Last december we hosted a Xmas Brunch and some of the guest brought cakes. Julia, a colleague of mine, brought an AWESOME chocolate cherry cake... and it was glutenfree!
I asked her if it was possible to get her recipe and share them with you, and she said YES! This recipe is so easy to do and it is delicious... and the longer you wait to eat it, the best it tastes... just like lasagna.
350 gr Sour Cherries from a Jar or 500 g Fresh Cherries without pits
150 g soft Butter
150 g Sugar
100 g Dark Chocolate, grated
200 g ground Hazelnuts or Almonds
Wash the cherries and dry them. Mix the butter and sugar until is soft and homogeneous.
Separate the egg yolks from the whites and beat the whites until stiff peaks form.
Add the egg yolks, chocolate and nuts to the butter mix and then incorporate slowly the egg whites.
A small trick from my grandma: Add 2 full spoons of egg whites and stir thoroughly, then add the rest and beat slowly to add some air to it. This will keep your mix fluffy.
Warm the oven to 180 degrees. Add the cherries to the cake dough. Butter the cake form and fill with the cake dough. And bake for about 30 minutes. Let it cool and sprinkle with Powdered sugar.
Cut, serve and enjoy!
I have been to many Michelin-starred restaurants, But I noticed they were all in the nordics. 3 star Maaemo, Ylajali and Kontrast in Oslo, Noma in Copenhagen (sadly no blogpost), Ask and Chef and Sommelier in Helsinki, Kadeau in Bornholm in between others, but somehow I totally missed German Michelin-starred restaurants, So I decided to start with VAU here in Berlin.
This small pink fassade camouflages in a narrow street next to Gendarmenmarkt and Berlin's Concert Hall, and entering through a courtyard, you can find Vau. A beautiful place with place for about 60 people. Nicely adorned with cooper plates and wooden accessories. The light is dim and gives the place a golden look.
In 1997, they were granted with their precious Michelin star... 17 years and still they are still holding it.
The head Chef, Kolja Kleeberg, is one of a kind. He is an actor, singer, storyteller, entertainer, and cook.
A very rare combination, but shows how creative he is, inside and outside the kitchen. Sadly he was on vacation the day I was there, but you can find him in the kitchen and around the restaurant when he is there.
I didnt see any wine pairing menu, but well, I can't drink more than a glass a week at the moment, so I was recommended a Tobias Knewitz Sauvignon blanc instead of the Riesling I was going for...10 extra points for sommelier as it was delicious!!
I went for the "Composition Menu". It is a more traditional menu than the "Improvisation Menu"... But I was excited about the truffles and the Valrhona chocolate and mango dessert.
In every Nordic Michelin-starred restaurant I have been, the food is brought by one of the chefs or sommelier, there was no difference with this restaurant. The first dish was an explosion of seafood and spices served with a "salad" on the side (the combination of the tomato sauce and lentils and the fresh foams was a perfect match) Loved the detail of serving it on a Weck Glass.
The second dish was the béchamel potatoes with truffles I was waiting for and they were perfect. And slowly I started noticing the difference between German kitchen and Nordic kitchen: The dishes here are heavier and less airy but that doesn't mean the aren't delicious as hell.
The Turbot with eel, was once again a very strong dish, though the chervil root purée made a perfect contrast to it. This was a huge portion and I was starting to get worried about how much food I would be able to eat. All the different roots in the dish were delicious. Thanks Norway to make me love roots!
A palate cleanser of the day was the Oyster with just pearls, a smooth and yet appetizing dish. It cleared my taste buds for what was coming:
A dish made of different ways of making black feather chicken: Celery puree with crispy chicken breast, a roll with slow cooked and caramelized chicken, coq au vin, a traditional french christmas sausage with chicken liver, truffle & onion and a juicy chicken wing. This was a very french dish, exquisite and rich in flavor.
The second palate cleanser was amazing and mouthwatering. The sorbet was perfect and the cheesecake cream was a dream! I should try this at home, definitely!
And then The Valrhona bonanza started: White Valrhona chocolate ice cream over a mousse Au Valrhona chocolate with Valrhona chocolate cake with mango and passion fruit sauce. Salty Caramel sauce with a twig of Valrhona chocolate and Valrhona chocolate sprinkles. Lots of "Valrhona" on this dish :)
Dinner was divine, and I totally recommend people to try this out. Be prepared to have a German-French fusion with loads of flavor.
I realized I need to explore more the haute cuisine in Germany, because it is a world difference between it and the nordics. Maaaan now I need a Valrhona Chocolate!!
As I have been feeling very sick lately, I haven't been cooking much nor going out. But when my awesome college Tobi gave me a big pack of whole buckwheat, I had to give it a try. I don't think i have ever seen buckwheat whole before and I was a bit skeptic at the beginning, but if you can't have rice, you have celiac disease or diabetes, this is an amazing way to have that risotto feeling. You can also try my Sunflower Risotto :)
Ingredients for 2 hungry people or 3 regular:
250 gr buckwheat whole (buchweizen in german or bokhvete in norwegian)
2 to 3 garlic cloves
500 ml broth, veggie or chicken
100 gr creme fraiche or if you are in germany Brunch ( a mix of cream cheese, cream and yoghurt)
50 gr of parmesan or a cheese that melts, I used a norwegian Gradost that my flatmate got there.
a handful of lamb's lettuce (feldsalat in german)
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper
As the buckwheat has a brow color, I thought I better use a mixer for this recipe so there are no chunks of onion or garlic. Add the shallots, oil and garlic until their are homogeneous.
Warm a pot and add the onion mix to it until it looks a bit transparent. Throw in the buckwheat and fry all together for about 1 to 2 minutes. Lower the heat and cover with warm broth, but don't use all of it just until the buckwheat is covered. Stir and keep adding broth, just like a regular risotto.
Once you can see the floor of the pot, that means is ready, try a little bit and it should be soft. If you had a very hot pan and you used all the broth and your buckwheat is still hard, don't worry, you can add some hot water to it until is done.
Take the pot from the heat, incorporate the creme fraiche and salt and pepper to your taste. Serve in a bed of lamb's lettuce and grind cheese over. Enjoy!!
If you want to keep it paleo, you don't need to add the cream nor the cheese and still tastes amazing!
Click on the box if you want to get the same buckwheat I used :)
When you are feeling a bit ill and outside is still cold, there is nothing better than chicken soup. But why make the same old chicken soup? I was in the mood for some ginger and aubergines and had some chicken in the fridge, and this is what I ended up eating.
400 gr chicken breast
1 tablespoon of ginger grated
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
Half aubergine, dices
3 scallions + 1 in thin slices for serving
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
0,5 liter (5dl) chicken broth
Salt and Pepper
Chilli flakes optional
I had some chicken breasts in the fridge, So I i grind it with the ginger and garlic. I used the biggest blade from my KitchenAid grinder. You can find it here if you use Amazon:
Once all the meat and ginger is done, add to the mix the soy sauce and chopped scallions in a bowl. Scoop out a tablespoonful and form with your hands about 3 cm meatballs.
Heat oil in a pan or wok, add meatballs and fry until they are golden brown. This will take about 10 minutes. Remove from heat or transfer to a plate.
Using the same wok, add some oil and fry the aubergine. Add 1 cup of broth, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the aubergine starts getting soft, about 5 minutes. Add the meatballs and the rest of the broth. Bring to boil and reduce heat, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Add some chilli flakes or more soy sauce if needed. Serve and sprinkle some more scallions on top! Enjoy!
Alfajores are cookies filled with "Dulce de Leche" a delicacy peruvians bring as a gift to a person´s bday or as a gift for valentines day. They are very airy cookies as the regular recipe is about 50/50 wheat flour and corn starch. As I cant eat gluten, I decided to give it a try with just Starch and it works great. They were a bit "thick" but practice makes the master... I hope you guys like it!
350 gr Corn starch (Maizena)
100 g Sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 can sweet condensed milk
Dulce de Leche:
Fill a container of water until it completely covers the can of condensed milk. Normally I would take the label, but if case it doesn't come off, just leave it. Lay the can down and don't let it stand, that helps to cook the milk evenly.
Let the water boil and then lower to medium heat. Let it cook for 1.5 hours. Let it cool before opening the can and try not open it safely. Stir with a spoon before using it.
Pre heat the oven to 180C. Sifted the cornstarch with baking powder and add the margarine and sugar and knead using a hand mixer. Beat the eggs with the vanilla extract. Incorporate this mix slowly integrating and kneading .
The dough should be very soft , stretch it with a rolling pin and always using cornstarch on the table to prevent sticking. Cut the caps with a 3 cm diameter cutter and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, bake for 8 minutes, they should be cooked but not change color.
Let them cool, filled them with dulce de leche and sprinkle with sugar powder.
Recipe in my very bad german at the end of this post: Rezept - Peruanische Alfajores
Some time ago I found a little gourmet store here in Berlin called Fleischhandlung and got myself 2 foie gras medallions. I have been thinking for some weeks how to make them, so I went to Kadewe looking for a new coat and some Lakrids and it hit me! Blackberries and licorice sauce!
Ingredients (2 servings)
2 Foie gras medallions
10 fresh blackberries
1 tsp sweet liquorice syrup from LAKRIDS by Johan Bülow
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt (Moldon if possible) & Pepper
Hasselback potatoes is a special kind of oven roasted potato that originates from Sweden. Don't peel them, except for one straight cut underneath each potato that will help them stand. Now, cut thin slices all across the potatoes, making sure to leave about 1 cm which you don't cut through. Use a wooden kitchen spoon as a helper. Place them in an oven safe form. Melt 2 tbsp butter and brush the potatoes. Pop in the oven on 180 degrees C for about 20 minutes, then activate the hot air fan and increase the temperature to 230 degrees C for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are getting golden brown. However, you should reapply more butter every 10 minutes or so. When they are done take them out and sprinkle with Maldon salt and roasted pepper. Finally activate the grill program in your oven and give them a final shock at 230 degrees C so they really get that crispy crust while the inside stays mushy. Pay attention so the potatoes don't burn. (for a cheese hasselback recipe check here)
In a small pan add 1 tbsp butter, sugar, liquorice syrup and berries and let them cook. Lower the heat and let the berries caramelize slowly. Take away from the heat.
Shallots and Foie Gras:
In a bigger Pan, add some oil and let the onions cook until transparent, set aside.
I used frozen foie gras, I like it because is easier to get a soft moist inside when frying. Turn the heat high and fry the medallion about 1 minute per side adding some salt and pepper before turning. If you are using fresh or defrosted foie gras, turn around after 30 seconds only.. or until is golden.
Now using a brush or a spoon, add some blackberry sauce in a plate, a Hasselback potato and the foie gras. Add some more sauce over the medallion, a fresh blackberry and some caramelized onion... and enjoy!
I loved the flavour combination... did you try it too?
I am Andrea, or as my friends call me, Jinx. I am a foodie living in Berlin, eating my way through life. Here are my recipes, cooking events, dining experiences and more...