Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Goodbye winter, hello spring!

Hearing that there will probably be 18 degrees this week, it is time to say goodbye to my winter landscape. I bought some tulips and narcissus, but every year I ask myself what I should do without my winter decoration. Eventually, I always get along quiet well, but it is hard to find a proper spring time equivalent that can compete wth this mass of fake snow, little reindeers and tiny Russian wooden houses. And I will have my summer shoes fixed, just in case...
Reindeer in the snow Narcissus Tulip Summer shoes

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Carrot Hazelnut Cake

To give myself a treat and as a motivation for cleaning my apartment, I bought a delicious piece of carrot hazelnut cake at Café Fassbender. It was a typical German carrot cake with hazelnuts and not too sweet, but with a delicious icing on top. And my mission is also completed, my apartment is clean!
Carrot Hazelnut Cake

Friday, 24 February 2012

Blooming flowers, a late birthday cake and delicious cupcakes

I just love my birthday flowers, especially the roses which my mother gave to me. But the wild daffodils are also so beautiful. I also got a surprise late birthday birthday cake from a friend (chocolate orange cake) who came to visit and with my freshly baked tarte aux pommes it was a real delicious afternoon. I promise that I ate those cupcakes on the next day: "Bambi" with blueberry icing and cranberry filling and "Marilyn Monroe" with mango frosting and raspberry filling. Delicious!
Birthday roses Wild daffodil Tarte aux pommes and chocolate orange cake
Cupcake "Bambi", Royal Cupcakes, Cologne
Coffee at Royal Cupcakes, Cologne
Cupcake "Marilyn Monroe" at Royal Cupcakes, Cologne

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Chocolate gugelhupf with apricots

Chocolate gugelhupf with apricots

Happy birthday to me with a delicious gugelhupf! I just love the form of the traditional gugelhupf form and it looks even sweeter with a nice icing and some colourful crispies!


1 can of apricots (480g)
250g flour
40g cocoa powder
1 package baking powder
75g oat flakes
200g sugar
1 package vanilla sugar
5 eggs
200g butter (at room temperature)
100g grated chocolate
200g icing sugar
1 egg white
some sprinkles for decoration

1. Drip off the apricots and cut them into small pieces. Preheat the oven (hot air: 160 degrees/ top/bottom heat: 180 degrees).

2. Mix all dry ingredients. Add eggs and butter and mix everything for about 2 minutes. Add grated chocolate and apricots. If the dough is too dry, add some milk.

3. Put the dough in the gugelhupf pan and bake for about 65 minutes.  Let it cool down.

4. Mix the icing sugar with the egg white and decorate the cake with the icing and some sprinkles.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Tiramisu Cake with cherries

Tiramisu cake with cherries

Oh my, it's Sunday again and I nearly forgot to post this weekend's cake! It's already tiramisu time in the afternoon!

4 eggs                               1 jar of cherries (= 720ml)
200g sugar                        2 packages vanilla sugar
100g flour                          60g cornflour
2 tsp. baking powder         500ml cream
500g mascarpone              500g quark
75ml amaretto liqueur        4 sheats of gelantine
150g sponge finger            some melted chocolate for decoration

1. Beat the egg whites until they're stiff. Mix them with 100g sugar, 1 package vanilla sugar, the egg yolks, the flour, 50g corn starch and the baking powder. Bake for 25 minutes in a round baking pan (26cm).

2. Drain the cherries and cook the juice of the cherries with 10 g corn starch until it is thickened. Stirn in the cherries and let the mix cool down.

3. Cut the cake base into two and put one and a platter surrounded by cake ring. Spread the cherries on the cake base and put it in the fridge for about 60 minutes. Beat the cream with a package vanilla sugar until it is stiff.

4. Mix mascarpone, quark, 100g sugar, amaretto liqueur. Dissolve the gelantine and fold it with half of the cream in the mascarpone mix. Spread half of the mix on the cherries, put the second cake base on top and spread the rest of the mix on the top of the cake base. Put the cake for about 2 hours in the fridge.

5. Halve the sponge fingers. Remove the cake ring and use the rest of the cream as a glue to stick the sponge fingers around the cake.

6. Decorate with melted chocolate and cherries.

Monday, 13 February 2012

It's official...

 ... I am a member of a club for pralinés! The club sends 30 pralinés each month made by Germany's best chocolatiers. You also have the opportunity to judge the pralinés so that there will be a best praliné of the month and at the end of the year a selection of the year's best pralinés. I am looking  forward to my first batch of pralinés which will be sent in a nice wooden box...

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Tartufo nero del Piemonte

Tartufo nero del Piemonte
Tartufo nero del Piemonte

Delicious little Italian praliné by Le specialitá de Viani with chocolate and hazelnuts from Piemont. But just too small...

Monday, 6 February 2012

Strawberry candies and spring flowers

I love these strawberry candies which are wrapped up in strawberry style paper! And they match my new watering can which looks like a small red tea kettle!
Strawberry candies
My tulips are looking really nice these days, every year spring flowers save my day and make a smooth transition from winter to spring...

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Apple strudel parfait

My all-spice cookies from Thursday turn out to be a real crumbly mess. One touch and they fall into little pieces, so there is no chance that they make it into your mouth. I decided to turn them into a dessert by also using the chopped almonds which are a leftover from Christmas. In know, this is not a real parfait, but, hey it's me labelling the recipe, and I think this tastes really perfect :)
Apple strudel parfait
Mix a package of quark (200g) with two tsp. of milk, 2 tsp. of brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon.
Apple strudel parfait
Cook two peeled and chooped apples in a little bit of water and mash them. Put two tsp. of brown sugar, two tsp. of raisins and a pinch of cinnamon into the apple mash.
Apple strudel parfait
Roast some chopped almonds in a pan.
Apple strudel parfait
Finally, layer crumbled cookies, apple mash and quark mix in nice glasses and use the roasted almonds as a topping.
Apple strudel parfait

Friday, 3 February 2012

Winter's finally there...

...but I am still waiting for snow! So it is good that I packed away all my Christmas decoration but kept the wintry stuff... This is a photo of my personal snowy landscape with tiny wooden churches and trees which I bought in St. Petersburg some years ago.

My personal snowy landscape

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Five-spice cookies with candied blood oranges

All-spice cookies with candied oranges

Every day I look at these three blood oranges and one lime not knowing what to with them. But today I saw this interesting recipe on Apartment Therapy's Kitchn and the cookies turn out to be really delicious. Instead of Chinese five-spice powder I used quatre épices, a French mix of spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg & clove). They taste really wintry with the oranges and the spices so that they are the right cookies for this weeks' really icy temperatures.
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