What a year it has been! Today’s my blog’s 1st birthday! I can’t believe how much has happened within the past year.
What started out as a hobby that I didn’t take too seriously has now become such an exciting and creative outlet for me. I know I’ve always enjoyed blogging. Even when I was a child, I would journal incessantly… I don’t know how many diaries I kept, but there was a stack before I left for University. And while I was still in University, I moved over from paper journaling to online “blogging.”
However, after I graduated and had a proper job, I didn’t have time to blog, but still wanted to share something with the world. So I resorted to Instagram. 6 years ago, it was *really* casual — literally snap a photo in that instant and post. (How times have changed)! I’d post photos of my food and it was nice to get encouragement and likes, but then people kept asking for recipes and I didn’t have a way of getting them out there.
So after years of playing with idea of starting an actual blog, with a real domain (not “blogspot,” etc), it finally came to fruition last year when I decided that I was going to jump in with both feet. And boy am I ever glad I did.
I’ll admit, it was a quite overwhelming learning how to use WordPress, SEO, coding, and designing the blog. And I’m still learning new tech things each day. Thank goodness for plugins! It’s a constant learning, which is great for my Mom-bogged brain 😉
And sticking with the Mom theme, don’t let it fool you — it’s a LOT of work to maintain a blog. From conceptualizing to testing recipes, shooting, styling, and editing — it’s more than a day’s work. Add some little kids to the mix, and you’re faced with a day-to-day balancing act to get household chores done, kids to school, and maybe a shower in for yourself. BUT, as I’ve told my husband before, to me, it doesn’t feel like work. It’s something I feel happy to do — pushing myself to be more creative, to continue to learn things (like photography, technology, marketing), and to find and use my talent for good in this big wide world.
The best part of this whole blogging experience is seeing my recipes being enjoyed with the food community, and connecting with fantastic foodies and blogger friends online.
So, I made a Rose Strawberry Hibiscus Mille Crepe Cake in honour of my little humble blog’s 1st birthday. Layers of light, thin, rose-flavoured crepes coupled with a robust strawberry hibiscus cream, this is a showstopping dessert that’s perfectly pink for Valentine’s Day or for any celebration! In fact, this combination was so delicious that my sons both devoured their slices, and my husband remarked that this mille crepe was one of the best he’s had! 😀
Here’s to the next year and more delicious recipes to come! What would you like to see more of? Less of? And if you make this cake, let me know — I’d love to see your recreation! Tag me @siftandsimmer on Instagram or leave a comment below. 🙂
Rose Strawberry Hibiscus Crepe Cake
Yield: 1 x 25-27 layer 5″ cake
1 C + 3 T milk
3/4 C flour
1/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
1 T rose water
oil for greasing the frying pan
Combine all the ingredients (minus the oil) together in a blender. Blend until smooth.
Cover and let sit for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.
When ready to make the crepes, remove batter from fridge.
Use a wooden spoon and stir the mixture.
Heat up a small 5″ frying pan and grease with a little oil.
Pour about 2 T of batter into 5″ frying pan.
Let it cook over low heat, about 1-2 minutes, flip, and continue cooking for another minute.
Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Repeat with the remaining batter.
Ensure crepes are completely cool before stacking upon each other.
Note: Crepes can be made ahead of time and stored in refrigerator for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. Place a piece of parchment paper in between the layers if freezing.
Strawberry Hibiscus Puree
1 1/2 C strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 C hibiscus tea (1 tsp hibiscus flowers steeped in 1/2 C of hot water)
2 T sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
In a small sauce pan, add all of the ingredients and cook over low-medium heat until thickened to a jam-like consistency.
Stir periodically. It should take about 30 minutes to reduce to about a 1/4 C of puree.
200ml (1 C) milk
2 egg yolks
1 T cornstarch
1 T flour
1/2 tsp vanilla
In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks with the sugar and beat with a whisk until light and yellow. Add the corn starch and flour to the mixture and mix well.
In a small saucepan, warm up the milk over medium heat.
When the milk is almost about to boil, reduce the heat and gradually add the milk to the eggs while whisking the eggs. Be careful not to scramble the eggs.
Once the egg mixture has been warmed through, add it back to the saucepan and whisk over low heat until thickened.
When the pastry cream has thickened enough (you can draw a line on the back of a spoon and it will hold its shape), place the mixture through a sieve (to remove any lumps) and into a clean bowl.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator.
3/4 C heavy whipping cream
1 T sugar
Place a wire whisk and glass bowl into the refrigerator to chill 20 minutes beforehand.
Remove the whisk and bowl from refrigerator.
Add the cold whipping cream and sugar to the bowl.
Whisk until soft peaks. Set aside.
Make the Strawberry Hibiscus Cream by folding in the whipped heavy cream into the pastry cream.
Use a spatula and take about 1/4 C of whipped cream to lighten up the pastry cream.
Add the remainder of the whipped cream to the pastry cream and fold it in so that no white streaks are visible.
Next, fold in the strawberry hibiscus puree to the whipped cream/pastry cream mixture.
Taking 1 crepe at a time, place onto a clean cake board or plate.
Add a layer of the Strawberry Hibiscus cream, place another crepe on top and repeat.
Cover the cake with plastic wrap and set to chill in the fridge overnight.
Serve mille crepe cake chilled.