Sunday, May 30, 2010

Homemade Magenbrot

My boyfriend's dad loves Magenbrot and I wanted him to have some for his birthday. Unfortunatly, I have no idea what Magenbrot is called in English. I would describe it as some sort of gingerbread with a chocolate-sugar-coating. I've been looking for a good recipe for a long time and last autumn, I found one.


500g wholemeal flour
250g brown sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons chocolate powder
1 tablespoon spice mixture for Birnbrot (still looking for an appropriate English translation of that, a spice mixture for gingerbread would probably work too)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
a pinch of salt
3dl milk-water (half milk, half water)
100g liquid honey

for the glaze:
80g dark chocolate
10g butter
5-6 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon chocolate powder
250g icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

For the dough, mix flour, sugar, baking and chocolate powder, spice mixture, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Warm up milk-water (don't bring to boil), stir in the honey and mix this with the dry ingredients until the dough is smooth. Pour the batter onto the tray and smooth it out until it is about 1.5 cm thick. Bake in the middle of the oven für 15 - 20 minutes. Let cool, then cut into pieces of 2x4 cm.

For the glaze, slowly melt chocolate with the butter. Then add chocolate powder and icing sugar. Do this carefully, otherwise your batter will lump! First, add only a little icing sugar and mix it well with the chocolate. Then add a little more icing sugar, whisk again, and so on. Add water, if the batter gets too thick. If your glaze has the right consistency, put about a forth of your Magenbrot pieces into a bowl and pour about a fourth of the glaze over it. Mix until the pieces are fully covered with the glaze. Then put on a wire rack and let dry. Do the same with the remaining Magenbrot pieces. If your glaze gets too thick, heat it up a little again and whisk well.

(from: Le Menu, 10/2009)

Of course, this does not taste exactly like Magenbrot you buy from the market but it sure was worth the try!

Friday, May 28, 2010

My Herb Garden...

Look what a wonderful job my mum did!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Berry Berry Brownie

I haven't spent much time in the kitchen in the past few days. I've caught a cold or something and I've been too tired to stand in the kitchen. I thought I'd provide you with something from my "archive" in the meantime.

I made these about a month ago and they sure are a treat!

Chocolate Brownies with Raspberries

200g dark chocolate, chopped
250g butter
350g brown sugar
4 eggs
170g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
40g cocoa, sifted
250g raspberries, fresh or frozen

If you use frozen raspberries, you don't need to defrost them first. You can also use fresh or frozen blueberries.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Over low heat, melt chocolate and butter in a little pan. Let cool a little, then mix in a bowl with sugar and eggs until you have a smooth batter. Sift in flour, baking powder and cocoa and mix well.

Pour the batter into a square tin (ca. 22x22cm, I used my brownie tin which is about 18x23cm) lined with baking parchment. Bake for about 35 minutes.

Serve warm or cold with crème double or vanilla ice cream.

(from: Donna Hay - Instant Entertaining)

I think next time, I will try to spread the raspberries more evenly (or maybe use a little less berries) because the brownies turned out to be like chocolate mousse in the middle, which is actually heavenly but I wanted to cut them into pieces and bring them to a party a few hours after baking them and I couldn't use the pieces in the middle. I think it's a good idea to cool the brownies in the fridge over night, they will get firmer - but they're still moist and chewy... yum... :-)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Muffin Parade

These muffins were a "goodbye gift" for a very good friend of mine who threw a farewell party this weekend. She will be travelling through the north of Europe for the next five months and I wanted to make sure she misses me at least a little ;-)

I couldn't decide whether to bake chocolate or vanilla muffins, so I made both sorts ;-)

Chocolate Chip Muffins:

I took the recipe from the one and only Nigella Lawson. She sure knows who to bake the decadent stuff ;-)

Find the recipe here!

Vanilla Muffins:

1 lemon, zest and juice
180g crème fraiche
100g sugar
2 sachets of vanilla sugar
2 eggs
1 vanilla bean
80g butter, soft
1 pinch of salt
250g flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder

(makes 12 muffins)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Prepare a muffin tray and fill it with paper cases.

Mix lemon zest and juice, creme fraiche, sugar, vanilla sugar and the eggs.

Scratch the seeds out of the vanilla bean with a knife. Add to the mixture. Also add the butter and mix well. Then, add salt, flour and baking powder and mix until you have a smooth batter.

Fill the batter into the muffin cases. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. First, let them cool in the muffin tray for about 10 minutes or so. Then, let cool on a wire rack.

(Source: Annemarie Wildeisen's Kochen)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Let's jam!

Homemade jam is something special! And the great thing is, it is not that difficult at all! The time-consuming part about it is the preparation of the huge amount of fruit you need, but the rest is done in a jiffy. Well... cleaning up the sticky kitchen afterwards is the other thing (I always make a huge mess in my kitchen when I cook marmelade). But still, it's totally worth it!

Strawberry Jam:

500g strawberries, chopped into pieces
250g preserving sugar

Put the berries into a pan, add half of the sugar and bring to boil. Let boil for about 2 minutes, then add the rest of the sugar. Let boil for another 2 minutes.

Test whether the jam has reached the desired consistency by putting a little drop of it onto a plate. If it's not flowing anymore it's fine. Otherwise cook a little longer.

Fill the boiling jam into preheated glasses and seal them. Then turn them upside down for about a minute (kills the fungus spores) and then turn around again and let cool.

You can also add herbs or spices to the jam shortly before you fill it into the jars. Peppermint or vanilla for instance go well with the strawberries.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spaghetti with Ricotta, Spinach and Parmesan

There are not many dishes that I love more than dessert :-) but with pasta it's different... Pasta is always a good choice: if you have guests, if you feel bad and need something to cheer you up, if you've had an exhausting day, if you're ill, or - like today - just as a simple lunch for two.

I found this recipe on Jamie Oliver's homepage. Go get it here!

I've changed some things however: I used - as you might have guessed - ricotta instead of mascarpone :-) and I used cream with 25% fat. It turned out quite nourishing still.

I suggest you try this one out! Trust me, it makes you happy! It's really easy and somewhat tasty! I'm going to cook this again very soon!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Homemade Peppermint Tea

I like my little "herb garden" on my balcony. At the moment, the two flower boxes with my herbs - or rather what's left of them after a cold winter - are at my mum's for a "makeover" :-) I can transport my whole "garden" in my car, cool or what?! ;-)

I may have a sweet tooth but I definitely don't have a green thumb so my mum (garden expert and plant lover) is going to take care of my herbs for a bit and she's going to plant some new ones so I can spice up my food with them.

I especially like peppermint which I also use to make tea. I think homemade tea is so much tastier than the one you buy at the general store.

Here's how you do it:

Boil some water and put in the washed peppermint leaves (you can throw in the whole sprigs). Take away from the hot plate and let steep for a few minutes. You can sweeten it with sugar or honey if you like or put in lemonjuice. On hot summer days, I cool it down in order to drink it as ice tea. Very refreshing!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

A Cake for Mother's Day...

Yesterday, I went to get some fresh rhubarb from my mum's garden. Originally, I planned to bake a crumble cake but - as usual :-) - I changed my mind in the very last minute...

I found this recipe... for a rhubarb bundt cake filled with vanilla pudding... I definitely had to try this one out and Mother's Day sure is an occasion to bake something a little more advanced.

I have to be honest with you though, I almost destroyed the thing when trying to get it out of the baking tin too early... The pudding filling in the middle of the cake makes it a bit tricky. But in the end, it turned out just fine. It didn't look all that nice, but the cake was just how I really like it: moist and fruity. And the pudding in the middle is so yum! My mum loved it ;-)

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Torta della Nonna

I have a thing for Italian cuisine. I’m always curious to learn more about Italian food and to try out new recipes. With my sweet tooth of course, I love Italian desserts and pastry :-)

Here's a cake that I had on my "to bake"-list. As you can see, it’s got ricotta in it… Have I mentioned already that I can’t get enough of it at the moment? ;-) Also, it’s made with a lot of marzipan which I looove as well. But with marzpian it’s always the same thing - either you totally like it, or you absolutely don’t. So for all of you who hate it, you can stop reading now. All of you who love it, this cake is delicious!

Torta della Nonna

150g soft butter
300g marzipan paste, ground
6 eggs
250g ricotta
ground zest of 1 lemon
ground zest of 1 orange
1 bitter almond, ground (I used a few drops of bitter almond aroma)
30g flour
butter and ground almond slices for the baking tin
pine nuts and icing sugar

Preheat oven to 175°C.

Beat butter and marzipan with a hand mixer until creamy. Mix in one egg after the other. Then, add ricotta, lemon and orange zest and a little bitter almond aroma. Then, add flour and mix with a ladle.

Grease round baking tin (24 cm diameter) with butter and sprinkle it with the ground almond slices. Then, pour in the batter and sprinkle some pine nuts onto it.

Bake in the middle of the oven for about 25 – 30 minutes. Check whether it’s done with a wooden skewer. (with my oven, it took a little longer)

Dust with icing sugar before serving.

(from: Leila Lindholm - A Piece of Cake)

This is one of these cakes which probably even gets better after beeing kept in the fridge for a while.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

A Cookie a Day...

I still haven't finished telling you all what I did last weekend :-)

I spent Sunday morning in the kitchen. Sunday usually is my "baking day". I'm an early bird anyway and what better to do than bake a "Sonntagszopf" or a cake on Sunday morning?! Especially if the weather is so bad as it was last weekend. I know, I know... many of you would say: Sleep!!! (I can sleep when I'm dead, now I need to bake :-D)

This time, I felt like baking cookies. I adapted a recipe by Donna Hay.

Double Choc Cookies

250g soft butter
200g brown sugar
170g sugar
3 eggs
300g plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
60g cocoa powder
140g dark chocolate, broken into chunks
140g white chocolate, broken into chunks

Preheat oven to 150 °C.
Mix butter and sugars in a bowl until light and creamy. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the flour, baking powder, cocoa and chocolate and mix well.
Shape 2 tablespoons of the mixture into rounds. Place on baking trays lined with baking paper and flatten a little. Leave enough room between the cookies because the dough will spread!
Bake for 20-25 minutes (until dark brown on the bottom). Let cool. Makes 28.

(from: Donna Hay - Modern Classics Book 2)

I used 100g of dark chocolate, 100g white chocolate and added about 80g of milk chocolate in order to create triple chocolate chip cookies :-) Somehow, I ended up with less than 28 cookies. That always happens to me when baking Donna Hay's cookies but I also think I made them a little too big :-)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Asparagus Risotto with Smoked Salmon

This risotto was kind of a spontaneous creation... Asparagus should be in season the entire year. I especially like green asparagus and this week, I felt like cooking something with it.

I used a basic recipe for risotto and added a little lemon juice and zest. While cooking the risotto, I cut the asparagus and steamed it for about 10 or 15 minutes (until done but still firm). Just before the risotto was done, I added the asparagus and a little creme fraiche. I topped each portion with smoked salmon and decorated it with crema di balsamico. The balsamico tastes great with this dish!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Strawberry Cheesecake Tiramisu

I've had a very "productive" weekend :-) I tried out 4 new recipes. One of them comes from Nicole's Baking Bites.

When I saw that recipe, I knew instantly that I had to try this one out! I substituted the cream cheese with ricotta (I'm totally into ricotta at the moment...) and it tasted great! This way it's lighter than an original tiramisu. The perfect spring dessert!

Get the recipe here!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

My first post...

Hello, my name is Katrin and I have a baking addiction...

Originally, I forbade myself to have a blog because it would cost me too much time to maintain it, considering that I should write my final thesis at university. But I simply can’t resist.

I love cooking and I love baking even more. I spend so much time looking for recipes on other foodblogs and I take my cookbooks to bed in order to look at them before I fall asleep. The kitchen is my favourite room in my appartment. I photograph my food all the time and I might as well spend a little more time putting it all together on a blog.

So, here it is, my very own Kitchen Diary… I hope you’ll enjoy.

this is me in my kitchen... last christmas... :-)
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