Donnerstag, 28. Mai 2015


Here is the recipe of my aunt's famous rhubarb tarte. Although it does not visually conceal the rhubarb, quite the reverse, it successfully masks its sometimes overwhelmingly tart flavour. It is a rather pretty cake, too, with its three layers. It looks like it's a bit of a faff to make, but actually, it's not. You will need to remember to prepare the rhubarb a day ahead, but then everything comes together in a relatively short time. Prepare the topping while the bottom is baking.

Step 1:
750g rhubarb, tough peel removed and cut into smallish pieces
150g sugar
Combine in a bowl and allow to soak overnight.

Step 2 - next day:
for the short crust:

250g plain flour (it works very well with a combination of wholemeal and plain white)
125g butter (cold-ish)
125g sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanillasugar or 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Combine everything and knead into a firm dough. If it is too sticky, put it in the fridge for a little while.
Roll out to line a 28/30 cm diameter spring form cake tin (greased, or lined with baking parchment), also lining the sides of the tin.

Now put the rhubarb, which by now will be swimming in some nice sugary rhubarb juice, into a colander and catch that juice. Keep the rhubarb aside.
Preheat oven to 175 degrees.
Pour the juice into a pan and add a packet of vanilla pudding powder (if living in Germany) or simply add 2 heaped tablespoons of cornflour (if living everywhere else). Bring to a boil while whisking continuously. Take off the heat and watch it thicken.
Put the rhubarb onto the crust, pour the thickened juice over.
Bake this at 175 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping - Step 3:

3 egg whites - beat until very stiff

3 egg yolks beaten separately with
100g sugar
2 tbsp lukewarm water

1 pot of soured cream or creme fraiche - fold this into the egg yolk mix, then carefully fold in beaten egg whites.

Distribute this topping on the rhubarb, then bake for another 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Sonntag, 28. April 2013

vegan onion tarte

Here is a vegan version of "Zwiebelkuchen", onion tarte - a south German autumnal treat, usually eaten with "new wine"… I got the recipe inspiration off the web by a blogger who calls herself Rote Ratte, but I couldn´t locate it again just now to give the full credits, sorry. We toyed with it, too... Hope you enjoy it!

For a baking sheet:
400 g flour (half wholemeal, half white plain white works well)
4 Tbsp oil
250 ml water
1 tsp salt
Knead into a smooth dough. Roll out onto baking sheet. Try to create a rim, but this is not absolutely necessary.
800g onions (experiment with mixing red and yellow onions; a bunch of spring onions or a few leeks also work very well in this)
4 tbsp oil
200g smoked tofu
100g plain tofu
about 400ml soy milk
2 tsp salt (to taste)
pepper, nutmeg to taste
2 tbsp yeast flakes (optional, nice)
6 tbsp cornstarch
Fry the onions in the oil until translucent and soft. Spread onions on dough.
Whizz the rest of ingredients in a blender. It will be very liquid, but it will solidify when baked! Pour over onions.
Bake at 180 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes until the topping has set. Eat hot, warm or cold, with or without a green salad on the side. 

Samstag, 19. Januar 2013

sweet potato, kale and black-eye bean stew

this blog has seen too much sweet stuff... I concocted this yesterday, and it looked pretty and tasted nice. Eat as is or serve over quinoa or brown rice.

1-2 leeks, sliced not too thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp ajwain seeds
1-2 tsp dried thyme
one bag kale, chopped coarsely, thick stems removed
1 can black-eyed beans

Heat the oil. Sautée the leeks for a little, add garlic, ajwain and thyme. When they start to become fragrant, add the carrots, stir briefly, then add 750ml water or veg stock and salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Add sweet potatoes. Boil until veggies start to soften, then throw in kale. When kale is wilting, add beans (drained and rinsed if you prefer). Heat through. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Freitag, 28. Dezember 2012

christmas baking

Just as i´m gearing up for the busiest baking season, my oven breaks down. But we managed to have a really nice communal gingerbread-house-making and buttercookie-cutting session on Saturday. For the first Advent weekend, I made some Stollen buns, oh so lovely. Find the recipe here:

I didn´t give them a marzipan filling, but the marzipan stars look cute, don´t they?

We made Gabelplätzchen (fork
biscuits; recipe will follow, maybe, hopefully), and Spitzbuben ("rascals"- jam filled butter biscuits).
Zimtsterne (cinnamon stars, well, cameos).

Spiced apple loaves today – skinning about 250g of almonds, what fun.
Our Yulebread. Find the recipe here:
I reduced the sugar to 3 tbsp, which was plenty. It still is a very rich bread. For a sweet breakfast bread, I have come to prefer Vegan Dad's challah:
I use soy yoghurt and find that when halving the recipe, you don't need the flax seed, everything holds nicely together. It is soft and satisfying and much more moist than those overly butterly recipes for "Zopf" I used to make.

Samstag, 1. Dezember 2012

Mjuk Pepparkaka - Swedish soft spice cake (vegan)

Another veganized recipe… The original came from some dear friends of mine who used to treat me to a lot of lovely Scandinavian baked goods and even more tender loving care on the Danish side of the Flensburg fjord.

2 tbsp ground flaxseed
3 tbsp boiling water
50g margarine, soft
3 tbsp cranberry preserve (optional)
150 ml soy yoghurt
450 ml plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C.
Mix the flaxseed with the boiling water and put aside.
Cream the margarine, till white and fluffy. Cream in the sugar. Add the flaxseed-mix and continue beating. Mix in the cranberry preserve and yoghurt
Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a bowl. Add the wet ingredients and combine well. If batter appears too stiff, add a splash of soy milk or yoghurt. What you want is a normal cake batter consistency, something that drops somewhat heavily from the spoon (I remember that German maxime for this kind of cake batter: schwer reißend vom Löffel fallen…).
Pour into greased cake tin and bake for 35-40 mins.

Samstag, 24. November 2012

vegan apple-cinnamon teacake

veganizing… :-)

100g margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy yoghurt
1/2 cup soy milk
grated zest of one lemon
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup plain wholemeal flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup raisins or currants
1 medium cooking apple, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
apricot jam for glazing (optional)
cinnamon sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C.
Cream the margarine and brown sugar very well. Mix in yoghurt, then milk. Grate in lemon zest.
Sift flours, cinnamon and baking powder together.
Mix dry and wet ingredients together. Fold in raisins.
Pour into a greased 20 cm diameter spring form tin. Arrange apple wedges on top.
Bake for 55-60 mins.
Glaze with jam while warm, sprinkle when cooled.

Mittwoch, 21. November 2012

Buckwheat heather cakes (vegan and gluten-free)

We are avoiding wheat at the moment (in addition to me doing Vegan Month for November), and as I had bought some buckwheat flour recently, I remembered the buckwheat tortes a particular German region of heather moorlands is famous for. They are basically buckwheat sponge cakes with a cream and cranberry jam filling. I made these little cupcakes to get a feel for the baking properties of buckwheat flour. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the nutty taste of buckwheat works in a cake, and how nice a texture it turned out. Expect the cakes to be slightly crumbly, but lovely spongy and moist, with a beautiful crust. These should be topped with a little (vegan) whipped cream or some vegan buttercream and additional cranberry jam. I will make these as a sponge cake one of these days with a layer of buttercream and jam in between. If you absolutely cannot find or do not like cranberry jam, use raspberry, blueberry or currant.

1 cup soy milk
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp ground flax seed
1 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup ground hazelnuts or almonds (or increase the flour by this amount to make nut-free)
cranberry or other red jam

Line a muffin pan with liners. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C.
In a large bowl, whisk together soy milk, oil, sugar and extracts. Beat in the flax seeds.
Sift in the flour, baking powder and soda and salt. Mix to combine, folding in the hazelnuts or almonds.
Spoon mix into muffin liners. Drop a generous teaspoon full of jam into the centre of each cake.
Bake for about 20 mins. Allow to cool completely if frosting.