the vanilla bean diaries: the beginning

It is with great excitement and anticipation that I am starting my own blog. I’ve been playing around with the idea for a while now, and have finally decided that it was the right time. I want to do this blog for two reasons, the first is for myself. I have a serious passion for all things edible (especially sweet) and I want to be able to share my experiences and ideas and using this blog as motivation to keep on trying new things. Secondly, I am doing it because I want to show my friends and my family how easy and extraordinarily rewarding baking really can be. I am by no stretch of the imagination an expert on anything I intend to write about – but merely wanting to share my personal experience.

Perhaps a little background on where my passion comes from. Both my mother and grandmother love (and very sadly, loved) being in the kitchen and making food for the mere pleasure it brings people. I will have lasting memories of my grandmother, with her back hunched over because of her arthritis, shuffling around slowly and purposefully in the kitchen always baking for everybody in her old age home just to bring a little bit of happiness to their lives. She really got what it meant to serve others with food, and just how much such a small act can mean. And that is what I love, that food brings people together, it brings so much happiness and creates so many memories. So as my inspiration and aspiration, I hope to follow in their footsteps…

So what exactly will I be blogging about? I decided to focus on sweet things, as this is where my greatest passion lies in the kitchen. And it will be a combination of a few things, chronicling the things I get up to in the kitchen, sharing some family recipes and sharing the clever ideas I come across that make my life easier and happier. After explaining all of this to my husband, he asked whether that will be enough to keep the blog regularly updated. He then came up with the most brilliant idea. Sadly, with just the two of us, we often end up with quite a bit of wastage that we just aren’t able to finish – no matter how delicious. So he asked why not create recipes that will be just enough for two people? Genius. So I am dedicating one section to ‘Desserts for Two’ that will be exactly that, recipes that are adapted to only fill two bowls at the end of the night.

To kick off this culinary adventure I have decided to bake some vanilla bean cupcakes. I should make mention at this point that vanilla is one my favourite flavours, and it is with serious restraint that I don’t add it to everything that goes into my oven. I also have three types of vanilla in my pantry: vanilla extract (the real stuff not imitation), vanilla bean paste and actual vanilla beans. The difference between the three is just the intensity of vanilla flavour, and recipes will normally specify what type to use. (In saying that, when a recipe calls for the seeds of a vanilla bean, it will be fine to use the essence if you don’t have the beans, the flavour just won’t be as strong).

The recipe I used was from My Baking Addiction, which is a great site for some genuinely good and easy recipes. The cupcakes had a wonderfully light and fine texture, and I will definitely be making them again. It is also good a good cupcake to dress up, should you feel the inspiration, with a custard or curd in the middle, or really any type of frosting you can imagine. And the recipe can also be used to make a normal cake, if you needed a really good vanilla cake recipe. The darling little tea cupcake set was a very thoughtful gift from my mum, and adds a whole new dimension to any tea party. They are silicone moulds that you bake the cupcake in, and if you can get your hands on a set, you will not regret it!

…be fearless, and have fun!


8 responses to “the vanilla bean diaries: the beginning

  1. Hey! I’m Keriana from greenmeadows intermediate and your sister susan smit or as I call her miss.smit is the best teacher ever
    she was talking to us about writing a peice of writing for a fake blog and she showed us yours it’s sooooooooooooo cool!
    I love cooking and you have made some amazing cupcakes. Exspecialy the one from the carnival thingy. anyway I gotta go bye!


      • Thankyou! I love your new entree on the lemon stuff and that your dad is sumed up in one word… lemon!
        If I had to describe my dad in food it would probably be mango. The reason being he is shy but well-known
        and he has many different people who like and dis-like him.! Oh and I tried your strawberries in tuxedo’s but I made them in prom-dresses! With frilly bits made out of foundant! It went really well. I thought you might like to try it! All you have todo is dip the strawberries in white chocolate. Then once they are dry you make sleaves out of piped chocolate and let thst set too. Afterwards you pipe on the decorations you want for the dress! You might even want to make a crown out of chocolate and pop it on the strawberries head!any way gotta go bye!

        From Keriana


      • Keriana! That sounds amazing!! Did you take any photos? That is such a clever idea 😀 and I love how you describe your dad as mango, it’s really cool how people can remind us of different flavours 🙂


  2. I agree but sadly no I didn’t take any photo’s because my banana of a brother dropped our camera in the fish tank trying to take a photo of our axolotol!


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