Jul 30, 2014

berry blush cocktails


a good cocktail is always welcome in my book. especially with guests. nothing says "welcome" like a vibrantly colored, fruity, refreshing and chilled drink. over the years i've accumuluted a couple of drinks recipes that i know by heart. they're surprisingly intuitive to make, too. sometimes, i'm even confident enough to opt for a bit of freestyle, now. for this berry blush, for example, i roughly stuck to a recipe that i found somewhere, but then deviated from it (mainly in the measures… a little more martini? why not!). i nothing but squashed some raspberries, sweetened with a bit of sugar syrup, topped with martini bianco and vodka and filled each glass up with cranberry juice. freestyle summer goodness.

berry blush cocktails
makes one glass

ingredients:
top up with cranberry juice
a handful of raspberries
33 cl martini
33 cl vodka
66 cl orange juice
12 cl sugar syrup
ice cubes
mint leaves for decorating

directions:
first, crush the raspberries. either muddle them with an, ahem, muddler, or blend them in a blender (which i preferred since i'm lazy like that). pour into a cocktail glass. add martini, vodka, simple syrup and orange juice. stir well. add a few ice cubes and top up with cranberry juice. add a mint sprig and maybe a straw (when you've got girls visiting, otherwise: omit the straws). 

Jul 29, 2014

blueberry almond shortcake


when i look out the window, it's not exactly summery weather… actually, scratch that. i looks rather like the earth decided it's going to be it's fulminant, final day. duh. i'm not complaining, though. or am i? no, i don't. i've long since given up on a so much as the faintest tan this summer. it wouldn't really matter anyway, under jumpers and jackets. on the other hand, the bad weather opens up so many possibilities. lighting a candle, turning around in bed once more and snooze for another hour, read a good (or alternately trashy) book, bake something that smells of summer. because summer bounty is still available. 

this recipe here is my own creation! okay, it was inspired by the many, many scones i've baked in the past. added a third of almond flour to make it more fragrant. the sugar glaze, by the way, isn't optional, it's actually mandatory.

blueberry almond shortcake
rezept in deutsch auf sistyle

ingredients:
350 g flour
150 g almond meal 
1 pinch salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. sugar
150 g butter, cold
1/2 tonka bean, grated
150 ml milk + some more for brushing
300 g blueberries

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
some milk for the glaze

directions:
preheat the oven to 180 degrees c / 320 f and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (as every so often at the start of something good). combine the flour, almond flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a bowl. cut the butter into cubes and work it into the flour mix with your hands. work quickly so that the butter doesn't melt. work it till you have a crumb-like consistency. then add the cold milk and work in as well. fold in the blueberries gently (as gently as can, given the still rather sturdy pastry…). shape the dough into a bowl, then, onto the parchment paper, press it flat with your hands (or using a rolling pin, come to think of it). with a knife, mark 8 slices, cutting only 3/4 through, so that later you can break the slices off easily (cutting it would damage the crumbly texture). brush with some milk. then bake for 20 to 22 minutes. let cool on a wire rack. mix together the confectioners' sugar with a little milk and drizzle over the cool(ish) cake in a stripy pattern. serve with the (obvs).

Jul 25, 2014

socca, deep fried chickpeas bread


friends, terrible, terrible afternoon (and evening). but still enough energy to post a recipe. quick and dirty. and happy weekend. i'm pretty sure mine will be fabulously fabulous. as will be yours.

socca, deep fried chickpeas bread
recipe in german here

ingredients: 
250 g chickpeas flour
600 ml water
1 handful parsley, finely chopped
plant based oil, for deep frying
maldon sea salt and pepper

directions:combine the chickpeas flour with a pinch of salt and the water in a pan and, unter constant stirring, bring to a boil until thick. stir in the parsley and season with more salt and pepper. pour the chickpea mix onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and flatten it to about 1cm thickness with a spatula. let cool and harden. cut into handsized pieces. heat the oil in a small saucepan. test with a crumb for heat: when it's sizzling, it's ready to use. portion by portion, deep fry the socca slices in the hot oil for 30 to 60 seconds until golden brown and crispy. remove with a sieve and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper. sprinkle with maldon sea salt immediately. repeat until all the slices are done. serve warm and freshly fried, with some white wine on the side. 

Jul 23, 2014

elderflower syrup loaf


i often wonder how i turned from 'zero baking skills' to 'quite decent baker'. last weekend, for example, i took a cake to our hiking trip for everyone to enjoy. and enjoy it they did. i was even called 'their cake diva'. and how fabulous is that? only 'queen of fucking everything' would have been better, hehe. i know for some people baking is hard (because it always was for me). it means you really have to stick to the recipe, you have to make sure you prepare everything correctly and ahead (room temperature butter, anyone?), it means you have to sieve the flour even though you don't feel like doing anything as boring or seemingly useless, at all. and the reward for the often bland and time consuming processes then is so totally worth it: a good cake to make you and others happy. period. that alone is so totally worth wasting away your time at the oven. and even the occasional unsuccessful output. ahem.

my grandma used to make this cake all the time, whenever we were (or weren't) visiting: the lemon loaf. well, i have to say it's never been my favorite. probably because it's tendency to be too dry, oftentimes. what i do like, however, is when a basic loaf is juicy and fragrant. this is where this recipe ads a spin to things. it means you don't soak the loaf with lemon juice like your granny does. it means you gently enhance it by adding elderflower syrup to the finished loaf. 

elderflower syrup loaf
recipe in german on sistyle

for 1 loaf pan (30cm)
preparation time: 30 minutes
baking time: 60 minutes

ingredients:
200 g butter, room temperature
200 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large pinch salt
4 large eggs
200 g flour
100 g almond meal
3 tsp. baking powder
100 g full fat or greek yoghurt
150 ml elderflower syrup
confectioners' sugar & flowers for garnish

directions:
preheat the oven to 160 c / 320 f. grease a loaf pan with (melted) butter and dust it lightly with flour. put in the fridge to set. put the soft butter, sugar, vanilla extract and salt in a bowl and mix with a handmixer for 3-4 minutes until creamy. add eggs one by one and continue to mix, until the sugar has dissolved wholly. combine the flour, almond meal and baking powder in another bowl, then sieve into the mix, alternating with the yoghurt, until incorporated. 

fill the dough into the loaf pan and bake, in the middle of the oven, for 55 - 60 minutes. right after baking, while still in the pan, pierce the loaf with a wooden skewer several times all over, then pour the elderflyer syrup over it. let rest for a while, then remove from the pan and turn onto a cake wire rack to cool completely. before serving, dust with confectioners' sugar. 

Jul 18, 2014

warm pearl couscous with yoghurt & herbs


it's the weekend… soon! only a matter of hours. so, are we happy, loves? i sure am. and the fact that i'm going hiking only adds to that. i'll be in the mountains for three days straight. no shower involved. gross, i know. and i even heard there won't even be reception. eep! just lots of beautiful mountain landscape, blue skies, icy cold, dark azure blue lakes and a couple of friends. well, sometimes, the reduction to the max is also a kind of luxury. 

on the food side, there is "ptitim" today. a quirky, fun little word. and no, i didn't misspell this one. pititim is a pearlshaped, and lightly toasted pasta variety, also known as pearl couscous or israeli couscous. i like it turned into salad, still slightly warm, with a yoghurt dressing, and lots of herbs. 

warm pearl couscous with yoghurt & herbs
recipe in german on sistyle

ingredients:
2 cups israeli couscous
1 small nostrano cucumber, finely diced
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 handful mint leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup yoghurt
1 tbsp. cumin, ground
1/2 lemon, juice
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
chili flakes 
fleur de sel

directions:
cook the israeli couscous according to directions, drain and coat with the olive oil to prevent from sticking together. finely dice the cucumber and chop the herbs. toast the cumin in a dry frying pan for 2 to 3 minutes until a nutty flavor develops. combine the yoghurt with the cumin and lemon juice. add everything to the still warm (but not hot) israeli couscous. season with salt and stir to combine. sprinkle with chili flakes and serve immediately. 

Jul 16, 2014

curd cream with strawberries & toasted pumpernickel bread crumbs


you know how sometimes the songs you listen to reflect the way you feel? well, the song i am constantly hearing right now is this, and i must say the lyrics: "smiling like we didn't give a damn", are super matchy. anyone? sometimes, even though you don't necessarily feel like smiling, you absolutely should do so. it's therapeutic, it's attitude, baby. and with the smile comes the belief, that, yes, you and me both, are all pretty lucky bastards. and all will be good in the end. if it's not good, it's not the end. god, i'm soooo wise. i like myself today. 

this dessert has "superyummy" and of course "superfast" written all over it. yet, i know, people (you and me, both) are bound to believe that's bullshit, because everyone always says a recipe is fast and all that, and, truce, they're often anything else but. everyone and their dog knows people (you and me, both) don't want to spend hours in the kitchen. well, just whip up this one. the german (?) pumpernickel bread crumbs are fancy little fucks. and oh so good. honey, honey.



vanilla curd cream with macerated strawberries & toasted pumpernickel crumbs

serves two
recipe in german over on sistyle

ingredients:
200 g curd
50 ml cream
2 tbsp sugar 
1 vanilla bean, scraped
300 g strawberries, finely diced
2 tbsp. confectioners' sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
100 g raspberries
some slices of pumpernickel bread (depending on size), crumbed by hand

directions:
clean the strawberries and dice them. macerate them with half of the lemon juice and the confectioners' sugar. put aside. prepare the curd cream: combine the vanilla, sugar and the rest of the lemon juice, then mix with a hand mixer for a while, until fluffy. now add the cream and mix some more until combined. puree the raspberries. toast the pumpernickel bread crumbs in a dry, hot frying pan for a couple of minutes until crispy. 

to assemble, ladle the curd cream into bowls, drizzle some of the raspberry coulis on top, arrange the strawberries and their juice, sprinkle liberally with the pumpernickel crumbs (still warm from toasting, if you like it) and serve. 

Jul 15, 2014

raw cucumber noodles with satay sauce


the day before yesterday, i woke up early (as always) with a start and decided to stay in bed awhile to properly wake up and read a bit. suddenly, there was this very loud noise and i almost jumped out of 

bed. it was a dove, in full flight, crashing agains my window. she (i believe it was a girl - but somehow all doves appear to be girls to me… which, i know, wouldn't be working) sailed to the floor. i was panicky. what if the bird was lying, hurt and unable to escape, on my balcony now? i didn't dare look around the corner of the sofa outdoors to see what was going on. after roaming my flat for 10 minutes straight, trying to calm myself, i decided to have a proper look. the bird was sitting (!) upright on my balcony. granted, she looked a little… well, gaga wouldn't put it nicely, but it's still true (nice doesn't bring us anywhere, sometimes). she was shaking her little head and her eyes made funny movements. i didn't think she was going anywhere on her own accord, if i'm being completely honest. but i very much wanted her to be okay. so i decided to put a bowl of water before her, so she could take her time to recover. probably not my best idea yet: when i went out to her, she was so stressed by my presence that she wanted to escape. i was very briefly happy to see your lifting her wings - only to find that she was, once more, headed into the window. after a second crash (ouch… that must have hurt, yet again) she escaped through thet open balcony. luckily, she seemed to be okay. now, what's the morale of the story? sometimes, the little help you (plan to) provide is only a kickstarter for others to help themselves. or make their escape. whichever way you see it. bye, lovey-dovey! stay safe!

raw cucumber noodles with satay sauce

serves two
deutsches rezept auf sistyle

ingredients:

2-3 cucumbers or zucchini, washed and unpeeled
1/4 glass peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1 lime, juice
1 tbsp. ginger, grated
2 tbsp. whie wine vinegar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. harissa or sriracha
1/2 cup hot water

for garnish:
2 tbsp. peanuts, chopped
2 radishes, julienned
handful each: thai basil, mint, cilantro (coriander)


directions:

start by making the satay sauce: combine all the ingredients. add the warm water and stir to smooth the sauce. season to taste with more soy sauce for saltiness, more lime juice or vinegar for a sour touch, more honey to balance things out or more harissa / sriracha for heat. with a julienne peeler, peel the cucumbers lengthwise, leaving out the core with the seeds, rotating the cucumber by 90 degrees whenever the core is reached. with a fork, build little nests of the cucumber noodles and arrange them on plates. add the satay sauce, then sprinkle with herbs and radishes. serve immediately