Sunday, July 31, 2011

goat's cream cheese dessert with rosemary brittle.

 homemade rosemary brittle. stored in vintage jam glass.

beautiful golden color from perfect caramelized sugar. made with home grown rosemary.

before serving, sprinkle generously with the brittle.

 in between the cream two rosemary sponge layers.

white chocolate chip cookies with para nuts.

mini lemon cheesecakes with sweet'n'salty crust ands fresh blueberries and cherries.

this tangy lemon cheesecake is complemented by a slightly salty crust and fresh fruit. serve it warm or chilled, either way it is light and refreshing!

 lemon cheesecake

this recipe makes six mini cheesecakes of 8 cm in diameter

175g cream cheese
75g plain unsweetened yogurt
75g sugar
1 egg
pinch of salt
zest of half an untreated lemon

sweet and salty crust

75g butter crackers
55g melted butter
70g sugar
20g flour
1/2 tsp salt (i use pink himalayan salt, it's milder)

first, prepare the crust. in blender or food processor, crush and grind the crackers finely. 
melt the butter (in microwave). 
add ground crackers, sugar, flour and salt to butter and mix well.
spoon the crust mix into the mini cheesecake forms and press down evenly.
bake for seven minutes at 180 degrees celcius.
let cool.

turn the oven up to 200 degrees.

cream the cheese and yogurt with the sugar. 
add egg and blend until smooth.
add salt and lemon zest and mix well.
pour into cheesecake forms, place in oven and turn the oven down to 165 degrees.
bake for about 20 minutes, or until set.

let cool.
gently, with help of a knife, loosen the cheesecakes from the forms. 
garnish with fresh fruit.


to keep the fruit fresh, cook a clear glaze.
you may omit the lemon and add vanilla for a richer cheesecake.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

fleur de sel toffee.

typical english treat. brittle. sweet. salty. tasty.

fleur de sel toffee

100g butter
250g granulated sugar
200g sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup glucose syrup
3/4 tsp fleur de sel plus more for sprinkling
1 tsp vanilla extract

  heat all ingredients except vanilla over medium heat, stirring constantly.
let boil until the mixture reaches a temperature of 116-118 degrees celcius. this process will take a while until the desired temperature is reached - for me it took over 20 minutes for the mixture to heat and slowly caramelize.
remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
pour into prepared pan (buttered or lined with baking paper).
when set slightly, sprinkle with more fleur du sel.
let cool, cut into squares.


i used a cast iron pan. it spreads the heat evenly.

chocolate chip cookies. tips and tricks.

 the best tips and tricks for your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe

substitute half of the all-purpose flour for bread flour

use dark chocolate, over 65% cocoa tastes best with the sweetness of the cookie dough

use salt! do not be afraid to use salt in the dough, and sprinkle cookies with fleur de sel before baking

let the dough rest 12-36 hours before baking. the dry ingredients will have had time to soak up the moisture and you will get more compact and evenly browned cookies

enjoy with a large glass of milk!

coconut ice cream. version no. 2.

the second version of coconut ice cream. no more coconut puree  - it's all used up now!
this ice cream is made with cornstarch instead of eggs, to bind the mixture and to make it smoother and creamier.
this recipe is even fruitier than the first version, no extra fat (from the eggs) to interfere with the taste. and it melts nicely in your mouth. and it's a lot lighter in color, almost white like real coconut!
but check out first recipe here. and decide for yourself - they're both great!

coconut ice cream

250g coconut puree
25g sugar
pinch of salt
10g cornstarch
125ml half and half

heat coconut, sugar and salt.
mix cold half and half with cornstarch, add into mixture and stir well until it boils.
boil shortly, then fill into another container.
let cool.
freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

serve with coconut flakes or shredded coconut, to add more texture.

Monday, July 25, 2011

forêt noire. schwarzwälder kirsch. my france inspired black forest torte.

i'm a german,  i come from the land of the black forest, origin of the black forest cake! so i guess i'm entitled to give this classic a tiny twist.

in france i was introduced to a dessert called "forêt noire". it was a longish open box out of thin dark chocolate, probably about 9 cm long and 2,5 cm wide, filled with a rich chocolate pudding, amarena cherries and creme chantilly. it was topped with chopped almonds that were colored gold. the dessert box was sprinkled with ground pistachios and garnished with additional cherries.
très chic.
(check out more french pastry in may of my blog - my internship in paris!)

well, here's my version.

forêt noire

pâte brisée
40g butter
40g sugar
15ml water
5g unsweetened cocoa powder
80g flour
1/8 tsp fleur du sel

gâteau au chocolat
25g bittersweet chocolate (50% cocoa)
25g unsweetened chocolate (70-80% cocoa)
3 Tbsp coffee
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened yogurt
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

crémeux chocolat
100ml milk 
100ml cream
40g egg yolks
10g cornstarch
20g sugar
88g chocolat (at least 60% cocoa)

crème chantilly
200ml cream
20g sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
(1/4 vanilla bean)

ganache chocolat
70g chocolate (70% cocoa)
70g cream
20g glucose syrup

a 18 cm metal torte ring to assemble 
blackberry or sour cherry jam
amarena cherries
white chocolate
fresh cherries
chopped almonds (plus powdered gold)

prepare pâte brisée. cream butter, sugar cocoa and water. add flour and salt, mix until dough sticks and is firm. chill shortly and roll out 18 cm in diameter. bake at 180 degrees celcius for around 8-10 minutes.
meanwhile, prepare gâteau au chocolat. melt chocolates in microwave at low setting or over a water bath. set aside. cream butter with sugar, then add eggs one at a time. add the cooled chocolate, then the coffee and the yogurt. at last, add dry ingredients. mix well. pour into 20 cm pan and bake at 180 degrees for 35-40 minutes. 
in the meantime, cook crémeux chocolat. set your oven top to highest setting. chop chocolate. mix milk, cream, egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch. place on hot stove top and stir constantly until mixture boils. remove from stove and add chopped chocolate. mix until fully dissolved. pour into a different container to cool.
also, measure out the crème chantilly. weigh ingredients into a bowl, to allow the vanilla to soak. 
then prepare the ganache chocolat. chop the chocolate. bring the cream and glucose to boil. remove from heat and stir in the chocolate. set aside.
now drain your amarena cherries if they are in a container with syrup.
by this time, your chocolate cake should be out of the oven and cooling off.
to assemble the cake, smear a generous layer of jam onto the baked pâte brisée. 
since your gâteau is 20 cm in diameter, cut out your cake with your 18 cm ring. place bottom up onto the pâte brisée. keep the ring around the cake now.
soak the cake with kirsch. go by what you like. if you like the fruity, yet bitter taste of kirsch, sprinkle on more. if you do not enjoy the taste so much, leave it out or just use little. but a real black forest cake has lots of kirsch!
now, distribute the amarena cherries evenly on the soaked cake.
spread the crémeux chocolat on the cherries and cake. freeze for a few minutes until you have prepared the crème chantilly. all you have to do is whip up the cream until it's nice and stiff. 
spread onto chocolate layer.
refreeze and reheat the ganache. be careful not to make it too hot!
pour over cake and distribute by tipping the cake ring back and forth.
refrigerate and meanwhile, melt white chocolate. bring it down in temperature by stirring it. fill into mini pastry bag and after taking out the cake again, make lines back and forth. in any pattern you wish!
decorate with fresh cherries and chopped almonds. 
to make my almonds a tad golden, i dissolved powdered gold in alcohol (kirsch) and mixed it with the nuts. the alcohol evaporated fairly quickly and you are left with glittering nuts.
let the cake set for at least half an hour. remove ring. refrigerate until serving.
bon appétit!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

minty cantaloupe sorbet.

 yum yum. the delicious smell of ripe cantaloupe. you haven't even opened the melon and the scent oozes out...
combine with some mint and you have the most refreshing summer sorbet!

minty cantaloupe sorbet

1 ripe cantaloupe (after removing the flesh i had 400g melon)
40g sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
fresh mint leaves (leaves from 2 stalks)

cut cantaloupe in half. remove seeds, then remove flesh. cut flesh into bite sized pieces and puree with sugar and salt.
remove mint leaves from stalks and crush slightly with the lemon or lime juice. add to cantaloupe. 
let sit overnight until freezing. 
remove the mint leaves and freeze in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.


you may omit the mint for a plain cantaloupe sorbet.

rye & whole wheat bread.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

coconut ice cream. crème glacée à la noix de coco.

so here it goes.
my first attempt to reconstruct a recipe.
simple, understandable, explanatory.



this ice cream genuinely tastes like coconut. 
it's creamy and smooth, yet fruity and refreshing. 
a perfect treat for a warm summer afternoon.

coconut ice cream

180g coconut puree
70g granulated sugar
pinch of salt (i use pink himalayan salt)
2 egg yolks
140g cream
100g milk

for the record: i used coconut puree not coconut milk! truly, it's different. coconut milk is mainly the milk and very little flesh. coconut puree is the complete fruit, without the shell of course, pureed and sometimes a little sugar is added. you can find it in professional food stores or in asian stores in glasses or cans.

heat coconut, sugar and salt.
meanwhile, warm egg yolks over a water bath or on stovetop. be careful not to overheat or else the eggs will set and there will be pieces of scrambled eggs in your mixture!
when the coconut is simmering, pour into egg yolks, constantly whisking the mixture to avoid the eggs setting.
sieve the mixture into a further bowl.
(this step may be omitted. this step is to insure that the mixture is free of any undesirable pieces)
add cream and milk, whisk thoroughly. 
let the mixture cool or help lower the temperature over a cold water bath.
freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.


you may solely use milk instead of cream.
add 20-30g more sugar depending on your puree. mine was sweetened priorly. 
serve with coconut flakes or shredded coconut, to add more texture.

Friday, July 15, 2011