Pepa´s Birthday is in May, but last May I was swamped with work and it was just impossible to pull off a big birthday party. We celebrated together at home on the actual birthday and made a cake, but she was asking for a birthday party... So why not make a "Half Birthday Party"?
Halloween was the date... So I opened Pinterest and started my mood board... Halloween without scaring all the kindergarten kids... The main thing about planning a birthday table is to check how many stuff fits in your table. I arranged plates around and ended up with 14 dishes. And here I will show you what they were:
Here is the Table. It is important to keep the taller plates at the back and the cakes in the middle. I have to accept that I didn't attempt to make my own cakes. I used instant cakes for all these recipes... No room for mistakes. 2 days before the party I baked the cakes for the cake pops. I mix them with frosting, made the small balls and froze them.
My favorite cake pops were eyeballs on forks. You can make them with just dipping the cake pops in candy melts or white chocolate and painting the veins with food coloring. The iris was candy melts as well and I added a bit of chocolate glaze to it.
For the savory treat, I carved a pumpkin and put inside a plate full with cheese sauce, added nachos and a guac-mayo sauce... I couldn't get the adults away from that corner!
The witch cake was supposed to be Witch Pepa. I baked 2 boxes of cake in three forms. Covered it with cheese frosting and started making the witch.
The legs were made with the tubes where the rolled fondant came. The legs were my dad's work. He covered them with fondant and colored the rest of the fondant with red color and piped the stripes. Thanks, dad!
With the rest of tule from Pepas costume, I made the witch skirt and I added mini marshmallows for the "underwear/skirt"
What is a Halloween party without ghosts? For this ghosts, I made cupcakes and added frosting over it. Then I put a mini Chocolate Kiss on it and covered it with a circle of rolled fondant. Then I decorated the eyes and mouth with decorating glaze in black.
Worms on earth... I made this 2 days in advance as well. Made some chocolate boxed pudding and put it in small cups, added a gummy work in it and then cover with chocolate powder. I put chocolate in my food processor and done.
During Halloween times the store LIDL has red apples... all red. That means they are red outside and inside. The best thing about this apples is that they don't oxidate. I cutted slices of them and added spekulatious cream (you can add peanut butter instead) and paste teeth gummies. If you don't have these apples, you can use regular red apples and don't peel them. And if you don't find teeth gummies (found them in IKEA) just add mini marshmallows.
The boxed cakes came with glaze. So I used them to make these monster cupcakes. I dipped them in the glaze and add a decorating eye and then piped the glaze over it to make the hair... these were my favorites.
No Birthday is complete without a chocolate cake. And I made this one. I baked two chocolate cakes in 4 forms and made chocolate mousse. The decoration is 2 spekulatius cookies as graves and a twig my mom found outside that looked just like a dead tree. Thank mom!
For the third cake pops, I used the chocolate glaze that came in a cake box and then I added some white glaze lines to make these mummies... The eyes came in a decorating set for bees.
For the hungry kids, I made vegan sausage mummies. I cut a sheet of dough and rolled it over sausages. Then baked them and added 2 eyes with piping color.
They are super simple to make and were gone after a few seconds... I make them for Pepa at home all of the time.
My mom made the ghost lollipops... Can you imagine I had only 4 left after the birthday party?? They are regular lollipops covered on a napkin and with 2 stickers on them.
For the sugar-free kids, there was some food as well... Mandarines painted as pumpkins are one of the best healthy treats IMHO.
And for drinking, besides water, I made a red punch and added some fingers inside. Plastic ones of course.
Four the adults was a separate table with chips, punch, gin, and beer... Who says it is not possible to have fun as an adult on a kids party? I love that Kettle Chips make orange and black bags.
We were witches and here you can see our costumes... My mom made Pepa's skirt without sewing. Making this all work and look good was hard, but Pepa was a witch as she wanted and she finally got her birthday party...
Thanks, Sophia for grabbing my camera and taking pictures as I was walking back and forth with all the kids and Pepa.
Quince, quince & more quince. Why I have never eaten this fruit? In Peru, we use it as an "Energy Cleaner". We put it somewhere in the room and it turns black when it converts bad energy into good energy. Either way, enough with my Peruvian Juju.
After watching the last Berchtesgadener Milch Video, I decided to make a cake myself using some of their products: Organic butter and Quark (curd). The first thing that got in my head was german cheesecake or crumble pie... so why not mix them both?
For the quince compote:
1 kg of quince
2 cinnamon stick
5 tbsp water
For the filling:
500g Bio-Quark from Berchtesgadener Milch
1 package Vanilla Pudding powder
For the dough:
1 pack Butter of Berchtesgadener Milch
250 g Buckwheat flour
100g ground almonds (if possible roasted)
150g brown sugar
Let´s get Quinced! Wash the quince, cut it roughly. Don't worry about the size of the dices, you can re-cut them after cooked and when they are less hard. Put them in a saucepan with the water, sugar and the cinnamon sticks and cook them for about 25 minutes, let them cool.
Put all the ingredients together for the dough and shape it into a ball. Wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for one hour.
Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites stiff. Stir the yolks with the sugar until creamy. Add Quark and pudding powder and mix everything together. Incorporate the egg whites. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease the springform.
Briefly knead 2/3 of the dough press it into the springform pulling up the edge. Spread the quince on top and then add the quark mixture and sprinkle with the rest of the shortcrust pastry as a sprinkle. Then bake the cake for about 55 minutes.
Did I mention this cake is Gluten-Free??? Sprinkle powder sugar and eat it while it is warm. I had some vanilla ice cream with it and I really loved it!
Here is the video I was talking about. I hope you try this at home and don't forget to tell me how was it!
When I was in Junior High School, we had once a week a cooking class. Mostly all things we prepared were not baked. I remember some dessert or snack called "Sweet Bombs". As a neighbor lent me some flour one day, I decided to make something for him to thank him. And what not better something I can do together with Pepa.
500 ml Evaporated milk or in German: Condensed Milk
500 gr Sugar
400 gr Butter Cookies
100 gr nuts (optional)
a Pinch of Salt
First, start crushing your cookies. You can put them in a bag and smash them, or use a food processor as it is easier, faster and less messy.
I could have bought 250 ml condensed milk, but I like making my food from scratch. The recipe to make condensed milk aka Milch Mädchen is easy but takes a while. Mix the milk and sugar and let it boil.
Let's face it, condensed milk its just a milch marmalade. It is all about boiling and simmering until you have the desired consistency. So turn up the heat until it boils and lower the heat to minimum. Repeat until you can put the milk in a spoon and it doesn't fall from it while moving it.
I use a wooden spoon with holes, it works way better. Condensed milk is normally cream colored, but when you make it yourself it turns caramel color... more like dulce de leche.
Once it has cooled down, Mix the cookies, nuts and condensed milk. It will give you a very sticky dough.
Using some nuts or dry hands, make little balls of about 30 grams. Or just make them to the size you want. I like 30 grams cause it is as much I cant it without dying of a sugar coma. You don't need to bake it at all and you can enjoy them right away. Try making these ones with your kids or by yourself.
I hope you enjoy this easy old recipe of mine. And be prepared to eat a delicious "Sweet Balls" better together with a coffee or as a snack when you are outside in this cold winter.
We all know what a pub crawl is, and last week, I was invited to the first Côtes du Rhône "Blogger Gourmet Crawl" we took a tour in several venues to eat and have some drinks at each of them.
As we learned with Paul Truszkowski, You just have to follow the river! Along the length of its winding waters, Côte du Rhône vineyards thrive across 171 rich terroirs and vineyards, A valley bathed in the generous sun with 21 grape varieties that are officially included in the appellation.
We started at the wine shop Wine ++ in Kreuzberg, where we savored a our first wine: La Ferme Du Mont 2016 Côtes du Rhône "La Truffière" This exquisite white wine combines all the charm of the southern Rhône with the elegance of the northern Rhône.
With scents of lime blossom, mint, tarragon and lemon zest, and taste of apricot and quince. The well-integrated acidity gives the wine freshness and balance.
We started munching these delicious bites. Nutty, veggie or bacon. the 3 different appetizers were excellent and between this and the wine, we were looking forward to see where this evening of "progressing dining" would take us.
We walked our way to the Falckensteinstraße, to the wine shop NOER. They make your wine choice easier, as they divide their assortment into five NOER wine types: Funatiker, Wachmacher, Verführer, Abenteurer & Entschleuniger. And we got the explanation of it while we had a Château Rochecolombe Côtes du Rhône Rouge 2015 - A blend of Grenache and Syrah. This gourmand wine is smooth and unoaked - tremendous quality and taste for the price! It has a blackberry aroma, and notes of fragrant herbs. Very Fresh mouthfeel, enhanced by smooth tannins and a breezy finish.
Wines are described by adjectives like "easy", "heavy", "tangy", "crispy", "fruity", "woody", "mild" or "oily". There are hundreds of nuances that can be expressed in this way.
NOER collected these words, condensed them and arranged them according to their effect on the different situations of pleasure.
Funatiker: slim to strong wines, fruity, uncomplicated.
Wachmacher: delicate, crisp, racy, invigorating
Verführer: delicate, gentle, subtle, fragrant
Abenteuerer: wild, mineral, expressive
Entschleuniger: strong to heavy wines, soothing, soft, fine spicy
Cheese and cured meats arrived! woohoooo love it! One cheese with cristals, a delicious terrine, salami, venison ham and 2 mouth watering soft cheese with olives.
To match the wild and strong flavours of the cured meats and cheese, we were presented to a Halos de Jupiter 2014. This would be in the category "Abenteuer", with 88% Grenache and 12% Mourvèdre that was aged in neutral demi-muids. Its shockingly deep purple color has notes of exotics spices, leather, and darker fruits. Full-bodied, rich and nicely concentrated, with fine tannin and notable, acidity.
Next stop was BRICOLE (blogpost coming soon with the delicious menu I had last month) and we started with a Vacqueyras AOC 2014. A wine produced on a very clayey terroir with stones from the Ouvèze river, the Grenache is dominant and develops a fleshy wine. It's typical aromas of chocolate, cherry and fig match beautifully with the Syrah.
The food arrived and it was astonishing. An ox tail ragout with german "knödel" with fava beans and créme fraîche sprinkled with Valrhona chocolate. Oh my! I loved it. The whole ensemble was perfect. Maria from IN SEARCH OF went with the vegetarian dish with goat cheese balls.
The last wine of the evening arrived dancing with the dessert. A Cötes du Rhone AOC E. Guigal 2012. This wine is deep and dark red. Full and round with smooth tannins. A full-bodied, rich and intensly aromatic wine with the taste of fresh fruits, red berries and spices. I found it incredibly elegant and pleasing.
The dessert was a out of the ordinary Créme Brûlée made with black sesame, plums, mascarpone and vanilla crumble. An awesome dish for the end of such a nice evening jumping around districts, drinking great wines and eating delicious food.
I try to reduce my dairy intake as much as i can, I love ice cream and that can be a problem. I thought vegan ice couldn't be as good as regular one until I went with Ailine to the new vegan ice cream place in Kollwitzkiez called Tribeca, and they convinced me. I had a lucuma quinoa ice cream and I loved it.
I thought maybe I can recreate that at home and it wasnt so easy. After 4 batches, I finally got the perfect ingredients and amounts. I have no churn at home, so that was the tricky part. Be creamy without having that machine. (And don't taste like coconut) So at the end, I decided on Cashews for the base of it.
150 gr raw cashews
500 ml Soy milk
3 tbsp Vegetable Shortening or fat
4 tbsp Lucuma powder
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
A hanfull of quinoa pops
First of all, soak the cashews for a night or a day. Drain them and then you can start. Simmer the milk until it has reduced to the half and let it cool. Add cashews, milk, melted fat, agave syrup, vanilla, lucuma powder and sea salt to a high speed blender and blend until creamy and smooth, you want it to be completely creamy and blended.
Lucuma is a peruvian super food. It is my favorite one. sadly I dont think you can eat it raw, so mostly it is use for desserts, smoothies, ice creams... you name it. It contains beta carotene, iron, zinc, vitamin B3, calcium, and protein. Its maple-like taste makes it a sweet addition without increasing your blood sugar levels, unlike many sweeteners that offer empty calories.
Besides all that, it keeps you young, Ladies! Lucuma has an anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and skin-repair effects on human skin! So just order a bag at amazon and lets start the lucuma eating bonanza.
Returning to the recipe, put the creamy mixture into a bowl and cover it with plastic foil. Freeze it for one or 2 hours. Take it out of the freezer and mix it in a kitchen machine for 15 minutes on high speed. It will be hard but creamy. What we are trying to do here is to break the ice pieces so it stays creamy instead of hard and ice-y.
Add a piece of parchment in a freezer friendly form. And like a lasagna, alternate ice cream mix and quinoa pops. If you can find them, here is how you can make them. Freeze for a couple of hours or until it is hard.
As any ice cream, before eating, take it out of the freezer some minutes before eating. But with this ice cream, make it for longer time. about 15 to 20 minutes. That is the only "con" of my recipe.
Using an ice crem scoop, or a tablespoon, serve it in a waffle cone, waffle, brownie... you name it! and enjoy!
When my Friend Line asked me for some birthday summer recipes for an article in the norwegian Magazine Foreldre I was thrilled. I love children birthdays. I remember the cakes, sandwiches, red jello and all the joy I had while growing up.
Line told me that norwegian children birthdays are so different than what southamerican birthdays are. There is no big buffet table and everyone has a place, and mostly they serve hot dogs and cola. I started thinking on a summer table that would delight kids and adults.
In the article "Dream Birthday without hot dogs or cola" that we co-wrote, we had several recipes I will share with you here in the blog. I start with my in-famous No-Bake Cheesecake. Who doesnt love cheesecake? but mostly you need to bake it and that takes time. Form busy moms (and lazy gals like mzself) the best way to make a cheesecake is no just add ingredients. I hope you try and enjoy this recipe.
200 g biscuits, crushed
100g unsalted butter, melted
Condensed milk (1 can or 400ml)
300 g cream cheese
The juice of two lemons
Fresh strawberries for topping
Strawberry jam or touched strawberries
Crush the biscuits in a mixing bowl, pour over melted butter and mix well. Spread the mixture into small baking tins (or large if desired) and press it well. Let it cool for ten minutes in the freezer. Pour condensed milk in a large bowl. Add the soft cheese and whip it together. Add the lemon juice and stir well. Pour into molds over the cooled biscuit base. The mixture will seem somewhat thin, but it will thicken. Place it in the freezer or fridge to cool for at least two hours.
Served with strawberry jam and a few fresh strawberries. Kids and adults will love it.
If you are wondering about the cakepops recipe, Here is the easy recipe I made for the article.
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!
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
What a better ornament that one smelling like christmas and tasting like liquorice?
For some years now I have baked my own tree ornaments, but this year I decided to make a twist on my own recipe: Exchange Ginger for Fine Liquorice Powder.
375 gr flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp Fine Liquorice Powder by Johan Bülow
1/2 tsp ground allspice
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
115 gr butter at room temp.
115 gr vegetable shortening/fat
100 gr brown sugar
2/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1 large egg
2 Large egg whites (60gr)
2 tsp fresh lemon Juice
330 gr Powder sugar
Preheat to 180C. Sift the flour, Liquorice, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, salt and pepper through a sieve into a bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer at high speed, beat the butter and shortening for about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat for 2 more minutes. Beat in the molasses and egg. Using a wooden spoon or the kneading KitchenAid attachment, mix in the flour mixture. Divide the dough into two and wrap in plastic wrap separately. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Let's roll out the cookies. Start with one part of the dough and keep the other in the fridge. Remove the dough from the fridge for 10 minutes. Place the dough on a floured surface and sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Roll out the dough 1/2 cm thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut out the cookies and transfer to cookie sheets with baking paper, placing the cookies 1 cm apart. With a straw, make a hole on the upper side of the cookie so you can hang them on your tree.
Bake for 10 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire racks or plates.
Decorate with Royal icing and let them dry for a day before hanging. I really like the explanation for this icing from the Joy of Baking YouTube Channel:
We had some awesome guests over this Saturday, and made them food and cocktails. The theme of the evening was partly Peruvian, including this mango pie for dessert.
This recipe has a history. The neighbor of my aunt back in Peru always asked my aunt for recipes. My aunt would always get slightly incorrect ones in return, because the neighbor wanted to prevent her from copying. The mango pie recipe, however, she would never give away to my aunt, and always made excuses to why.
One day while the neighbor was gone, my aunt went over to her house, tricked the maid to let her in and stole the mango pie recipe. She gave the recipe to everyone in order to teach the neighbor to share. My mom got it too and it quickly became my dad's favorite. Mango pie was made every birthday of his from then on.
And now, the recipe has made its way to you.
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cans of mango
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
2 gelatin plates
Heat the oven to 170 degrees C.
Whisk the egg yolks until they get a creamy consistency and continue to mix in the sweetened condensed milk. Squeeze the lime juice over and stir until incorporated. Whisk the egg whites to firm snow peaks, and fold them into the batter.
Butter the oven-proof molds and pour in the egg mix. Bake until the batter is solid, about 15-20 minutes.
Allow it to cool down.
Leave the gelatin in cold water for 5-7 mins. Warm the syrup from the canned mangos in a pot. Squeeze the gelatin plates free from water and mix them into the warm syrup until dissolved.
Cut the canned mangos in small cubes. Place half of them over the egg base, and add the other half to the syrup. Fill the glasses with the syrup mix on top.
Cool again and serve when it's cold.
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...