Food is like people, some are born to be models and some are just unphotogenic. I belong to the latter group, it’s hard to get a good picture of me and the same applies to anything with streusels (or crumbles as the Americans say). But Streusels are ubiquitous in German baking, if you ever entered a bakery in Germany you can tell and I want to share a recipe with you. It is not like we Germans put streusel on everything, but on almost everything. There is an overwhelming variety of sweet pastries available in German bakeries, often eaten for breakfast, second breakfast or around coffee time. And I’d guess that at least half of these sweet „Stückchen“ (pieces of pastry) come with streusels and different fillings like custard, curd, fruit or you-name-it.
Streusels are Grandma-style and down-to-earth, I guess that’s why everybody loves them. Even when the dough is too dry or compact, the crumbly cover makes up for it. When I was a kid I loved eating raw streusels and I often sneaked back into the kitchen just when the cake came out of the oven to burn my fingers & tongue while ’stealing‘ some steaming hot streusels from the sides of the cake.
My favorite streusel cake comes with a poppy seed filling, but during winter time I prefer apple streusel. Make sure you use apples that are not too juicy so your dough base does not get soaked. If you only have juicy apples at hand, sprinkle some bread crumbs on the dough before placing the apples. Continue reading »
I love boozy bakes! Don’t get me wrong I am no alcoholic, but even when I was a child the boozy cakes were the ones I loved the most. It was special when I was allowed to skim the foam of Dad’s beer glass or eat a piece of Black Forest Cherry Cake on a birthday, sometimes Mum even poured some advokaat over our shortly microwaved chocolate marshmallows for an extra treat. Whenever there was a bit of leftover red wine, my mother turned it into this delicious and moist cake. I now do this myself whenever we open a bottle we don’t like, so the taste of this cake varies with the wine you use, but it is always scrumtious and keeps fresh vor 3-4 days. My sister tweaked the recipe a little with more chocolate sprinkles (who could say no to more chocolate?!?) and I stole it from her so you can also start to save that wine from the drain! Continue reading »
Wow! I can’t believe one year has already passed. This Sunday is our first Wedding anniversary and the date coming closer filled me with mixed emotions. On one hand it makes me really happy because we spent a fantastic day with friends & family and had a wonderful ceremony & party. On the other hand it makes me sad, because my grandpa couldn’t be with us and died a few weeks after our Wedding. But I’ll stick to those happy memories for now, because everything else would make me burst in tears. Continue reading »
Recently a friend of mine asked me if I could make some cake and cookies for her sons birthday. As it was a Knight-themed party and included a treasure hunt on the woods, it had to be sugar cookue coins and a castle-cake, easy to transport, suitable for kids and outdoors on a hot day. I started to look for inspirations and found a lot of cool looking stuff, but most of these cakes were neither transportable not suitable for kids. Plus I had to chose something I’d be able to do with a sore leg. After a lot of thinking it came down to the simplest solution: A square cake cut out as a 2D-castle. Zebra cake with sugar icing should do the trick.
This cake is rather simple to make but has a stunning zebra-stripe effect, that makes sassy and unique. It tastes so good, is very moist but solid enough to cut it into shape. I’ve been doing a lot of those zebra cakes in my baking life, it was actually the first cake that I ever made all on my own. It is my mothers swiss-army-knife cake, suitable for every shape or occasion you can imagine, from Easter lambs over giant car-shaped birthday cakes to cake reindeers. I associate darn good memories with this cake though I haven’t been making it very often since I moved out of my Mums house. It’s the star at every Kiddie Party and even amazes grown ups. But shhhhh don’t tell them it is this easy! Continue reading »
Confessions of a baking addict: I am am obsessed with bakeware. I have tons of baking tins in all kinds of shapes but keep using only a fraction of them. But how many do you need? Many books suggest to aquire a loaf tin, a 8″ round one, a 9″ square pan and a bakingt tray. In addition some also suggest a 8″ tarte tin with removable base.
I own all of them except for the 8″ round, along with a few muffin tins, a round and a square 26 cm spring form, various bigger and smaller tarte tins, tartelette circles, Spongebobs, 3-tier-cakes, eastereggs, Santa Clauses and a lot of other stuff. Not to mention the million cookie cutters I bought over time and all the other equipment that keeps piling up in my basement. And still I catch myself urging to buy those 8″ sandwich tins or other things when browsing TK Maxx or the local kitchen appliance store. I don’t allow myself to buy anything new unless I kick out something else, but apparently I need to declutter my utensils in the near future… Continue reading »
I know I’ve been very quiet in the past months. I had another knee surgery coming up and invested my time more in larger baking projects that I wanted to blog about when I am tied to the couch anyway. Nice plan, but didn’t quite turn out that way. In the past four weeks after my surgerey I focussed on fightig my way back in to normal life and the total lack of structure made it difficult for me to motivate myself to actually do something. Last week I made a faithfull attempt to get back to blogging by writing myself a schedule but I couldn’t be bothered for some reason. I miss baking more than I’d admit. Writing about past projects only makes me want to do something of similar complexion again. And I am currently not capable of standing in the kitchen this long. I was looking through my To Bake List for something easy and quick, that I can handle in my current state. I was looking for a fruity all-in cake and found the Lemon-Pear-Polenta-Cake from the Cake Cafe book. Continue reading »
I have seen this hilarious list on buzzfeed today and I find myself in this a lot. I love my family and there is a whole lot of people to love. It’s not like the Kelly family but for the average German family I have a lot of siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins. Both my Grandparents insisted that we all gather at Birthdays, Easter and Christmas. Come what may, at least 20 people in one room, eating, talking, having fun. When I was a teenager I rebelled against this bourgeois traditions. I hated those get-togethers, being locked up in a room with people I had nothing in common with but the same blood line, it made no sense to me. I used to say „friends are the best family because you can choose them yourself“. Teenagers… By now it makes totally sense to me and I must confess I was completely wrong back then, I wouldn’t want to miss any minute of the family time I had. I guess losing my Grandfather last year made me change my point of view even more. As you grow older, you understand that even though they may have chosen another path, you still have a lot more in common than blood. Those folks have always been there and always will be there to help and support me without any question. Though it is very stressful and requires a lot of planning, I did not regret it any minute that I had them all over for my birthday. 23 friends and family members sitting/standing/running around, lots of chats and laughter and nice food – a perfect birthday! I am very sad that my Grandpa couldn’t be here with us, I guess he would have loved it and maybe he watched us from above.
I second #12 of the list, I was too slow so I did not get to eat a single piece of my own birthday cake that I baked the night before my birthday. Everyone I asked said it was fantastic, so I made it again to convince myself. Again this recipe comes from my favourite Book, Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery. Someday I need to get to London, go there and tell ‚em how thankful I am. Continue reading »
People keep asking me what the difference between a muffin and a cupcake is. Some believe the frosting makes the difference, others think it’s the measurements. However I always try to explain them with two simple German words: Muffin=Kuchen (Cake) and Cupcake=Torte. But I learned that this is only half of the truth. The main difference is the method of preparing the dough. While for Cupcakes all ingredients are creamed together, the „wet“ ingredients are mixed separately from the „dry“ ingredients and only brought together very shortly before baking the Muffins. When creaming things together you try to beat in as much air as possible to „fluff“ up while the muffin method relies on a raising agent (mostly baking soda).
I must confess I haven’t baked muffins in a long while because they were often too dry, never rise too much and turn more broader instead of having the typical hat. With all those little bits and pieces of knowledge I acquired over time I finally managed to bake muffins that were well risen and moist, even though they still don’t look like store-bought ones. I totally forgot to take a picture of my blueberry muffins. I took this recipe and made some variations. My brother left a 125g pack of blueberries in the fridge, but some of them were already over ripe. I tossed those, added a little dried super-fruit-mixture (dried cherries, cranberries and arionaberries) and replaced the baking powder by baking soda. I also added a spoonful vinegar with the berries as I once read that baking soda needs acid or at least other sour ingredients to react with in the dough, there again goes chemistry (:
After Brownies the Muffins seem to be the next recipe to reconcile… I am pretty curious what’s next!
My health really gave me a hard time in this past year 2013. Also I’ve done my best to ignore it, my body refuses and partly gives up on me from time to time. This week it was my stomach who refused to let me eat painfree. Luckily there is a pill for everything but sometimes they come with unwanted side effects. Yesterday was Nap-day, I think I had as many naps as a bunny has per day, 17 to be exact. Last nigth and today was rather problematic cause as a side effect of my meds all my muscles decided to hurt like crazy today. I felt like after a constant 2 day workout with a burn in my muscles that just won’t stop. I needed distraction and found it in a note that today was national cookie day in whatever country (I guess it’s America). As I did not manage to bake something from the To Bake List in November I found it appropriate, to at least make some new cookies on the cookie day. I decided to give the Salted Caramel + Nutella Stuffed Double Chocolate Chip Cookies I have recently found on topwithcinnamon blog a shot. Izzy is a teenage girl living in London and blogging her fantastic recipes for a few years now. I’ve been following her on Twitter for a while and saw her video together with the guys from SORTED food and fell in <3 with the recipe. I have to admit I am a huge fan of stopmotion, that was one of the first things I had to do as a semester project for design class back in university and I loved it. Actually my stopmotion semester project also involved cake. We had to make a countdown for movies with stop motion and we decided to let a set of false teeth eat up our cake numbers would make a fantastic countdown. But back to Izzy and her fantastic recipes… She is very inspiring, so young and yet so talented, creative and professional. She has an eye for photos and does explain complicated recipes in an easy understandable way. And she’s always wearing funny socks in her pictures and has a great sense of style. And with all due respect I HAD to take a picture with my feet in it, just as she does a lot. (Just a quick shot with the phone as the camera is already boxed…)
I wanted to try out some of her recipes but hadn’t had the time yet. Now that I tasted thos really gorgeous cookies, I WANT MORE. The recipe is very easy and fast to do, you don’t even need a electric mixer (which my sister will appreciate). I used some Cadbury caramel chocolate that I brought from my last trip to Ireland for the center of the cookies and that worked very well. I made 15 cookies out of the recipe, not all containing caramel chocolates. if you place the salt just on the center of the cookies, above the Nutella, it makes a fantastic taste experience.
We travelled around last Saturday to pick some window sills for the house and ended up in a large traffic jam in the middle of nowhere. After finally getting there 2 minutes before closing time my mood was *erhm…*. But we found sills and also possible tiles for the first floor so I was quite okay when we headed back into civilization and to our architect. She lives in Frauenstein, a suburb of Wiesbaden, an area that is known for grapes, wine and cherries. On our way home I had to shop 1 kilo of cherries. I was asked with a raised eyebrow „who the hell should eat all those“ and I answered „you on a cake“ with a big fat grin. He was courios to so I described him this very easy choc’n’cherry cake and after dinner I started to rattle in the kitchen. Luckily the cake tasting a bit like squishy raw cookie dough topped with cherries was approved… Continue reading »