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cherry-cake

Tray-baked Cherry Cake

In my opinion, cherries are the epitome of summer. In spring, cherry trees – and fruit trees in general – play a major role with their blossoms, and in summer everybody loves their fruit. I still remember when my parents and I spent our holidays in Tuscany when I was a kid. We rented a small apartment on a farm for a couple of days, and even though my memories are not that comprehensive anymore because of my young age, I still remember the cherry harvest that took place at that time. Huge fruit meadows with cherry trees, the crowns full with dark, juicy fruits. Sights like these stuck in my head and cause an emerging of the summer feelings, even if it has been a long time since then. Cherries are versatile deployable fruits. They are great used in cakes and desserts, it is possible to preserve them, and combined with duck breast, for example, they make a perfect sweet component in savory dishes. Today’s recipe is an easy tray-baked cherry cake. I made …

chocolate-chip-muffins

Chocolate Chip Muffins

There are so many recipes for chocolate chip muffins available right now on the internet that it is almost oversaturation and unmanageable. Everywhere you can read „the best recipe of the universe“, which is promising the easiest and tastiest chocolate chip muffins, that – on top of that – is exceptionally inventive. Apparently, there isn’t any reason to publish more recipes for chocolate chip muffins, right? I am asking this question because despite the huge range of available recipes, I tried a lot of them and the result didn’t fulfill my expectations at all. The great characteristics of muffins are, that it is possible to prepare them super fast, usually, the dough is very easy to make and there are hundreds of variations possible. Concerning all these things muffins are just unbeatable. Today’s recipe was developed after one of the attempts where I didn’t like the result. It was developed by trial and error, and all experiences I made with the recipes mentioned above were used to get the result I wanted. I will not …

pancakes with blueberries

American Pancakes with Hot Blueberries and Honey

American pancakes differ from the German pancake variation („Pfannkuchen“). They are smaller than their German cousins but thicker. The German ones are traditionally not eaten at breakfast but are main dish or a dessert (especially in Austria, where they are called „Palatschinken“). You can make them sweet or savory. My grandmothers prepare them with jam and sugar, with wild blueberries (a specialty from the Bavarian Forest), thin apple slices or bacon. Today’s recipe is not dedicated to these Variations, these I will post at another time. Now I will occupy myself with the smaller American ones. American pancakes for a long time were something that I only knew from movies and television series. For example from the movie „Practical Magic“, in which the commissioner prepares cactus-shaped pancakes for the kids of Sandra Bullock. Or O.C. California, where Seth always talks about doing a pancake tour through America like in „On the Road“. So it has been only a couple of years since I tried American pancakes the first time. I experimented with several recipes until …

English Tea Cake

English Tea Cake

There are only a few weeks left until Christmas, and like always there is already a huge run on everything baking related. Some days ago there were many more people looking for baking ingredients than usual, but at least nothing was sold out. This year went by so fast, so I decided to enjoy all the benefits of this contemplating pre-Christmas period. I began with my personal celebration last Sunday on first advent, because this seemed to be just the perfect day to begin with my Christmas-related baking. Usually, I start with some typical cookies. Many different cookie variations look great combined on a plate and they are great as little presents and stored in suitable containers cookies remain fresh at least until Christmas. This year, I decided to begin with a cake that I wanted to try for quite a long time and which is just perfect for this time of the year because of its ingredients. It is very easy to make, because it is a pound cake, so only one bowl is …

Pirohi_with_Poppyseed_Filling

Pirohi with Poppyseed Filling

I have always been fascinated by everything Eastern European. I don’t know where this fascination comes from, but I remember that already when I was a kid I imagined smoggy mountains, Dracula-like castles on piercy mountain tops, vast prairies, huge forests and magnificent architecture. Unfortunately I haven’t travelled to many of these countries I have in mind when talking about Eastern Europe (only Ukraine, Bulgaria, Hungary and Czech Republic so far), but the experiences I made did not change my interest. There are so many different aspects to explore, there is so much tradition which is lived daily and the landscape is so diverse that it probably takes a lifetime to get a comprehensive picture. Of course on very important aspect of this culture is the food. I remember me and some fellow students of mine preparing Wareniki somewhere in Western Ukraine while doing an excursion to visit remnants of virgin forests. We were told that only if we are able to make this dish, we are allowed to marry. I do not know how …

apple_cinnamon_muffins

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Finally it is apple-time again! You might recognize that I am just ignoring the fact that apples can be bought and eaten all over the year, but during fall they definetely taste best. That is why I am always looking for new recipes which involve apples. There are so many possibilities, no matter if pastry, cakes, chutney, juices, etc.. So there are no limits to the imagination. A few weeks ago I found a recipe for apple muffins and I was immediately on fire. I have never prepared muffins with apples before, and as I already planned to bake something to bring to work on the occasion of my birthday, these muffins were just perfect for that. The result was as good as expected. The ingredients match perfectly and the combination of flavours is just delicious. Apple Muffins Source: inspired by www.addapinch.com Yield: 12 Muffins Ingredients For the dough: 250 g all purpose flour 1 ½ tsp baking powder 0/5 tsp salt 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon 2 big apples, peeled and diced (I used …

nectarine jam

Jam Session #3 – Nectarine Jam with Cardamom

Welcome to my Jam Session #3! This variation is the most exotic one I ever made. Usually I stick more to middle European fruits like strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and currants, but this time I had to try something new as my local supermarket offered nectarines that tasted amazing and were just perfect in colour, shape and ripeness. Like always, I didn’t just cut the fruits into pieces but pureed them with a hand blender to get the desired creamy texture. In this case I added cardamom and cinnamon, but other spices like vanilla might work very well, too. Nectarine Jam with Cardamom and Cinnamon Source: own creation Ingredients 1200 g nectarines, peeled and cut into pieces 400 g preserving sugar (3:1) peel of one lemon 1 tsp grounded cardamom 1 pinch grounded cinnamon Instructions Firstly, prepare some jars, clean them precisely and sterilize with boiling water. Peel the nectarines and cut them into pieces. Put the nectarine pieces in a pan. Puree the fruits until smooth. Boil the fruit pulp, than add the sugar and …

strawberry jam

Jam Session #2 – Strawberry Jam

Welcome to my Jam Session #2! Today’s jam is – in my opinion – THE classic among jams: strawberry jam. This opinion might be caused by my father, who unconditionally only consumes strawberry jam. No matter how many different (homemade) jams are stored in my parents’ basement (my mother is also a busy jam bee), if there is no strawberry jam left, it has to be bought. You don’t need any spices for that jam, strawberries in this case are best used plain, without anything that could distract from the taste. Like I already mentioned in Jam Session #1, I always use preserving sugar 3:1, means for example 1200 g strawberries and 400 g preserving sugar. In Germany it is possible to buy preserving sugar for the relations 3:1, 2:1 and 1:1. I always prefer the first variation, because the result comes out less sweet and there is not too much sugar covering the taste of the fruits. Some years ago I first tried to puree the strawberries in order to get a smoother texture, …

apricot cake

Curd Cheesecake with Apricots

Last week I absolutely wanted to make a fresh, fruity cake, that does not need any additions like whipped cream. I finally decided to use the following recipe for curd cheesecake with apricots. I love apricots, and in case the cake turns out to be worth done again, you can use canned apricots instead of fresh ones. So you have an easy fruit cake alternative for the winter months also. I like the idea of placing the fruit on top of the dough and watching them sink in slightly during the baking process. Depending on the used fruit, these cakes are always very colourful and enrich every cake buffet! Curd Cheesecake with Apricots Source: inspired by www.chefkoch.de Yield: one 26 cm springform pan Ingredients For the dough: 250 g all purpose four 150 g butter (cold), cut in small cubes 60 g sugar 1 egg 1 pinch of salt For the filling: 500 g curd cheese (low fat) 70 g sugar 1 package of vanilla sugar 2 tbsp pudding powder with vanilla flavor 4 eggs …

Jam Session #1 – Blueberry Jam with Elderflowers

This is the first of three posts about the different jams I preserved this year. Summer is my preferred season for making jam, as at this time it is possible to use a large selection of different fruits. Of course, nowadays you can buy everything at every time of the year, but I try to use products that are produced as regionally as possible and furthermore I never experienced strawberries in the winter which actually tasted like strawberries. There is only a short period of time in which it is possible to make this variation dependent on the flowering time of the elder, but this ingredient definitely adds a very special flavor. Blueberry Jam with Elderflowers Source: own creation Ingredients 750 g blueberries (fresh or frozen ones can be used) 250 g preserving sugar 3:1 about 8 elderflower umbels, the single blossoms picked off Instructions Firstly, prepare some jars, clean them precisely and sterilize with boiling water. Put the blueberries in a pan. (If frozen blueberries are used, wait until thawed.) Puree the fruits until …