Saturday, April 19, 2014

rhubarb, three in one

Being the first rhubarb of the season so exquisitely young and tender I simply

  • wash the stems
  • cut them into pieces
  • put them into a baking dish
  • sprinkle with enough sugar to generate some syrup
  • add slices of lemon, orange or kumquats
  • and bake for about half an hour
to obtain a whole variety of rhubarby possibilities.

The exact "how to" you find here (by David Tanis) and here (by Rose Carrarini).

1) I enjoy the rhubarb right from the oven: hot or cooled down with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

2) I use the solid parts to let them sink into a batter for a delicious fruit cake

3) I purée the syrup and slices of lemon together with beetroot, apple and ginger for a sweet and bright magenta smoothie.

Friday, April 11, 2014

weekend links

 strawberry/raspberry/chocolate tart made by Sylvia Richter-Krancher

MOROCCO 'N' ROLL, a video about surfing in Morocco you shouldn't miss

Fourteen fantastic photos for zebra lovers  by The Insatiable Traveller

Seducing little cheesecake squares topped with salted caramel.

"When Cultures Collide". How to negotiate with people around the globe

Courtesan au Chocolat, the pastry in the film "Grand Budapest Hotel", from Mendl's Bakery - and others. Have a look at Amber's collection of courtesans  on Pinterest.

Have a happy weekend!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Grand Budapest Hotel

I loved the film for being witty, fast, full of surprises, romantic, fictive and real and compassionate on a profound level. Of course great music, an excellent cast and the most amazing settings weren't doing any harm either.

Secondly I had long wanted to go on a photo safari through Görlitz (also the home of the Grand Budapest Hotel),  the most Eastern German town, right at the border of Poland. Inglorious Basterds, Der Vorleser, In 80 Tagen um die Welt  have been set there as well, so no doubt the town has a cinematic feel to it. When I heard that the "Grand Budapest Hotel", actually a department store build in 1913, would be closed in a months' time to be completely renovated I decided to visit now or never. The only way to catch a glimpse of the old grandeur, was through a glass door of a perfumery on the ground floor.

In the film they have this sweet little cake tower called the courtesan au chocolat, it pops every so often throughout the whole film. I had never seen such a construction and of course it moved right on my mental checklist of "things to recreate at home". And the cute pink Mendl box!

With compliments of Mr. Mendl: the Courtesan au Chocolat

With compliments of Living in Dresden: the courtesan au Bisquit

Friday, April 04, 2014

Tarte au Citron, the quintessential Frenchness

When I was searching the internet for a lemon tart recipe ( it should be quick, easy and the best ever) I found so many enticing pictures, I read so many recipes that I ended up combining my own experience as a home baker with a bunch of helpful advice from the blogosphere.

For the topping:
Thinly slice a lemon. Remove the seeds.
In a small saucepan add 3 tbs sugar and half a cup of water and stir to combine. Place over low heat, dip the lemon slice and let simmer for about 15 minutes or until the pulp looks transparent. Let them rest and cool down in the liquid.

For the crust:

200g butter
100g sugar
300g flour
a dash of pure vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
a pinch of lemon myrtle
1 egg

Combine the ingredients and make a smooth dough with your hands. Press the dough into a baking form and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 175°C.
Bake the crust until light golden brow, about 15 minutes.

For the filling:
4 tbs sugar
3 large eggs
1 tbs lemon zest
freshly squeezed juice of 1 1/2 lemons
2 tbs corn flour

Whisk sugar and eggs until creamy, add the zest, the juice and the cornflour. Pour the filling into the crust and continue baking until the filling is set.

Arrange the previously cooked slices on the tart, dust with powder sugar and enjoy!