Last weekend was foodblogger camp time again. After I had such a fantastic time in Reutlingen beginning of the year, I couldn’t wait for the ticket sale for Foodblogger Camp Berlin (#fbcb15) to start. In Reutlingen I had a box of Blueberry and White Chocolate Macarons with me and when someone said the magic word I posted on social media, I opened my box for them. It was hella fun. Saturday night in Reutlingen over a bottle of whatever-beverage-it-was and some Macarons, Johanna of „My tasty little beauties“ and I discussed about how we both don’t dare to host a Macaron Session on a barcamp, because we both have experienced Macarons bitch on us when it counts. But it seems that over the year Johanna has grown some balls and decided to offer a Macaron session at #fbcb15 and I couldn’t be happier to tag along together with my Blogsister Wienerbroed. Continue reading
Everybody has them though nobody wants to admit: Secrets! While secrets are widely outlawed to be a bad thing, I would like to stress the bright side of them which is the mystery. Be it secret friends, guilty pleasures, loves or recipes, some things are just too good to share. Like your favourite cafe that you don’t want to be too crowded or that cool friend whose attention you don’t want to share. And there are those secret recipes that you have brought to perfection over time, that earned you so many ahs and ohs, the one thing you are really proud of and you want to keep a mystery until you pass it on to your descendants on your deathbed, sealed with a blood pact that they keep it til their own dying day. Well that’s how I feel about my recipe for vanilla buttercream. I have tasted myself through a lot of recipes, measures and directions, tried, combined, tweaked and adjusted them to come to this one in my own eyes perfect recipe.
The first buttercream I ever made was an American Buttercream, which is mainly a mix of butter and confectioner’s sugar. I don’t like this kind of buttercream because it is way too sweet for me, it gnashes between my teeth and the texture is powdery. I played around with custard-mix buttercreams as you can find them in almost every baking book you get here, but I didn’t like the yellow colour, the artificial taste, it was simply not worth all the hassle with handling the warm custard. When I made my first Frankfurt Crown Cake for my Grandpa (his absolute favourite), my Mum recommended to get a little help from the Doctor (Dr. Oetker -housewives helper since forever) and try out their buttercream mix. It’s easy to handle and tastewise much better than any custard-packet-mix-buttercream… I have been using this for a while since it was convenient but over time ambition arouse, I didn’t want to be the foodblogger that relies on a packet mix. After I tried out a few recipes I stumbled over „The battle of buttercreams“ on the Tough Cookie Blog, which gave a great overview on different kinds of buttercreams including recipes and directions. Reading through the series gave me the right impulse to give my already balanced recipe the final twist. There is a „battle of buttercream 2.0“ series definately worth a read on The Tough Cookie, but I won’t keep you much longer and finally share the result of all this with you. Continue reading
After the manflu stroke back and got me out of order for more than a week, I am back on deck and can share some more basic cupcake magic with you. Everyone has a few go-to recipes, some basic stuff that can be used for all sorts of magics with only a few alterations. It’s all about flavours and presentation, mix and match your favourite cupcakes, spice them up with some fruit or flavour and top off with a frosting of your choice. If you’re feeling fancy, you can go all wild with decorations and if you’re not, just spread the frosting with a knife. Whatever you do, you are the boss and you can do anything you like! Continue reading
In my 2015 Forecast I promised to give you more of dark chocolate, so now you get served. I really love the dark chocolate callets from Callebaut I bought in a wholesale market. Luckily I don’t get there too often, otherwise I’d probably have investend a large amount of money in that very dark, rich and handsome… chocolate! I fell for quality dark chocolate a few years back and believe me or not, it really makes a difference in taste even in a plain chocolate cake, not to mention ganache filling for macarons… So mark my words, an investment in good quality chocolate is always a reasonable investment.
This recipe makes enough to ice 18 chocolate cupcakes: (or any other type of cupcake)
- 175 g dark chocolate (min 54% cocoa)
- 225 g butter at room temperature
- 50 g confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Melt the chocolate and let it cool until lukewarm. In a mixing bowl cream the butter until paler in colour before sifting in the sugar and adding the vanilla extract. Beat for several minutes until well combined and smooth. Last add the melted chocolate and keep beating until the icing is creamy, thick and has a spreadable consistency.
Now I tell you a little secret: If you want to step it up a notch chocolate wise, you can core the cupcakes (with a cupcake corer, with the back of a decorating tip or simply with a teaspoon) and fill in some Nutella before you ice the cupcakes. Top off with chocolate sprinkles and intoduce as „death by chocolate“.
It’s not hard to be inspired these days with so many blogs, magazines and pins, so that I could spend more than a lifetime in the kitchen trying out new things. But cracking it down, my problem is the overflow of inspiration. I am an indecisive person, always have been and always will be. Whenever there are too many options and ideas, I am easily overjoyed what leads to being completely uninspired. That happens to me a lot lately, probably because my day-job has been rather demanding in different ways. But whenever in doubt, I can always rely on Martha Stewart. She is not only an icon, she is also an unfailing source of inspiration for me. For my birthday I got the Martha Stewart Cupcake book and my first try, S’mores Cupcakes, turned out awesome, even the homemade Marshmallow, which allegedly is difficult to do, was amazing. And the reaction to those cupcakes at my friend’s BBQ restored my faith in my baking. Though Martha is da Queen, I have 2 major problems with American recipes: The cups measures (here’s a nice piece on why one is fed up with stupid cups measures) and way too much sugar. That’s why I always convert the recipes and reduce the amount of sugar. Reducing the sugar needs to be balanced because it affects the consistency of the batter and as baking is pure chemistry it’s essential. However I think I have found a good balance and like to present you some nice bake for hot summer days: Keylime Whoopie pies! Whoopie pies are like cakes answer to Macarons, 2 halves of cake sandwiched with a decadent creamy filling. And as the pies only take 10 mins in the oven, they can also be made on warm days. Continue reading
I know such a headline needs explanation and as you might already assume, this might take some more words. Dorothée of bushcooks kitchen is hosting the 110th (!) Blog-Event on Zorras blog and came up with a wonderful idea: A virtual culinary threesome! I like teaming up with other bloggers, discussing a menu and ideas, planning together and creating a special 3 course menu with one theme.
I wanted to be part of this, this is only the second Blog-Event I attend, so the subject seriously got to me. It was clear that I’d go for dessert, as I am not much of a cook and after all IT’S DESSERT!!!!! I quickly found a Starter and a Main Course as Isabel & Nata, who I also met along with Dorothée and Zorra at last years Walnut Flavour Pairing Event, were looking for a cherry on top that I gladly deliver!
Special thanks to Isabel who hands-on took over most of the planning and kickstarted my culinary dessert endeavours. I’ve been thinking about experimenting with wine for some time, but was lacking the inspiration. A chat with my go-to wine-guy on the local farmers market reveilled a potential combination and I am very happy with the outcome.
So here goes our awesome-threesome menu „Summer Colours“:
Ajo Blanco with Pistaccios & iced Grapes by lovely Isabel aka Ko(ch)lloquium
Grilled Sea Bass with Basil-Mayonaise by fantastic Nata aka Pastaciutta
Gewurztraminer-Cherry Macarons by Christiane aka Schabakery
I am a summer kid, born in June and being in love with the season is in my DNA. I don’t like it particularly hot, so the beginning of summer is the best time of the year for me. It’s when you can get regional asparagus and strawberries on every corner around where I live and I can’t think of anything better. Strawberries have always been my favourite fruit and I could never ever overeat on them. Technically strawberries are not fruits. But they are high in fibre and contain a lot of antioxidants that presumably help against inflammation & cancer, and nonetheless they are simply delicious! When it comes to strawberry cake I prefer the simple option: sponge, generously topped with strawberries and a touch of glaze. I don’t turn down some fresh whipped cream on top, who could deny that?! But unlike pure strawberries I can’t eat all the same cake all the time. Sometimes I need a little twist, so I came up with the idea of a dark chocolate tarte to accompany my favourite fruits. I especially like the combination of the slightly bitter chocolate with the sweet fruitiness of the berries, a combination to win a spot in my heart! Continue reading
Don’t get me wrong, I met a lot of bloggers that inspired me in the past year, but my one and only muse is Tobias aka Kuchenbäcker.We met at a local Foodblogger meet-up last summer and I was really blown away by this guy. Not only are guys that can bake rather rare, but also he was the first kind of famous blogger I met in person. Tobi is down-to-earth, vibrant and full of ideas, he is the brightest, most energetic and inspirational person I have ever met. Even when he is stressed, sick or in a bad mood, he still makes the sun shine through the rain what brought me to nickname him Glücksbärchi (That’s what the care bears were called in Germany). If you do not remember this 80ies cartoon series, I’m happy to fresh up your memory: It’s a bunch of cute furry guardian angels that show up to help you out with their happiness and magic whenever you’re facing problems. And that is exactly what Tobias does for me. He is generously giving advice, sharing his experience, open to any „dumb“ question I may have and his enthusiasm is truly contagious. I get such a boost in motivation every time we meet and you light up my blog-world. You deserve one big fat thank you Tobi!
For his double-feature birthday bash contest he asked everyone to bake him a cake. But I couldn’t help ignoring the cake part because I am the Macaron-Girl to him. And that’s why I combined the best of us both: Care bears and Macarons in symbiosis. The biggest challenge for me was to take the stage together with my bakes. I take pictures of my food all the time, but hardly ever show my face. Thanks again Tobi for making me take the spotlight, my „About me“ page is now updated with a picture. Continue reading
I usaly don’t make promises, but if I do, I keep them, no matter what. That sometimes ends in last minute shopping just minutes to midnight and endless hours in the kitchen to get things right, especially when foolproof recipes fail in the first attempt. But I like to be challenged because it is the only way to push your boundaries and to better your best. There are a few people in my live that seem to have a greater trust in me than I have myself. I have this one colleague, I like to refer to him as „the nag“, who keeps pushing me and seems to have an unlimited belief in my baking skills. He once told another colleague that I make fantastic Macarons even though I never made them before and he didn’t know. But he extrapolated from the given data (all the cakes and stuff that I brought to the office over the year) that I must be capable of making soft French Macarons, to me the Queen of baked goods, naturally. When someone you hardly know believes in you no matter what, you start to believe that the people close to you also might have a point apart from pampering you because they like you and finally, you start to believe in yourself. I’m blessed with a wonderful family and awesome friends who give me honest and mostly good feedback all the time, but still it is this nag who pushes me over the edge and makes me bake even braver. Continue reading
It has been quiet here for the last weeks and it is easy to explain why: I lost my baking Mojo! Seriously, I couldn’t be bothered to bake at all! Unbelievable, right? The lack of motivation to write strikes quite regularly on me and over time I found ways to get myself back into a regular schedule quite easily, but I have never had a lack of baking lust ever. Even in stressful times I squeeze in a little baking to relax and release the pressure. But the last few weeks were different, never ever has baking itself put so much pressure on me. I felt guilty, washed out and demotivated at the same time and knew whatever I was going to bake, it wouldn’t meet my standards. So I chose to relax and hope that it’ll all come back to me soon. Last weekend I had promised to bring four cakes to a family birthday party, so no more excuses, I MUST bake ‚cause letting someone down is not an option for me. A Black Forest Cherry Cake, 24 Frankfurt Crown Cupcakes, a tray of Apple Streusel and a Strawberry Cake later my Mojo was finally back.
It’s good to know that you can still rely on your skills, no matter if you currently love what you do or not. It might be easier, but sometimes it is just hard work that will pay off in the end. My reward were the smiles on people’s faces and that’s all that matters to me in the end: Making people happy with baked goodies. That’s exactly why I love baking and then it all made sense again. Live has funny ways of teaching you lessons sometimes… Continue reading