Sunday, April 24, 2011

Plaited yeast bun(ny)

"This is worse than Christmas Eve!" I said to my sister yesterday (via Skype, this is the 21st century after all...). It's the first year I am making a traditional German Easter bun, and, since I like yeast buns best when they are fresh, I wanted to prepare everything Saturday evening, and then bake the bun Sunday morning! So, when the dough had risen, the strings had been plaited, and the bun was placed in the fridge to slowly rise some more over night, I was full of aniticipation and excitment! Like a child on christmas morning, tipteoing to the christmas tree, I opened the fridge this morning, and there it was, the bun had beautifully risen. In the oven, for 35 minutes, in the photo studio for 5, on the plate, and in the belly in no time!




  copyrigth of all photos j.

Small plaited yeast bun(ny)

125 ml of heavy cream
250gr of flour (505 type)
1 tsp of dry yeast
40 gr of sugar
zests of an organic lemon
pinch of salt
1 egg
1 egg white
some milk mixed with an egg yoke
raisins if you like

Warm up the heavy cream in a casserole. In the meantime, mix the flour, the sugar, the yeast, the zests, the egg and the egg white, then add the heavy cream (and the raisins if you like). Mix thoroughly for about 5 minutes. Then set the dough aside and let it rise in a warm spot. After about an hour, take the dough, divide it into three pieces and form long strings with each part. Now braid the three strings, place the bun on a baking sheet, cover it which a bowl and leave it in the fridge over night. In the morning, mix the milk with the egg yoke and spread the mixture over the bun. Bake it in the oven for about 30-35 minutes. Enjoy with butter, fleure de sel, and jam (Thanks a million, Kat, for sparing your last glas for me, just because you know how much I liked your jam!)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Citrus fruit 'Grütze' with amaretto curd

My Mom is a great chef, and she makes really lovely desserts, such as tiramisu (which, when I was kid, was decorated with a panda-bear cocoa-coating, as panda bears were my favorite animal. Did I just hear someone say spoilt brat?). Yet, for certain sweets in this family, my Dad is responsible. Such as Christmas candy. Or amaretto desserts. As a matter of fact, my Dad is the king of amaretto desserts. The other day, I found the recipe for amaretto-almond cream which we used to have with strawberries. Since it is not yet strawberry-season, the amaretto-almond cream production is on hold. His most famous amaretto dessert recipe however features citrus fruits. It's my favorite winter-time dessert (I have already shared my favorite summer-time dessert on the blog, can you guess which one it is?). Cold, tart pieces of orange and grapefruit, orange juice jelly and curd with amaretto to top it all off! The combo might sound weird, but try it, I am sure you will be surprised!





  copyrigth of all photos j.

Citrus fruit 'Grütze' with amaretto curd

1 orange
1 grapefruit
3 sheets of white gelatine (or agaragar if you are a vegetarian)
250 ml of orange juice (freshly squeezed or any good quality kind from your local supermarket)
100 gr of curd (Quark in German, if you can't find curd, your next best choice is greek yoghurt)
50 ml of cream
2 tbsp of sugar
2-10 tbsp of amaretto

Fillet the orange and the grapefruit. This can be tricky, if you have never done it before. Remember: Practice makes perfect. Which, by the way, is also a good excuse to have this dessert very often. I used to eat a grapefruit every morning, before I switched to smoothies, so I can probably fillet one while sleeping. Here are my main tricks:
1. Use a very very sharp knife.
2. Start with the grapefruit. It is much easier to fillet a grapefruit than to fillet an orange.
3. Be generous. Cut off all the white even if that means you will also cut off more of the fruit than you are happy with.
4. Watch this tutorial on youtube (and simultaneously find out what father christmas is doing in the summer time...): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQAoe1z9iSI&NR=1
Now, bring the orange juice and 2 table spoons of sugar to a boil. In the meantime, place the sheets of gelatine in cold water. Once the juice has boiled, let it cool off a little and add the softened gelatine sheets (not the water in which you soaked them!). Let it cool off until the mix is at room temperature. Place the grapefruit and orange segments in a bowl (or in portion-sized glasses) and pour the juice-gelatine mix on top. Voilà, the 'Grütze' is done. Put it in the fridge and leave it there for a couple of hours until it has congealed. 
Before serving, whip the cream and mix the whipped cream and the curd. Add some sugar according to your liking. Now, add the amaretto to the curd-n-cream-mix. The recipe calls for two spoons, my Dad always took six, and I prefer, say ten. Try several times during the process and you will see if you want more or less. Now, take the 'Grütze' out of the fridge, place a generous dollop of amaretto-curd on top of every portion, and then indulge your desire!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

fishquiche

Do you see the adorable fish-container in the photos? It used to stand in front of the window of an antiques store around the corner. I used to walk past it for, like, a year, always stopping and admiring it. I loved the freckles on the fish, I loved the simple shape, I just really liked stopping by there every now and then. Then, one weekend, shortly before Christmas, it was all of a sudden gone! I was so sad, thinking, someone else with less deciding-anxiety and a larger wallet than me had bought it on the spot. So for the first time, I actually walked into the store, instead of just looking into it from the outside. I frantically asked the shop owner about the whereabouts of the fish container. She calmly announced that all that had happened was that she had changed the shop window decorations as Christmas was approaching. I guess everyone in the store could hear my sigh of relief. I understood this as a sign and finally decided to buy it. I guess it is one of the most expensive useless items I have ever bought, but I am so happy I did! Every time I pass it on my way in and out of the kitchen, I smile when I see it! And today, we are baking fish quiche!



copyrigth of all photos j.


Quiche-the bottom

200 gr of flour
125 gr of butter
1 egg, some cold water if needed
1 pinch of salt

Cut the butter into small pieces into a bowl with the flour. Add the egg and the salt. Now mix everything, adding a little water so that everything combines. Don't mix for too long. It doesn't matter if you still can see chunks of butter in the dough-ball. As a a matter of fact, the quiche will in the end be better if you do. Now wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours. I usually prepare the dough in the morning and then bake the quiche in the evening.

In the evening, preheat the oven at 160 ° C. Take out the doughball, and roll out the dough using a rolling pin. You need a little flour on the surface so that the dough won't stick to the pin. Place the dough in a quiche baking dish and put it in the oven for about 20 minutes. 

the topping

2 carrots
1 leak
2 salmon filets
3-4 eggs
250 gr cream

Cut the vegetables into small pieces and sauté it in a pan. Cut the salmon into small pieces, no need to sauté it. Mix the eggs with the cream, add some salt and pepper. Once the quiche was in the oven for about 20 minutes, take it out and evenly spread the vegetables and the salmon on the crust. Pour over the egg-cream-mix. Put the quiche back into the oven for about 40-60 minutes or until the egg-cream-mix has set.

The quiche tastes great staight out of the oven, but also the next day as a cold snack. I like to accompany it with a nice bowl of salad.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Three things I would take along to a deserted island

Wohooo, I made it! I overcame my urge to procrastinate! J. versus procrastination 1:0!!!! This week, we are making granola. Breakfast casserole is for weekend breakfast. Granola is for everyday breakfast. Making granola is totally easy-peasy and it seems to be incredibly popular among food-bloggers lately. Check out la tartine gourmand's version, the chocolaty delicious days granola or Helena Ljunggren's chokladmüsli (love her blog, check it out even if you don't speak Swedish!) I read many different granola-recipes last week, and finally decided to go with the foodie in Berlin's version only to then add some pecans, leave out some seeds, some yoga, change a little bit of this and a little bit of that, so I guess this granola is nothing like the foodie in Berlin's granola but I am pretty sure hers and mine are both delicious!
I like my granola best in a large bowl, with slices of banana and the granola island in the middle topped off with three raspberries! 






copyrigth of all photos j.


Granola

300 gr of rolled oats
100 gr of pecans, cut into small pieces
100 gr of slivered almonds
100 gr of raisins
65 ml of oil
100 ml of honey
30 gr or brown sugar
1 package of vanilla sugar
65 ml of water
a pinch of salt

In a pan, mix the oil, the honey, the brown sugar, the vanilla sugar and the water and bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Be as careful as a scout in the woods! We are making syrup here. Syrup is incredibly hot and will leave ugly burn-marks on your hands if not handled with care. It also tends to boil over if you divert your attention to something else. In a large bowl, mix the oats, the pecans and the almonds, then pour the syrup into the bowl. Make sure all the dry ingredients are covered with syrup. Spread the mix on two baking sheets. Bake in the oven at 180 °C for 15 minutes, watch so that the granola does not burn. Reduce the temperature to 150 °C  and bake for another 45-60 minutes or until the granola is golden brown. Open the oven every now  and then and stirr the granola. Let the granola cool off and dry out completely on the baking sheets for another 2-3 hours. Keeps nice and fresh in a metal box for, I guess, 3 weeks. 
Best weekday-breakfast ever and a GREAT midnight snack!