Freitag, 29. März 2013

Crab cream croquette - kani kirimu korokke

Today I ended my diet (but just for today), I made deep-fried crab cream croquettes.
Deep-fried gravy coated with a crunchy breadcrumb crust. A japanese dish which shows clearly that japanese cooking is not always that healthy and lean but most delicious. I have seen those 2 days ago watching a Japanese drama series and they looked so good, I had to give it a go. Sadly I had to buy frozen cooked crab meat without shells. If I had the claws I would have sticked them into the balls before frying as very decorative handles.
First I searched the web and found a lot of recipes. Then I watched this youtube video runnyrunny999 and then I put everything together to my liking:

fresh out of the wok

 I used:
1 onion, diced in very small dices
1 tablespoon dry-frozen shrimps, minced
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon chicken broth powder
500 ml skimmed milk plus a bit more
2 cups shredded crab meat
Worcester sauce

For coating:
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup flour
1-2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

First I fried the onion in 1 tablespoon butter until translucent, added the minced shrimps and let it simmer on low heat until the onion became golden and melting soft – took some time. The minced shrimps are in no way connected to any japanese korokke recipe. I put them in on a whim because I know this would taste fantastic umami afterwards.
I transferred the onion into a small bowl and added 2 tablespoons butter to the pan. I heated the pan up to medium low heat and stirred 2 tablespoons flour into the foaming butter with the help of a small balloon whisk. The flour has to be toasted until it smells like a cookie bakery but should not get any colour. At this state I added the milk in a constant small flow and whisked well until everything was combined into a creamy and smooth sauce. This is a rather thick bechamel sauce!  I added the onion, salt, lots of black pepper, chicken broth powder and stirred the gravy simmering over low heat about 15 minutes. When it seemed to get too thick too quickly I added a little more milk. The gravy is so thick it should build a street if you drag a spoon through it. Finally I incorporated the crab meat and adjusted the seasoning with salt, pepper and a few drops Worcester sauce.
 Why simmering the bechamel for so long. To taste lovely and creamy the flour has to be cooked well. Every bechamel sauce should be cooked at least for 15-20 minutes or it will have a nasty floury aftertaste. Most of the recipes I found on the web seem to ignore the correct way to cook bechamel,they cook this in a much shorter time... I just did as I always do.
Bechamel with crab meat
This has to be cooled down before forming the croquettes so I put it in a rectangle mould and set it, covered with cling film, outside, until a few hours later.

For deep-frying:
I heated up 600 ml oil in the wok until small bubbles rised from a chopstick sticked into the oil. I used a little bit (cold) oil to wet my hands to forms small balls out of the gravy. The gravy is somewhat firm but sticky so oil prevents the sticking to the hands.

Forming the croquettes
 I tossed the balls in flour, egg and panko and fried batches of 4 balls while flipping them once - they are fragile so it is important to watch wether the bottom side has turned golden before turning them over. I put them on a layer of paper towels to let the oil drain off.
For serving I prepared a carrot salad, potato salad and tonkatsu sauce.

I had some egg, flour and panko left over, so I deep-fried 2 small flounders too. I served those with a homemade sauce tatar (50:50 yoghurt and mayonnaise).

flounders with sauce tatar
And I put some music on, while making the korokke, it is played in the j-drama too
Pretty good...

Sonntag, 24. März 2013

Flounders stuffed with bacon and shrimps, artichokes

Today I made small flounders stuffed with bacon and shrimps.

Flounder with shrimps, artichokes in cream sauce
 First I seasoned 6 flounders (filets) with salt, pepper and lemon juice. I shelled raw black tiger prawns  and put them aside.
I heated up a pan and roasted 3 tablespoons small bacon dices until brown and crunchy and set them aside. In the bacon fat left in the pan I toasted the shrimp shells and 1 diced onion until the shells became pink and fragrant. I added 100 ml white wine and let the alcohol reduce to mere nothingness,  added 250 ml water and let this reduce to a half. I strained this through a fine mashed strainer and kept the broth
returned the broth to the pan and added 120 ml cream, 1 teaspoon tomato paste, 1 teaspoon dried herbs de Provence, chiliflakes, salt, pepper. I heated it up and let simmer for a minute.
I divided the shrimps and bacon cubes to the fish and rolled each flounder into a roll containing 3 shrimps and a little bacon.
I placed the rolls into a casserole, covered the fish with the sauce from the pan and additional 2 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped. Around the fish I placed 1 small red bellpepper cut into strips, 1 celery stalk cut into thin slices and small artichokes (cannend). Sprinkled a little more salt and pepper and let this bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 200 C.
For serving I just squeezed a little lemon juice all over and a little bit more black pepper.
The sauce is quite runny, for a more thicker sauce one should add a little starch before baking, but I like it more runny.

6 small flounders
18 prawns, raw, shell on
3 tablepsoons bacon dices, small dices
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 onion
1 celery stalk
1 red bellpepper
1 can artichokes, drained, 10 small artichokes
100 ml wite wine
250 ml water
125 ml cream
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried herbs (l'herbes de provence)
more lemon juice to taste
1 serving

Spelt Ciabatta – soft spelt bread seasoned with basil paste

I like soft italian bread called Ciabatta very much. It is great as sides for meals and it tastes very intense without any overwhelming yeasty flavor. And I like to use spelt for baking, which is really uncommon for ciabatta - but it works. Here is the result, maybe not as much big air holes in it as in plain wheat flour ciabatta but with a fluffy soft texture and a small hint of basil taste:

  I think spelt is not very well known in countries outside Europe, what is a shame, because it is very healthy and has a nice nutty sweet flavor. 
The reason (maybe): the baking characteristics of spelt are less good than characteristic of wheat flour - it is kind of tricky to handle.
Yesterday at noon I started the Ciabatta preparations by mixing  a small moist dough for fermentation issues, some call it Biga or Polish. I am not so much involved in bread baking forums. There are some bibles and religions available out there concerning how to raise a proper sour dough and some sort of biga or poolish, dry or wet. The following is just a dough I made out of curiosity some time ago and it worked quite fine so no hassle. I am not going to make some kind of science out of it.

I mixed 100 g wheat flour with 2.5 g instant yeast and 150 ml water in a baking bowl and let this sit overnight at room temperature covered with cling film. The yeast will ferment the dough perfectly and start growing. The so called poolish should have a nice fruity smell afterwards.
This morning I added 500 g spelt and 300 ml lukewarm water (+ a little more) and another 2.5 g instant yeast, 1 good teaspoon salt, a little sugar and basil paste. Usually ciabatta is baked without salt, but this is a little too bland for me.
I let the dough knead by the engine for 3 minutes. Afterwards the dough has to double its amount, covered, at room temperature during 2 hours. Spelt doesn’t need much kneading and folding but more time to rise and a little bit more water.
Important hint: Spelt is very sensible to kneading. Usually you would knead wheat based dough longer but not spelt. When you overdo the dough, it will be ruined. The results are no good:  e.g. crumbly bread or dry crumbly cookies. This has something to do with the protein structure but as I said, no science.

The dough is rather soft and sticky and very complicated to handle but that’s how it should be. I folded the dough on a floured baking board with the help of a spatula from each sides to deflate the air bubbles and to stretch the dough and quickly formed a roll shape which I bedded in a cushion of parchment paper and let it rise again for 45 minutes. Meanwhile I heated up the oven at 200 C.
I put the dough into the oven and added 50 ml water to the oven bottom to build up some steam for the first minutes during baking.  After 10 minutes I reduced the heat to 190 C and baked the bread about 30 minutes.
100 g strong wheat flour
500 g spelt milling grade 630
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
450 ml water
5 g instant yeast (2/3 bag instant yeast, contents 7 g)
80 ml pesto (basil paste)

Mittwoch, 20. März 2013

Spring arrived

Today I am on a little journey. It is officially the first day of spring, but look at this:
Men are removing snow from the gate roof (glass ceiling) at Berlin central station. Tons of snow, men in mountain climber gear, dangling at ropes and shoveling. Outside there were signs: Danger roof avalanches. Springtime in Germany.
Do you see the small green shovel in the middle? This was right above my head.

And the guy in the middle? A long way to go..


And it did not stop snowing. Arriving in Potsdam it started to snow even worse.
At the evening we went dining out and visited the Holländer Viertel (Dutch quater). We ate at the Fliegender Holländer (Flying dutchman) see a virtual walk. A very old and traditional restaurant with a nice feeling. They even had the fire place lit up - best thing to do this evening! I had a very tasty tomato polenta with oven baked vegetables spiced up with some pesto, collegues pork roast stuffed with plums and dumplings or steamed fish with mustard sauce, pork leg jelly and roasted potatoes - very good. After dinner the traffic had almost stopped, the snow kept piling up. We had a good laugh looking into a store decorated all over for summer fun with colorful beach wear.
I ruined a pair of shoes on my way back to the hotel.

Montag, 18. März 2013

Soft whole wheat and mushooms - 15-minute dish

Today I had to face a quite unpleasant session at my dentist's.  Therefore I arrived at home in the late afternoon after a long day: first office, then dentist. The only thing I had eaten so long was a small sandwich early in the morning. I was really famished. What to do what to do. There was a big portion of yesterdays Sechuan beef bowl in the fridge with lots of peanuts and chili, but chili is no good whenever it meets a freshly sewed wound and peanuts crumbs either. Had this once, not gonna make the same mistake twice. So husband willhave to take care of the beef bowl, I had to find something else: nothing hard to chew, no unpleasant crumbs, not sticky and no agressive spices, no fat (I am on diet) please and reallyquickly done.
Finally I decided on this dish:
Steamed soft wheat with mushrooms and peas. I just invented it (laugh).

First I boiled up 1 liter water (salted) and filled in 1 portion of preprocessed wheat (Ebly: the wheat grains are steamed in their peel, dried, peeled and pressed, good amount of minerals and fibres) - it came along in a plastic cooking bagwhich is very convenient. Just put the bag in the boiling water and let simmer on medium high heat for 10 minutes (1/2 bag = 1 portion has about 200 kcal).
Meanwhile I put one cup of frozen young green peas and 250 g frozen mixed mushrooms in a pan with 1 tablespoon sake, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and very little water. I let this simmer on high heat for 7 minutes and added 1 generous teaspoon miso paste and 1 big sping onion, sliced finely and stirred well. Turned off the heat and the wheat was done too. I just put the drained and plummed wheat grains to the pan and tossed well, adjusted the seasoning with a little salt. I ate one part and will have another part tomorrow.
Doesn't sound very elaborate or fine but it tasted very good.

Donnerstag, 14. März 2013

Potato-crusted salmon

Today I made salmon. Quite easy and filling.
The 2 salmon pieces (170 g each without skin and bones) are covered with a crust made of mashed potatoes and herbs. As sides there are oven grilled cherry tomatoes with spinach.


First I boiled 5 medium small floury potatoes, peeled and mashed them.
I added a small amount of olive oil and skimmed milk - just a few tablespoons, until the mash became a little lighter and softer but not too soft and wet - it needs some standig. After 5 minutes cooling I added 1 egg and 50 g mixed herbs: minced parsley, chives, cress, dill, chervil - just a ready made frozen herb mix I had in storage and 3 dried tomatoes preserved in oil, drained, chopped.
For seasoning I used a good amount of salt, pepper and sweet chili powder. I covered the already salted fish with this paste evenly. With the back of a teaspoon I formed a scale pattern into the potato-crust and sprinkled some olive oil.

The fish was already placed on a baking dish (wiped with a little oil). Around the fish I put some halved cherry tomatoes (about 10 tomatoes) sprinkled with salt and pepper.

The fish went into the oven at 190 C for 15 minutes, after 15 minutes I put the power of the grill to the maximum and gave it a little golden roasting from above.

For spinach I roasted 1 finely chopped onion in a little oil (non stick pan) until the onion became translucent, added 1 good tablespoon pinenuts and 1 minced garlic glove and roasted until the pinenuts turned golden. I added the spinach leaves (600 g) and stirfried until the spinach was soft. I seasoned with a little soy sauce, salt, pepper and let the spinach juices reduce over high heat. Afterwards I added the oven roasted tomatoes and their juices.

For serving I placed the fish on spinach.

Dienstag, 12. März 2013

Lentil Soup

No spring awakening just deepest and ugliest winter around. Looking at the icicles growing in my Rhododendron I decided to make a one pot dish: Lentil soup, rich and warming.

Actually the icicle stream stretches from the roof of my house down to the ground

Lentil Soup is a traditional german dish. There exists a huge difference between southern german and the rest of germany lentil soup. The southern comes with noodles, the rest with potatoes. Of course I am a fan of the noodle lentil soup, no potatoes please...
I had to make some minor adjustments caused by a storage problem: Usually I would put some Wieners into the soup, but today I had another type of sausage in storage: polish Kabanos and no Wieners - hard to tell which one tastes better. And I always put lots of other vegetables into the soup to enrich it with some vitamins. So if you are looking for the very classical version, try to find another recipe, there should be tons.
This is how my lentil soup looked:

1 carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 red bellpepper, diced
1 big red onion, diced
100 g bacon, diced
1 small kabanos sliced (usually 1-2 Wieners for each serving)
100 g dried Spaetzle (southern german noodles)
1 can small lentils (800 g with liquid) / usually I am soaking and cooking 1 cup dried small green french lentils instead, but it is a weekday and the decision to make lentil soup was kind of spontaneous...
125 ml vegetable broth
good pinch salt
black pepper, freshly ground (lots)
pinch mayoram, thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
dash worcester sauce
pinch chiliflakes
2 tablespoons elderberry-balsamico (very sweet dark vinegar made by my mom)

First I roasted the bacon with the diced or finely sliced vegetables in very little oil, until the onion became translucent, then I added the lentils, their liquid and broth. I adjusted the seasoning with salt and spices, herbs and let this simmer, covered over low heat, until the vegetables were soft (15 minutes). I added the sliced sausage and let this sit without heat until the noodles were cooked (12 minutes).
I added the drained noodles to the soup, stirred and adjusted the seasoning with elderberry-balsamico and salt.

So, nothing special, just a soup.

Sonntag, 10. März 2013

Bibimbap with mushrooms

Today I prepared Bibimbap - a one pot dish - or rather it looks like a one pot dish. I made it before, but this time I used different ingredients, which is very common.

Bibimbap - 1 serving
Just put in, what is in storage:
Different vegetables blanched or simmered in broth (dashi) or stir-fried with sesame oil, fried ground beef seasoned with soy sauce, mirin, additional mushrooms.
For my todays one pot dish I pepared:
  • 2 handful arugula (some kind of mustard leaves) just heated up in dashi until it wilted / fell down, scooped out with a slotted spoon and seasoned with salt and sesame seeds
  • 4 small carrots, cut in sticks, simmered in dashi until a little softer,scooped out with a slotted spoon, seasoned with a little freshly pressed ginger juice and dark sesame oil
  • 1 small Zucchini (summer squash) cut into sticks blanched in dashi, scooped out with a slotted spoon, seasoned with soy sauce.
  • 250 g mixed mushrooms, fried with one red onion cut into wedges and seasoned with sake, soy sauce and black pepper.
  • 250 ground beef, roasted in dark sesame oil and crumbled, seasoned with mirin and soy sauce and stir-fried until nicely browned and dry. I added the small amount of dashi left from boiling the vegetables to make it a little more moist.
 After assembling the vegetables, meat and mushrooms over rice I topped each plate/serving with 1 fried egg, sunny side up and sprinkled a good amount of chilipepper and black pepper (spices freshly ground) and dark roasted sesame oil. For more heat I served korean chilipaste.

Besides: Arugula or salad rocket, I like it in salads, topped (uncooked) upon pizza with italian bacon, tossed (uncooked) in hot Spaghetti carbonara or pureed (uncooked) with walnuts, olive oil, garlic and anchovis as in pesto, but never used it as some kind of spinach or chrysanthemum leaf subsitute before. I did it on a whim but I highly recommend it. It is so tasty, really just a few seconds in boiling dashi and it keeps its flavor perfectly! I am going to grow lots of arugula this year in my garden - as always.


Last week I was rarely at home (did some 14 hours shifts at the job) and now I found some aged bananas dying in the fruit basket. Bananas with some dark peel parts! I don't like to eat those kind of very ripe fruits, but it is such a waste to toss them away. And there was half a can leftover sticky sweet condensed milk I opened a few days ago, because I did not have the time to buy milk for my early morning coffee. I totally neglected any kind of  household tasks and forgot to write down some orders for the other person involved as in: Eat the bananas,buy me some milk, don't get mad when I arrive very late and only after 3+ Caipirinhas...
I decided to bake banana bread to use up the bananas and the condensed milk. Besides I always bake banana bread whenever there are some ugly bananas left.

fluffy slightly juicy cake
It is more some kind of pound cake, not a bread in a german sense of bread, but who cares.
2 small ripe bananas (aging adds flavor)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 eggs
100 ml rapeseed oil (any oil without a destinct flavor will do)
100 ml brown sugar
170 ml condensed milk
150 g flour
100 g hazelnuts roughly ground
1 pack baking powder(~ 1 tablespoon)
1 small pinch salt
1 pinch nutmet
1 pinch cinnamon

I mashed the bananas together with a teaspoon lemon juice using the immersion blender. Added eggs, spices, sugar, condensed milk, oil and let the blender run until everything was runny, creamy and foamy. Afterwards I added the flour sieved with baking powder and the nuts and just stirred it in a little with a wooden spoon.
The cake or bread went into the oven a 175 C for about 1 hour. I glazed the cake with a mixture of condensed milk (still sticking in the can, lots of icing sugar and a good tablespoon hazelnut sirup).

Sonntag, 3. März 2013

Plaice-Salmon-roll and some white turnips

Tonight I prepared some fish. But first I made a small dish in advance:
Turnip in Miso-sauce

turnips in miso

Yesterday I found lovely fresh and young turnips and bought them without thinking even twice. They were so beautiful with crisp greens - I could not resist.

I separated the stems, the leaves and the bulbs and peeled the bulbs.

The stems were cut into 3 pieces. The leaves were sorted into big leaves without any damages and into others and smaller leaves.
3 young turnips
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2/3 cup dashi
1 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoons sake
1 tablespoon miso
soy sauce
sesame seeds

First I heated up a good tablespoon sesame oil (the toasted dark oil). I stir-fried the stems until greenish green, added the smaller leaves and others, stirred and deglazed with dashi.
I added mirin,  sake and let this simmer for 2 minutes. Then I added the bulbs cut into halfmoon slices and simmered (covered? for 2 more minutes.
Turned of the heat and stirred in miso and a little soy sauce to taste.

Sprinkled some toasted sesame seeds and done.

But now up to the main dish: Plaice-Salmon-roll

Plaice-salmon-roll sliced and a little sauce

It is a roll made of two different kinds of fish, covered and kept together with some greens, usually I prepare this with spinach leaves, not today.

The big and beautiful turnip leaves were blanched in salted water just until softer, each by each, and layered on paper towels to drain.
Afterwards I placed the leaves each beneath each, slightly laying upon each other - on a board first covered with aluminium foil, then cling film followed by the leaves. I covered the leave sheet with a second piece of cling film and pressed and flattened the layer with a rolling pin.


I blended one semi-frozen salmon fillet, 125 g without skin cut into dices, with the immersion blender together with a sip Noilly Prat, two very good tablespoons creme double, a few chili flakes, pinch salt, pepper, a little lemon zest, until smooth. The salmon has to be nearly frozen or it will get precooked due to the blending/cutting process.
I spread half of the salmon paste over the leaves, just  a thin layer - of course I removed the cling film on top of the leaves beforehand.
Upon this layer I placed 5 small white plaice fillets (some sort of flounders), sprinkled by a little salt - each near each, leaving no space inbetween  (tailends up and down - plaice puzzle). Upon the plaice layer I spread the remaning salmon paste. 
I rolled the whole thing up with the help of the cling film as in making maki sushi:

roll,roll roll...

I wrapped the cling film around and then the aluminium foil. I folded the edges of the foil together a few times to prevent water sipping in or leaking out, because this roll has to be simmered in water.

Simmering time: 12 - 15 minutes in a large pan, nearly covered by water, over medium low heat.
Meanwhile I cooked rice and prepared a little sauce made of:

1 small young carrot
1/4 red bellpepper
1 small spring onio, trimmed
all cut into very small dices...

1 tablespoon butter
150 ml champagne (dry sparkling wine)
150 ml fish stock
50 ml Noilly Prat
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 heaped tablespoon french lobster butter (beurre d'homard) made of ground roasted lobster shells, butter, wine and flour (did not make this but bought it myself)
75 ml cream
little chilipepper

First I let the vegetables sweat in a little butter until glazed but not taking colour, added the lobster butter, stirred and added the Noilly Prat, After the alcohol was nearly gone, I added the fish stock and let this simmer until nearly halved, added the cream and champagner and let this simmer until the sauce was slightly creamy but not thick as a pudding and adjusted seasoning by salt and pepper, chilipepper and mustard.
The fish was done and I unwrapped it and cut it into slices:

Carefully I caught the liquid and added it to the sauce. The fish was juicy and delicious as aspected. Plaice is such a nice fish, always so tasty.
Because I bought wild salmon the colour is not that orange as when using the cheaper cultivated salmon but I think wild salmon has had an happier and much healthier life. Next time I will use spinach leaves or chard leaves again, because turnips tend to discolour a bit as I now found out - no biggy just a little bit not pretty enough.
We had some rice with the fish.

The plaice were really small young fish. I guess this lady (see link below) bought nearly the same. She decided to put them breaded and fried into a burger bun:

Which is as typical german as the rolls I made.
Plaice is eaten breaded and (deep-)fried or as roll or powdered with flour and fried with a topping of crunchy fried bacon cubes or with little northern sea shrimps. Don't miss those whenever visting northern germany: delicious.

Samstag, 2. März 2013


Every weekend I prepare some cake - for the traditional coffee table on saturday and sunday afternoon.
Since son left I use to bake smaller cakes only or pound cakes, muffins to share on monday at the office.
This weekend I made a small gooseberry cake. As you can see: so very Hausfrau or grandma-style.

This is a very traditional cake, two layers of sponge cake filled with a layer of gooseberries in jelly and usually whipped cream. I made a mascarpone-quark cream. Using mascarpone will prevent that the cake gets soggy and keeps as good as new for 2 - 3 days. You may call it a rare cheese cake filling. Mascarpone is heavy loaded with fat. A 80% cream cheese, too fat to be good for us. Therefore I made it a little leaner by mixing it with quark. I also mix it with yoghurt once in a while, works nearly the same but needs some more stiffening agent, for example gelatine.
The cake tastes sweet and sour, a little refreshing due to the gooseberries.

For a small cake the layers can be baked using 1/2 baking sheet only. This layer will be cut into equal halves later on: one for the bottom and one for the top of the cake. Easy isn't it.

For layer:
75 g butter, soft
3 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 egg yolks
1 pinch salt
a few drops bitter-almond oil
2-3 tablespoons milk

3 egg whites
4 tablespoons sugar
100 g almonds flakes: almonds skinned and sliced paper-thin
1 pinch salt

For Gooseberries:
340 g simmered gooseberries + 200 ml juicy sirup from simmering gooseberries  (just 1 jar gooseberry preserve you can buy everywhere in Germany in supermarkets. During late summer I would simmer some fresh gooseberries with sugar instead)
1 teaspoon agar-agar

For cream:
200 g Mascarpone
250 g quark
3 tablespoons sugar or as much as you like - I am not so much into very sweet creams
1 bag / 1tablespoon vanilla sugar (sugar mixed with lots of ground vanilla-pod)
1 tablespoon modfied starch to stiffen whipped cream - not really necessary - I added it to make sure it stays firm for more days.
If you don't have Mascarpone and quark just prepare a stiff sweet whipped cream (500 ml)

For the batter or is it dough?!:
Beat butter and sugar until fluffy, add one egg yolk in time and beat until well incorporated, add salt, almond oil, beat, add sieved flour with baking powder and beat for a very short time, add a little milk so the dough gets softer (3 tablespoons) and can be spread more easily by a spatule.
Beat egg whites separately, adding the sugar and salt, just a little from time to time, until slowly soft glossy peaks form. 
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper spread over one halve the batter, make sure batter is spread even. Cover this layer with the egg whites (meringue). Sprinkle almond flakes on top.
Bake at 180 degree Celsius for 15-20 minutes or until golden.

Let rest on a wired rack, cut cake layer into two halves. Put one layer into a fitting casserole or other mould (layered with parchmentpaper or foil) almond-side up.

Meanwhile heat the sirup and stir in the agar-agar. Stir in the berries and let sit on a cold place until the jelly forms - should still be a little runny.
Beat mascarpone with sugar until soft and fluffy, add the quark and the starch and beat again until creamy and well combined.
Spread the gooseberries and the soft jelly on top of the layer in the casserole, wait a little until the jelly is more firm - best to put it in the fridge for a few minutes. Spread mascarpone cream on top of the jelly and cover with the second layer (almond side up).

Let rest in the fridge for one hour - I already ate one small piece in advance....yummy, deadly mascarpone....

Freitag, 1. März 2013

A little beetroot salad

Again a quick one: I was craving for something fresh, a little healthy snack, no biggy. Remembered there was still one bigger beetroot in the fridge. Thought about it and the snack was done in 5 minutes:

For 2 servings:
1 beetroot (the bulb), raw not cooked, peeled and sliced into paper-thin slices by a mandoline
a few small salad leaves
2 tablespoons pinenuts, toasted in the microwave for a few seconds until fragrant
cress sprouts
a small piece greek Feta (sheepmilk cheese, sheep and not cow), crumbled
a dash white balsamico vinegar (maybe 1 teaspoon -I did not measure at all)
freshly ground pepper
a dash toasted pumpkin seed oil

I tossed the beetroot slices in a little salt, pepper and vinegar, prepared the salad leaves and placed the beetroot on top. Crumbled the cheese over the beetroot and sprinkled cress and pinenuts. Sprinkled a little pepper and a dash oil. This salad has to be assembled separately for each plate and not by tossing everything together - or it will look really ugly. The beetroot is bleeding a lot (laugh).

I did not use any onion because onion would dominate the taste and destroy the sweet taste of the beetroot and the nutty flavors of the pinenuts and pumpkin seed oil.