Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Baking (and some cooking) while on vacation in Morocco

As some of you know, I recently came back from a wonderful vacation in beautiful Morocco. My mom joined us there too. Since I inherited the culinary gene from my mom, it should come as no surprise that we did a lot of cooking and baking together.

Here are a few highlights of what the mother/daughter team cooked and baked together :o)

Eggless chocolate cake with whipped cream frosting. The "serving indicators" are drawn with homemade strawberry jam.

The sweetest and juiciest strawberries for only $1/kg. Needless to say, we made lots of jam :o)

And here's more:
Homemade Moroccan wheat bread made by Mom

An inside view of my mom's wheat bread

Mom's sweet orange-scented yeast rolls (proofing)

Mom's rolls after a trip to the oven: golden brown and delicious

Tuna pizza with red onions, two kinds of olives, homemade pizza sauce, bell peppers, and cheese on a whole wheat crust

Chicken kebabs, Indian rice, Moroccan beet salad, and potato/carrot salad

Very moist two-layer chocolate cake with orange-scented pastry cream filling, whipped cream frosting and grated chocolate

Carrot cake with pineapple chunks and vanilla pastry cream, with whipped cream decorations

An inside view of the carrot cake. See the pineapple chunks underneath the pastry cream?

Chocolate fudge with toasted almonds (easiest recipe ever)

Diamond-shaped cocoa brownies. Very chocolatey!

Two-layer 12" carrot cake filled with pineapple chunks and orange-scented pastry cream and whipped cream frosting. Winnie the Pooh outline is made with melted chocolate on parchment and later transferred onto the cake. The bear is later filled with homemade "piping gel" using pineapple juice, sugar and corn starch (and red and yellow food coloring).


  1. Wow!!! What a wonderful time you must've had! those orange scented yeast rolls look so good....will you be doing recipe posts about these wonderful baked goods....yum! my mouth is watering at the sight of those kababs!!!

  2. WOW!! That's a lot of cooking & baking together with your mom! You must have a great time! And those piped flowers and design and basket are awesome!! I still don't really know how to do these pipe stuff..always wanted to do but just never got round doing it!! So pretty!! May i know what type of buttercream do you use to pipe the cakes and flowers?

    And is it possible,if you don't mind to email me the recipe to your mom's sweet orange scented yeast rolls? looks yummy..and orange is my fave!

  3. Beautiful cake! hope you had a wonderful vacation.

  4. So many great-looking goodies! I'd like recipes for most of them, but if I had to pick one, I'd join the chorus for the orange-scented rolls. Would your mom be willing to share?

  5. Holy smokes! Amazing! You and your mom should do a cooking school. I'd sign up! And I third the request for the orange rolls, as well as, the Indian rice, beet salad and potato and carrot salad.

  6. Oh my, and all on vacation! I hope you will share the beet salad recipe!!!

  7. OH Hanaâ!!!!! You've rendered me SPEECHLESS (yet again)! Seriously, your talent is mind blowing and I'm truly in awe (and secretly totally jealous ;) Every single one of your creations is SO beautiful and made with such love and finesse. Just thinking of you and your mom having fun together in the kitchen put a BIG smile on my face, and absolutely made my day! How wonderful that the two of you can share a passion for baking and inspire each other along the way... the Moroccan memories you made (especially cooking/baking) must be incredibly special. I hope one day we'll be able to join forces too- I would treasure every moment and try to soak up all your fabulous tips, tricks, and techniques! It would be an experience to remember FOR SURE- keep in mind, you have an open invitation to join me in New England whenever the mood strikes you. It's no Morocco, but is lovely nonetheless this time of year :)

    Okay, I guess I'll stop gushing over your food (for now anyways!) Though I've been working on a full email to you (I'm anxious to hear a complete report on your amazing vacation!), I actually stopped by to send you a quick note and let you know you were on my mind! I hope all is well with you, and you've totally recovered from the jet lag and stress of getting back into the swing of things. I miss you lots and really look forward to catching up!

    I also wanted to thank you so much for extending an invite into ABC. I know your posting for July is coming up this week, and I was wondering if you'd mind sending me the recipe while I wait for my copy of the book to arrive. I'd really appreciate it if you get a chance! I'm pretty sure you have my address, but just in case here it is again: - And if you felt like including a story or two about your trip, that would be fine too... haha! Talk to you soon, my dear, and I hope you have a great rest of your week!

    <3 Much love from Boston,

  8. That cake is awesome. I could not get past that photo. It inspires me to go to greater heights but not that high, yet.

    Back to look at the rest.

  9. OK, I am back and now I am really inspired. You and your Mom do beautiful work. You must have lots of patience. Pat yourself on the back, for me.

  10. Wow...just WOW! Everything looks so delicious and pretty too!

  11. How fun to bake and cook with your mama! That is something this mom&daughter team could not do. She appreciates everything I cook and at the same time thinks I'm crazy to spend so much time in the kitchen...

  12. Stunning cake!! Love the sweetpea decorations and the strawberry jam serving squares. You are such a talented lady.

    Thank you for the comments on my breakfast omelet/tortillas. The breakfast was involved but fun to put together.

    Guess what? I FINALLY received my Flo Braker cookbook and may I say: WOW~ and WOW again?! I can not wait to dive into the cookbook. I already found a few tips in the front that cured a few of my kitchen grumblings.

  13. Wait, did I miss the part that you were ON VACATION? Because that looks like you worked up a storm of work baking and cooking.

    Ok, I'm in love with your mom's sweet rolls... pretty! And I'm sure they tasted yummy too.

    Can I take you on my next vacation? you can have a run of the kitchen.. promise! ;-)

  14. Thank you all for your wonderful and generous comments. I will pass on your compliments on the orange-scented sweet rolls to my mom :o) As for the salad and rice recipes requests, it will be tricky, as a lot of ingredients are eye-balled. But I’ll see what I can do about approximating them. I will try to post them sometime next week. When my mom makes the rolls (she has the recipe memorized), she uses a certain bowl to measure flour and a certain glass to measure liquid ingredients. One year I followed her around with my scale and measuring spoons/cups and wrote down the recipe :o) I’ll dig up that recipe and post it as well (if mom okays it).

    Some more specific answers:
    @Saira: I had a wonderful time indeed. After so many recipe requests, I might do a couple recipe posts. It’ll be tricky though because so many ingredients are eye-balled. That’s how we both like to cook: just give me the ingredients list and I’ll figure out the amounts to use :o)

    @Faithy: Most piped decorations are made with sweetened whipped cream that I colored. Some decoration I made with pastry cream which I lightened with gelatin-stabilized whipped cream. I’ll dig up the rolls recipe and post it soon (if mom says it’s ok).

  15. I did not realize I could open your page to the full post and BOY AM I GLAD YOU TOLD ME!!!! What a fabulous post. I am dying to know how your Mom worked the dough to make those cute little buns and your cakes are phenomenal! Hanaa, you are such a talented lady! =)

  16. Hanaa, your piping skills are phenomenal.Love the pink rose buds and the little flower baskets.
    Have a great vacation and happy baking!

  17. Those are some nice looking roses! I love that you are baking while on vacation, that would be so much fun and I bet there are tons of new spices and ingredients to try out!

  18. Hi there - just found your blog. Those orange scented yeast scrolls look divine! It certainly sounds like a great vacation with all that baking, boy must you have been busy !!

  19. Now I know you had a wonderful did a lot of cooking and baking with your mom. It all looks had me drooling by the third photo!

  20. Beautiful. What a nice way to spend time with your mom. I wish I could do that... if I spend more than 10 min. with my mom in the same room the sparks start to fly.
    The beets and the fudge looked particularly good, btw.

  21. awwww, love the photos, everything looks amazing! You are lucky your mom likes to cook, my mom cooks because she HAS to, though she does love to eat. hehe.

    You both are quite accomplished bakers, everything is perfection, love it!

    Take care!

  22. Be still my heart! I have never seen such goodies - and the cake decorations - I love pink and blue. I can't believe you did all that, but what an achievement out of a true passion. What a gift for mother and daughter!

  23. Fantastic!! No wonder I was missing out on your wonderful creations - I thought I was a follower, but apparently not. I fixed that!!



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