Goulash soup

While skiing with my family in Austria we had a delicious Goulash soup. It was such a delicious combination of herbs and filling that I was still craving this soup when I got home. So I got to work trying to replicate the soup, and I have to say this recipe is very close to the original.

This goulash soup is rich, full of meat and vegetables. Every bite is so full of flavor! I think it could make a complete lunch or dinner but it is best when consumed with some bread; we combined it with my sourdough bread. You can find the recipe for my sourdough bread here.

Skiing as a family is something we have always loved doing. We lived in America for 11 years. In California we loved to go to Lake Tahoe with its beautiful views over the lake. When we moved to Pennsylvania we traveled up to the mountains of Vermont and had a blast there too. After moving back to the Netherlands we planned our first family ski trip to Austria. We were there during Christmas with my husband’s brother, his sister-in-law and their kids. Growing up my family often went skiing in Austria, so being back there felt so familiar. We had beautiful ski holidays in the USA, but Austria feels like home to me. The slopes were gorgeous and we could ski from one delicious restaurant to another eating all the foods we had been missing. Nothing beats a good filling soup for lunch after spending the morning in the cold on skis. Paired with some homemade sourdough this goulash soup hits the spot for sure.


  • Tomatoes: pureed with flour and some garlic this is the base for the soup. 
  • Ground beef: I choose ground beef for this recipe. Most soups call for diced meat, but that can turn out dry and tough so I prefer ground meat.
  • Bacon: gives the soup an extra salty flavor.
  • Caraway seed: also known as meridian fennel and Persian cumin. It is highly aromatic and has a distinctive mild anise flavor.
  • Paprika powder: dried and ground red peppers.
  • Garlic: I used fresh minced garlic.
  • Vegetables: onions, bell peppers and potatoes. 
  • Flour: to thicken the soup.
  • Beef broth: The base is the tomato base with the beef broth.
  • Bay Leaf: I used dry bay leaves.


Meat and bay laf


Start with cutting up all the ingredients. Next we will make the tomato base. Start by frying the shallot and when it is soft add in the tomatoes and fry till softened. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Next add in the tomato paste, stir and add 2 tablespoons of flour continuing to stir for a bit. Finally add in one cup of broth. Put this into a blender and combine till smooth. Set aside for now. 

In the same pan, add some oil and fry the bacon to a crisp. I like to use this Le Creuset cast iron Dutch oven pan. Then add in the ground beef and spices, breaking it up until the meat is cooked through. To the meat mixture add in 2 tablespoons of flour, or more if a thicker soup is preferred. Continue to cook for 2 minutes until fragrant. Then add in all the vegetables, tomato base and the rest of the broth to the meat mixture. Finally, add the bay leaves and let it simmer for 1 hour. 

Goulash soup

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Course: Soup
Cuisine: soup
Keyword: Goulash soup


Tomato base

  • 1 Shallot diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 5 Tomatoes diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste (70 gram)
  • 1 Cup Water

Goulash soup

  • 300 Grams Ground Beef
  • 2 Teaspoon Ground Paprika Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Pepper
  • 150 Grams Bacon diced
  • 1 Bell Pepper diced
  • 3-4 Golden Potatoes peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoon s Flour
  • 500 Milliliters Beef Broth
  • 1 teaspoon Caraway Seed
  • 2 Bay Leaves


Tomato base

  • Start with cutting all the vegetables. I choose to dice all the vegetables into small pieces.
  • In a warm pan, add some oil or butter. Fry the shallots until soft. Then add garlic and fry for another 30 secondes or until fragrant.
  • Add your diced tomatoes, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Stir quickly. Then add the flour. Combine and cook for 1 -2 minutes.
  • Slowly stir in one cup of broth.
  • Transfer your tomato base to a blender and blend until smooth and set aside.


  • In the same pan where the tomato base was prepared, on medium heat add some oil and the bacon. Fry until the bacon is crisp.
  • Add the ground beef to your pan with the bacon and stir in the spices; salt, pepper, paprika powder. Cook the meat throughly. Add the onion to the meat mixture. Cook until they are soft.
  • To thicken the soup you will be adding 2 tablespoons of flour to the meat mixture. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
  • Add all your diced vegetables, tomato base and the rest of the broth little by little. When all is combined add bay leaves and let the soup simmer for 1 hour with lid on the pan.
  • Taste and adjust spices to your preference. Remove the bay leaf and serve with some delicious sour dough bread. Enjoy!

Pear cake

This is a super light and flavorful cake with the freshness of pear in it, which is a favorite fruit in my house. The combination of spices and pear combined to make this cake a sure hit, and a perfect fall or winter treat. My stores where full of pears, so I knew I had to create something yummy.


  • Unsalted butter: Make sure your butter is room temperature and unsalted or your cake will be too salty.
  • Sugar: I used regular cane sugar for this cake. If preferred, you can use coconut sugar, but I haven’t tried it with this recipe yet.
  • Eggs: Eggs should be brought to room temperature before using.  
  • Vanilla extract
  • Milk: I prefer to use whole milk. 
  • Flour: Regular unbleached or pastry flour works best.
  • Baking powder
  • Cinnamon powder: This gives the cake delicious fall/winter flavors. 
  • Salt
  • Pears: I used ripe, soft and juicy pears. For example Bartlett pears.


Ingredients pear cake


Start with beating the room temperature butter until soft, airy and fluffy. I typically use my kitchen aid mixer but a handheld mixer will work, too. Once you’re happy with the soft butter mixture, begin to add in the sugar and beat until combined and the sugar is fully dissolved into the butter. Finally, add in one egg at a time until fully combined and the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine your dry ingredients.

Dry ingredients pear cake

Mixing dry ingredients

Next combine the milk, flour and butter mixtures together. Start with 1/3rd of the flour and mix in half of the milk. Once properly combined add another 1/3rd of the flour and the rest of the milk. Stir to combine in between. Then end with the remaining flour mixture. Stir until fully incorporated. After the milk and flour mixture is done it’s time to add the pear. The diced pear is carefully folded in to the batter. Do not over mix or you will let all the air out of the batter.

Pear and bather

Mixture of the cake


Now it is time to bake! Prepare your loaf pan. You can also use a bundt pan, as I did in the photos.

Pear cake

This pear cake is definitely a family favorite. My children love the combination of the cinnamon spice and pear; however, if you want to try a different loaf recipe, check out my posts for lemon cake and banana bread

Pear and cinnamon



Pear Cake

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: cake
Keyword: pearcake
Author: Ester van Boesschoten


  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted butter 100 grams room temperature
  • 2/3 Cup Granulated sugar 130 grams
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3/4 Cup Whole milk 175 millimeters
  • 1 1/2 Cups Flour 200 grams
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon powder
  • Pinch Salt
  • 3 Pears cut into cubes


  • Preheat your oven to 350 Fahrenheit/180 Celsius.
  • Beat the butter until softened and creamy. Add your sugar and mix until combined. Approximately 3 minutes.
  • Add one egg at a time to the butter and sugar mixture and mix until combined. Then mix in the vanilla extract.
  • Combine your dry ingredients. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts: start with the flour, add half of the milk, combine and then add the second part of your flour mixture, then the rest of the milk and finish with mixing in your last bit of flour. Combine with your mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Fold in the cut pear carefully so you don’t let the air out of your batter. Pour in a prepared loaf pan. Alternatively, you can use a bundt pan.
  • Bake until a toothpick comes out clean in your preheated oven. This takes around 50 minutes.

Granola in storage jar


Granola is my favorite breakfast of all time! It is easy, quick and filling. Unfortunately, store bought granola is typically full of refined sugars and nuts. With a son who has a nut allergy, I was forced to figure out my own recipe. My naturally sweetened granola is super yummy, crunchy and bakes up quickly. It can easily be made into a nut free version by substituting the almonds with raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds.


Ingredients granola
  • Coconut sugar: In most of my baking I prefer to use a natural sugar instead of a refined sugar . Coconut works great in this granola.
  • Avocado oil: It is full of good fats, antioxidants and vitamins (A, B1, B2, D and E). Also has a high smoke point. However, the main reason I like using avocado oil is because of the great taste. It is not overpowering and remains a light, fresh addition to your cooking or baking. If you don’t have avocado oil you can use olive oil too for this granola recipe.
  • Raw honey:  It is a good source of antioxidants, amino acids and enzymes while providing a natural sweetness.
  • Cinnamon: This gives the granola a lot of flavor and a lovely smell.
  • Vanilla: Another nice flavor addition to this granola.
  • Salt: A universal flavor enhancer.
  • Rolled oats:  These are a whole grain food. They are nutritious and a good source of carbs and fiber. They are loaded with important vitamins ( magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, folate, B1, B5).
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut: This is rich in fiber and MCT’s.
  • Raw almonds:  They are rich in magnesium, vitamin E and fiber. If you prefer to make this granola nut free then use raw pumpkin seeds or raw sunflower seeds instead. 
    Flavor additions to granola


This granola is super easy to make. First, preheat your oven.  Start by mixing the coconut sugar with the oil. Measure the oil in same cup you will use to measure the honey because it provides a grease to the cup, allowing the honey to easily slide out.

Coconut sugar in bowl and oil in the 1/2 cup
Stir the oil and sugar together. Then add in your honey, cinnamon salt and vanilla.

Oil, sugar honey and spices 

Liquid combined with spices

After it is well combined, add your rolled oats one cup at the time. Making sure to combine well after each addition.

Adding rolled oats one cup at the time

When your oats are mixed in well, add the shredded coconut, almonds or pumpkin/sunflower seeds to the mixture and combine.

Added shredded coconut and almonds

Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread your oat mixture onto the pan and flatten it out with the back of your spoon or fork.

Unbaked oats mixture

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven. Set the timer for 25 minutes. Set a second timer for 7 minutes. When the 7 minute timer goes off, take the baking sheet out of the oven and stir the oat mixture. Make sure to flatten it again with your fork or spoon. Return the tray to the oven and set a new timer for 7 minutes, Repeat the process every 7 minutes until the 25 minutes are up. 
After 7 minute stirring the oats
When your granola is done baking you will smell it; the toasty cinnamon scent will spread into your kitchen.  It should be a golden brown. See picture below.

Done baking granola

Once it is done baking, stir it one last time and really press it down  firmly with your fork or spoon. Let it cool completely.

When it is cooled completely you can break it apart into bite size pieces and store it in an airtight container. I use this mason jar.

Baked and broken apart granola

We love to enjoy this granola in the morning with yoghurt and some fresh fruit, but is it also yummy on its own as a snack in place of a cookie.

Other cookie recipes can be found here on my page.

Baked granola

Another breakfast recipe on my blog is french toast. You can find the recipe here.


Crunchy natural sweetened granola
Prep Time10 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: granola
Keyword: granola
Author: Ester van Boesschoten


  • 1/2 Cup Coconut sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Avocado oil
  • 1/2 Cup Raw honey
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla extract
  • 3 Cups Rolled oats
  • 3/4 Cup Unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 Cup Raw shopped almonds For a nut free version use raw sunflower seeds or pumpkin seed


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Farhenheit.
  • Combine coconut sugar with your avocado oil. Tip: measure your honey in the same cup as your oil so it will slide out easily.
  • Add the honey, cinnamon salt, vanilla extract and combine.
  • One cup at a time, add the rolled oats and mix after each addition.
  • Lastly add the shredded coconut and almonds. Stir until combined.
  • Spread the ingredients on a baking sheet with parchment paper and press down firmly with the back of a spoon or fork.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until it is fragrant and golden brown. Set a separate timer for 7 minutes and stir your granola every 7 minutes.
  • When your granola is golden brown and fragrant take it out of the oven and stir it one last time. Then press with the end of your fork until the granola is flat. Let it cool completely.
  • Once it is cooled, you can break it into pieces and store it in an airtight container. Enjoy it for breakfast or as a snack.

Banana bread

This banana bread is the best, and it makes 2 loafs what is a big plus in a house of 5. It is super moist and has so much flavor. Adding in hemp and flax seeds at the end gives it some extra nutrition for growing kids.



  • Avocado oil: In my bakings I prefer to use avocado oil because of its taste and high smoking point (470-500 Fahrenheit). It’s rich in oleic acid. Dependent on where you live it might not be so easy to find avocado oil, you could substitute it with olive oil.
  • Coconut sugar: Is a natural plant based sweetener. I prefer using natural sugar instead of refined sugar in my bakings. But you can if prefer substitute with cane sugar. The darker color of the banana bread is from the coconut sugar.
  • Eggs: Make sure your eggs are at room temperature. I always take them out of the fridge the night before baking and let them get to room temperature overnight.
  • Milk: I use whole milk but if you prefer to make a dairy free banana bread you can use almond milk. I’ve used almond milk in the past and the end result is still perfect.
  • Bananas: Use overripe bananas, the riper the sweeter the bread will turn out. Make sure you really smash the bananas fine before adding. This pretends lumps in your loafs. 
  • Pastry flour: With all my bakes of loafs, cake etc I prefer using pastry flour but if you don’t have it you can use all purpose flour too. Have made this recipe with both.
  • Baking soda: Used to give the loaf a nice fluffy texture.
  • Baking powder: Increase the volume and lightens the texture of the banana bread.
  • Salt: Prefer using Redmond fine salt.
  • Cinnamon: This gives the the loaf a warm spicy flavor.
  • Vanilla extract: Extra flavor to the loaf.
  • Chocolate chips: Prefer to use semi sweet chocolate chips or chunks in the bread and a couple of them on top for decoration.
  • Hemp seed: Is rich in healthy fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 acids. 
  • Flax seeds: Improve digestive health or relieve constipation. 

Overripe bananas


Coconut sugar and avocado oil

Make sure you have your mixing bowl ready and another bowl where you can combine the dry ingredients first and also to use to mash your bananas in.

Oil and eggs

In your mixing bowl you measure first in the coconut sugar then you add your oil. Mix to combine. Then add one egg at the time in while your blender is on low. 

Flour mixture

Mix all your dry ingredients in the second bowl. Then ad it to the oil and egg mixture in 3 steps whil your mixer is on low. When just combined turn your blender off and start puréing your bananas with the vanilla and the milk. Really make sure you don’t have any big lumps of banana in it. Because you will have those lumps in your finished loafs. Add this into your blender bowl and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overmix it. 

Banana smash

Banana puree with milk and vanilla

Measuring spoons.

banana bread mixture

Last gently stir in your hemp seeds, flax seed and chocolate chips. Don’t overmix it.

Added hemp flax seed and chocolate chips

Pour your mixture into prepared loaf pans.

Banana bread mixture in prepared loaf pans

Bake them in a preheated oven of 350 Farhenheit until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Around 50-60 minutes depending on your oven.

Baked bananabread

Let the banana bread cool slightly in the loaf pans on a cooling rack, around 10 minutes before you take your loafs out and let them cool completely. If you can wait that long…

Cooled banana bread

This is one of my kids favorite, one loaf is always gone the same day. 

Another recipe of a loaf is pound cake you can find here


Banana bread

Prep Time20 minutes
Author: Ester van Boesschoten


  • 3/4 Cup Avocado oil
  • 3/4 Cup Coconut sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Cups Pastry flour Or unbleached flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking soda
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 2 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 3 Bananas ripe
  • 2 Tablespoon Milk Regular or almond
  • 1 Cup Semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 Cup Hemp seed optional
  • 1/4 Cup Flax seed Optional


  • Preheat the oven at 350 Farhenheit.
  • In a bowl of your kitchen aid blender combine the avocado oil en coconut sugar. When it is mixed add one egg at the time into to oil mixture until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl mix your dry ingredients; flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  • Add your flour mixture in 3 steps to the oil mixture while the blender mixes on low. Mix until it is just combined.
  • Use your empty flour bowl to mash up your ripe bananas really fine. Add the vanilla and milk and stir.
  • Gently mix in the banana mixture into your flour/oil mixture until it is just combined. Be careful not to overmix it.
  • Remove the bowl from the blender and gentle stir in the chocolate chips, hemp seeds and flax seeds.
  • Pour the mixture in 2 greased baking pans equally.
  • Bake in preheated oven until it is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. This is around 50-60 minutes depending on your oven.

Creamy cauliflower soup

This creamy cauliflower soup not only gets its creaminess from the main ingredient of cauliflower but also from the addition of potatoes. They give it the extra body to the soup. The heavy whipping cream in the end is the perfect finishing touch.

Cauliflower is not only a good source of vitamin C and K, it is also an excellent source of fiber, folate and vitamin B6.

Our family loves a good soup for dinner. My kids request soup based on its color instead of the ingredients. For example, the “green soup” is a huge favorite of my kids. You can find the recipe here.  Even though it is white, this creamy cauliflower soup is a close second choice in my house. Both soups are quick and easy to make. Also have a tomato soup on my site here.

Ingredients creamy cauliflower soup

Cut cauliflowerCut potatoes


Most cauliflower soup recipes will have you roast your cauliflower as a first step. My recipe skips this and the end result is just as yummy. I was in a time crunch one day, so I opted to skip the roasting, and the end results didn’t disappoint at all! For my recipe, begin by melting butter in a pan, and cook your shallot till it is soft and browning. Next, add in the garlic and cook until it is fragrant. Finally, add your cauliflower and herbs and cook for couple of minutes. 

Shallot cooked oft and slightly browned

Cauliflower and potatoes added to browned shallot

Vegetables ready to add the bone broth After you have cooked your cauliflower for around 5 minutes, add your broth. I have chosen to use bone broth for its nutritional benefits. You can also use vegetable broth to make this dish vegetarian. Bring the soup to a boil, and then lower the heat and let it simmer until the vegetables are soft. This should take around 15-20 minutes.

Vegatable with broth getting to a broil

Blending soup with a hand blender

After the vegetables are tender, use a hand blender to mix the soup until nice and smooth. I use this kitchen aid hand blender. Taste your soup and add some heavy whipping cream and lemon juice to your desired taste before blending again. One final taste to see if it needs more salt or pepper. If not serve it hot and enjoy this delicious creamy cauliflower soup with some toasted bread. Delicious for lunch, or an appetizer at dinner.   

Creamy cauliflower soup


Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: soup
Keyword: Creamy cauliflower soup
Author: Ester van Boesschoten


  • 1 Shallot minced
  • 2 Tablespoon Unsalted butter
  • 2 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 Potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 Head Cauliflower broken into florets
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried parsley
  • 32 Fl oz Chicken bone broth
  • 2 Tablespoon Heavy whipping cream
  • Lemon juice to taste


  • In large pot, on medium heat, melt your butter. Then add your minced shallots with a pinch of salt, and cook them till soft and slightly browned.
  • Add your minced garlic and cook until fragant, about 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn it. Burning it will give a bitter taste.
  • Add the washed and cut potatoes, cauliflower, salt, freshly ground pepper and parsley. Cook them on medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Stirring often will prevent it from burning.
  • Add in the broth, bringing it to a boil. Then turn down the heat and let it simmer until the potatoes and cauliflower are soft. This takes around 15-20 minutes.
  • Blend your soup to your preferred consistency. Add some heavy whipping cream and a splash of lemon juice, to your taste. If needed add some extra salt and pepper. Serve hot with some bread. Enjoy!

French toast

This delicious and decadent Challah french toast is perfect for any Sunday morning. Flavored with vanilla, cinnamon and just a hint of nutmeg. It is easy to make and soon will be a favorite in your house!

Challah bread cut into1’ slices

Challah bread:

Challah is a braided loaf of bread. The simple dough is made with eggs, water, flour, yeast and salt. I used a store bought challah bread in this recipe but you definitely can bake your own. If you can’t get challah bread where you live, you can always use another soft white bread instead. You could even use my whole wheat bread recipe on my blog too.


When you have all your ingredients set out for your challah french toast, preheat the oven to 250 Fahrenheit. This will allow you to keep the prepared toast hot while you finish cooking the rest of it on the stove. 

The large eggs in the bowl

In a big bowl combine the eggs, milk, heavy cream, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and a dash of nutmeg. Whisk it all together in a bowl large enough to prevent spilling. 

Egg, milk, heavy whipped cream and spices

The addition of nutmeg is just a dash, no need to use measurement spoons. Sprinkle it in to your taste but I just use one tiny dash. Just enough to taste it, but not overwhelming or overpowering. The cinnamon and vanilla needs to be the star in this dish. 

Whisking all the ingredients really well before coating the bread

Mixed egg mixture for the french toast

 Baking the challah french toast:

Heat up your pan over a medium heat on the stove. I used a cast iron pan, which is one of my favorite pans in my kitchen. Once your pan is hot, melt a little butter in the pan. While the butter is melting coat the sliced bread in the egg mixture. Be careful not to let it soak up all the egg mixture or you will get soggy challah french toast. My pan was big enough for 2 slices at a time, so I coated 2 slices of 1’ challah bread and placed them in the warm pan. Cook them on medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side. Once done I placed them in an oven safe dish in the preheated oven. Continue this process until you have finished the rest of the challah loaf. If needed add more butter into your pan between slices.

Coating of the challah bread in the egg mixture

Baking the coated challah bread in cast iron skillet pan


Serve your challah bread with some fresh fruit. I had some delicious raspberries in the fridge, but you can use any fruit you prefer. Sift some powdered sugar over the top of the Challah french toast and add some whipped cream or maple syrup and enjoy!

Challah french tast with powdered sugar whipped cream and fruit



Challah French Toast

Prep Time10 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: challah french toast
Keyword: Challah french toast
Author: Ester van Boesschoten


  • 6 Large eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Whole milk
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoon Maple syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • Dash Nutmug
  • 1 Loaf Challah bread Cut in 1’’ slices
  • 2-3 Tablespoon Unsalted butter

To serve:

  • Powdered sugar
  • Mable syrup
  • Powdered sugar
  • Fresh fruit raspberries, strawberries, blueberries etc.


  • Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, heavy whipping cream, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt and a little dash of nutmeg.
  • Slice the Challah bread into 1" slices.
  • Add the butter to a heated pan.
  • Coat 2 slices of bread in the egg mixture. Don’t let the bread soak up all the egg mixture or it will be too soggy when cooked. Let the outside coat with the egg mixture before putting in the pan. Repeat using two slices at a time.
  • Cook the slices of bread on medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side. Once done place them in an oven proof dish in the oven to keep them warm.
  • Add some additional butter into the pan if needed and repeat the soaking and baking with the rest of the bread.
  • Serve the Challah french toast with powdered sugar, fresh fruit, whipped cream and some maple syrup.


This creamy custard recipe is delicious! The fresh pod of vanilla that is cooked in the milk makes it super nice. The recipe requires a lot of fast whisking, but the end result is drooling good.

Ingredients for custard

In this creamy custard recipe I use tapioca flour, instead of cornstarch. If you don’t have tapioca, or prefer to use cornstarch, you can easily substitute. For every 2 tablespoon of tapioca, use one tablespoon of cornstarch. If you want to try the flour this is the one that I prefer: Tapioca flour. Another important note is to use an egg that is at room temperature.

Egg yolk ready to add cane sugar

Separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Instead of throwing the egg white out, consider saving it to make meringue. Mix in the cane sugar with the egg yolk. Measure out the tapioca flour in advance so it will be ready when the milk is at the right temperature, later in the recipe.

Egg yolk with sugar

The cute measuring spoon, seen in the picture, can be purchased here. Besides being cute, they are sturdy and one of my favorites.

Vanilla pod with vanilla removed from the podI added a fresh organic vanilla pod to the milk being warmed for the custard. Carefully cut it open with a sharp knife and remove the vanilla seeds from the pod. Place both in the milk before bringing it to a boil.

Milk with pod and vanilla ready to bring to a boil

Stirring with a whisk, bring the milk, pod and vanilla slowly to a boil.

Milk with thermometer

The milk has to come to a boil but the temperature needs to be closely monitored. I use this thermometer, which is made specifically for baking and cooking. The temperature of the milk has to be 180 degrees Fahrenheit, but can not get above 185 degrees Fahrenheit. If it gets higher, and you add the yolk mixture, you will end up with scrambled eggs instead of a custard. Thus, the temperature is really important to keep an eye on.

Egg yolk with sugar and tapioca flour mixture

When you see that your milk is getting close to the 180 degree Fahrenheit, quickly whisk the tapioca flour into your egg yolk-sugar mixture. This will help you be ready when the milk reaches the right temperature. 

Milk wished with the egg yolk mixture

When the milk has the right temperature remove it from the heat. Slowly add the milk to the egg yolk mixture in small batches. Whisk it really well to combine everything and avoid lumps in your custard. This will get your arm workout in, so start whisking! After the milk is fully added to the egg yolk, you can return it to the pan and put it back onto a low heat. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes.

If the custard separates you either had it too long on the heat, or the heat was too high. When this happens, take the custard off of the heat and whisk it really, really well. If this doesn’t work, then you can put the custard through a strainer.

Custard simmered for 4 minutes ready to cool down

After the custard has simmered for 3-4 minutes it is ready to eat warm. Alternatively, you can cool it down slowly on the counter. If you choose to cool the custard, it is important to whisk it again frequently to avoid a film forming on the top which can make lumps in the custard. Whisk it every few minutes while it slowly cools down on the counter. When it is fully cooled, you can transfer it to a jar and store it in the fridge. Freshly made custard can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days. 

Custard you can combine with my pound cake recipe and some whipped cream and fruit to create a trifle.


Homemade silky smooth custard.
Cook Time45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: custard
Keyword: custard, vanilla custard
Servings: 1
Author: Ester van Boesschoten


  • 1 Cup Whole (full fat) milk
  • 1-2 Tablespoon Cane sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoon Tapioca flour or 1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • Pinch Salt


  • Crack the egg and separate the egg white from the egg yolk into two different bowls.
  • Add the sugar to the bowl with the egg yolk and whisk them together.
  • Put the milk into a pan and remove the vanilla seeds out of their pod. Add the vanilla and the pod into the milk.
  • Slowly bring the milk to a boil. The temperature of the milk should be 180 Fahrenheit but not higher then 185 Fahrenheit.
  • Just before the milk has reached 180 Fahrenheit, mix in the tapioca flour to the sugar mixture.
  • When the milk has reached 180 Fahrenheit, take the milk off of the heat. Slowly add the milk mixture to your egg-sugar mixture while whisking really well. Whisking is really important here!
  • When everything is whisked together, without any lumps, add the mixture back into the pan.
  • Let the custard simmer on low heat, for around 3-4 minutes, while constantly whisking.
  • After it has simmered for 3-4 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and remove the vanilla pod from the milk.
  • You can eat the custard warm, or if preferred, let it cool. It is important to stir during the cooling process, otherwise a film will form on top of the custard.


Meringue is a light, airy cookie with a crisp exterior. They are one of my favorite cookies, but can be tricky to bake. The oven temperature needs to be just right or the cookies will turn a little brown. Fortunately, they will still be delicious if this happens.

Meringue has 2 main ingredients: egg whites and sugar. The final step is to add a pinch of salt. Three ingredients is all it takes to make these delicious cookies.

The first step is to whip up the egg whites in your stand mixer, until they become glossy and opaque. It is important to ensure your bowl and whisk are free from grease and moisture before starting. Once you are sure they are dry, I like to add a little lemon juice in the bowl. Then whip your egg whites till they are white and glossy.

Whipped egg whites

Next, add the sugar one spoon at a time while you continue to whisk on medium. Give the sugar a chance to dissolve into the egg white mixture. After all the sugar is added, whisk it until stiff peaks begin to form in the mixture, and it does not fold back in on itself. 

Sugar and egg white whisked till peaks formed

Transfer the meringue mixture into a piping bag. Placing the piping bag into a drinking glass will make the process easier and limit the mess made. Fold the ends of the bag  over the top of the glass and scoop in the mixture. See picture below.

Meringue mixture in piping bag

Cut off the small tip of the piping bag and you are ready to pipe! You can pipe your meringue pretty close to each other on the parchment lined baking sheet. They don’t spread out while baking and you need to bake all your cookies at the same time. So pay attention to the spacing when you begin so that you can be sure to fit them all on the one tray. 

Meringue bAked

Meringue gets baked in the oven on a low temperature. As I have mentioned in other recipes, every oven is different, so the temperature may vary for you. Mine turned out a little golden, but I prefer them more white. Since this was the first time making them in this oven, I will lower the oven temperature next time and have incorporated the correction in this recipe. After the baking time is done, turn off the oven without opening the door, allowing them to cool completely in the oven. They are ready to eat once they are fully cooled. 

Another cookie recipe can be also found on my site. Click here.


Meringue are soft whipped egg white with sugar baked to perfection. Crunchy outside with a chewy and soft inside.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: meringue
Keyword: meringue
Author: Ester van Boesschoten


  • 3 Egg whites
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1 Cup Cane sugar (200 gram)


  • Check that you stand mixer bowl and whisk are dry and grease free. Add your whites and whisk with a pinch of salt until they are glossy and smooth.
  • With mixer on medium, add one spoon at a time of the sugar to your egg white mixture. Continue whipping the mixture until it forms stiff peaks. The sugar should be completely dissolved.
  • Transfer your mixture into a piping bag. Cut off the end and pipe the cookies onto your parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Bake in a preheated oven of 275 Farhenheit for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off when done, and do not open the oven door. Let them cool with the oven door closed 2-4 hours.


Trifle is a traditional English dessert made by combining two of my favorites: cake and egg custard. It is a decadent looking dessert and always a success when served post dinner.

Essentially an English trifle needs sponge lady fingers, or pound cake, that have been soaked in sherry. To make it family friendly simply skip the sherry. Most recipes use a jelly or jam drizzle on top. I prefer to use fresh fruit because, in my opinion, it adds the sweetness without the extra sugar of jam.

Pound cake

Pound Cake:

As I mentioned, most recipes for trifle use sponge ladyfingers or pound cake. My pound cake recipe you can find here. It works perfect in this trifle. It is easy to bake, and after it is completely cooled, cut some thin slices to place on the bottom of your serving dish. I used single portion glasses this time. However, a beautiful bowl like this works well too. If you want to make some for adults and keep some kid-friendly the single portions is the way to go. 


Egg Custard:

My egg custard recipe you can find here. The custard recipe is for one person so to make this trifle I simply doubled it for 2 portions. If you are making a bigger serving bowl, I recommend tripling the recipe. If you want to make more than one layer I recommend multiplying the recipe 4 times. I used egg custard, but if you can get custard powder to make your custard, that is a lot easier and works too. 

Pound cake with cherry topped with fresh fruit

Assembling the Trifle:

After all your ingredients are done and cooled, you can start building your trifle. The first layer will be the pound cake. Slice some pieces and line the bottom of your serving glass or bowl with the cake. If using, drizzle your sherry over the cake. The next layer is fresh fruit. I used strawberries, raspberries and blueberries but you can pick any type of fruit that is in season for the time. If using strawberries, thinly slice them. When using a big bowl it is fun the make a row of strawberries facing the glass, so you see them as a ring on top of the cake and get nice layers.

Pound cake with cherry and fresh fruit

Once you are happy with how your fruit is arranged, top it with the custard. Pour it in gently so that you do not disturb the fruit layers. At this point I prefer to let the trifle rest for a bit in the fridge, approximately one hour. This allows all the flavors to soak in.

Pound cake, cherry, fruit and egg custard


Once you are ready to serve your trifle, prepare some fresh whipped cream. Remove the trifle from the fridge and top it with the whipped cream. Just before serving you may want to sprinkle some meringue on top for that extra crunch. This dessert is my favorite at a dinner party because you can do all the preparation in advance, even the day before. Since you can prepare it in advance you don’t have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen when hosting. Simply whip up some cream to serve a dessert that looks and tastes amazing. Always a success! When crunched on time you can even buy a pound cake to use instead of baking one yourself. With the use of custard powder, this recipe gets even easier. This recipe can be as easy or difficult as you want, but the end result will dazzle either way.


This delicious trifle is layered with vanilla pound cake, fresh berries and topped with homemade egg custard. It is finished off with whipped cream and crumbled meringue.
Prep Time30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Trifle
Keyword: Trifle


  • 6 Slices Pound cake
  • 3 Tablespoons Sherry
  • 1 Cup Mixed berries
  • 2 Cups Egg custard
  • Whipped cream
  • 1/2 Meringue crumbled


  • Bake your pound cake. You can find the recipe I used here. Let it cool completely.
  • While the cake is in the oven get started on your custard. Recipe on my blog is here. Let it also cool completely.
  • Next, bake your meringue, or use store bought.
  • When all the ingredients for the trifle are ready and cooled you can start assembling it.
  • Cut your pound cake into pieces that fit in your serving bowl. If using, drizzle the sherry over the cake.
  • Wash your fruit. If using strawberries, slice them thin and place them on top of the sherry cake. On top of the fruit, pour your cooled custard. Cover your trifle and let it rest for a while in the fridge. At least one hour. This allows the cake to soak up the sherry and get even flavors.
  • Just before serving, whip up your whipped cream or use store bought. Layer it on top of the custard. As a finishing touch, to give the dessert a little crunch, crumble your meringue on top. Serve and enjoy!

Pound cake

This rich, buttery pound cake melts in your mouth while maintaining a light, fluffy texture. The hint of freshness from the lemon zest balances out the sweet from the sugar and vanilla. Pound cake is good on its own and delicious with some fresh fruit or whipped cream on top. If you double this recipe it can be used it as a base for a birthday cake, layered with frosting. I recommend using round baking pans for a celebration cake.

Ingrediënt pound cake

The recipe uses pastry flour instead of regular flour. Pastry flour is milled at a finer texture than all purpose flour and is made with soft wheat for a lower protein content. This helps baked goods to produce more tender results and a flakey crust. It is important to let your eggs and butter warm to room temperature. The day before I plan to bake a pound cake, I always take out my butter and egg to warm on the counter overnight. This allows me to start baking right away in the morning.

Cane sugar and softened butter

Room temperature butter is important for getting a nice, fluffy texture when beating it with the sugar. Soft butter blends really well with the sugar and gives the best results.

Fluffy white butter and sugar mixture

As you can see, in the standmixer bowl the butter is super fluffy here and ready to mix in the egg mixture.

Egg ilk and vanilla mixture

I added pure vanilla extract which gives the cake a delicious vanilla flavor. I put in 1 1/2 teaspoon of this vanilla extract before adding in the milk and giving it a gentle stir.

Egg vanilla and milk mixture

Now slowly add the egg into the sugar-butter mixture. In a thin stream, pour in the egg mixture. I tend to pour in one egg at a time, guiding with a spoon. I let each egg fully combine into the batter before adding the next one. 

Butter, sugar and egg mixture mixed

The batter combined with the egg mixture resembles scrambled egg at this point. Don’t worry, as soon you add flour it will look perfect.

First 1/2 cup of pastry flour added with a hint of lemon zest

Place 1/2 cup of pastry flour into your butter and egg batter. Sift it over the batter and add a little lemon zest as well onto the flour. Now gently fold the flour in with a spatula. Be sure to do this gently so you keep all the beaten air in the batter. Once the first addition is incorporated into the batter, add the next 1/2 cup of sifted pastry flour, and repeat until all the flour is incorporated.

Prepared pan with parchment paper

Grease the baking pan and line it with parchment paper as seen in the picture above. The parchment will allow you to easily remove your cake from the pan when it is done baking.

Pound cake batter in loaf pan

Gently pour the batter into your prepared pan, and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake in a preheated oven set to 325 degrees Fahrenheit until a toothpick comes out clean.  This takes around 60-70 minutes. Every oven bakes differently so keep a close eye on the pound cake near the end.

Pound cake

The cake can also be used in a trifle.

Pound Cake

This rich and buttery pound cake melts in your mouth. The hint of freshness from the lemon zest balances out the sweet from the sugar and vanilla. Pound cake is good on its own or delicious with some fresh fruit and whipped cream on top.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: cake
Keyword: pound cake, vanilla pound cake, vannila cake
Author: Ester van Boesschoten


  • 14 Tablespoons Unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 Cup Cane sugar
  • 4 Eggs room temperature
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Whole milk
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups Pastry flour
  • Zest Lemon


  • Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 Fahrenheit. Grease a 9” by 5” loaf pan. Line it with parchement paper and grease it.
  • Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer at medium-high speed until light, fluffy and almost white. This takes about 4-5 minutes, stopping the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • In a different bowl, stir together the eggs, vanilla and milk. With the mixer running at medium speed add egg mixture to the butter and sugar in a very slow, thin stream. Finally beat in the salt.
  • Place 1/2 cup of pastry flour in a sieve and sift it over the batter. Fold gently with a rubber spatula, scraping up from the bottom of the bowl, until the flour is incorporated. Repeat twice more, adding flour in 1/2 cup increments.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
  • Bake in a preheated oven of 325 Fahrenheit until a toothpick comes out clean, about 60-70 minutes. The cake should be a nice golden brown.
  • Let the cake rest in the pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before removing it from the pan. After you remove it from the pan, let it cool to room temperature.