Christmas Time - My Mom's Apple Cake (German style)



It's Christmas time and this year I am back home with family in a small town in southern Germany, near the blackforest. To my delight it even started snowing which transforms this little town into a fairytale landscape. My Mom decided to make her special German style Apple Cake. she doesn't bake much, but this cake is just a dream. It's really moist, the apples are almost like apple sauce and combined with the almonds and sweetness of the jelly-rum glace, it's just delicious. I have tried to make it myself, but it never is the same :)

Here is the recipe, enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 200 g Butter
  • 200 g Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 pinch of Salt
  • 200 g Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder 
  • 1 Lemon
  • 6 Apples (tart, e.g. Boskop)
  • 3 tablespoons of Red Currant Jelly
  • 100 g Almond Slices
  • 6-10 teaspoons of Apricot Jelly
  • 5 teaspoons of Rum
  • Powder Sugar

Preparation:


Preheat oven at 330 degree Fahrenheit.
  1. Whisk butter and sugar till foamy. Add eggs one by one. Combine salt, flour and baking powder. Add spoon by spoon to the egg mix. Pour dough into a buttered spring form.
  2. Next, prepare the apples. Use a kind of apple that is slightly sour such as Boskop. Peel apples and cut in half, remove the core. Put the apple halves face down on a cutting board and cut them lenghtwise in thin slices but do not cut entirley through, just scratch them (hasselback style, see picture). Drizzle the lemon juice over the apples. Add a bit of red currant jelly in each apple half.
  3. Arrange the apple halves face down in a circle in the baking form and add more in the middle (see picture). Top everything off with sliced almonds. 
  4. Bake in preheated oven at 330 degree Fahrenheit for 35-45 minutes on the lower rack. Try with a fork whether cake is ready (pinch the dough, if fork comes out clean, cake is ready).
  5. In the meantime, combine the apricot jelly and rum and heat it up. After the cake is done, coat the top sides of the apples that peek through the cake with the jelly-rum mix. This will give the cake a nice glance. Let cool for a bit. Then sprinkle with powder sugar.










And the main star: Kitty :)


    Print this recipe:


    Print Friendly and PDF


    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

    At "Tamra's" in Berlin



    Tamra 

    - a tiny little Arabic restaurant in Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin, my new neighborhood. It was one of those days you don't want to cook, long and emotionally stressful. So we decided to try this little place for Dinner as it carries the name of a very special friend. We took it as a sign :) And indeed. The food was delicious.

    What we ordered:
    • We bought a mixed appetizer plate (Tamra Platte), really good to try all the different little things that when you read the name you just don't know what it is (e.g. Metabel? Kobbe Taschen?)... 
    • We also ordered the special of the day, a Cous Cous tangine. 
    • And of course a banana-guave shake and a mango lassie to share. 

    The owner/ waitress was very accomodating, the place was small and quiet with a nice atmoshpere and I would recommend this place to anyone. However, be aware that the bill that you will get, will be handwritten and an estimate but that should not hinder you to try the food :)




    Culinary Experience in Breslau (Poland)


    My friend Bianka spent her birthday in Poland with her boyfriend Nick and her family. We took the chance to take the bus and drove over there for 2-3 days, it was only a four hour drive from Berlin and we had never been to Poland before. It was so nice to meet my friend's parents, to see where she grew up and to have another get together to play Cards Against Humanity and to drink some foreign beer :)

    Wroclaw (also called Breslau in Germany) is the largest city in western Poland. An interesting fact about it, during World War II, half the city was destroyed during the "Battle of Breslau". During this time the city became a fortress, to be hold at all cost. They surrendered two days before the end of the war. Today, a lot has been rebuilt. It is a beautiful town with lots of history.

    What we ate - Real Polnish highlights and all from scratch:

    As it turned out, this was not just a visit to see my friends and do some sightseeing. We had the privilege that Bianka's Mom cooked all the traditional Polnish food for us to try.
    • Borscht - I am a big fan of soups, and this one was special. It is a beetroot soup, pretty clear, you can add some big beans as toppings. It had an unusual flavor for a soup, but very tasty. On the second day, the flavors are even stronger and you actually get it served in a little cup to drink up. Very interesting.
    • Pierogies - Bianka's Mom made dozens of these little dumplings from scratch, I think they were stuffed with cheese or potatoes and served with traditional sour cream and parsley.
    • Bigos - Also called a "Hutner's Stew", this is a mix of sauerkraut, cabbage and sausages, served with some potatoes on the side. Bianka's Mom made it the day before, so that the flavors can develop over night. It tasted delicious.
    • Polnish cured meat, cheese and quail eggs - This was the standard breakfast that we got. And you all know what a big fan of breakfasts I am. This was like a dream buffet, especially because I do like any kind of salami. And Bianka's Mom was so nice to serve us some fresh quail eggs, first day sunny side up and the second day hard boiled. This was a first for me to cook (or assist cooking) and eat quail eggs :)
    • Bismarck Herring - As Nick told me we have to try herring, I thought this will be one thing I will definitely not try. Well, I was wrong. I imagined finding these little ugly canned herring, but Nick and Bianka bought a selection of three different big curred and pickled bismarck herring that had no similarity to the canned ones. This was another little hightlight as I found out that I do like herring, especially the one with tomatoes and onions (middle one in the picture).
    And of course, we did drink some Polnish beer. I cannot really say that I know what I tried (as I couldn't read the language) but I trusted Nick and Bianka and tried quite a few :)







    At the oldest restaurant in the world: 

    "Piwnica Świdnickathe" - basement restaurant of the Old Town Hall


    You could say that for 2-3 days, we had all the food we needed, but we were able to even squeeze in some restaurants. They told us we just have to try the Old Town Hall restaurant as it is supposed to be the oldest in the world. Such a cute place, it has several different rooms and each has a different atmosphere. The food was delicious and very nicely arranged and served. 
    • Zurek (left in picture) - Soup in a bread bowl made of soured rye flour, meat and egg (Sauermehlsuppe im Brot mit Ei und Weiswurst)
    • Herring (middle in picture) with onions and apple in cream sauce
    • Oscypek (right in picture) - Smoked cheese (Bergkäse) made of sheep milk exclusively from the Tatra Mountain Region in Poland, served with cranberry sauce



    What we saw

    Next to the delicious food, we actually also saw quite a bit of Breslau in those days and we had beautiful weather. Here is a quick ovreview of the hightlights:
    • Market Square (Großer Ring zu Breslau)
    • Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus) with its delicious basement restaurant
    • Flower Market (former Salt Square)
    • Butchers Lane
    • Dozens of Dwarfs (as part of an "Fighting Solidarity - Anti-Communist underground organization of 1982, the Orange Alternative)
    • Wroclaw's Cathedral (Breslauer Dom) at the Cathedral's Island
    • University of Wroclaw: Aula Leopoldina and panoramic view from the "Mathematik Turm"

    Top: University of Wroclaw (at the top of the mathematic tower and Leopoldina Aula), Bottom: Market Square and Dwarfs

    TEA or BRUNCH TIME: Etagere Brunch at Anna Blume in Berlin - Germany


    As you might have noticed on my abundance of brunch and tea time posts lately, I really became a fan of these three tier etageres. I keep looking for brunch and tea places with those, however, it becomes more and more difficult for me to separate those for the TEA TIME or BRUNCH TIME posts... This was a brunch, but for every breakfast of mine, tea had to go with it.

    Anna Blume

    We tried this little cafe in Berlin (Prenzlauer Berg) called "Anna Blume". I actually went there before, once, about 6 years ago to drink some tea. My good friend Anna-Maria suggested I should try it. Her sister lives in Berlin and so they had experience. And what better reference than from a good friend? Of course I tried it out again.
    First, I went there alone on an afternoon to get some tea and a slice of their German style "torte" that they advertise on their website. It was a delcious berry chocolate torte. Something very special was also the tea. It came in a small pot with candied brown sugar. They have a huge selection of fresh tea, black and green, herbal tea and berry tea. This time I chose a 'Wildorange' tea.
    The next time I went to Anna Blume with my boyfriend and two friends. We tried their famous three tier etagere brunch, some more tea (this time a green tea with some berry flavor), a glass of mimosa (which the Germans don't seem to know) and a slice of their cake (a huge slice of carrot cake with walnuts) and had a great time.

    Brunch at Anna Blume

    We were four people and ordered the three tier brunch for 3-4 people which was enough food for all of us. This is Anna Blume's special and has a bit of everything from all the other brunch options. In addtion to the three tier etagere, we also got a dish with scrambled eggs and a basket of German style rolls and bread.

    • The first tier had fresh fruits.
    • The second tier had an array of salamie, smoked salmon, deli meat, and cheese.
    • The third tier had some antipasti, grilled vegetables and also a bit of rice salad.

    I did like the food, especially the salami, smoked salmon and the antipasti. However, there were a few things, I wasn't really used to and didn't know where to place them. So were the scrambled eggs really orange, and then there were a few little scoops of fresh dill cream cheese and horseradish and a small bowl of some sort of jam or red fruit jelly. Everything together, I really enjoyed the experience, the food and the tea. 

    Top Tier

    Middle Tier

    Bottom Tier

    German style rolls and bread

    TEA TIME: Lovely brunch at Hazel's Tea Room in Portland



    It' TEA TIME again :) Actually, it started with looking for a nice breakfast place. My dear friend Jamie and I had the opportunity to get some breakfast together, but as we both like our breakfast dates and my time in Portland was coming to an end, we wanted to try something special. We literally texted each other for several hours an abundance of old and new suggestions, but weren't really convinced. I was close to giving up and agreeing to anything as Jamie suggested out of the blue to try this little place a couple of blooks down her street, that she had seen but never tried before. The Hazel Room. She hadn't thought about it before but it looked cute and I would probably like it with my addiction to Tea Time. And... she was so right!

    Here is why I liked it so much:

    • The place is very neat and cute, with little wooden benches to sit outside which is definitely a plus during summer time.
    • It is actually a "Tea Lounge" and they are using these cute little English style cups and a nice selection of tea.
    • Their breakfast is not like the traditional hearty American Diner style breakfast, it was very creative and nicely aranged, and the portions weren't too big or overwhelming. They had fancy skillet baked eggs served in an actual little skillet, breakfast crostinis, and tasty scones and biscuits.


    The menu is seasonal, but here are a few samples of the amazing little menu that we tried during summer time and loved:

    • Skillet Baked Eggs with Spinach, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Chevre: two sunny eggs with toppings (sauteed leeks, artichoke hears, sun dried tomatoes tossed with heirloom spinach, olive oil and herbs, topped with goat cheese & basil),  in a hot skilled served with a scratch buttermild side scone.
    • Breakfast Crostinis with Salmon: Two slices of grilled rustic baguette topped with  smoked salmon, goat cheese, capers, dill, lemon zest, chive & violet mustard
    • Scramble n Hash - Chorizo & Sweet Pepper: Scrambled eggs, choice of toast, yukong & yams roasted with leeks, baby bell peppers, sweet banana peppers, onions, garlic, chorizo sausage, toped with manchego, cilantro, spinach and served with roasted jalapeno yoghurt.
    • Lunch Sandwich with Turkey, Cranberry, Bacon and Goat Cheese.
    • A Side of Fruits, served in a very cute way.
    • Mimosas with Orange and Grapefruit Juice.

    After trying it out once and immediately falling in love with it, Jamie and I went back there during my last week in Portland and Adam joined as well. We combined it with catching the soccer world cup game (semi finals: Brazil vs. Germany --- Germany won!) afterwards which we watched at the Horse Brass Pub, a cute English style pub. They have these nice little Scotch Eggs and Grapefruit Radlers (half beer, half soda) on the menu. A perfect last breakfast date in Portland!

    Skillet Baked Eggs with Spinach, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Chevre served with Mimosa and Tea

    Crostinis with Smoked Salmon

    A Side of Fresh Fruit

    Scramble n Hash

    Lunch Sandwich

    Lemon Tangerine Coconut Trifle and a Wildflower Wedding


    In honor of my friend Lily & Carl's super cute outdoor wildflower wedding, I prepared a summerly light and fresh Trifle. Herefore I modified slightly the recipe of my Mom's Shaking Cake. I still used Tangerines but I paired it with lemon and coconut flavors.

    Ingredients (for a really big Trifle):

    • 2 Angle fruit cakes 
    • 4-5 cans Tangerines
    • 2 pints heavy whipping cream
    • 2 lemon yoghurts
    • 2-3 instant vanilla pudding mix (e.g. snack pack)
    • juice of 3 lemons
    • 1/4 - 1/3 cup toasted and sweetend coconut flakes

    Preparation:

    1. Cut the angle fruit cake in 2 inch cubes. Drain the tangerines, set about 15 pieces aside for decoration. Whip the cream in a separate big bowl till stiff but still airy. Do not overwhip it. Then add the yoghurt and the pudding mix and fold it gently into the whipped cream. Add the juice of the lemons, just a little bit at a time and give it a stir. Try the cream in order to decide whether to add more lemon juice. Sweeten and toast the coconut flakes if necessary (see note below on how to do it).
    2. Now layer the triffle. First, arrange a layer of angle fruit cake cubes on the bottom of the triffle. Then, add half of the tangerines. Next, spread a layer of cream mix on top of the tangerins. Now, sprinkle with half of the coconut flakes. Finish with another layer of angle fruit cake cubes, the second half of tangerines and a layer of cream. 
    3. Decorate the top with a few tangerins and sprinkle a good layer of toasted coconut flakes on it.  

    Note: If you only have unsweetened and untoasted coconut flakes, don't worry. It is fairly simple to change that.
    • In order to sweeten them, put the flakes in a ziploc bag, add 1-2 teaspoon confectioners suger and give it a good shake. 
    • To toast them, preheat oven to 325 degree and spread flakes in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Let them toast for about 5 min. Keep an eye on them, they toast quickly. The sweetened flakes need less time than unsweetened. 








      Print this recipe:


      Print Friendly and PDF


      Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

      TEA TIME - Afternoon Tea at the Butchart Gardens in Victoria



      It's almost becoming a habbit of mine to look for nice little cute afternoon tea places on vacation. After the Afternoon Tea Brunch in Switzerland, we now went went to Victoria, BC and there is an abundance of different afternoon tea options. Probably the most famous one, but with $60 per person also the most expansive one, is the afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel. After doing some research and reading some reviews, we decided for to combine an already planned visit of the Butchart Gardens with the afternoon tea that the Dining Room there offers. The menu sounded delicious and maybe it did not have the rennaisance flair of the Fairmont Empress Hotel and maybe the tea cups did not look as cute and antique, but for half the price and  the view of the beautiful gardens during a sunny day it was just perfect. The menu was so delicous.

      The Battenberg Cake - my favorite:

      My favorite snack during the afternoon tea was the Battenberg Cake square. The cake is a light sponge cake, covered in jam and surrounded by marzipan. If cut in squares, it displays a two-by-two check pattern. Such a fantastic little sweet treat. 

      Afternoon Tea at the Butchart Gardens:


      The Tea:
      First, you start with selecting the tea. They did not have too many options, but they had a good variety and served a huge silver tea pot (but be careful to not burn yourself on the tea pot). I tried the Teaberry Blend, black tea with mixed berries, very good.

      The Appetizer: 
      Second, you get a small appetizer, a nice little berry triffle. A good combination of fruit and mouse.

      The Snacks:
      Third, you get a cute three tier etagere with so many little things, that it will be difficult to eat all of it.
      • On the bottom you have seven small savory options: a warm sausage rolls, a quiche, a watercress sandwich, a cucumber sandwich, a curry chicken sandwich, a smoked ham salad sandwich and a salmon sandwich.
      • On the middle tier, you have five sweet treats. 
      • On the top tier you will have a fresh and handmade scone with vanilla cream and strawberry jam.






      Bottom Tier - Savory Tea Sandwiches and Warm Sausage Rolls and Quiche

      Mittdle Tier - Sweet treats with my favorite the Battenberg Cake Square
      Top Tier - Fresh Scones


      Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...