Saturday, March 29, 2014

FFwD - Vegetable barley soup with the taste of little India

Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is ”Vegetable barley soup with the taste of little India” – a basic root vegetable soup with barley and surprising warm spices.

The soup base is made up of onions, garlic, sweet carrots, and parsnips - since I could not find parsnips at this time of year, I used small white turnips instead. Then there is fresh ginger, freshly grated black pepper, sea salt, turmeric, and garam masala.

Tumeric is a bright yellow spice that comes from the rhizome of a plant in the ginger family. It is sometimes available fresh, but is usually sold dried and ground, in powder form. Turmeric has anti-oxidant properties which is why it has long been an Indian home remedy for many illnesses. Turmeric is often a component of curry powder and it  also gives chutneys and pickles, and this soup,  their distinctive yellow tinge. It has a slight peppery aroma and a musky taste.

Garam masala is an aromatic mixture of ground spices used as a base in many Indian dishes (“masala”means spice). The proportion of spices changes according to the dish being cooked but typical ingredients are cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper, with substitutions or additions made depending on whether the dish includes meat, vegetables or fish. You can grind your own garam masala according to your tastes, but it can also be bought ready-made.

The spices are sautéed together with the vegetables in some lovely olive oil, that takes about 15 minutes and it takes the raw edge off the spice and makes for a harmonious soup starter. After the veg are softened, all that is left to do is add the homemade chicken broth and the soup barley, Barley is divided into three categories around here, small, medium and large – I used the large one, called soup barley which needs a good 30-minute simmer before being puffed and ready to eat.

I must say that the taste of this soup was surprising, in a nice way, as we are so used to eating barley soup with lots of veg and bacon and sometimes a bit of smoked sausage – well, a very German kind of way – but we liked how the soup smelled while it cooked and how it tasted when we ate it for lunch, on a very bright and sunny day that felt like early summer.Thanks to Dorie, a new taste experience indeed, one that I would not have dared to try before I came across this weeks´ assignment.

To see how much the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group enjoyed today´s recipe, please click here.

If you happen to own Dorie Greenspan´s book “Around my French Table”, you will find the recipe for ”Vegetable barley soup with the taste of little India" on page 89.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"River Cottage Veg Everyday" - Soup, Aubergines, Radishes & A Nomination for a James Beard Award

For today´s recipes in my River Cottage Veg Everyday series, I chose the "Creamy mushroom soup", a rich, earthy flavored soup, “Roasted aubergine boats”, that I served with thick Greek yogurt and a wild garlic pesto, and “Radishes with butter and salt” a colorful, springtime appetizer. All these wonderful dishes are part of my sixteenth post in my series.

Let me take the opportunity to mention that River Cottage Veg Everyday by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has been nominated for a James Beard Award! The awards cover all aspects of the industry and are the highest honor for food and beverage professionals. River Cottage Veg Everyday has been nominated for the Vegetarian category called “Vegetable Focused and Vegetarian”. In 2012, the book was already chosen as winner of Best Cookbook at the Observer Food Monthly Awards.

The awards are presented each spring at the Lincoln Center and past winners of the James Beard Awards include Nigel Slater and Yotam Ottolenghi. Read more about the award and the full shortlist here.

River Cottage Veg Everyday is divided into twelve manageable chapters, with the following short and clear titles: Comfort food & feasts, Hearty salads, Raw assemblies, Hefty soups, Bready things, Store-cupboard suppers, Pasta & rice, Mezze & tapas, Roast, grill & barbecue, Side dishes, Store cupboard, and Veg on the go. The chapters are therefore divided by method of preparation rather than by season, ingredient or, course.

The book includes over 200 recipes, such as Chard and new potato curry, Rocket, fennel and puy lentil salad, Beetroot with walnuts and cumin, Cucumber and lettuce vichyssoise, Magic bread dough, Caponata, and Spiced spinach and potatoes.

All recipes can be easily prepared as the recipes are precise and clear and never longer than a page. For each dish there is a recipe page with a short introduction and then there is always also a picture page.  Personally, I enjoy looking at the picture while reading through the recipe, the pictures are meant as guides and looking at them gives me a better feel for a recipe and thereby speeds up the preparation process as I do not have to figure out how a finished dish might look like.

It is quite possible to use the book as a reference book while putting together a shopping list, I always find a vegetable side dish or main dish that I want to try, as the book is full of new and fresh ideas on how to prepare vegetables in new ways as well as in updated traditional ways.

The ingredients that are required for the various dishes can easily be found at the greengrocers, farmers´ markets and in stores around here. When choosing a recipe, I always make sure to stay true to my personal credo of “cooking as seasonal as possible and with as many regionally available products as possible”, that way, finding the vegetables and herbs that I need for a dish, has always been rather hassle-free.

Let´s not forget that the recipes that I have prepared so far, have all proven to be rather “family-friendly”. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you might have noticed that I do not have a shortage of taste testers at home, the youngest being five years old. While some recipes meet with a bit more enthusiasm than others, they have all been received rather well. I consider this aspect to be another big advantage of this book – the reality of life is that I cook for a family and I am as quite pleased when I have a cookbook such as this one with lots of healthy and delicious recipes that will appeal to adults as well as children.

“Call me power-crazed, but I`m trying to change your life here. The object of the exercise is, unambiguously, to persuade you to eat more vegetables. Many more vegetables. Perhaps even to make veg the mainstay of your daily cooking. And therefore, by implication, to eat less meat, maybe a lot less meat, and maybe a bit less fish too. Why? We need to eat more vegetables and less flesh, because vegetables are the foods that do us the most good, and our planet the least harm.” (Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall)

So, of course, I am keeping my fingers crossed for that well-deserved award but no matter whether this book will win in its category or not, it is one of my personal favorite, everyday, go-to, family-friendly vegetable cookbooks these days. And I will continue my series on the recipes and cook my way through the book. Anyone out there care to join me in my quest – that would be quite nice!

If you own the English edition of this vegetable cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, called "River Cottage Veg Everyday", you will find the recipe for the “Creamy mushroom soup” on page 152  in the chapter on “Hefty soups”. The recipe for “Roasted aubergine boats” can be found on page 344 in the chapter on "Roast, grill & barbecue" and the recipe for “Radishes with butter and salt” on page 102 in the chapter on “Raw assemblies”.

Friday, March 21, 2014

FFwD - Scallop and onion tartes fines

Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is “Scallop and onion tartes fines” – puff pastry tarts topped with caramely slow-cooked onions and slices of sweet-briny scallops.

Around here scallops are called “Jakobsmuscheln” and the French call them “coquilles saint-jacques” – both names translate to “James mussels”, making reference to the fact that the scallop shell is the traditional emblem of  Saint James, and is popular with pilgrims on the Way of Saint James to the apostle's shrine at Santiago de Compostela in Galicia (Spain). Medieval Christians making the pilgrimage to his shrine often wore a scallop shell symbol on their hat or clothes. What a nice name for such a delicious shellfish.

During our recent trip to Antwerp, Belgium, we visited a beautifully renovated Chapel and marveled at this colorful church window with a picture of Saint James wearing a cloak adorned with two Saint James mussel shells.

Onto today´s interesting recipe, which was inspired by puff pastry tarts served at Yves Camborde´s world-famous Paris bistro "Le Comptoir".

There are a number of different elements to these tarts that are best served while still warm.

To make the base for these tarts, you start off by cutting circles from ready-made puff pastry and baking them in the oven for about 15 minutes with a baking sheet to weigh them down. Dorie´s recipe calls for circles with about six inches in diameter, I went with three inches and served these tarts as appetizers.

For the topping you cook some bacon until it is crisp and then cut it into slices or cubes. Then you caramelize some onions (I used French shallots instead) for about twenty minutes and add the bacon to the onions. You top the puff-pastry rounds with the onion mixture and arrange thinly sliced scallops on top. Add some freshly ground black pepper, sprinkle with some lovely sea salt, and drizzle with some really good-quality olive oil. Leave the tarts for three to four minutes in the oven – just long enough to warm the scallops.

Scallops are an expensive but delicious shellfish with a delicate taste, available in a range of sizes. Scallops have two fan-shaped shells which contain rounds of firm white flesh, sometimes with the edible cream and orange coral (or roe) attached. Scallops can be steamed, fried or grilled but should be cooked gently and only for a very short time or their delicate flavor and texture will be spoiled. Take care not to over-cook them, they should be served as soon as they are firm and opaque. So the short time that these tarts stay in the oven is just perfect, five minutes were just enough to warm the scaollops in the most gentle of ways and bring out their natural salty-sweetness.

We all really liked this recipe – young taste testers included. The combination of the sweet caramelized shallots, the saltiness of the bacon, the crispy puff-pastry base and the tender slices of scallops were absolutely delicious – certainly a recipe worth making again.

To see how much the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group enjoyed today´s recipe, please click here.

If you happen to own Dorie Greenspan´s book “Around my French Table”, you will find the recipe for “Scallop and onion tartes fines” on pages 168-69.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Rhubarb Tart - Frühlings-Rhabarbertarte

Today marks the first official day of spring and signals the beginning of nature’s renewal in the Northern Hemisphere. Why not celebrate the turn of the season by baking this lovely Spring Rhubarb Tart.
Heute am 20. März ist kalendarischer Frühlingsanfang, der erste Frühlingstag. Warum also nicht einmal den Beginn dieser schönen Jahreszeit zelebrieren und eine wunderbare Frühlings-Rhabarbertarte backen.

This tart has a puff pastry base and, of course, while homemade tastes best, you can certainly use store-bought puff pastry for this recipe. I do to. After you rolled out the puff pastry, you line it with marzipan and then top the marzipan with the wonderful, pinkish first rhubarb of the season.
Die Tarte hat eine Blätterteig-Basis. Obwohl selbstgemachter Blätterteig am besten schmeckt, kann man selbstverständlich gekauften Blätterteig in diesem Rezept verwenden. Das mache ich auch. Der Blätterteig wird nach dem Ausrollen erst mit Marzipan, dann mit dem ersten, herrlich rosa Rhabarber der Saison belegt.

Sometimes we do not realize that rhubarb is not a fruit at all but rather a vegetable, the stem of a perennial plant.

Rhubarb is packed with juice, which it releases readily when cooked or baked. And it is very acidic, of course, and needs sweetening. It is wonderful partnered with assertive flavors such as orange zest, vanilla, rosewater, lavender, ginger, honey, even hard, winter-proof herbs such as thyme or rosemary.
Manchmal vergessen wir, dass Rhabarber keine Frucht sondern ein Gemüse ist, eine Nutzpflanze aus der Familie der Knöterichgewächse.

Gekochter oder gebackener Rhabarber gibt jede Menge Saft bei der Verarbeitung ab. Er ist recht säuerlich und braucht somit immer etwas Süße. Glücklicher Weise finden wir jede Menge Aromen, die mit dem Rhabarber ganz wunderbar harmonieren, wie Vanille, Rosenwasser, Lavendel, Ingwer, Orangenschale, Honig und sogar Kräuter, z. B. Thymian oder Rosmarin.

When buying rhubarb, choose pert looking stems and avoid any limp ones. Wash and trim the rhubarb stems before use. Discard the leaves as they are poisonous. If using outdoor-grown rhubarb, remove any stringy outer layers. And always cut into equal-sized pieces to ensure even cooking or baking.

Rhubarb tastes absolutely fabulous in pies, cakes, fools, jellies and ice cream. Rhubarb also makes a good jam with strawberries, and tastes delicious made into a cordial flavored with rosewater.
Beim Kauf von Rhabarber sollte man darauf achten feste Stangen auszuwählen. Von eher müde wirkenden Stangen sollte man die Finger lassen. Vor der Weiterverarbeitung sollten die Stangen gewaschen und von Blättern und Wurzelresten befreit werden. Die unverträglichen Blätter muss man auf jeden Fall wegwerfen. Wenn man Freilandrhabarber verwendet, sollte man auch die äußeren Fäden entfernen. Wichtig ist, den Rhabarber immer in gleich große Stücke schneiden, damit er gleichmäßig gart oder backt.

Rhabarber schmeckt nicht nur unvergleichlich gut in Torten, Kuchen, Puddings, Gelees und Eis, man kann mit Rhabarber auch eine leckere Marmelade machen, zum Beispiel mit Erdbeeren. Rhabarber schmeckt auch köstlich wenn man ihn mit Rosenwasser zu einem Getränkesirup verarbeitet.

Spring Rhubarb Tart

Ingredients for the Tart
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 50 grams superfine sugar
  • ½ tsp ground “Ceylon” cinnamon
  • a pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 sheet puff pastry (homemade or store-bought)
  • some flour (for the work surface)
  • 6 to 8 stalks of rhubarb
  • 200 grams marzipan
  • 2 tbsps unsalted butter

Ingredients for the Glaze
  • 2 tbsps red currant jelly
  • 2 tbsps chopped natural pistachios

  • one baking sheet
  • parchment paper

Zutaten für die Tarte
  • 1 Vanilleschote
  • 50 Gramm feinster Zucker
  • ½ TL  "Ceylon" Zimt
  • eine Prise feines Meersalz
  • 1 Rolle Blätterteig (selbstgemacht oder gekauft)
  • etwas Mehl (für die Arbeitsfläche)
  • 6 bis 8 Stangen Rhabarber
  • 200 Gramm Backmarzipan
  • 2 EL Butter

Zutaten für die Glasur
  • 2 TL roter Johannisbeergelee
  • 2 TL gehackte Pistazien (ungesalzen)

  • ein Backblech
  • Backpapier

Preparation of the Tart and Glaze
  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Scrape out the vanilla seeds and mix with the sugar. Add the cinnamon and the pinch of salt. Reserve the vanilla pod.
  4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry sheet to a rectangle (the size of your baking sheet). Trim the edges with a pizza cutter or sharp paring knife. Transfer to a baking sheet.
  5. Remove the stringy outer layer of the rhubarb and cut into equal sizes.
  6. Toss the rhubarb in a large bowl with the vanilla-sugar.
  7. Use a sharp paring knife to score a border around the pastry (do not cut all the way through).
  8. On the work surface, roll out the marzipan to a rectangle (the size of puff pastry sheet). Trim the edges and transfer on top of the puff pastry, making sure to stay within the border of the pastry.
  9. Place the rhubarb pieces on top of the marzipan, and dot with butter.
  10. Bake until pastry is golden and rhubarb is tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven.
  12. In the microwave or a small saucepan, heat jelly until melted. Brush rhubarb with glaze. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
  13. Serve tart warm or at room temperature, cutting into pieces with a serrated knife.
Zubereitung der Tarte und der Glasur
  1. Den Ofen auf 200 Grad (Elektro) oder 180 Grad (Umluft) Grad vorheizen.
  2. Das Backblech mit dem Pergamentpapier auslegen.
  3. Vanilleschote längs einschneiden, das Mark herauskratzen und mit dem Zucker mischen. Den Zimt und die Prise Salz hinzufügen. Die Vanilleschote verwahren (für eine spätere Verwendung).
  4. Auf der leicht bemehlten Arbeitsfläche den Blätterteig zu einem Rechteck ausrollen. Der Teig sollte die gleiche Größe wie das Backblech haben. Die Ränder mit einem Pizzaschneider oder einem scharfen Küchenmesser begradigen. Den Teig auf das Backblech legen.
  5. Wenn nötig, den Rhabarber schälen. In gleich große Stücke schneiden.
  6. Den Rhabarber in einer großen Schüssel mit dem Vanille-Zucker mischen und etwas marinieren lassen.
  7. Mit einem scharfes Messer einen Rand in dem Blätterteig markieren, dabei aufpassen, dass der Teig nicht eingeschnitten wird.
  8. Das Marzipan auf der Arbeitsfläche  zu einem Rechteck ausrollen (fast so groß wie der Blätterteig). Die Kanten des Marzipans ebenfalls begradigen und auf den Blätterteig legen. Dabei darauf achten, dass das Marzipan etwas kleiner als der Blätterteig ausgerollt wird.
  9. Die Rhabarber-Stücke auf das Marzipan legen und mit Butterflocken belegen.
  10. Die Tarte backen bis der Blätterteig goldbraun und der Rhabarber gar ist, zirka 30 bis 35 Minuten.
  11. Aus dem Ofen nehmen.
  12. In der Mikrowelle oder in einem kleinen Topf das Gelee erhitzen und damit die Tarte einpinseln. Mit gehackten Pistazien bestreuen.
  13. Die Tarte entweder warm oder bei Zimmertemperatur servieren. Am besten mit einem gezackten Messer in Stücke schneiden.

This is a fabulous tart, my absolute favorite springtime tart. I am always anxious for the first rhubarb of the season to make an appearance at the farmers´ market. This week I was quite delighted when I came across the first pink stalks of the season.
Dies ist eine fabelhafte Tarte, meine absolute Lieblings-Frühlingstarte. Ich freue mich jeden Frühling auf den ersten Rhabarber der Saison. Und ich war ganz begeistert,als ich die ersten Stangen Rhabarber diese Woche auf dem Markt entdeckt habe.

The tartness of the rhubarb is wonderfully balanced by the sweetness of the marzipan. And the red currant glaze with the chopped natural pistachios is not only a nice visual touch but it also adds another very harmonious layer of flavor to this dessert tart.

Although this springtime tart is wonderful on its own, I sometimes serve some vanilla ice cream or homemade vanilla custard sauce with it. Both of these are very nice and a delicious accompaniment to this tart.

It is hard to think of a more appropriate way to welcome spring than by baking this Springtime Rhubarb Tart and setting the table with pretty springtime flowers.


  • pink cake server from Laguiole, France can be found here
Das Säure des Rhabarbers wird wunderbar durch die Süße des Marzipans ausgeglichen. Und die rote Johannisbeergelee-Glasur mit den gehackten Pistazien sieht nicht nur hübsch aus, sondern ist auch geschmacklich ein leckere zusätzliche Komponente.

Obwohl diese Frühlingstarte wunderbar "einfach nur so" schmeckt, serviere ich sie manchmal zusammen mit einem guten Vanilleeis oder einer lauwarmen, selbstgemachten Vanillesauce. Beides schmeckt hervorragend zu der Tarte.

Ich wünsche allen einen schönen Frühlingsanfang – umso schöner, wenn man ihn mit einem Stück Frühlings-Rhabarbertarte genießen kann und vielleicht den Tisch dann auch noch mit schönen Frühlingsblumen deckt.


  • rosa Tortenheber von Laguiole, Frankreich kann man hier finden

Thursday, March 13, 2014

East Frisian Tea Cake - Ostfriesischer Teekuchen

Around here in between lunch and dinner, there is traditionally a short break for a social gathering around a piece of cake or two and a hot steaming cup of coffee or tea. This lovely German ritual is referred to as “Kaffee und Kuchen” (coffee and cake). These days, it is still quite common to get together with friends and family on Sunday afternoon to share some coffee, cake and good conversation.
Zwischen Mittag- und Abendessen gibt es traditionell eine Pause für ein geselliges Beisammensein rund um ein oder zwei Stück Kuchen und einer Tasse Kaffee. Dieses schöne deutsche Ritual wird ja bekanntermaßen "Kaffee und Kuchen" genannt. Heutzutage ist es noch durchaus üblich, sich gemeinsam mit Freunden und Familie am Sonntagnachmittag zu Kaffee, Kuchen und einem Gedankenaustausch zu treffen.

Whether the gathering takes place at home or in a café, this tradition of enjoying coffee and cake in the afternoon is a long-standing one in Germany. Records show that cakes have been baked in Germany for some 400 years. If you ever had the distinct pleasure of enjoying this wonderful German afternoon tradition, you will have noticed that there is quite an array of cakes and other baked goods being offered in the afternoon, and they do vary from region to region.

A good number of German cakes have achieved international popularity. Take the “Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte” (Black Forest cake), for example, a chocolate cake with layers of chocolate sponge cake, whipped cream, a cherry filling, Kirsch and chocolate shavings. Or the most delightfully named cake the “Bienenstich” (bee sting cake), a yeast based cake with a sugar-almond topping that caramelizes during baking, hence the name.
Ob man sich nun zu Hause oder in einem Café trifft, die Tradition des „Kaffee und Kuchens“ gibt es in seit langem in Deutschland. Aufzeichnungen zeigen, dass Kuchen in Deutschland seit mehr als 400 Jahren gebacken wird. Dabei werden durchaus eine Reihe von verschiedenen Kuchen und Gebäck zubereitet, das Angebot variiert sehr und ist von Region zu Region unterschiedlich.

Eine ganze Reihe von deutschen Kuchen haben einen gewissen internationalen Bekanntheitsgrad errungen, wie zum Beispiel die "Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte", eine Sahnetorte, die aus mit Kirschwasser aromatisierten Schokoladenbiskuitböden, einer Kirschfüllung, Sahne, sowie Schokoladenraspeln als Verzierung hergestellt wird. Oder der Kuchen mit dem wohlklingenden Namen "Bienenstich", ein traditioneller Blechkuchen aus Hefeteig mit einem Belag aus einer Zucker-Mandel-Masse, die beim Backen karamellisiert.

But not everyone takes coffee with their cake, and some areas of Germany have long-standing preference for tea. Tea was sold in the “Apotheke” (pharmacy), as a medicine beginning in the 17th century. In the 18th century tea imports increased in Northern German cities, especially in Hamburg and Bremen.
Aber nicht jeder trinkt gerne einen Kaffee zum Kuchen und in einigen Gegenden Deutschlands gibt es definitiv eine Vorliebe für Tee. Tee wurde am Anfang des 17. Jahrhunderts in Apotheken als Medizin verkauft. Im 18. Jahrhundert dann nahmen die Tee Importe in deutschen Städten Norddeutschland enorm zu, vor allem in Hamburg und Bremen.

Today, a quarter of the tea imported in Germany is consumed in the sparsely populated East Friesland, a coastal region on the North Sea in the northwest corner of the German state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), where the per capita rate of consumption is on par with that of England.

 Just a few hours west of Kiel, East Friesland is known for its independent spirit, having avoided adopting a feudalistic system during medieval times and playing an important role in the Reformation.  This independent streak, as well as its proximity to the Netherlands, made it the perfect spot for the development of a rather distinctive tea culture.
Heutzutage wird ein Viertel des nach Deutschland importierten Tees in Ostfriesland getrunken. Ostfriesland ist eine Küstenregion an der Nordsee im Nordwesten des Bundeslandes Niedersachsen. Der pro-Kopf-Verbrauch in Ostfriesland steht dem Verbrauch in Englands mit Nichts nach.

Nur ein paar Stunden westlich von Kiel gelegen, ist Ostfriesland bekannt für eine gewisse geistige Unabhängigkeit, vermied man doch die Übernahme eines feudalistischen Systems im Mittelalter und spielte während der Reformation eine wichtige Rolle. Das Streben nach einer gewissen Unabhängigkeit war der ideale Nährboden für die Entwicklung einer unverwechselbaren Teekultur.

The tea time traditions – including the delectable cakes and cookies – which became en vogue in the 19th century still have many followers in this part of the country, where it is known as the East Friesland tea ceremony.
Die Traditionen der Ostfriesischen Teezeremonie – einschließlich der köstlichen Kuchen und Gebäcks – die schon seit dem 19. Jahrhundert zelebriert werden, haben in Ostfriesland bis heute viele Anhänger.

For the people of East Friesland, tea is not tea unless it is strong black tea – often a blend of teas from Assam, Darjeeling, and Sri Lanka – served over “kluntjes”, a light brown or white rock candy sugar that melts slowly and makes a crackling sound as the tea is poured.  To this, a spoonful of heavy cream is added, which sinks into the tea then rises to the surface, where it floats like a tiny white cloud.

Stirring the tea is strictly discouraged, as an evolving taste over the course of drinking a cup is valued over a consistent one. First you can taste the strong, somewhat malty aroma of the East Frisian tea from the edge of the teacup, then the milky taste from the middle of the cup and finally the sweet tea on the bottom of the cup.

 Traditionally during an East Frisian tea ceremony, it is said that “three are East Friesian right,” meaning no one drinks just one cup, but rather a minimum of three, drinking less is considered rude.
Für die Menschen in Ostfriesland ist Tee nicht gleich Tee, es muss schon ein starker schwarzer Tee sein, der oft eine Mischung aus Tees aus Assam, Darjeeling und Sri Lanka ist. Der Tee wird mit vorzugsweise mit „Kluntjes“, braunem oder weißem Kandiszucker, serviert. Das Besondere an Kandis ist, dass sich die Süße je nachdem, wie sehr man sich die Kristalle lösen lässt, ganz langsam entfaltet. Dann wird noch ein Löffel Sahne zu der Tasse Tee hinzugefügt. Die Sahne lässt man langsam am Rand der Tasse in den Tee laufen, die flüssige Sahne steigt dann an die Oberfläche des Tees, wobei eine kleine „Sahnewolke“ entsteht.

Der Tee wird traditionell ohne Umrühren getrunken, so dass erst das herbe Teearoma vom Tassenrand, dann der milchige Teegeschmack der Tassenmitte und zum Schluss die Süße des gezuckerten Tees auf dem Tassengrund geschmeckt werden.

Für jeden Teilnehmer an einer Teerunde sind drei Tassen ein Mindestmaß – wird vorher abgelehnt, gilt das als unhöflich.

Tea is generally served in small porcelain cups and is accompanied by cookies, cakes, and other delicacies.  During the colder winter months, brown rum is also added to one’s tea, as extra protection against the icy winds blowing off the North Sea.  As in many other parts of the world, guests are always greeted with a steaming cup of tea.
Der Tee wird in der Regel in kleinen Porzellantassen serviert und es werden Kekse, Kuchen und anderen Köstlichkeiten zum Tee gereicht.  In den kälteren Wintermonaten wird brauner Rum in den Tee gegeben, als zusätzlicher Schutz gegen die eisigen Winde von der Nordsee.  Wie in vielen anderen Teilen der Welt werden Gäste immer mit einer heißen Tasse Tee begrüßt.

So in order to be able to celebrate a true East Frisian tea ceremony at home,I am posting a recipe for a wonderfully uncomplicated East Frisian Tea Cake – an easy yeast-based cake that is perfect with a cup of strong East Frisian or other black tea – it tastes just like the cake my grandmother used to serve - wonderful!
Also um auch einmal Zuhause ein wenig Ostfriesische Teekultur zelebrieren zu können, gibt es heute ein Rezept für einen wunderbar unkomplizierten Ostfriesischen Teekuchen – ein schneller Hefekuchen, der perfekt zu starkem Ostfriesischen Tee passt – der schmeckt so wie bei meiner Großmutte früher. Wunderbar!

East Frisian Tea Cake

Ingredients for the Yeast Dough
  • 250 grams strong flour
  • 20 grams fresh yeast* (or 1 1/2 tsps dry yeast)
  • 125 ml milk
  • 50 grams unsalted butter
  • 1 egg (M), organic or free-range
  • 40 grams superfine sugar
  • 1 ½ tsps. pure vanilla sugar
  • 1 pinch of fine sea salt

Ingredients for the Topping
  • 60 grams unsalted butter
  • 60 grams superfine sugar
  • 1 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
  • 50 grams slithered almonds

  • one springform pan (26 – 28 cm)
  • parchment paper
Ostfriesischer Teekuchen

Zutaten für den Hefeteig
  • 250 Gramm Weizenmehl (Typ „1050“)
  • 20 Gramm frische Hefe (oder 1 1/2  TL Trockenhefe)
  • 125 ml Milch
  • 50 Gramm Butter, ungesalzen
  • 1 Ei (M), Bio oder Freiland
  • 40 Gramm feinster Zucker
  • 1 ½ TL Bourbon Vanillezucker
  • 1 Prise feines Meersalz

Zutaten für den Belag
  • 60 Gramm Butter, ungesalzen
  • 60 Gramm feinster Zucker
  • 1 TL Ceylon Zimt
  • 50 Gramm Mandelblättchen

  • eine Springform (26 – 28 cm)
  • Backpapier

Preparation of the Yeast Dough
  1. Put the flour in a bowl, make an indentation in the center of the flour and crumble the yeast into the indentation.NOTE: fresh yeast is available in the US here
  2. Heat the milk until lukewarm, dissolve the butter in the milk and pour the milk mixture over the crumbled yeast.
  3. Add the egg, sugar, vanilla sugar and salt and mix all the ingredients together and mix all the ingredients together and knead, until bubbles form and the dough does not stick to the mixing bowl anymore.
  4. Leave the dough to rise in a warm draft free area for 60 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  5. Grease the springform pan and line with parchment paper.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  7. Place the dough in the prepared baking pan and set aside.
  8. For the topping, heat the butter in a medium saucepan, stir in the sugar and cinnamon, stirring continously. Then stir in the almonds.
  9. Brush the dough with the butter-sugar-cinnamon mixture.
  10. Bake the cake for about 25 to 30 minutes. Make sure that the cake does not get too dark.
  11. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for a a few minutes. Unmold and serve while still warm.
Zubereitung des Hefeteigs
  1. Das Mehl in eine Schüssel geben, in die Mitte eine Vertiefung drücken und Hefe hineinbröckeln.
  2. Milch lauwarm erwärmen, Butter darin auflösen und dann die Milchmischung auf die Hefe gießen
  3. Ei, Zucker, Vanillezucker und Salz dazugeben und alle Zutaten miteinander verkneten, bis sich Blasen bilden und der Teig sich vom Schüsselrand löst.
  4. Teig an einem warmen Ort gut 60 Minuten gehen lassen.
  5. Die Springform einfetten und mit Backpapier auskleiden.
  6. Den Ofen auf 180 Grad Celsius vorheizen.
  7. Den Hefeteig in die vorbereitete Backform geben und kurz beiseite stellen.
  8. Für den Belag Butter in einem Topf erwärmen, Zucker und Zimt unter ständigem Rühren dazugeben. Dann die Mandelblättchen unterheben.
  9. Den Hefeteig mit der Butter-Zucker-Zimt-Mischung einstreichen.
  10. Hefeteig etwa 25 bis 30 Minuten backen. Dabei darauf achten, dass der Kuchen nicht zu dunkel wird.
  11. Kuchen auf einem Kuchenrost etwas abkühlen lassen. Aus der Form nehmen und noch lauwarm servieren.

Enjoy baking this East Frisian Tea Cake and have fun re-creating a true East Frisian tea ceremony with strong black or East Frisian tea, rock candy sugar and a bit of cream!

Product Info:
East Frisian tea and rock candy sugar can be ordered online HERE
Gutes Gelingen beim Backen des Ostfriesischen Teekuchens und viel Spaß bei einer Ostfriesischen Teezeremonie mit starkem Ostfriesischen Tee, Kluntjes und etwas Sahne!

Produkt Info:
Ostfriesische Blatt-Mischung und Kandiszucker kann man zum Beispiel hier bestellen

Friday, March 7, 2014

FFwD - Two Tartines from La Croix-Rouge

Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group are “Two Tartines from la Croix-Rouge” – two open-faced sandwiches fashioned after some well-known lunchtime treats from the famous Bar de la Croix-Rouge in Paris, France.

The first Tartine is called “Tartine Norvégienne”, meaning that the slice of bread is topped with butter (I used cream cheese), slices of smoked salmon (ours was from Norway!), capers, and thin slices of organic lemon. As far as the choice of bread is concerned, these sandwiches apparently are served at the Café on a “pain Poilâne”, the famous sourdough country bread from the Poilâne bakery in Paris. For our sandwiches, I chose a rye and sourdough loaf with a dark crust. There are so many different varieties of bread available in this country, that I often have a hard time deciding which one to use – the bread that I chose for our tartines is one we all enjoy and it is hearty enough to stand up to both toppings in today´s recipe.

So as far as the “Tartine Norvégienne” is concerned, all I can say is that we love smoked salmon...

...and we love capers

...and we love the freshness that lemons bring to this type of sandwich – although this is a common sandwich treat at our house, we all really enjoyed Dorie´s version.

The second Tartine is called “Tartine St-Germain”, meaning that the slice of bread is topped with mayonnaise, gherkins and slices of roast beef. Another easy lunchtime sandwich since perfectly prepared and thinly sliced roast beef can be found at every good butcher´s shop around here.

What is not to love about a sandwich like this – although I usually prepare a fresh tartar sauce to go with roast beef, a good-quality mayonnaise is also delicious with this type of sandwich. The tangy gherkins are a perfect match to the tender slices of beef – whether they are finely chopped, sliced, or finely minced as part of the tartar sauce.

To see how much the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group enjoyed today´s recipe, please click here.

If you happen to own Dorie Greenspan´s book “Around my French Table”, you will find the recipe for “Two Tartines from La Croix-Rouge” on pages 42-43.