At the moment I am finding out what it means to be an adult. I´m doing an internship and that means getting up early. And being gone for most of the day. And not having that much time left for baking and even less desire to make something complex and fancy once I get home. Seriously, kudos to everyone who is blogging on top of their full time job! How do you manage that? I am already looking forward to the free time and flexibility college life offers.
In college I already noticed that I am not a huge canteen fan. Most of the ones at college do offer a great variety and try to be as fresh and organic as possible. And the one at my Internship is not bad either. I just prefer to cook at home or bring my own stuff to work. Before I started this internship I was imagining all the yummy things I would take to work but reality is me frantically searching for stuff to throw together the night before. Maybe I should reconsider the whole grown-up-responsibility-thing.
Sooo, here comes the birthday cake number two. Because March is the month where I get to live out all my cake making dreams. This one is a delicious strawberry cake with a lot of white chocolate and whipped cream. Oh, and a vanilla bean. Because vanilla beans make everything better. I know that strawberries are not really in season right now but what am I supposed to do when my sister dearly wants strawberries for her birthday? But if you wait until summer to make this cake, you won´t regret it. It´s delicious!
The recipe is a mixture of combining tworecipes and adding my own ideas. I´ve tried both recipes before and both were really good. But each felt like there was a small thing missing. So I decided to take the best from both recipes and create something new. The result was perfect! I used the dough from the German recipe because I love sponge cake (is that really the correct translation?). Anyway, here in Germany, cakes are usually made with a dough called “Biskuit” which is really soft and fluffy. I´ve tried other recipes that used a rather normal cake dough for the layering and they were good but just a bit to firm and stiff for me. Then I added a lot of strawberries, mascarpone, whipped cream and white chocolate. The best thing about the white chocolate decoration is that you don´t have to worry about messing up the frosting of the cake. Just add little pieces of white chocolate and everybody will think you´re a cake-decorating expert.
March is a good month. Mostly because three out of the six family members celebrate their birthday in March and you know what that means right? Cake! Lots of it. When I was younger, my mom would always make our traditional birthday cake with lots of chocolate and M&Ms on top. But when my baking addiction kicked in it was my responsibility to make something special for each birthday boy or girl. And since my brother loves Oreo cookies, it was obvious that I had to make something involving chocolate and Oreos.
I´ve tried different recipes for Oreo cakes before. If found this recipe in the new edition of Sweet Paul and I knew I just had to try it. It was similar to the recipes I´ve made before but just a little bit fancier. And as you can see, the result was stunning. Doesn´t it look beautiful? Well, I have to admit that the cake only lasted that way for 10 Minutes. Then, as I was trying to get a good picture, the background collapsed and smashed half of the cake. It was a bit cricked afterwards and since I didn´t have much frosting left, the end result looked a bit different from what I am presenting to you. Oh well, nobody´s perfect. It still tasted great!
There is an old German fairytale about the “Schlaraffenland” which, according to my dictionary, can be translated into the land of milk and honey. It´s a land where laziness and relaxation are the biggest virtues. Nobody works, the food falls from the sky or grows on trees and instead of water, the rivers carry milk and honey. When I was a kid I always wanted to got there. Not because I was so lazy or obsessed with food (well actually…I always loved food) but because, in order to get there you have to eat your way through a mountain of semolina pudding. A whole mountain! of semolina pudding!!!. I love semolina. Unfortunately, my family was more into rice pudding and I´ve never met someone who is as crazy about semolina as I am. To be honest, I don´t even know if the concept of semolina pudding is known outside of Germany. I know about Polenta in Italy but that is not the same. And of all the countries I have lived in, none had a huge tradition or even knew about semolina pudding. So I´d love to get some feedback…any other countries out there who experiment with different semolina recipes? In Germany it is well known and a typical dish from your childhood. I´ve always loved it more than rice pudding and when a couple of years ago someone introduced me to semolina mousse I was hooked! Since then it has been my all time favourite dessert!
Anybody who might be a bit skeptical about this recipe now…try it! It´s so fluffy and sweet and creamy and just…amazing. Trust me on this one.
Do you know Churros? Of course you do, they are the best. They are fried, sugared deliciousness dipped in chocolate sauce. Kind of like the best idea ever!
I know that churros are not exclusively Mexican. I´ve had them in Spain (which I think is where they originally come from but correct me when I´m wrong) and I know that many countries in Latin America have them. But you can get them pretty much everywhere in Mexico so this recipe will mark the end of our little virtual trip.
I really don´t know anyone who doesn´t like churros. How could you not? They are fried (!) and dipped in sugar (!!) and hot chocolate (!!!)! Well you get the point! I´ve bought them in the streets of Mexico or in a little Spanish Café and they could instantly put me in a better mood. It is actually quite easy to make homemade churros. All you need is some flour, oil, water and chocolate and you are good to go. So let´s do this!
Finally, it´s Christmas time. Like almost everybody, I am spending Christmas with my family at my parents house and everybody is busy preparing. When it comes to Christmas dinner, we are very traditional, it´s usually the same every year. But I am responsible for the dessert so technically, I can get creative. In reality, there is always this huge demand for panna cotta. But since it´s about giving joy and making other people happy, this years (and last years aswell) dessert is panna cotta. And because it is winter, I am making it with pomegranates. Yumm!
I found the inspiration for this recipe on this wonderful blog. Just the colourful combination makes the dessert look spectacular. So I decided to combine the idea with my own favourite panna cotta recipe, add some homemade pomegranate syrup and voilá…there you have the perfect Christmas dessert.
If you are in any way like me, you´re probably buying your Christmas presents on the 24th. If I don´t have an idea right away it just takes me forever to come up with something good for a present. Procrastinators unite! Besides, Christmas always happens so suddenly. Who has time to prepare??
This year I am kind of proud of myself. I at least have ideas for everyone. And most of these ideas come out of my kitchen. I think homemade presents are the best and I found a couple recipes that I think are just great. So for anyone who is still searching for the perfect Christmas gift: Here are three cool and easy things you could make for your loved ones.
The first one includes alcohol. Vodka to be exact. I am more of a tequila person but I just had to try this recipe. Pomegranate-vanilla-vodka. Sounds good right? It´s really easy to make, you just have to be patient because the vodka needs to be stored in a cool place for about 2 weeks, so the sugar can dissolve properly. Well…you still got a week until Christmas eve…you might make it.
It feels more and more like Christmas. It´s getting colder every day, the Christmas lights are up, everybody is decorating and I´ve already had my first stroll over the Christmas Market. It hasn´t really snown yet (at least the snow is not staysing) but I am ceeping my fingers crossed. Untill then I am passing the time in my little kitchen, whipping up more Christmas cookies. This time: Vanillekipfer. After Zimtsterne, these are my favourites. I tried a different recipe this time, instead of the one I usually use. And they came out absolutely delicious. I should have known though, after reading that the dough requires four vanilla beans. Yummie!
It´s that time of the year again. Christmas is coming. And if you are now wondering: Huh? Christmas? We still got 4 weeks until Christmas Eve…Well, welcome to Germany. Where the Christmas season starts at the first Sunday of December. I love it! This post is a little bit about some of the typical ways to celebrate Christmas in Germany and about my grandmas cookies. You see…one of the things we do in December is bake cookies. There are tons of different Christmas cookies to make and it is just a big part of the season. It´s great for kids but not just for them. Of course they love it but there has not been one year since I moved out that I haven´t met with friends and made a huge let´s-bake-cookies-and-drink-hot-chocolate-session. And my grandma makes the best cookies! Every year we get a package filled with different types of cookies and everyone tries to get the most of their favourite type. So without further ado, let me tell you all about the wonderful thing we call Adventszeit.
It is still a little early to start with the traditional christmas baking we have here in Germany. But until then, I found other recipes that will help me pass the time until December 1st. These cookies for example, I stumbled upon a couple of days ago here. They looked so yummy, I decided to give it a go. I am a huge fan of making things that you usually buy at the store, such as custard or chocolate bars. I got to know oreo cookies a couple of years ago in the States and since then they made their way over to Germany. Nowadays everybody here knows about them. I like them, my brother is crazy about them and you can use them perfectly for cupcakes or cake pops. It was my first try at making the cookie itself and it came pretty close to the original.
Hello my fellow chocoholics, welcome to paradise. This post is for you. It might be a little longer than usual, but bear with me. This post is about something every person needs – chocolate bars. Of course you can buy them at the supermarket. But you can also make them yourself. I know, I was shocked too when I found out. And then I was thrilled. Does that mean that I get to create my own personal favourite chocolate? Heck yes. It also means that I never have to worry about Christmas or birthdays anymore. What is a better present than a homemade chocolate bar?
I have to say…it takes a while. One needs patience, a thermometer and a chocolate bar form. But if you have all of that and want to try out something new – well there you go.
My love affair with carrot cake is fairly young. That´s because I never thought cake and vegetables could be combined together. Little did I know that carrot cake doesn´t taste like carrots at all. Instead it tastes like cinnamon and almonds and Christmas and rainbows. Well, I finally tried a piece 2 years ago and since then I love it. Especially when combined with a cream cheese topping that makes everything even more delicious. Long story short, I think carrot cake is great. And for anyone who might still be skeptical: try it, you´ll love it!
It´s still plum season. I love it. And I still got a couple of recipes in my mind. So this time, let´s make a tarte! I´ve seen this recipe before on various food blogs. It was always made with peaches or nectarines but since summer is officially over I had to find something else. Thank god for plums! I like this tarte for its non-perfection. It looks handmade and every tarte you make will be unique. And you can make it all year round, just exchange the fruits according to season. Peaches, apricots, plums, nectarines, apples…you can make it with pretty much anything.
I don´t know if applesauce is known outside of Germany. I don´t even know if that is the correct translation. I found it once in a Spanish supermarket but everywhere else I´ve been the concept of turning apples into a sauce was unknown. Here in Germany we have various recipes that include applesauce. Pfannkuchen mit Apfelmus (german pancakes with applesauce), Himmel und äd (mashed potatos, applesauce and blood sausage) or Kartoffelpuffer mit Apfelmus (potato pancakes with applesauce) are just a few of them. So for any non-germans that might follow this blog, here is a typical german recipe. You should try it!
Whenever I get to choose between vanilla and chocolate I usually end up with vanilla. It´s not that I don´t like chocolate. Chocolate muffins or ice cream are the best. But when it´s between vanilla or chocolate custard I always stick with vanilla. Most of you are probably thinking right now – well yeah, vanilla or chocolate, but can´t you just buy custard at the store? Yes you can. But if you take the time to make it from scratch you probably won´t be able to enjoy the other one anymore. It is just too delicious if you do it yourself. Trust me. And it is not that complicated, nor does it take forever to make. So let´s do it! It´ll be worth it!
This weekend I wanted to pick some plums. I love plum cake, or as the Germans call it, Zwetschgendatschi. And of course it was raining the whole day. But I promised you plums, so you are gonna get plums. Therefore (oh my English teacher would be so proud of me using that word) I took my boots, raincoat and bucket and went outside. I have to thank my past self for doing that because right now the whole house smells like cake. And climbing up the trees burns so many calories, I am sure I can eat the whole thing later. Well, those rainy days aren´t that bad. Fall is coming and we are definitely used to a lot of rain. And sometimes you just gotta love those days.
So, apparently Cake Pops are the new thing now. I´ve never tried them before but they look so cute and colorful and sweet, so I decided to give it a try. And I have to say, they are actually really good. And not that difficult to make. At least the first steps. It´s not that easy to decorate them in such a way that they look kind of professional in the end. The chocolate starts dropping right away and doesn´t care that you want to decorate it with sprinkles so it might take a while to find a way to decorate the cake pops without making too big of a mess. But I think they don´t look too bad for the first try.
Panna Cotta is my families favourite dessert. I made it a couple of years ago for christmas dinner and since then, all my family wants for dessert is Panna Cotta. I don´t even get a chance to try out something new, whenever there is a special occasion that calls for a good dessert, it´s Panna Cotta. I shouldn´t be complaining though, this recipe is to die for. And compared to a lot of the other fancy desserts, it´s not even that complicated. All you need is some cream, vanilla beans and sugar, and you´re good to go!
When I was a kid we had this huge backyard with apple-, cherry-, plum- and peartrees. And all kind of berries you can imagine. Growing up, this was the best thing. I would spend entire days in the yard, fighting off monsters and solving crime and when I got hungry, all I had to do was to pick the next best fruit. Now imagine what you could do with all these fruits during summertime. Unfortunately we moved and now all I have when I visit my parents at home are two appletress, one peartree and something that looks like cherrys. Well, when life gives you lemons…uh apples I mean…the only thing to do is an apple-lemon tarte. I actually am not the biggest fan of apple pies, but I found a recipe that taught me otherwise.
When it rains I always have this urge to start baking. Lazy Sundays, with nothing to do and on top of it bad weather…you will definitely find me in the kitchen, whipping up some pancakes or in this case chocolate brioche. It´s french, it sounds classy, it involves chocolate – sounds good enough to me! It´s not that I only get inspired with the typical german weather (it is supposed to be summer but it´s 16 degrees, raining and I haven´t seen the sun all day). On sunny days I invent all kind of different combinations for salads, stormy wheather is perfect for baking muffins, cupcakes, waffles and don´t even get me started on christmas season – hot chocolate, Plätzchen, Bratäpfel…I will always find a good reason to make on particular type of food. This time in Ineke´s kitchen: Chocolate Brioche!