Recipes

Recipe: Tonka Bean Semifreddo

May 25, 2016

Hello everyone, hope you are all enjoying the blooming spring. We’re heading into the time of the year where it is becoming rather indecent not to have a pint of ice cream hidden in the depths of the freezer for those moments when sun comes out in all its glory and all you want to do is sit outside and indulge into a frozen cream, custard or yogurt. Last year was our first summer in Switzerland and by the time June came around we were quite literally cooking, which meant banana ice cream topped with granola for breakfast and all sorts of frozen concoctions throughout the day.

Recipe: Tonka Bean Semifreddo

Gintare Marcel for decor8

Having a job that keeps me thinking about food almost every day, I am always on the lookout for interesting ingredients to work with. Now, for those who do not know, I happen to live in the beautiful Swiss countryside where more exotic ingredients aren’t always easy to come by, so when the lovely lady selling spices in our market procured some tonka beans, I jumped and bought them all.

Tonka bean is a curious little thing. It has a particular taste somewhere between almond and vanilla that comes even more alive once a little vanilla is added to it. There are even very delicate tobacco notes that are barely felt, but it makes for a more interesting spice altogether.

Recipe: Tonka Bean Semifreddo

Gintare Marcel for decor8

Tonka beans work not only in sweet things where they can be baked in or just grated on top of desserts to finish them off. They are great with shellfish, though I feel a note should be made here. When it comes to vanilla undertones and shellfish the world is divided into two groups: one says they should never be seen together and the other thinks it’s like biting into a piece of heaven (when done well, of course). I belong to the latter, having tried scallops with vanilla hollandaise some four years ago and still dreaming about it to date, so I would surely recommend giving this flavur marriage a try.

If you have never worked with tonka beans on the other hand, dessert is a good place to start and a semifreddo is a wonderful way to showcase its flavor (and keep in your freezer for when the sun is out). The art of making a semifreddo is rather basic. You need to beat the eggs over a double boiler till they become light and fluffy (cooking them at the same time) and after tossing with some cream freeze completely, though it will start melting almost immediately after leaving the freezer so do take it out the last minute. I like to add a bit of crunch to my semifreddo in the form of meringues and berries for freshness, but it will taste great on its on too.

SHOPPING LIST:
2 egg yolks
1 egg
4 tbsp sugar
2 tonka beans, grated
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
1 cup/ 250 ml
Meringues (optional)
2 egg whites, room temperature
pinch of salt
1/2 cup/115 g caster sugar
berries to serve
edible pansies, to serve (optional)

PREPARE
To make the semifreddo, line a large tin (or 6 small ones) with cling film. Set aside. Place a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water with eggs, sugar, grated tonka beans and scraped vanilla seeds beating for 5-6 minutes, till thick, pale and double in volume. Take off the heat and continue to beat for a minute or two, till the bowl cools down. To speed things up, you can place the bowl over ice. In a chilled bowl beat cream till soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into eggs. Pour into tin and freeze for at least 3-4 hours.

To make the meringues, preheat the oven to 110C/ 250F. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt till stiff peaks. Gradually add the sugar beating very well after each addition. Then continue to beat till the meringue looks thick and glossy, but do not overbeat. Pipe out mini meringues on a lined sheet and bake for 1 hour. Then switch off the oven and let them cool completely.

To serve, take out the semifreddo, top with berries, meringues, pansies and serve immediately.

Recipe: Tonka Bean Semifreddo

Gintare Marcel for decor8

Enjoy the sun and frozen treats, I will be back with another recipe on 15th June! –Gintare

(Photography, Recipe, Text: Gintare Marcel)






Decorating Tips

7 Great Ways To Display Photos At Home

May 23, 2016

Hi friends! I want to quickly share with you a project that I worked on for Canon Europe in 2013 that I can finally share publicly. It was for an advertorial that was seen in hundreds of magazines across Europe, the UK and Russia. I was asked to comment on and show ways to use photos for decorating the home. And of course, I had to take the photos, print them all out, and then style them in my home in a creative way. The ideas are still very current so I thought to share them with you today.

7 Great Ways To Display Photos At Home

7 Great Ways To Display Photos At Home

1: GRID. I spent a day in the greenhouses at the Berggarten in Herrenhausen located in Hannover taking photos. It was amazing! Their orchid collection alone is one of the best in Europe. After a day shooting, I did some light post-processing in Lightroom and then printed my favorites out on Canon matte photo paper. I cut them all with a paper cutter. Then I pinned them in a grid format onto my mood board in my former work studio (I’ve moved since). This inspired me for a few months, I had my very own indoor botanical garden and it was so nice to look at each day. Continue Reading…






Bloggers

20 Creative Ideas For Facebook Live

May 21, 2016

Hey guys! I’m excited to share my guide to using Facebook Live because this is something new that I can really see myself using regularly! I did two broadcasts last night in my Blogging Your Way group on Facebook and it was so much fun! And though the lighting was bad, I still had a great time and decided that going forward, I’ll try to broadcast in natural light. Anyway, I’ve been doing a lot of research into Facebook Live for the past week and so I thought I’d share my findings based on my experience and some creative ideas on how bloggers and small biz peeps can use it. Ready?

20 Creative Ideas For Facebook Live

WHAT
Facebook Live lets you broadcast a live video from your iOS or Android (not from your computer, at least not at the moment) to your followers on Facebook either on your own timeline OR on the timeline of a Groups page that you run. Your audience can freely interact in real time through comments and Facebook emoji. It’s fun!

WHERE
First, click on the Facebook app on your smartphone. Then login. On your timeline, top left corner, click on “status”. An “update state” screen will appear. Click below on “live video”. Enter a clear description for the video. Click on the blue bar that says “go live”. Countdown begins 3, 2, 1… Smile! You’re live! Yay!

WHY
It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s fresh. And you’ve already got peeps. Think about it, you most likely already have followers or you may have a private group page that you run for your business. This means you don’t have to start from zero on a new app.

BUT REALLY, WHY?

We need to make genuine connections now more than ever. With a bevy of beautiful, yet heavily edited images and inspiring yet overly tweaked written content, all that sparkle and shine can feel boring at times. Even fake. Your content may be discouraging because to your fans, you may come across as totally unapproachable to your fans. You can google and find anything online yet we all still crave more. That “more” can be satisfied currently through live broadcasting. A live video gives YOU a chance to share openly without retakes, beautiful filters or post-processing. As a result, you can create genuine and present topics and share moments in a fresh new way that can inspire your followers. Continue Reading…






Flowers

DIY: Garden Wisteria + Iris Summer Bouquet

May 19, 2016

Hello dear readers, I’m back with a new flower column for you to enjoy this month. I currently live in Germany, but I grew up in the Ukraine and one of my most cherished memories goes back to summer months spent with my wonderful grandma at our ‘dacha’, a small Russian summer house. This was our seasonal second home where we grew our own fruit, vegetables and flowers! I was outdoors the entire time helping my beloved granny plant new strawberries or potatoes. Luckily, my grandma loved flowers as much as I did and so together we planted peonies, daisies and my favorite, irises. In fact, I think it was her who instilled a passion for flowers in me.

DIY: Garden Wisteria + Iris Summer Bouquet

Anastasia Benko for decor8

There was no better feeling than to go home with a bucket full of strawberries or a bouquet of peonies. When my mother and I moved to Germany, my granny visited and brought a few rhizomes from our dacha. She also planted peonies. With this background you might better understand my love of flowers an why I am really looking forward to share this special arrangement with you today fresh from the garden. Continue Reading…






Shop Tours

Kinfolk Style Shop In Warsaw

May 18, 2016

You really must check out this newly transformed Soviet-era dental clinic in Poland today, it’s the retail space of Thisispaper and I was happy that owners and designers Zuzanna Gasior and Aleksandr Zacharow took the time to reach out to me to share their space with me. It is very Kinfolk Style! Now it’s your turn to see it. This simple and quiet interior is quite striking, don’t you think?

Kinfolk Style Shop In Warsaw

If you’ve not heard of them before, Thisispaper is located in Warsaw and they design and carry their own products (like gorgeous bags and totes), the Thisispaper magazines and high-quality roasted organic Japanese teas. Thisispaper is located next door to their studio space so they make in one space, sell in the other (and also online). Continue Reading…






Recipes

Recipe: Strawberry Moët & Chandon Swiss Cake Roll

May 18, 2016

Hello lovely decor8 readers…it’s been a little while since I saw you last and since then we went on a fabulous family holiday. Instead of Bali as planned we had to change our holiday destination at the last minute. My doctors would not clear me to go overseas (I’m pregnant and the baby could arrive anytime now!) so we cancelled Bali and kept our destination within Australia and took a shorter trip to Byron Bay. It was all about relaxation and enjoying our time as a family of four – exactly what was needed. We ate in so many beautiful places, went on long rambling walks and swam in the warm sea- we all feel re-charged and ready for the next phase in our lives when baby arrives. With only a couple of weeks to go now I am in full nesting mode getting ready for this little one.

Recipe: Strawberry Moët & Chandon Swiss Cake Roll

Emma Duckworth for decor8

In the past couple of weeks I have been talking to my friends over in the UK and they are loving being in the throws of springtime. It got me thinking about my childhood growing up in the UK and some of the sweet treats that I used to love as quintessentially English. I started reminiscing about Bakewell Tart, Bread and Butter Pudding, Eton Mess, Banoffee Pie and the simple classic Victoria Sponge which is in essence a two layers of light vanilla sponge with cream and strawberries sandwiched in the middle…. doesn’t get more English than that! Continue Reading…






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