Saturday, August 10, 2013

Melon and yogurt chilled cake

This summer I've spent some weeks in the middle of nowhere beautiful Saxony. There is one nice German tradition that is followed almost religiously in the State of Saxony: the Kaffee und Kuchen time, which is nothing less than time for coffee and cake, always cake, and takes place at around 4 pm.

So if they like cake, I'm gonna give them cake! Whatever it takes to improve cultural understanding between people. It also helped that I found this juicy and fresh cake on Lecker Bakery, the summer special edition of the cooking magazine. Just perfect for the hottest summer days!

For the cake
100 g sugar
80 g wheat flour
3 eggs

For the filling
300 g natural yogurt
150 g cream
1 small Galia melon
70 g sugar
8 gelatin sheets
juice and zest of one lemon

For decoration
1 piece of water melon, 2 kiwis

For the cake: Preheat oven to 175 °C. Beat eggs with sugar at least five minutes until light and fluffy. Sift flour over the mixture and mix carefully. Butter a spring form pan (22 cm), pour the mixture and bake for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool on a wire rack.

For the filling: Put gelatin sheets in cold water and let them soften for 5-8 minutes. Cut the Galia melon in half and use a melon baller to make as many melon balls as possible, reserve for later. Take the rest of melon fruit and grind it with sugar, zest and lemon juice to obtain a puree. Take out the gelatin sheets from the water, press well draining them and put in a saucepan over medium heat to melt. Do not boil! Add two tablespoons of the previous melon puree and stir well. Add now to the rest of the melon mixture and finally whisk in the yogurt. Put in the fridge to cool for half an hour, until the mixture begins to set. Meanwhile whip the cream and add to the yogurt mixture.

Cut now the cake in half, horizontally, and place the base in a cake ring (or a spring form without the removable base if you do not have a special cake ring). Put half of the melon balls we had reserved. Cover with half the yogurt cream. Put other half of the cake on top, press slightly and cover with the remaining cream smoothing the surface. Cover the ring or pan with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator to chill for about two hours. An hour before serving the cake, transfer to freezer and chill.

Before serving, make more balls with the remaining fruits (watermelon, kiwi) and decorate the cake.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

CSI: Case #3 - The Perpetrated Recipe

Third case solved!
This time the case was quite clear, the perpetrated recipe was a pesto! However a wild one made with wild garlic and walnuts instead of pine nuts.

100 g wild garlic (or any edible plant like)
40 g peeled walnuts
2 cloves of garlic
150-175 ml olive oil
100 g grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Modus operandi
The wild garlic leaves were tortured by immersing them in plenty of water. After thoroughly drying them again, the leaves were quartered together with the cloves of garlic. All victims, except the oil and the cheese, were put in the mincer and crushed. Oil was added slowly and finally the grated Parmesan cheese.

Friday, May 17, 2013

CSI: Culinary Scene Investigation - Case #3

I just hope that my excellent CSI team of investigators hasn't go on vacation yet, as I need their precious help again! Criminality doesn't stop at the good weather, so now, in our third case, a recipe was again perpetrated.

This is how I found the crime scene. The first evidence points in one clear direction. However, remember that the crime scene is set in some place in Central Europe, so it may be difficult to identify some or one of the victims... specially after such a slaughter.

As usual, we'll have the discussion with your theories in the comment fields. Wish you a profitable investigation!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Báhn mì, French-Vietnamese sandwiches

It was time I tried a new place again, so today, seeing the real April weather we had, I woke up with the intention of putting an end to that situation. Although I already knew where I wanted to go, I took out my new-places-to-try list (which in my case is a Google map with lots of small stars) and made sure I got the right address: the Babanbè, in the central district of Mitte. I've read that the Babanbè served "French-Vietnamese sandwiches" and I was very curious.

Ready to go!

It was in a Vietnamese restaurant, long time ago, that I learned that Vietnam had been a French colony (yeah, shame on my!). What made me curious was the interesting coffee list menu, which I found unusual for an Asian restaurant, so I started to dig into it and learned that due to that colonization, Vietnamese cuisine has now many reminiscences of French cuisine, like coffee, bakery and baguette sandwiches, better known as báhn mì.

After meticulously inspecting the chalkboard with the menu, I asked the girl behind the bar for the special sandwich and, without hesitation, she recommended me the BBQ PULLED PORK báhn mì. The pork sandwich it is, then!
The BBQ pulled pork stripes were just deliciously intense. Combined with chili peppers, pickled carrots and daikon, lots of cilantro, and the perfect amount of chili and lime mayonnaise it just made the perfect sandwich.

It had been a long time since I last tried something that would surprise me, so different in taste. I believe the Babanbè is the first place to serve Vietnamese báhn mì sandwiches in Berlin. So, if you happen to be in the area and want to try them, I recommend you order your sandwich with a lemongrass iced tea and finish with a Vietnamese coffee. I will definitely come back to try other tastes!

Babanbè, Tucholskystr. 18-20, 10117 Berlin-Mitte (map)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

CSI: Case #2 - The Perpetrated Recipe

Second case solved!
And once again, the murderer (which we strongly think is a 'she') had left the crime scene with clear physical evidence.

Evidence nr. 1: the victim, a chicken
Evidence nr. 2: sweet and sour sauce, hot
Evidence nr. 3: sesame seeds
Evidence nr. 4: skewers

1 chicken breast
3 tbsp sweet and sour sauce
sesame seeds
salt and pepper

Crime weapon

Modus operandi
The chicken breast was dismembered into medium pieces which were seasoned with salt and pepper. Then put in a bowl and marinated with the sweet and sour sauce for at least a couple of hours in the fridge. When ready, they were put on skewers, three or four pieces in each skewer depending on the size. Finally, and before they were cooked in a pan with two tablespoons of oil (just enough to avoid sticking), the murderer dipped them into a plate with sesame seeds to cover them completely and fried them, turning each side each 2-3 minutes.

The motive: more than likely greediness. Until next CSI case!

Monday, March 11, 2013

CSI: Culinary Scene Investigation - Case #2

And again I´m in need of a competent team of investigators who can help me solve the second case of the series CSI: Culinary Scene Investigation.

In this occasion, and after having moved away the victim, this is how the crime scene looked like. Can you help me find the missing pieces that will solve the mystery of the perpetrated recipe? Just add you theories below in the comments section. We will try to close the case in a couple of days from now.

As a tribute to Sherlock, my favorite investigator.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

CSI: Case #1 - The Perpetrated Recipe

After an exhaustive evaluation and analysis of the physical evidence found in the scene of the crime, these are the results.

The profile of the victims and the main murder weapon lead to one clear conclusion: the perpetrated recipe had to be some sort of a winter stew. This is our theory:

250 g cooked beets
1 medium pear
1/2 onion
500 ml vegetable stock

Modus operandi
The cooked beets, medium pear and onion were dismembered. The onion was briefly scalded in a pan with two spoons of hot oil, where the rest of the dismembered victims were added later, as well as the vegetable stock. All victims were drowned slowly, about 20 minutes over low heat. Finally, and to cover all possible tracks, the mixture was blended until it was a creamy soup. It was probably served with some grated cheese.

We strongly think that the murderer was hearing to this soundtrack while perpetrating the recipe.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

CSI: Culinary Scene Investigation - Case #1

I´m looking for a competent team of investigators who would help me solve the first case of the new series CSI: Culinary Scene Investigation.

This is how I found the crime scene with some irrefutable evidence. Can you help me find the missing pieces that will solve the mystery of the perpetrated recipe? Just add you theories below in the comments section. We will try to close the case in a week.


As a tribute to Dexter, my favorite killer.