Saturday, October 27, 2012

Swedish Apple Tart

Germans care for coffee, good coffee. That is why the Kaffee & Kuchen time is so important in the traditional eating culture. The Kaffee & Kuchen is the German tea time par excellence. It is taken at 4 in the afternoon and must go with a nice piece of cake, if possible, homemade. Of course, nowadays most people don't have time during the week for such a break in the middle of the day, so that's why is left for the week-end.

My mother-in-law makes these awesome cakes, so every time we visit in Saxony, I come home with a new recipe. This time, it was a Swedish Apple Tart, made with the apples from the garden, of course. So delicious!


For the cake:
125 g sugar (50 g + 75 g)
75 g all-purpose flour
75 g cornstarch
25 g homemade vanilla sugar
1 teaspoons baking power
3 eggs (separated)
3 tablespoons lukewarm water
1 pinch of salt

For the filling:
100 g sugar
1 kg apples
1 envelope (100 g) vanilla pudding
250 g fresh mascarpone cheese

1 tablespoon chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 200 ° C. Whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add a pinch of salt and the 50 g of sugar, and whisk until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl whisk together egg yolks, 75 g of sugar and the vanilla sugar. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of lukewarm water.
Now we add the egg whites to this mixture whisking one-third of whites into egg yolks mixture. Gently fold in remaining whites. Finally sift the flour, cornstarch and baking powder over the mixture. Fold the mixture keeping it fluffy. Butter a springform pan. Put mixture and bake until about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile peel and chop the apples into small pieces and mix them with 100 g of sugar. Prepare the vanilla pudding according to package directions. Add the chopped apples. Bring to boil and let simmer a few minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool for 5-10 minutes.

Once it has cooled, cut it in two horizontal halves and extend a generous layer of mascarpone cheese. Put together the two halves and cover with the vanilla-apples mixture. Let cool a bit and put it later in the refrigerator to finish cooling (minimum 2 hours). Before serving the cake, decorate it with chocolate chips. Have a nice Kaffee und Kuchen!


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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

New York from the distance


About 6000 physical km and four weeks in time is the distance between New York and me now. But actually, New York is only one tenth of a second away. That is the time my head needs to walk down the streets again, enjoy the parks, taste exotic meals or watch the people. In five weeks there is plenty of time to do things, and now I do have the feeling that "I've lived" a little bit there. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying that pretentious thing to say about living like a local, because that would mean to pay the electricity bill, run any annoying bureaucratic errands or, should I have any, take the kids to school, to name some examples. And that, actually, I really didn't do it. However, I do have the feeling that I've seen a little bit the everyday pace of the city. I would come back right now to New York, but I think I would only like to live there if I were rich, extremely rich. I think I don't have the age, nor the energy, to keep time to the city. It is a fast city with a brutal speed. I've never seen before so many people so exhausted coming back home from work on the subway. Is that the reason while there seem to be so few old people in the city?

In that tenth of a second you can see Manhattan one more time from the distance of Staten Island, on the other side of the bay.

New York

Or discover beautiful treasures like the Little Red Lighthouse under the Washington Bridge on the north tip of the island, after a great bike ride along the Hudson River.


You can enjoy again the romantic view from Queens.

Calvary Cementery, Queens, NY

Or walk down the streets of the Bronx and discover bakeries from past times in Little Italy. Like this one which turned out to be where the movie "Just desserts" was filmed, as a neighbor who was curiously watching me taking the picture told me afterwards (I do have an eye for film locations, haven't I? ;-).


One tenth of a second to see again the colors of Coney Island after a summer storm.


And of course, the slow hours in the parks, the only places in the city where you can escape a little bit from the scorching heat of the summer (without freezing under an air conditioning) and savor calmly one of the local treats.

IMG_2934New York 20121New York 20122

But in the end... once New York, always New York. See you soon! :-)