Wednesday, August 31, 2011

caramelized pear ice cream.

another ice cream born out of refrigerator rests.
last week i bought a kilo of pears for only 88 cents, and i still had some left over, so i grabbed my handy dandy cookbooks and looked for an appealing recipe.

and since it feels as if the last breaths of summer are being taken, i concentrated on an ice cream recipe.
i want to make as much ice cream as i can before i start making solely warm and cozy baked goods.
by the way i got a whole recipe book on hot chocolate from my brother, so i want to try out some recipes from that when the weather gets cold again.

so here my result:
a really smooth, very fruity ice cream.
if you know it's caramelized, then you can taste it subtly.
if you don't know, you couldn't really put your finger on the slight other taste.

if you love ripe, soft pears - it's the perfect ice cream for you!

caramelized pear ice cream

adapted from david lebovitz's "the perfect scoop"
2 small ripe pears
90g sugar
large pinch of sea salt
few drops of lemon juice
200g cream
50g milk

peel pears, de-core them and dice them into small cubes.
in a cast-iron pan (or another solid pan) heat sugar.
wait for it liquefy, stirring not at first, only when you see patches of liquid sugar.
stir until smooth and amber colored.
this should just take a few minutes.
add the pears.
the caramel will seize up and solidify, but keep on stirring and boiling the mixture.
try to dissolve and clumps. this will take around 10 minutes.
then remove from heat, add milk, lemon juice and salt.
stir in the cream.
blend in food processor, until smooth.
chill, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to your manufacturer's instructions.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

fennel ice cream.

either you love it or you hate it.

it's the same with anis, pastis, ouzo and of course the common taste you associate with all of these: liquorice.
i personally like liquorice - especially soft, salty kinds.
the stuff that sticks to the roof of your mouth.

(by the way, i'm going to make liquorice ice cream soon!)

well, and fennel, i had known it to be in teas.
so when my boss made fennel ice cream at work, i was surprised at it's sweet and smooth taste.
so i snatched some seeds and this morning before work (at 4:30 AM!) i crushed my fennel seeds and boiled the milk and set it aside to seep while i'm gone.
later, i froze the ice cream and out came a beautiful, pure ice cream.
pure in a sense that it was very clean tasting. 
it was sweet, not bitter in the least, and the fennel taste was not overwhelming and too strong.

some affiliate fennel with being medicinal.
anywho, i'm sure this ice cream's good for you!

fennel ice cream
1 tbsp fennel seeds
175g milk
80g sugar
2 egg yolks
200g cream

make the ice cream mixture 6-24 hours in advance.

crush the fennel seeds. 
you don't have to grind them, just use an object with a larger blunt end to break the seeds open a bit.
meanwhile, bring the milk to a boil.
remove from heat, add the fennel seeds and cover.
let seep for at least 6 hours.
then sieve the mixture to remove all seeds.
reheat the mixture with the sugar.
warm the egg yolks slightly.
when fennel mix boils, pour into the egg yolks, stirring vigorously.
stir in the cream.
chill before freezing your ice cream in your ice cream maker according to your manufacturer's instructions.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

white chocolate chip cookies with salted macadamia nuts.

no one can say no to a good cookie.
crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside.

i cannot say i favor one chocolate more than another.
give me any good quality chocolate: bittersweet, milk or white and i will gladly devour, uhm, i mean savor it!
but i have to admit i do opt towards white chocolate.
good white chocolate, with a cocoa butter percentage of at least 30%.
and this kind of chocolate makes these cookies divine.
i used a couverture white chocolate with over 32% cocoa butter.
alas, a no-name brand. 
but if you can find it use valrhona, lindt or callebaut.

and salty macadamia nuts - a great balancing of sweet and salty.
buttered and salted pecan nuts are also great in this recipe.

go ahead and make them.
and then try one.
or two.

 white chocolate chip cookies

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (type 450)
1 cup bread flour (type 550)
1 tsp mild flavored salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
100g butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

100g white chocolate, chopped
70g salted macadamia nuts, chopped

prepare cookie dough 24 hours in advance for best results

mix dry ingredients in bowl. set aside.
melt butter.
add sugars, mixing well.
add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
add vanilla, blend in.
now add sifted dry ingredients and mix well.
add chocolate and nuts.
refrigerate until needed.

heat the oven to 175 degrees celcius.
make larger than walnut sized balls.
i fit nine cookies on each baking sheet.
bake for 11-13 minutes, depending on how soft you want them to turn out to be.
after they are cooled, they can keep in an airtight jar for at least five days.
they are probably eaten up before that though.

walnut and pecan baklava.

some say a greek specialty.
some say a turkish specialty.
i personally connect it with greece because of the honey and cinnamon.
for me those are really typical for the country.
unfortunately i have never been able to taste a real greek baklava, but i hope this will change sometime in the future.
greece is definitely on my travel list.
why did i make baklava?
i had to report on it as a school assignment and when i saw phyllo dough some time later at a store, i decided to give it a go.
and i had my parents over this weekend and i know they both like baklava.
it turned out better than expected.
it was very sweet.
it wasn't all too sticky.
the nuts were nice and smooth to taste.
the spice were subtle and complementary, not too harsh.
i was pleased.
and while i write this, the last piece is being eaten up!

by the way, i served it with homemade vanilla ice cream and a strong coffee. 
perfect combination!

walnut and pecan baklava
250g phyllo dough (at least 20 sheets)

150g walnuts
75g pecans
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp butter

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp water
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup mild honey
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp lemon zest
a large pinch of cloves
a large pinch of salt

melt butter.
your pan should be at least 15x25cm. 
cut your phyllo sheets to fit the pan. 
butter the pan, place two sheets in pan, butter.
repeat this until you have got 8-10 sheets layered.
chop nuts in food processor with cinnamon. 
spread 1/3 of the nut mix onto the buttered phyllo sheets.
place additional two sheets on top, butter, then add more nuts.
repeat once more. 
then continue with buttering two sheets at a time until the top is 8-10 sheets deep.
cut baklava into diamond shaped pieces in the pan.
then bake for 35-40 minutes at 175 degrees celcius.
while baking, prepare syrup. 
mix together all further ingredients and bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
remove from heat, let stand until baklava is out of the oven.
when baklava is done, immediately spoon syrup over the hot baklava.
let cool completely.
enjoy with a hot espresso.

Friday, August 26, 2011

blueberry creme.

blueberries are really in season at the moment.
and since i tried out the blueberry reduction from bravetart i can't get enough of using it.
by the way, it tastes great in natural yogurt!
this time i didn't want to use it in ice cream - yet again - so i decided to make it into a creme, a pudding, if you may.
i've never tried a fruity pudding, so i anticipated it's outcome.
and i was not disappointed.
i definitely want to try this with different fruit in the future.
and it looks really great and elegant as a dessert, served in glasses.

blueberry creme

425g milk
1/4 vanilla bean seeds and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
65g sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp kirsch
35g cornstarch
2 eggs
(optional: a few drops of food coloring) 

bring milk, blueberry reduction, vanilla, sugar, salt and kirsch to a boil.
let stand for 1 hour.
mix together eggs and cornstarch with 3 tbsp of the blueberry mixture (sieve if it clumps).
heat the rest of the blueberry mix again. 
when it is sufficiently warm (steaming, but not boiling!), add the egg mixture and stir vigorously. 
bring to a gentle boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
stir for 5 minutes, until mixture has cooled down.
pour into food processor and process until completely smooth.
fill into dessert glasses, let cool, then top with vanilla sauce, whipped cream and/or fruit.


make homemade vanilla sauce to top your fruity creme!

vanilla sauce

150g milk
25g sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
5g cornstarch
1 egg yolk

mix together all ingredients.
bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
pour over the other cooled creme.

Monday, August 22, 2011

creamy lemon ice cream with speculoos.

another ice cream i've been meaning to make for a while:
good thing lemons don't go bad so quickly.
they have waited patiently in my fridge, for the past week(s?) for their kitchen cue!
the cream in this ice cream is infused with lemon zest, so you don't have anything to get stuck in between your teeth.
the ice cream is perfect and smooth.
the speculoos gives you a hint of fall that is a'comin down the road.
with all it's spices, it gives the ice cream a homey touch.
i will definitely make this again in a few months time.

lemon ice cream with speculoos

adapted from david lebovitz's "the perfect scoop"


30g butter
45g dark brown sugar
1 tbsp molasses
1 egg yolk
70g flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cloves

cream butter with sugar and molasses.
add egg, mix well.
add all dry ingredients, mix well.
spread on baking sheet in a circle (like a giant cookie) 12-14 cm in diameter.
bake at 175 degrees celcius for 15 minutes.
let cool.

lemon ice cream:

2 lemons (preferably unsprayed)
75g sugar
175g milk
200g cream
pinch of salt
2 large egg yolks

zest the lemons into a pot.
add sugar, milk salt and half the cream.
heat until warm, cover and let stand for one hour.
reheat the mixture bringing it to a boil.
warm the egg yolks a bit in different bowl.
when boiling, sieve the mixture into the egg yolks, stirring constantly.
discard the left over lemon zest.
add the rest of the cream.
chill the mixture.
freeze in your ice cream maker according to your manufacturer's instructions.
when the ice cream is done, fold in broken up speculoos pieces before transferring to final container.

gianduja ice cream (hazelnut&milkchocolate).

my papa's favorite ice creams are hazelnut and banana.
this ice cream has been literally bookmarked in david lebovitz's ice cream recipe book since i got it.
but it always seemed to much effort to make it.
plus, up to two weeks ago, i didn't have a mini food processor yet.
(now i get to call one from kenwood my own!)
this weekend it was time to make it.
i was very pleased with the outcome.
was my papa pleased?
yes, indeed he was!
and my mama and i were too!

gianduja ice cream

adapted from david lebovitz's "the perfect scoop"

100g hazelnuts
175g whole milk
200g cream
75g sugar
1/8 tsp coarse sea salt
60g milk chocolate (at least 35% cocoa solids)
2 large egg yolks

roast hazelnuts in 180 degree celcius oven for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
remove from oven, let cool slightly, and rub of the papery skins (not everything will come off!).
in food processor, chop them finely.
set aside.
heat milk and half the cream (100g) with sugar and salt. 
when warm, add the hazelnuts.
cover and let stand for 1 hour.
in the meantime, chop your milk chocolate.
prepare a further pot with the rest of the cream.
bring it to a boil, take from heat and add the chocolate, stirring until no pieces are left undissolved. 
in a further bowl, add the egg yolks.
after the hour, the hazelnuts should be infused enough. 
sieve and strain them into a new pot to be reheated.
when boiling, add them to the egg yolks, stirring vigorously.
add the chocolate mixture, stirring until smooth.
chill, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to your manufacturer's instructions.

raspberry ice cream.

it was really warm this weekend.
a perfect excuse to make ice cream.
i wanted to make space in my tiny freezer, so i decided to use up the rest of my frozen raspberries.
the result: a creamy, pink ice cream!

raspberry ice cream

170g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
65g sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
160g milk
160g cream
1 egg yolk

heat raspberries with sugar and lemon juice until they fall apart (you might want to puree them in your food processor as well!).
set aside. 
boil milk and cream, warm the egg yolk in separate pot.
add boiling milk and cream mixture and stir vigorously.
add the raspberry puree.
mix and then stir over ice bath.
when thoroughly cool, freeze in your ice cream maker according to your manufacturer's instructions.

blueberry cream cheese ice cream.

i bought blueberries on sale.
and because i loved the blueberry reduction so much, i made it again. 
and because i still had cream cheese in my fridge, i decided to make ice cream again.
(it was really hot here this weekend, not a good time to have the oven running.)
tastes a little tangy, and is very creamy. 
yum yum.

blueberry cream cheese ice cream

175g cream cheese
50g sugar
125g half and half
2 egg yolks
pinch of salt

heat the cream cheese, sugar, salt and half and half. 
mixing, bring to a boil.
in the meantime, warm the egg yolks a little.
add the boiling mixture to the egg yolks, stirring vigorously.
to cool, stir over ice bath.

chill, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to your manufacturer's instructions.
when done, layer in container with blueberry reduction.
enjoy with fresh blueberries!

peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

all my friends say you can tell that i'm an american.
because i love peanut butter!
i just made peanut butter cups, and i really like the combination of peanut butter and chocolate.
so instead of making my plain criss-cross peanut butter cookies, i added big chocolate chunks.
they turned out great - crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside.
a great cookie for peanut butter lovers!

peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

100g butter
150g peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

100g milk chocolate, chopped into big chunks

cream butters with sugar.
add egg and mix well.
sift flour, baking soda and salt and mix into batter.
add chocolate.
drop in walnut sized balls onto baking sheet.
bake at 175 degrees celcius for 11-13 minutes. 
enjoy with a glass of milk!

Friday, August 19, 2011

blackberry and blueberry ice cream.

i bought blackberries from the local farmer's market, right?
and pureed them?
and the blueberry reduction i made? 
well, i had some of both left over, so i made this ice cream.

blackberry and blueberry ice cream

1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup milk
pinch of salt

mix all ingredients together.
if necessary, chill before freezing in your ice cream machine.
freeze in your ice cream machine according to your manufacturer's instructions.
enjoy with fresh fruit.

peanut butter cups.

i'm from germany, right?
lots of great food and beverages.
but the germans haven't embraced peanut butter yet, let alone peanut butter cups!
so what do you do if you only find reeses peanut butter cups once in a while and totally overpriced?
you make your own.
and this is a very good version of the original.
you will never feel the need to mourn the absence of the original again.

peanut butter cups

makes 12

12 cupcake papers

150g milk chocolate

1 cup low fat smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt

cut cupcake papers down to half their height.
melt and temper (down to around 32 degrees celcius) chocolate.
with a spoon, spread into the paper cups.
set into cupcake form and refrigerate.

beat peanut butter, powdered sugar and salt until well combined.
now i heated the mixture for 20-30 seconds in the microwave at around 500 watts to make it even smoother. 
the mixture should be slightly warm to touch. if it's too warm it will melt your chocolate cups completely, so watch out!
spread with help of a spoon in your chocolate cups.
now use the rest of your chocolate (remelt if necessary) to seal the top as a smooth surface.
refrigerate until hardened.

financiers. nature et chocolat.

 i love the texture of this french specialty.
the egg white makes the outside slightly crisp and chewy, the inside is moist and soft.
i ate my favorite financier in paris at eric kaysers.
my recipe is slightly different than his, but nonetheless trés yummy.
a friend who visited me the day i baked them almost ate them all up.
point made.


150g butter (melted and browned)
5 egg whites
150g sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
60g flour, sifted
60g almonds, ground
1/4 tsp salt

melt butter in pan, let boil until slightly browned.
set aside and let cool a bit.
beat egg whites until slightly frothy and white. 
do not over beat, or else the financiers won't turn out!
add sugar, scraped vanilla beans and vanilla extract. 
mix until fully incorporated.
add browned butter, sieving it to leave out the burnt parts.
mix in well.
add flour, almonds and salt, mixing in completely.
fill into forms and bake in a 220 degrees celcius preheated oven. after 5 minutes, turn down the heat to 165 degrees. 
bake until slightly browned. 
it took around 10-13 minutes for mine to be done.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

vanilla bean ice cream with blueberry swirl.

my favorite ice cream? 
homemade vanilla bean ice cream with some sort of mix-in.
(by the way, all time favorite mix: chocolate chip cookie dough. but more to that on another occasion.)
this time: the perfect summer ice cream mix-in with locally bought, fresh fruit.
in the stores, at my local farmer's market - blueberries galore.
and so i decided to make a reduction, inspired by bravetart.
and of course, the bestest, favoritest vanilla bean recipe with real vanilla and fresh cream.
gosh, i had to eat some before taking a photo.
vanilla bean ice cream with blueberry swirl

250g blueberries
50g sugar

175ml milk
200ml cream
75g sugar
pinch of salt (i use pink himalayan salt)
1/2 vanilla bean
3 egg yolks (60g)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

it is more practical to prepare the blueberry reduction and the vanilla ice cream mix one day prior to the ice cream making.

mash blueberries and sugar with fork or process them in your food processor. 
cover with plastic foil and let stand for one hour.
let simmer of very low heat for 20-30 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half.
fill into glass or bowl to cool.

in the meantime, while simmering, prepare the ice cream mix.
heat the milk with half of the cream, sugar, salt and vanilla bean (scratch it out first! and cook the bean with the mixture).
in separate pot, warm the egg yolks a bit, but be careful not to scramble them!
when the milk mix boils, transfer to the egg yolks stirring constantly and vigorously. 
add the rest of the cream and the vanilla extract.
cover with plastic wrap. let cool, then refrigerate until chilled.

freeze in your ice cream maker according to your manufacturer's instructions.
after the ice cream is finished, spoon into container, layering the ice cream with the blueberry reduction.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

mini blackberry cream cakes.

mini blackberry cream cake. 
with sweet'n'salty crust, liquid berry core and tangy white chocolate topping.
on saturday i bought fresh, beautiful, plump blackberries from my local farmer's market.
it was a buy on impulse, i didn't have clue yet what to do with them.
since i have my newly acquired silicone forms in all shapes and sizes taking up my kitchen i decided to put one of them to use and make a cream dessert. 
i just had to freeze the finished cake and then i could pop it out of the silicone form. 
yes, it really is that easy to achieve a neat, clean cut form!
i pureed the blackberries with some sugar in the food processor to see where that would get me and the result was so scrumptious i decided i needed to put the puree inside of the torte.
most of the time the simplest tastes are the best ones. 
i've learned not to over-mix and match different ingredients too much.
keeping it simple with quality ingredients is the best.

blackberry cream cakes

makes 8 cakes 6 inches in diameter

for the puree:
177g blackberries
50g sugar

in food processor blend blackberries and sugar.
(this is what i had left over, and it makes a bit more than one really needs. but i bet it would make a great mix in to ice cream or to flavor ice cream!)

3/4 recipe of sweet'n'salty crust

for the cream:
120g blackberry puree
180g whipped cream
6g sheet gelatine

extra puree

for the white chocolate topping:
100g white chocolate
250g creme fraiche (30% fat content)
4g sheet gelatine

start in by soaking your sheet gelatine in water (for cream and topping separately).
prepare the crust. press into forms. freeze.
whip your cream. set aside.
in microwave, melt sheet gelatine until liquid and hot. it can even boil, that does not change it's properties.
constantly stirring, mix in gelatine into puree.
fold in the whipped cream. first a little and then the rest at once.
with either a pastry bag or spoon, divide into your form.
melt chocolate by low temperature in microwave or over a hot water bath. 
melt gelatine and add into the chocolate, stirring vigorously.
it will turn hard to mix and grainy, but it will go away after you add the creme fraiche, little by little.
if it's too cold the chocolate will seize up, so reheat when you notice it's not warm anymore.
spoon into form and freeze.
after completely frozen (about 2 hours) pop out of mold and garnish with fresh blackberries.

chocolate raspberry ice cream.

this is such an easy and cheap ice cream.
cocoa powder and frozen raspberries. c'est ca.
this is not an ice cream for everyone with it's tangy fruity taste after the first chocolate impression is made on your tongue.
my recipe is adapted from david lebovitz's "perfect scoop".

chocolate raspberry ice cream

200g cream
22g cocoa powder
65g sugar
pinch of salt
130g frozen raspberries

whisk together and heat cream, cocoa powder, sugar and salt.
when mixture boils, take from heat and add raspberries.
let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
puree and refrigerate.
when chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

baked blueberry donuts.

the saturday addition to my beaus and my breakfast.
i whipped it up in less than 5 minutes and it bakes 15-20 minutes.
a pancakey tasting donut version.

blueberry donuts

1/2 cup flour
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 egg
3 tbsp milk, heated
1 tbsp butter, melted
zest of 1/4 untreated lemon
1/4 cup blueberries

weigh dry ingredients together and lemon zest. 
add egg, heated milk and melted butter and combine batter.
add blueberries.
spoon into donut form.
back at 180 degrees celcius for 15-20 minutes.
serve warm or cold.

mirabelle macarons.

to be honest i was very sceptical about the hype around this little cookie before i tried them.
i thought "pah, the french and their meringue watcha-ma-call-its, with those crazy fillings. jasmin, olive oil, iced tea. if they were so great they would be popular in germany, wouldn't they?"
and then i got to try them, buy them, make them (hundreds of 'em!) and i loved them!
i don't understand why they aren't so popular here in germany. 
only few stores have them, and the ones that do usually import them from france.
it seems the germans like to stick to their accustomed pastry and cream products...

you can't eat a lot of them at once. 
they sure are sweet.
but their exquisite shell giving away to a burst of flavorful filling. 
since france, i want to eat them at least once a month. 
check out the first macarons i tried.


makes about twelve
1 egg white
10g powdered sugar
food coloring (gel)
some vanilla seeds (optinal)
pinch of salt
90g powdered sugar
45g finely ground almonds

mirabelle jam (mine was homemade by my wonderful mother) for filling

let egg white beat with sugar, food coloring, vanilla and salt until stiff.
meanwhile, weigh powdered sugar and almonds into your food processor and grind finely.
this is really important, because you don't want any bigger pieces of almonds in your macaron mix. the will prevent a smooth and pretty shell after baking.
when the meringue is stiff, add dry ingredients and fold in. this will take quite a few strokes, but do not over-mix, or else your macarons will be runny.
now pipe the macarons unto a baking sheet with a pastry bag.
if you want to make sure they all turn out the same size, prepare a baking paper with pre-drawn circles.
let dry for around 30 minutes, meanwhile preheating the oven to 145 degrees celcius.
bake for 13-16 minutes or until the shell is quite hardened.
let the macarons cool down before filling them.
i also used a pastry bag with the jam to fill them.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

vanilla whoopies with blackberry-mascarpone filling.

in france the patisserie made whoopie pies. 
they came in vanilla and chocolate and they had yummy sweet fillings with strawberry and praline and nougat. 
now in my first trial, i opted for ingredients i had at home. 
i still had mascarpone and i still had a great seedy blackberry jam.
et voilà, in less than half an hour i had delicious whoopie pies!
 a great light, tangy and smooth summer treat.
vanilla whoopies

90g egg whites
75g sugar
60g egg yolk
75g flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or half a vanilla bean
pinch of salt

blackberry filling

100g blackberry jam
100g mascarpone

if you are using fresh eggs - divide egg whites and egg yolks. 
add 50g sugar and the salt into the egg whites. 
add 25g sugar and vanilla into the egg yolks.
beat both until they are light and fluffy. especially the egg whites. 
do not overbeat the egg whites, or else they will be stiff and won't be able to be folded into the egg yolks very well.
fold the egg whites into the egg yolks until fully incorporated.
fold the flour into the mixture.
fill into a pastry bag with a large round tip and squirt unto a baking sheet, around 6 cm in diameter.
bake at 350 degrees for around 12 minutes, or until the surface is golden brown.
let cool.
in the meantime whisk together mascarpone and blackberry jam.
when the whoopies are cool, align them to fit top and bottom and fill one side with the cream (use a spoon or a pastry bag to do this).
put top and bottom together. 
press together gently and you have your whoopie pies!

spiced sugar donuts.

 i've deep deep-fat-fried some donuts and fritters in my time. 
due to my investment in multiple silicon forms, i now had the chance to try out baked donuts.
i didn't have a fool-proof recipe so i researched a bit on the internet and gave it a few twists and twinges.
they are a little spicey. wholesome (some whole wheat flour is included!) but fluffy and pretty addictive!
they taste wonderful right out of the oven, but also still delicious cold.
a nice and simple recipe for a quick afternoon snack. 
especially when the weather is not as great as it could be and your expecting visitors.
spiced sugar donuts

 3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp all purpose flour (type 450)
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
2 tbsp wheat flour (type 550)
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup granulated sugar
large pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1/4 cup mascarpone
1/4 cup hot milk

weigh dry ingredients into the bowl. 
add butter and chop in coarsely.
add vanilla, egg, mascarpone and lastly milk and blend with (wooden) spoon until all ingredients are combined. don't overmix.
spoon into your donut form and bake at 350 degrees celcius for 10-15 minutes (shorter or longer depending on the size of your form).
while baking, pour some extra granulated sugar in a bowl.
after baking, turn donuts out of form and toss in sugar. 
place on rack to cool. 
or enjoy immediately.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

madleines. nature et chocolat.

madleines. typical french snack. every pastry shop has them. 
in the last week of my internship i was stationed at the oven post and i got to breakfast them every morning.
with their beautiful seashell form it does not only taste great, but it looks lovely as well!
moist on the inside, crisp on the outside.
full of buttery goodness. 
and some full of chocolate.

one can use the batter in larger forms and it still has a great taste. 
but the smaller forms allows the pastry to stay nice and moist on the inside and develop a nice crust.
it's a great contrast when you pop a mini into your mouth or take a bite off of a bigger one.
i bought silicon molds for madleines to make them look like they should. 
the forms did not cost much (between 8-15 euro) and i ordered them over the internet.
the minis are about 3 cm long, the bigger ones 7 cm.
it's so much fun baking with silicon forms because they are easy to clean and the baked good can be popped right out of the form. simple as that!
and the recipe is very simple as well.


125g butter
125g powdered sugar
150g eggs
5g baking powder
125g flour
1/4 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

100g chocolate, chopped (optional)

melt butter. 
beat in powdered sugar until smooth.
beat in eggs one at a time.
add vanilla.
i use a vanilla extract that includes vanilla bean seeds.
mix in flour, baking powder and salt.
(add chopped chocolate, mix.)
let sit overnight in refrigerator. 
fill into forms and bake at 180 degrees celcius for around 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
wait a moment for the madleines to cool and pop them out of the forms and transfer them to a rack.
pop into your mouth!


apart from using vanilla extract with vanilla bean seeds or using a real vanilla bean altogether, you should be aware that a recipe of so few ingredients stands or falls with the quality of the ingredients.
please use good butter, please use fresh eggs and quality salt, vanilla and chocolate. 
it will make all the difference!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

mirabelle hand pies.

more fresh fruit from the family garden!
our large mirabelle tree has gifted us with sweet, ripe, yellow mini-plums.
they are juicy and sweet.
and just the perfect size to pop in your mouth.
the skin. lush yellow. with sun-kissed touches of red.

i just had to bake something out of them as well.
this time i went for the classic pâte brisée recipe. 
i rolled out the dough, cut it into squares and folded the tips inwards.
so you can see the pretty yellow fruit. 
so it's not your typical hand pie. 

for your mirabelles: cut and slice your fruit.
add sugar, some cornstarch and some lemon zest.

egg-wash your pie and sprinkle with granulated sugar. 
a dash of cinnamon also goes very well with this recipe.

a joy to eat while they are still warm.

serve with home-made ice cream.

rustic plum tarte.

fresh plums from the garden! 
a wonderful, unfortunately short-lived treat. 
a little tangy, but sweet. 
the crisp skin breaks with a bite and juice comes squirting out. 
and the color. 
blue. purple. inside green.

i wanted to back something that didn't take away from the taste too much.
so i decided an open pie would be the way to go. 
grab your favorite pâte brisée recipe, add some sugar, flour and a pinch of cinnamon to the fruit et voilà!


i used some cornflour in the dough to add to texture. 
before baking i eggwashed the dough and sprinkled it with dark brown sugar (cristal). 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

kouignettes. nature et rhum raisin.

butter. crisp. salt. more butter. chewy. that sort of sums up a good kouignette. 

when i was in paris i stopped by "george larnicol" to look around and i picked up these babies. their were tons of them, stacked on top of each other. and so many flavors. nature. rhum raisin. pistache. pomme. caramel-beurre-salé. to name a few.
 check out my photo of the shop here.

when i was back in germany this was one of the first recipes i tried to reconstruct, re-bake. et voilà!
once again i got help from my favorite parisien - david lebovitz. 
with help of his kouigin amann recipe.

all i did was that i rolled out the dough really thinly and in a rectangular shape in the last step. i gave the dough an extra helping butter, fleur du sel and any other wished topping. in this case rum raisins (i started soaking them in "stroh" rum 12 hours prior to baking). 
then i rolled the dough from the longer side up and cut it into cupcake sized pieces. and who would have guessed - baked it in buttered cupcake forms!