Sunday, November 28, 2010

Grapefruit Sorbet

Business as usual this week, it's Sunday, and a new blog entry is up! 
Do you like tart things? I do! My favorite fruit is grapefruit. I eat a grapefruit every morning. EVERY morning. And I do not add any sugar. I like my breakfast to be fruity and tart. It' s a good way to wake up. But I do not only eat grapefruits for breakfast. Actually, my favorite dessert contains grapefruit (recipe comming up sometime in the near future!). And this summer, I came across the best ice cream ever. Of course, it was grapefruit sorbet. After having passed my last university exam, I rewarded myself with a visit to Vanille & Marille, an ice cream parlor I had heard many good things about. And, yes, me too, I fell in love with their products at first taste. I remember  that after I had the first spoonfull of grapefruit sorbet, my vocabulary was reduced to yummmmm, yummmmm, yummmm!
Grapefruit sorbet is the most refreshing ice cream and full of vital vitamines (at least I think so). I tried to make my own, and was pretty satisfied with the result, although its texture obviously was not as smooth as Vanille&Marille's sorbet. I did not use an ice cream machine, so if you do, let me know about the result!

Copyrigth of all photos j.

 Grapefruit sorbet

4 grapefruits
2 egg whites
some sugar

Squeeze the juice of 4 grapefruits, add some sugar by the teaspoon if you want to and depending on how sweet the juice is. Heat the juice if you added sugar in order for the sugar to melt. Let the juice cool off.  Beat the eggwhites and mix with the cool juice. Place the mixture into a flat container which you put into the freezer. Now, go read a book. Once every hour, you should pay your sorbet-to-be a visit. Take a fork and scratch the layer of ice which is slowly building up along the edges. The more often you scratch and mix, the smoother your texture will be, though do not expect your sorbet to be really smooth. You would need an ice cream machine for that.

Even though it is as cold as ice in Berlin these days, I wanted to share this recipe with you now, because I am sure that it will make a nice and light dessert which will be very much appreciated as part of a Christmas menu.
You think ice cream is unhealthy and contains too many calories? Check out brilliant Christoph Niemann's scientific solution (well, almost) to this problem!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Culinary hide-and-seek: Thyme Supperclub

What? It’s not Sunday today? Not even if I lie and claim to be on the other side of earth in a different time-zone? Darn! Sorry about the delay of this week’s post, especially since I know some of you have already started to worry I might be sick! Actually, a surprise-trip to Gothenburg is the reason for this delay – sorry folks, I promise to do better in the future! To make amends, I am offering a detailed, mouthwatering and passionate review of the wonderful evening I spend at thyme supperclub in Berlin on 12th of November!

Fisk und Gröönsaken was the first supper club I visited back in October, and like I said before, I was so amazed by the performance of the hosts and chefs that I immediately fell in love with the whole concept of supper clubs. So I went ahead and signed up for an evening at thyme supperclub, whose hosts were two of the guests that night at Fisk and Gröönsaken.
The secretiveness makes every supper club experience unique and so I was still a little bit excited this time as well, although I already knew what to expect. I was pretty sure that once again, it would be anything but a boring night.

The evening started off perfectly, since host Tobias gave me a last minute call, telling me that my sister, who happened to be in Berlin that weekend, could join me - a last minute cancellation made it possible for her to jump in!
We arrived at Tobias’ and Caroline’s beautiful turn of the century apartment (which they renovated all by themselves!) some time before eight and were warmly welcome by Tobias, who gave as the tour of their humble abode. We started the evening with a glass of prosecco mixed with cassis and some finger food (empanadas and parmesan crackers, just what you need in order not to get drunk right away from drinking prosecco empty-bellied) together with all the other dinner guests who arrived one after the other in the salon.
The food bloggers were busy taking pictures of the beautifully set table, and before we knew it, we had all settled around the table. There were a total of 18 guests, and we were all seated at one large table. I had the honor to sit next to the foodie in Berlin, a food blogger whom I had already met virtually! It’s a small world after all, and here, we meet, in the real world, and – foodie is as foodie does - at a supper club of course!

The amuse gueule served was a pasta whirl, filled with salmon and served with a saffron sauce! It looked delicious and also tasted great! A nice surprise to start the dinner with!
Thyme supperclub does not announce the menu they will serve beforehand, so I was glad to see that Schlachtplatte was not on the menu… I really liked the concept though because it makes you try new things which you probably wouldn’t have ordered from a restaurant’s menu.

Next was a leek soup with scallops (sorry, no photo - I simply forgot to take one), and again, Caroline, the petite host, did a great job in the kitchen! Served with all the courses was wine which was informatively described on the menu distributed to every guest. At thyme supperclub, the hosts do not keep track of the amounts of glasses you pour yourself, and trust you to keep a tally with the pens provided. They also invite their guests to live out their artistic streak so by the end of the evening, the table cloth looks like this.

A bouquet of green salad topped with slices of duck and pomegranate seeds followed the soup. I was especially ecstatic about the dressing which had just the right balance between sour, fruity yet mild, with a pinch of sesame oil and I will definitely peek into the recipe collection on the thyme supperclub blog in order to recreate this dressing.

The main course was a perfectly pink lamb roast on a bed of potato and artichoke purée. A lukewarm salad of cherry tomatoes was served with it and the combination of flavors really did it for me!

Right before dessert, we were offered a glass of Slyrs Malt Whiskey Liqueur, with a taste of honey and vanilla. Though I am not really a whiskey lover, I liked this sweet liqueur a lot. The dessert in turn was an homage to autumn-flavors, with an oven baked pear, walnuts and an orange cream to go with it. I am really into desserts that taste great without being outrageously sweet, so this was totally of my likening!

The cherry on top of the ice cream however was the salt caramel which was served with the complimentary cup of tea (for me) or espresso (for most of the guests). It was a wild food-fantasy that had become real! Perfect caramel bites topped with fleur de sel - could you ask for more? In fact, the salt caramel was so good, it was difficult for the also very tasty chocolate truffles to attract my attention. I especially liked the fact that in addition to the small selection of these petit fours which every guest received on a small plate, a large extra serving was brought out of the kitchen for those who wanted to have more salt caramel or chocolate truffles!

 copyright of all photos j. 
So, now that you were able to experience an evening at thyme supperclub through reading my review, all that is left to say is: go there! You will be met by passionate food-crazy hosts who will go out of their way to make to feel comfortable, you will taste some great dishes, and you will meet interesting, fun, witty other guests at the long family-style table with whom you will swap tips about the best places to eat, shop and drink in Berlin and simply have a great time!

You think I am biased? Go check out the foodie in Berlin’s review, but be warned, it is equally full of praises!