

To celebrate, I've added the pictures my my trip to Birkenwerder last week (recommended by Sylee) on a frosty but golden day when I got lost in the woods and also a recipe for Mingou's chocolate crinkle biscuits which I finally got around to making. Here's to another year of cakes!

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Waiting for the S8 at at Pankow station

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Mingou's Chocolate crinkle biscuits from La peau d'ourse (you can find the recipe in French here)

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Makes 30 biscuits

40g dark chocolate
20g neutral oil (sunflower, rapeseed or a mix)
1 small teaspoon of instant coffee (not too strong)
50g caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla sugar (or a sachet)
2-3 tbsp golden syrup (or glucose syrup or honey if it's not too rich)
2 egg whites
140g plain flour
80g icing sugar
30g unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 big pinch of salt
50g icing sugar for coating the biscuits

1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a small saucepan. Add the oil and mix.
2. Stir in the instant coffee and mix (off the heat). Leave to cool slightly then add the caster sugar, salt, the golden syrup and the vanilla sugar. Mix with a metal spoon until absorbed.
3. Pour in the egg whites and whisk vigourously to prevent pockets of mixture forming. Eventually, you will have a smooth consistency.
4. Sift together the flour, icing sugar, cocoa and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add it little by little to the egg mixture and blend with a spoon, remembering to scrape down the sides of the bowl. It will seem very crumbly and dry at the beginning but you'll end up with a smooth dough.
5. Wrap in clingfilm and leave in the fridge for two hours, not longer otherwise the dough isn't as easy to work with.
6. Preheat the oven to 180° and line two baking sheets.
7. Sift in the remaining icing sugar into a large bowl. Take around a teaspoonful of dough and roll it between your hands to make a ball. Dip it into the icing sugar so it's thoroughly coated and flatten it a little in your palm. Place onto the lined baking sheet at least 5cm apart and bake for 8-9 minutes until they're cracked and just beginning to turn darker
8. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them with a spatula to a cooling rack.

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42 commentaires:

  1. happy blog birthday! and many more happy blogging years to come :)

    I'm actually going to try to make these biscuits this weekend, I've been looking for a new recipe to try. So thanks! awesome photos, as usual.

  2. happy blog b-day! :)
    very beautiful pics! with mood...
    and i love berlin :)

  3. Happy Blogiversary and to many many more!

    I love your pictures and especially those of the forest!

    Lovely little cookies! So tempting.



  4. Happy Blogoversary dear Emily! I see you're listening to a Natalie Merchant album - hope it's yours as I'd love to hear it when I visit. I haven't kept up with her new music but Tigerlily is one of my favourite albums and I saw her live once - amazing, her voice is so rich and mellow.

  5. Happy Blogoversary! I can't wait to see what you have in store for this next year!

  6. Happy blogversary! I can't believe you are new to SLR cameras... you have such a way with the lens. You know, when people watch movies, they do not know that they are seeing what the director/dp means them to see. It is a vision that is being shared with things highlighted or hidden. Photographs are even more a vision. You are in a park but what you see is a carpet of leaves.. that's what captures you. I find it endlessly fascinating. Keep shooting and writing... your reflections are rare and delightful. Your blog is one I enjoy lingering with and savoring.

  7. I'm thinking of what you wrote "on a frosty but golden day when I got lost in the woods". So beautiful. You now have me in the mood to do the same. I hope you celebrate your two years well. Enjoy!

  8. Happy blogaversary! Beautiful.

  9. Thanks so much to you all for such lovely wishes. I was really touched to come home and find these comments waiting for me.
    @Hila - These cookies are really easy and in fact, the ony thing that slows you down is chilling the dough but it's worth it. Everyone who tried them today gave them their univeesal approval, plus they're squidgy, super chocolatey but not too sweet.
    @L.S - Thanks, I saw you're also a Berliner so am looking forward to reading your posts.
    @Rosa - Thanks as always dear Rosa. You were my first reader to leave comments so they always seem extra special.
    @Sasa - A friend of mine gave me that album and I so love it. I'm hoping we'll spend a bit of time in my little kitchen so for sure we have to listen to music while we're working. I'm counting down the days...
    @Colletakay - I hope this year holds many more good things in store, not least the blossoming of spring in the city which is always amazing.
    @Le citron - Un grand merci!
    @Deana - Gosh, your comment really made my day and it's so lovely to hear that. Before taking photos, I never imagined I'd have a vision but it's so true what you say about film directors and photographers. I always lookat other people's photos (like Lecia's below) and think I have still so much to learn but then again that's what fascinates me.
    @Susan - Discovering your blogs and Julie has been one of the highlights of the last year and I'm so glad we're in touch! Bises.
    @Denise - I didn't meet anyone on that walk last week which I find both scary and exhilerating. I really admire the way you write, often so concisely but poetically and hope to be able to do the same one day. Go out and explore in those woods, I'm sure you'll describe it wonderfully.
    @Lecia - Your blog is such an inspiration to me and it means a lot to be able to read it every day.

  10. Emily, I'd like to be a Berliner))) But my family lives in Berlin. I hope I'll soon be back in Berlin, or come to visit...

  11. congrats on 2 years! just celebrated my 2-yr as well ... over 120 posts, and each one was like pulling teeth to gather up the inspiration for story idea, motivation to write, and then courage to click publish for the world to see.

    you obviously do not have the same problems as i do with posting ... such a great blog, emily!

  12. Bon anniv' de blog et encore plein de balades berlinoises et de biscuits chocolatés qui font saliver !

  13. Hooray! You are two! I love this little space you have created here, thanks for sharing your stories.



  14. @L.S - Hope you come back soon.
    @Jg - Often I write a post and it takes hours finding the right words, adding the photos and then writing a recipe at the end but it's worth it. Congrats on your 2 years - 120 posts in that time is impressive.
    @Rose - Merci ma belle. Tu peux voir que j'ai mis des biscuits dans la boîte à sucre que tu m'a donnée à Rouen et cela me fait penser à ta maison et ce matin avec la neige.
    @Nicolette - Thanks so much for those words and also for being such a loyal follower.

  15. Ha, I forgot how our blog birthdays are so close together... happy Bday then! Two years is quite an achievement.
    I'm also so sorry that I can't write at the moment... I promise to write and explain, as soon as I can...

  16. Joyeux bloganniversaire Vanessa - Many happy returns. Et merci pour toutes ces photos, ces impressions de lieux que je ne connais pas et qui fohnt voyager mon imaginaire.
    Ils sont delicieux ces chocolate crinkles, ca fait trois fois que j'en fais moi aussi.
    Bonne continuation, a bientot.

  17. Joyeux bloganniv !
    Je n'ai pas toujours le temps de te lire comme il faudrait, mais tes photos sont de plus en plus belles (ah, celle des troncs d'arbres quasi nus est sublime !) et évidemment, elles me donnent de plus en plus envie de venir à Berlin...

  18. Bon anniversaire de blog... qui est aussi celui de ma naissance! c'est trop drôle.

  19. Happy blog anniversary!! So great to know that you feel at home here and have your own place--I'm still struggling with both those things. As always, great photos and recipe!

    P.S. And I would love to see some photos with your old analogue:)

  20. Happy blog birthday from me too! I'm so glad you made it to Birkenwerder. Those stretches of frost-crisp fields heading north are so eerie.

  21. @Pia - That's nice about our birthdays and Book Travellers was one of the first blogs I read too. Don't worry about the letter, just write whenever you can and feel like it. Can't wait to hear more about your trip and hope it's going well.
    @Gracienne - Merci beaucoup Gracienne de tes commentaires toujours si gentils! Demain je vais chercher les ingrédients pour ton panforte et j'espère que ce sera un succès.
    @MM - Merci quand même d'avoir trouvé le temps pour me laisser ce commentaire et surtout pour la recette :-). Mes billets sont bien longs et je comprends parfaitement la difficulté de suivre tous les blogs qu'on aime. Merci aussi pour ce que tu dis sur mes photos - cela me fait super plaisir mais beaucoup dépend de la lumière. En ce moment c'est tellement extraordinaire à Berlin.
    @Manon - Ah, je ne savais pas, c'est vraiment marrant! Alors c'est à moi de te souhaiter un très bon anniversaire et j'espère que vous avez bien fêté ça samedi.
    @Christine - I'Ve been very lucky here because when I first arrived I didn't have much money so had to live in a WG with someone who was basically nice but really drove me crazy, plus it was far too small. I looked for ages for another place but found this one through a friend of a friend. Sorry to hear you'Re having a hrd time settling in here; it's true that the city can also be depressing. Maybe we could meet for a coffee sometime? Take care. Oh and I promise to finish the film in the analogue soon and wonder if the results will be any good.
    @Sylee - Thanks so much for the tip! It was as wonderful as you described and like you say, also rather eerie. I'll send those long overdue photos of you and S. soon.

  22. Vanessa, your photographs are so amazing, they make me shiver just looking at them! They remind me a lot of some paintings by an artist called Elizabeth Magill, haunting, cold, semi-abstract, she has a print called Spring Sprung from 2006 which reminds me of your phot of the branchesover the frozen lake.
    The cookies in complete contrast look warm and delicious!

  23. Je te souhaite avec du retard un très bon blog anniversaire ! Bonne continuation ;-)

  24. Happy anniversary. What a beautiful blog - I am a fairly new blogger, but those biscuits definitely look delicious - am adding them to my wishlist!

  25. Congratulations on two years of blogging! It is a great accomplishment! I recently discovered your blog and am loving it! Your posts are insightful and your pictures very revealing. I lived in Berlin for one year and loved it. I miss it everyday and reading your stories brings me back to that fantastic city.
    Keep doing what you are doing!

  26. Happy anniversary! I wish your blog will always contain your inspiration.

  27. Happy Blog Anniversary!! And oh my goodness, I LOVE LOVE LOVE these photos! So inspirational! I love looking at beautiful nature photos!

  28. @Elizabeth - Thanks so much. I had a look at some of Elizabeth Magill's work, including the picture you mentioned and really love it. It was such a beautiful day last Friday, that clear golden light you get when it's cold so I'm glad I made the effort to get up early. The cookies were great to come home to though.
    @Alice - Merci chère Alice!
    @Sprinzette - Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your new blog. I love the title you chose as those are two of my favourite things.
    @Pearl - Welcome! I can understand why you miss Berlin because it's truly something special but I think that will always be a part of you.
    @Olga - Thanks so much for these kind wishes.
    @Photo stuff - That's lovely to hear. I just had a quick look at the posts I've missed on your blog and love the one recently with the golden light.

  29. Congratulations, my friend! Two years of your stories, experiences and fabulous photos is not nearly long enough for me. Thank you from my heart for sharing things your eye sees that mine would surely miss!

  30. Happy blog birthday! Your writing and photos are excellent. I so enjoy visiting here.

  31. Happy 2nd !! here is to many more years of blogging and your beautiful words!


  32. @Barbara - Thanks for these words that really touch my heart.
    @P.K - Oh thanks, I feel the same way about your blog.
    @Sweetlife - I'm really curious about what the next year will bring.

  33. Two years of blogging is a huge accomplishment especially considering how much content you have in each of your posts. Your blog is a tour de force, Emily. It has been such a pleasure to view your experiences and commentaries on both life in Germany and life in general. Take care and have a great weekend.

  34. @Des - Coming from someone as talented as you, I take that as a huge compliment! Thanks so much for following my posts on both blogs. Yours is truly one of my favourites.

  35. You are genuine. I find this space very comforting. Happy anniversary, EV.

  36. Thanks dear Tracy, I always love your comments.

  37. Happy belated anniversary!
    Sorry I've been behind on my Google Reader updates, trying to to finish a lot of work, research, and finalize everything before my Berlin move.
    Please continue to write and take amazing pictures and so accurately convey the Berlin mood!
    See you there very soon!

  38. Hey, thanks for finding time to comment. I'm so glad we found each other's blogs this past year and I love reading your posts. Can't wait to meet you in a couple of weeks!

  39. How i miss those landscapes! sad and somehaow dull and grey, but i feel they're just matching me! And you're pictures are wonderful, as usual, making them look like they're part of some Brother Grimm's story, or a dream...
    I do not comment offen, but i love to come, so i hope you'll continue a long time!
    Happy Bloganniversary!

  40. Thanks so much for these lovely words Mo, I really appreciate that. I too feel that Berlin is a city that matchs my mood, sometimes melancholy and grey, this emptiness but also full of contrasts. I'm lucky to have such wonderful readers like you. Take care.