Choco Coco Mujallabijah and the last Amaryllis

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Today I cooked a chocolate coconut cardamom mujallabijah. Mujallabijahs are very popular in the middle east, it is a kind of milk pudding, and I appreciate a lot. With chocolate and coconut milk it gives a dense texture and the cardamom does the oriental touch. It is sure that I will make this recipe again and again.

From Christmas until now I lived here with many gorgeous white Amaryllis flowers. They gave me a lot of inspiration and ideas. Specially how to use white in my pictures. And they accopagnied me on my first portrait photography steps.

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RECIPE

  • 100 ml milk
  • 30 g corn starch
  • 60 g sugar
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 40 g dark chocolate
  • 1/2 Tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 Tsp cocoa powder

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img_6715Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. Stir together sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder and milk to a homogene paste. Cook the coconut milk with the cardamom powder, then stir in the chocolate and the milk paste. Cook for a few moments until it thickens, then pour into small nice glasses and let cool down.

 

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Engadiner Nusstorte and the mountains of Sils Maria

 

 

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Sils Maria is a fairytale in winter with the lake and the mountains, everyday you have another spectacle, but eyerytime breathtaking. Especially when the lake is frozen like a mirror, and the powder snow is blowing away by the wind from the peaks. You can just stand there full of admiration.

I often heard about “Engadiner Nusstorte“, but first time I tried to bake it in a version of my style. I made it small, and I used walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts, and the caramel I made with vanilla. You can’t stop eating it, even it is full of sugar, but so tasty.

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Recipe

for the shortcrust pastry

  • 250 g flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 80 g brown sugar
  • 160 g butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp cold water

for the caramel nut filling

  • 50 g chopped walnuts
  • 50 g chopped almonds
  • 50 g chopped hazelnuts
  • 150 g sugar
  • 150 cream
  • 1 Tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp honey

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To make the shortcrust pastry mix the flour with salt and sugar on a working surface and knead in the butter. Then mix in with your hands the egg yolk and water until the dough comes together. Put in the fridge for about one hour.

Put the sugar in a big pan and caramelize while stirring. When you have a golden caramel put in the nuts and almonds and roast a while and stir all the time. Then pour in the cream, vanilla extract and honey and stir until everything is liquid again. Let cool down a bit.

Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and put it on the bottom of three small cake tins. Put in the filling and cover with shortcrust pastry.

Bake in the oven at 180° for about 40 minutes.

Sprinkle with icing sugar.

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Zaeti Veneziani

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Venice is magic in winter. The light and the atmosphere are so special. The best thing is just to walk around and to enjoy. My first wish was to see Venice with a lot of fog. There was fog, but there was also the sun.And this was lovely, too. On my first day I walked around with Zaira Zarotti@thefreakytable , a high talented photographer and lovely girl from Venice. Because of this I saw Venice with her eyes, and this was so enriching.The first night I spent in my favorite Hotel ‚La Calcina‘, where i would like to rent a room forever. The next day I met Anna Gilchrist@gilchristanna4, a lovely english student, I know from a workshop in Rome.In the evening were arriving Soyoung and Irina, two violin friends of mine to enjoy Venice together. We had interesting discussions, tried some of the most delicious food, and visited almost every part of the city, the crowded and the lonely places. I am so grateful to all these four persons for passing a magic time together.

In a venetian cookbook I found a recipe for these cookies, which you best enjoy together with sweet wine , such as vin santo.

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Recipe 

Adapted from the book ‚La cucina di Venezia e della Laguna‘

  • 175 g 00 flour
  • 200 g polenta
  • 100 g sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 150 g butter
  • 75 g raisins
  • grated rind from 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp rhum
  • icing sugar
  • pinch of salt

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Marinate the raisins with two tbsp rum. Beat the sugar with the eggs until fluffy. Then beat together with the soft butter. Then add the flour, polenta, salt, vanilla extract, 1 tbsp rum, the lemon rind and the raisins.

With floury hands form little balls, put them on a baking tray, flatten them and bake at 180° for 15 – 20 min. Then immediately turn them in the icing sugar.

 

 

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Apple speculoos crumble

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Last week I was in Paris again for five days, and I must say that I love the city again as before and even more. And Paris has a magic atmosphere specially in winter. It is autumn now, but it was a winter feeling, almost christmas like. And I was more than ever inspired by the restaurant scene. For lunch I went to traditional brasseries and restaurants, ordered a paté en croute, a sancerre white wine and enjoyed the time . The dessert menu( tarte tatin, creme brûlée , baba au rum)  I had only to read for being happy. This time at home I made a apple speculoos crumble, which is not really french , but with speculoos taste it is a real parisian cult. You can accopagnie it by a cassis sorbet with creme de cassis, for me another french essential ingredient.

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Recipe

  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and cut in small pieces
  • 2 tbsp frozen raspberries
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp crème de cassis
  • 200 g flour
  • 80 g brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 100 g butter
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp paté de speculoos

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Mix the apples and raspberries with the sugar and crème de cassis and put on four ovenproof dishes. Mix the rest of the ingredients with your hands to get a crumbly consistence and divide onto the apples. Bake in the at 190° preheated oven for about 40 minutes.

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Cocoa meringues with turkish coffee ice-cream and summer in Munich

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During the last week of august the weather in Munich was so brilliant, with the the color of light and shadows that are typic for late summer. The life was a slow mixture of swimming, trying recipes, making pictures and playing violin. At the weekly market day in my quarter there was an incredible atmosphere of people coming together and an abundance of the best fruits, vegetables and flowers. And at the river Isar people enjoyed the sun. At home I created a combination of chewy meringue with an ice-cream with an amazing turkish coffee flavor.

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Recipe

Cocoa meringues

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 140 g sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder

Turkish coffee icecream

  • 120 g sugar
  • 120 ml water
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 50 g finely ground turkish coffee
  • 30 g dark chocolate
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 30 ml Kahlua
  • 500 ml cream

 

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Start to beat the egg whites , add the cornstarch and then the sugar and continue to beat until firm. Stir in the cocoa powder and form some swirls with the egg whites. Bake in the oven for one hour at 135°.

Bring the sugar,  water, cardamom pods and coffee to a boil. Sommer for 5 minutes. Pour the syrup over the chocolate and stir until melting. Beat the egg yolks until fluffy, strain the syrup through a sieve and beat to the egg yolks. Add the Kahlua and cream and refrigerate for one hour. Then put in an ice cream maker.

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Apple tart with apple brandy sorbet and the island of Jersey

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IMG_1269 How can Jersey be so different from France. It was only a 1 1/2 hour ferry travel from Saint Malo. You have here a very relaxed atmosphere, it is not so evident touristic. And the real beauties of the island are in the middle of the island, of course there are spectacular sea views, but with a bike (rolling on the left side!) I  discovered some really almost untouched spots away from the sea. There are a lot of wild berries and many apple gardens, this is why I made an apple tart, and the apple brandy for the sorbet I brought from the island. You can substitute it by a Calvados for example. Unfortunately I did’t find any culinary spot which is really worth telling about. But , even if St. Helier, the capital, is a quite big town, you can find your calm and meditation on the island. For the tart I used my own puff pastry, I won’t give the recipe here, you will find some good recipes elsewhere or simply take a store-bought one.

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Recipe

For the apple brandy sorbet

  • 100 g sugar
  • 100 ml water
  • 250 g chopped apples
  • 3 tbsp apple brandy
  • 3 tbsp lime juice

very thinly sliced apples, some brown sugar, puff pastry

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Bring the water with the sugar to a boil. Slightly cool down and mix together with the apples in a food processor. Then stir in the apple brandy and lime juice. Put in the fridge for a while and then freeze in an ice cream machine.

Roll out the puff pastry and cut circles in the size you want. Cover decoratively with the very finely cut apples and sprinkle brown sugar on top. Bake at 180° for about 20 minutes.

Serve with the apple brandy sorbet.

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Blueberry Tart and fresh air in Saint Malo

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I the morning I went from Paris to Saint Malo. After a short three hours train travel I felt the sea breeze, and I knew immediately why all the french people go to the sea in august. The recipe for the tart I choose because of the blue color, and I was happy to realize it as good as in a well known deli shop in Munich. But now something about Saint Malo which is at the border between Normandie and Bretagne. The first days it was a quite cold wind, but with the sun the next days swimming in the sea was a delight. It was a pleasure just to walk around, and so I discovered the best Crepe Restaurant ever. They make savory galettes with buckwheat flour, and specially here with a japanese twist. Great! As dessert I had a crepe with matcha ice-cream, and the second time a crepe suzette yuzu. Everything so inspiring for my cooking at home. And the region is also famous for their caramel with salted butter, and of course for oysters.

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One day I went to Cancale, a gorgeous little village not far away from where you can see the famous St.Michaels Mount. What I found there was the most amazing spice shop. Smelling one you feel like you have never known the essence of a spice before. Of course I had a full shopping bag after..everything again for my cooking at home. At the seafront I enjoyed a chilled glass of white wine, and then I went back to Saint Malo.

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Recipe

For the dough

  • 200 g flour
  • 3 g salt
  • 8 g baking powder
  • 130 g sugar
  • 150 g soft butter
  • 3 egg yolks

For the cream

  • 500 ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 120 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 40 g flour

Blueberries

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First cream the butter with the sugar, then add the egg yolks one after one , and at the end stir in the flour with salt and baking powder. Leave in the fridge for one hour. Then flatten it quite thin on a baking paper and bake for 15 min. Now take a round baking form to help giving the dough the round shape.

For the cream heat the milk with half the sugar and vanilla extract. Meanwhile stir together the eggs with the flour and remaining sugar. Pour a little of the boiling milk to the egg mixture while stirring all the time, continue like this with the remaining milk. Put everything  back in the pan and bring to a boil again. Stir until the mixture is thickening. Put in the fridge.

Put a thin layer of cream onto the dough and then the blueberries very regularly.

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Pistachio Cake and Paris in August

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Very very spontaneous I decided to go to France for one week. Arrived in Paris first I moved carefully around because of all the things which happened there and in my life during the last year. At least I was quite happy that  it was August because I wanted to have the town for me alone. And the streets are really empty. But it was still so much life that this dream city was like always. In the hotel I was upgraded, never I had to wait, the inspiration for artful pastries was amazing again. The idea of this recipe I have from a new Patisserie book, I just made it more easy to realize, and the wild strawberry liqueur frosting with additional red color is my obsession for intense strawberry red.During my stay one day I went to Luxembourg Garden with the most beautiful little raspberry cake to take pictures. It was great fun.

But what is France without the sea in August. But this will be the next post.

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Recipe

For the cake

  • 65 g ground almonds
  • 95 g icing sugar
  • 50 g flour
  • 80 g soft butter
  • 30 g pate de pistache
  • 15 g oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 15 g milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 25 g sugar

For the icing

  • 3 tbsp apricot jam
  • 90 g icing sugar
  • 18 ml water
  • 4 g wild strawberry liqueur
  • 1/ 8 tsp red color powder

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Preheat the oven to 180°. Stir together the ground almonds with the icing sugar. This mixture work together with the butter. Then add  the pate de pistachio, then the oil, then the egg yolks and then the milk. Beat the egg whites with the sugar until firm. Carefully mix in the mixture and finally the flour. Butter small baking moulds , put in the dough and bake at 180° for ten minutes and then at 160° further 30 min.

Put the cakes in the fridge to make the icing easier. Gently warm the apricot jam. Stir together the icing sugar, the water , the strawberry liqueur and the red color. After half an hour take the cakes out of the fridge, cover first with the apricot jam and then with red icing. Decorate with some pistachios.

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Raspberry Tart and the story of *Gradaraworkshop

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Betty Liu @bliu07

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During the occasion of publishing a recipe for a raspberry tart, I want to tell you something about my travel to Italy 2 weeks ago to participate on a food photography workshop in Gradara/ Marche.

In a beautiful farmhouse and garden with view to the adriatic coast  ten women from Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, Greece, Italy, Croatia, Germany, Switzerland, Kuwait and Canada came together to be teached by the talented Valentina Solfrini and Zaira Zarotti from Italy and Betty Liu from the US. Two full days we arranged still lives, searched for the best light, learned technical things about photography, talked about everything, ate the most delicious food from Valentinas mother on a long wooden table in the garden.

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Zaira Zarotti @thefreakytable

 

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Valentina Solfrini @valentinahortus, and Betty Liu and Diane Aftimos

I hope the pictures  are telling the story itself, it would be interesting to write about each single woman on this workshop with all their passions and talents, especially about the amazing Zaira from Venice ( her pictures are like wonderful paintings ), Valentina ( her pictures are artistic delicate compositions ) and Betty ( with her completely different amazing style ). Two weeks after this gathering I am still in a high inspired mood, not only because of my passion for cooking, baking, creating recipes, find new combinations of flavors, but also to share it with you with the most beautiful possible photos.

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Recipe

for the dough

  • 150 g soft butter
  • 75 g brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200 g flour

for the cream

  • 250 ml milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 50 g sugar
  • 30 g corn starch
  • 2 tbsp ricotta

…and raspberries

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Mix together the  butter, sugar, salt, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Carefully kneed the flour in. Keep the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Then shape circles of the size you want. Bake at 180° for about 12 minutes.

Bring the milk with the vanilla bean to a boil. Meanwhile beat the egg yolks with the sugar, then stir in the cornstarch. Pour the boiling milk over the egg mixture, stirring all the time. Bring the mixture to a boil again and keep stirring until the mixture is thickening. Let it cool down a little, the stir in the ricotta.

Give a little cream on each baked dough circle and garnish with raspberries.

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Kirschsorbet

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Was gibt es passenderes für die Pause einer Tosca-Vorstellung während der Münchner Opernfestspiele als eine Kirschsorbet, aufgegossen mit eisgekühltem Rosé-Wein? Elegant, erfrischend und sommerlich. Das Sorbet wurde aus selbstgemachtem Kirschsirup hergestellt. Die Idee dazu kam von Zaira Zarotti , eine Blog-und Fotokünstlerin aus Venedig, die ich demnächst bei einem Workshop in Italien persönlich kennenlernen werde.

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Rezept

  • 1 kg Kirschen
  • 2 Gläser Zitronensaft
  • 300 g Zucker
  • 300 ml Wasser
  • Rosé-Wein

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Die Kirschen waschen, entstielen und entsteinen und in kleine Stücke schneiden. Zusammen mit dem Zitronensaft 15 Minuten kochen lassen. Dann den Zucker hinzufügen und weitere 10 Minuten kochen. Durch ein Sieb streichen und die gewonnene Flüssigkeit kühlstellen. Ungefähr zwei Drittel des Sirups mit dem Wasser verdünnen und in einer Eismaschine gefrieren lassen. Kugeln ausstechen und mit Rosé-Wein aufgiessen.

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