I hope you've all been keeping up to date with what I've been up to on my Instagram! If not then you would have seen from my previous blog post that I am currently living in Groningen! I've had a really busy past six weeks trying to settle in and make some friends, and I can't beleive how fast time is going!
I also mentioned in my previous blog post, that I was going to try and find some non-student societied and events on the internet. My search was succesful and I found an expat meetup which was taking place at a local bar. It was a great evening and I met loads of realy interesting people. Which brings me onto the main topic of this blog post.
At the expat meetup, I met a lovely couple, Donika and Luis, who have recently set up a home bakery business, the idea behind their business is a really great one.
Groningen is a very international city, filled with lots and lots of students. So what could be a better idea than setting up an international themed bakery, specialising in the most popular desserts from nine european countries. Their aim is to bring a nostalgic feeling of home to the city, using all fresh ingredients and baking techniques whhich make you feel like you never left home! I've been lucky enough to try some of their desserts and I genuinely can't choose my favourite ones!
The first dessert I tried was Sweet Home Pastrys take on 'Savarin' which is a traditional Romanian dessert, although it actually originates from Poland. I absolutely loved these, they reminded me a lot of the medera cake which I always bought at home, but the extra sweet twist on them really excited me. The strawberries and cream really complimented the Savarin, and created a really lovely combination of textures.
Secondly i tried some Kolaches, which are one of the most popular desserts in the Czech Republic. They are made with a yeast dough, so the base tastes a bit like brioche, so not as sweet as most of the other desserts I tried, but I definitely really enjoyed them. I was lucky enough to try four different fillings in the Kolaches. The first one I tried was the one with strawberry and blueberry filling, I imediately noticed the very homely smell, they really reminded me of jam tarts (which I used to eat a lot of when I was younger.) I also tried the one with just blueberry filling, which I found quite similar to the one with strawberry in it, however I think this is just in comparrison to the next two Kolaches!
The third Kolache I tried was a cream cheese one, it was very similar in flavour to a cheesecake and not too sweet at all! (which is dangerous because then I don't get full so fast!) It had a lovely texture and a simple taste. You definitely can't go wrong with this one! However, kolache number 4 had to be my favourite! Poppy Seed! I thought this was so unusual but the overall taste was so good! The texture was the winner for me and I loved the soft base combined with the crunchy poppy seeds, They're not a usual filling in desserts so that took me by surprise and that was one of the features I liked overall about the Kolaches.
Finally I tried some Knödels, and these really were the best thing ever! They originate from Austria. It took me a while before trying them to get my head around the fact that they weren't savoury, as to me the breadcrumbs gave the illusion that they'd be similar to a Scotch egg! I can safely say now that they definitely weren't like a scotch egg! They were filled with all kinds of wonderful things, but I thought the chocolate was the best of all, because it took me so much by surprise after trying so many fruity treats!
I really love the idea of this home business and even more so now that I got to try some of the treats! Donika and Luis are definately so passionate about what they do and I'd love to see their business really take off. Also, despite the fact I am now a graduate (I still don't feel like one) I'm still very much in the student budget mindset, and I was so surprised and happy to see the really reasonable prices of their desserts. If you're in the city of Groningen then please do take a look at their website and support a really great local business!
Find them on Facebook
Or click here to go to their website!
I hope you're all well!
(photography by Donika and Luis)