Archive for the ‘sauce’ Category

To Family

July 29, 2008

Last Friday, my brother and his son came for a visit so we spent the weekend celebrating and making up for missed birthdays which means we re-celebrated my nephew’s and J’s on friday with a dessert straight from the pantry — and straight from my birthday dessert book: all I had was some cookies, one chocolate bar and some chestnut cream. My favorite birthday dessert has always been a ‘turinois’ a flourless butter-chocolate-glaceed chestnut cake so I thought I’d make something similar, but with a no bake cookiecrubmcrust.
It was a huge hit.*


On saturday we then celebrated the first (!) birthday of our twin boys. And aside from drinking champagne and getting teary-eyed, I made carrot cupcakes which sadly didn’t turn out too great, but were still pretty good. And can I add again, that it was their first birthday? Because man, that year went by so fast and the next thng I know they are all moving out!

Finally, today is my fabulous sister C’s birthday and the second recipe (with a speciale dédicace) is just for her.
We have both made this before as we own the same cookbook and there is no pasta recipe that screams summer quite like this one.


It comes from the river café cookbook and the key is obviously to use the freshest produce at the peak of it’s season. Other than that, it’s dead simple and doable for anyone anywhere.

I will start with the main course and do the dessert after if that’s cool. Oh and before I forget, please check out this site NOW. You can thank me later!

Green Beans and Tomato Pasta

taken from river café cookbook
prep time: 20min

4 roma tomatoes
300 g fresh green beans
1/2 cup of cream
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 handful of basil leaves, torn
salt, pepper, parmesan to taste

Clean up your green beans and cook or steam them until just tender. Reserve. Cut your tomatos in half and squeeze out the juice, dice them and reserve.
Boil the water for pasta. Salt just before it comes to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions.
In a heavy saucepan, bring the cream to a boil together with the garlic clove. Once boiled, remove the garlic and add the tomatoes and beans. Stir and heat up. When the pasta is cooked, toss the sauce through, add the basil and parmesan and enjoy the summer!


adapted from various sources

prep time: 15min, cooling time 4h min
metal mixing bowl, food processor or rolling pin, 20 cm cake tin with removable sides

For the Cookie Crust

15-20 butter cookies
60 g of butter, melted

Smash up your cookies into relatively fine crumbs (rolling pin or food processor!) and mix in with the melted butter. Press the mixture into the bottom of your cake tin and reserve in the fridge.

For the Chocolate-Chestnut-Filling

100 g chocolate
50 g butter, softened
125 g chestnut cream

Beat up the butter and chestnut cream until sufficiently homogenized. Melt the chocolate and beat it into the mixture. Spred the chocolate-chesnut-filling on the cookie crust and refrigerate until ready.
You could double the filling recipe, but this desserts is very very rich and dense…

*seriously, you should make this dessert even if I realise that not everybody keeps a jar of crème de marron as a pantry staple!

Sidenote: I am having problems with colors in my image editing programme, which is why the reds have been screaming at you as if from underwater. I hope I can fix it soon and if anyone has suggestions that possibly top the ones from my geek husband, please email me!


Sunday Eggs

May 18, 2008

I was talking on the phone with my friend R. the other day. We were mostly speaking about her wedding, but also about the blog, and I told her that I didn’t know what to make and needed an idea. Among the things she suggested was Lemon curd.

I had quite forgotten about this idea today, and as I woke up from an unexpected nap, all I knew, was that we had strawberries that badly needed eating. The idea I had was to make Eaton Mess. And only because I think the name is absolutely charming and I thought the plating would be equally so. So on I went, making meringues, and when those were done, and I was left with 4 yolks. I remembered R.’s idea to make lemon curd.

The following are the recipes for how I like my sunday eggs: creamy and crispy!


Eton Mess

adapted from various sources
prep time: 10min, baking time: 50 min, cooling time: 15 min, makes about 15

for the meringue

4 egg whites (about 120 g)
1/2 cup of sugar
2 tsp corn or potato starch (sifted)
1 tsp white vinegar

silicon mat / parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 120°C and line a baking sheet with the silicon mat or parchment paper. In a mixing bowl whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar, until the mixture becomes glossy. When the eggs are quite stiff, fold in the sarch and the vinegar.
Drop the mixture by the tablespoonful on to the baking sheet and bake in the oven for 50 min. Let them cool in the closed oven until completely cold. They will keep in an airtight container for about a week.

for the mess

3/4 cup of cream
2 tbsp of sugar
prep time and plating: 5 min,

Beat up the cream and sugar until sufficiently whipped. On a plate, arrange the meringues, whole or broken up together with the cream and strawberries. Serve immediatley

Lemon Curd

adapted from various sources
cooking time: 5-8 min, makes about 1 cup

1/2 cup of lemon juice
100 g of butter
1/2 cup of sugar
4 egg yolks


Place the butter and the lemon juice in a saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring. Once the butter is completely melted, add the sugar and the egg yolks, while whisking. Keep whisking over medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken (mine took about 7 min).

Use it immediatly to fill a cake, or pour in a sealable container and use as you would jam. The Curd is also delicious together with the meringues!

For ToScho

May 8, 2008

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:


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!