Archive for May, 2008

For ToScho

May 8, 2008
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One of my friends Tobi came for dinner on monday. I know a lot of Tobis, so we refer to them either by location (Tobi New York, for instance — though he has moved to London in the meantime) and Tobi Sch., whom I also refer to as Stabi Tobi, because I met him at the state library here in Berlin six years ago. We met because we were the only people in the library using Apple computers and thus we immediatly bonded over our mutual cuteness, geekiness and snobbiness!

So, he came for dinner and brought beer and icecream, upon request. I had the jar pictured above on the countertop, and was excitedly explaining that this was dessert. Somehow he totally failed to be impressed, and I was really not getting why: who wouldn’t get excited about SALTED!BUTTER!CARAMEL!! A sauce, that routinely makes me want to bathe in it it’s so good. I also like to refer to it as liquid Werther’s Echte!

As I got ready to serve dessert, the salted butter caramel sauce poured over vanilla icecream* Tobi asked me why I was using salad sauce to eat with icecream… Mystery solved, sauce tried. blissful coma ensued!**

Over dinner, I helped him put together a dinner for this weekend using the sauce as one of the features, and promised I’d post the recipe for him to check. So Tobi, here you go:

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Salted Butter Caramel

prep time: 5 min


adapted from Trish Deseine Ma petite Robe Noire et autre Recettes

100 g granulated sugar
2 tbsp water
70 g salted butter***
2 tbsp mascarpone

Put the sugar and water in a heavy saucepan over low to medium heat. Do not stir and wait for the sugar to melt. You can swirl the content in the saucepan until everything is an even light golden color.

Take the saucepan off the heat and add the butter. Make sure to drop it along the sides of the saucepan and not into the middle, or the mixture will spatter, bubble and BURN! Slowly incorporate the butter with a wooden spoon and keep turning until all is melted. Add the mascarpone in the same way.

You can eat it rightaway, or let the leftovers cool down. It will harden in the fridge, but you can heat it up in a waterbath or the microwave to bring it back to pouring consistency.

*confession: I didn’t have salted butter, so I added about a quarter of a teaspoon of table salt, along with the butter. This made the caramel curdle. BUT. I have an awesome remedy for that: Let the caramel cool a bit to prevent it from burning you and quickly whizz it in the blender until it has reached a smooth consistency. This trick also works for custards (crème anglaise) and other sauces using dairy which have the tendency to curdle.

** We also crumbled some cookies on top of the sauce for extra textural tastey deliciousness, becaue that’s the way our cookie crumbles!

***I hate german icecream. I don’t know what they do to it, but nearly every brand (save for Landliebe) is all slimy and airy and gooey. All in a bad way. I think they must whip their icecream under the guise of conching. But thanks to Tobi for bringing icecream anway!

Edited to add:
Tobi tried making it by himself and it didn’t work out. here’s why: 1) make sure you are using a pot, not a pan. the caramel needs to have volume and not spread out to thin, or else it’ll burn. 2) you can add the salt along with the sugar and water, it works just fine. 3) the caramel has to be a very light blond colour, other wise it’s to dark, and that’s what’s causes it to curdle. Now hurry and go make it!

Bragging about Potstickers

May 1, 2008
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In December, I got a copy of last fall’s donna hay magazine, and in it was a little dossier about the versatility of wonton wrappers. Being a dedicated follower of all things hay, I immediatly got hooked onto the very idea of anything to do with wonton wrappers. sadly, it took me a long time to actually purchase them. I had planned on stuffing and steaming them dim sum-style, but the package said ‘for deep-frying only’. Being that I have a deeply ingrained fear of deep frying (probably better that way anyway!) and that I was unsure as to wether I was gonna be able to steam whatever I was gonna make, I decided to go the potsticker route. I have not looked back.

I made them today, and I feel incredibly proud, as proud as the time I made my first cake. I also feel the ridiculous urge to repeat the word ‘potsticker’,’potsticker’,’potsticker’ over and over again, quite like my oldest son who is hooked on ‘Anhängerkupplung'(trailer hitch) right now. Except he says ‘Anhängerpupplung’ and he says it about, oh 20 times/h. It’s funny at first, really, but then you start to wonder about the title of that book ‘your three year old, friend or enemy’ and start to mentally ticking that ‘enemy’ box… Potstickers are friends. definitely.

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Potstickers

adapted from donna hay magazine
prep time: depending on how many you make, about 40 min, cooking time: 5 min

mixing bowl, kitchen towel, pastry brush, non-stick frying pan

300 g of minced chicken/pork or fish
1 egg white
zest of one lime
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp chopped mint (or thai basil, if on hand)
1 cm fresh ginger peeled and grated
a minuscule amount of garlic (I pressed a tiny clove, which yielded the perfect amount for my taste)
1 tbsp sesame seeds
about 20 wonton wrappers

Mix the chicken with the egg, lime zest, the herbs, sesame, ginger and garlic together in a bowl.

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Place a single wonton sheet onto a dry kitchen towel (if the wonton wrapper gets wet, it will stick to any other surface), place a tablespoon of the filling unto the center of the wrapper. Brush the edges with some water and press them together to form a little parcel. Repeat until no wrappers are left behind.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat, fill the bottom with water, bring to a boil and place the potstickers in it. They will stick. Cover, and cook until nearly all water has evaporated and the bottom of the parcels is brown. Serve hot with soy sauce, chili sauce, hoisin sauce, lime juice etc.

You could make the raw parcels ahead of time and freeze them until ready. The would cook for about 10 min straight from the freezer.