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Chia pudding parfait

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Chia pudding parfait

Chia pudding parfait

Ingredients: 1/3 cup chia seeds, 1 cup almond milk or milk of choice, 2 T maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 cups sliced fruit, 1 cup granola or cereal

Mix all ingredients until well combined. Refrigerate until it sets (about an hour).  You can increase the firmness of the pudding by adding more seeds. To serve: In 4 wine glasses place some fruit in the bottom of a cup, sprinkle some granola on top, spread a layer of chia pudding and repeat until you use everything up.

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Panna cotta with tart cherry

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visitors in July 2015 089

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert of sweetened cream thickened with gelatin and molded. The cream may be aromatized with rum, coffee, vanilla or other flavorings.

Properly speaking at the panna cotta the sugar is dissolved in warm cream. The cream may by flavored, either by infusing spices and the like in it, or by adding rum, coffee, vanilla, and so on. Gelatin. It is softened in a cold liquid, then added to warm cream mixture. This is poured into molds and allowed to set. The molds may have caramel in the bottoms, giving a result similar to a crème caramel(that is the classic panna cotta). Although the name means ‘cooked cream’, the ingredients are only warmed enough to dissolve the gelatin and sugar. Panna cotta is often served with a coulis, berries, or a sauce of caramel or chocolate. It may be covered with fruit or with liqueurs.

Panna cotta is not mentioned in Italian cookbooks before the 1960s, yet it is often cited as a traditional dessert of the northern Italian region of Piedmont. One other story says that panna cotta was invented by a Hungarian woman in the Langhe-Langa village (North of Italy) in the early 1900s. Its recipe includes cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, gelatin, rum, and marsala poured into a mold with caramel. Another author considers the traditional flavoring to be peach eau-de-vie, and the traditional presentation not to have sauce or other garnishes. Panna cotta became fashionable in the United States in the 1990s. My recipe is the classic panna cotta with caramel sauce and because now we are in the tart cherry season I garnished with it.

Panna cotta with caramel sauce

For the Milk Chocolate Ganache: 8 ounces heavy cream, 8 ounces chopped milk chocolate

For the Salty Caramel Sauce: 1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup sugar, Fleur de sel

For the Panna Cotta: 3/4 cup plus 1 cup milk, 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin, 2 cups heavy cream

Garnishes: whipped cream, peanuts, caramelized popcorn, or fresh fruit

For the ganache: Boil the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour the cream into a bowl over the milk chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted. Pour one ladle of ganache into the bottom of 8 double rocks glasses. Put in the refrigerator and allow to cool while you make the caramel sauce and panna cotta.

For the caramel sauce: Boil the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Put the sugar in a separate saucepan. Add a pinch of fleur de sel to the sugar. Heat the sugar over medium-high heat until it starts to turn a caramel color, 6 to 10 minutes. Slowly add the cream to the dark caramel sauce and whisk together. Allow to cool.

For the panna cotta: Pour 3/4 cup of the milk in a bowl. Sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the milk. Heat the remaining 1 cup milk and the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a light simmer. Pour the milk and cream mixture over the gelatin mixture and whisk until dissolved. Pour the salty caramel sauce into the mixture, whisking as you pour. Distribute evenly into the double rocks glasses over the ganache. Place in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours. When the panna cotta is chilled, you can garnish with salted peanuts, caramelized popcorn, whipped cream or fruit!


Chia pudding parfait

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Chia pudding parfait

Chia pudding parfait

Ingredients: 1/3 cup chia seeds, 1 cup almond milk or milk of choice, 2 T maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 cups sliced fruit, 1 cup granola or cereal

Mix all ingredients until well combined. Refrigerate until it sets (about an hour).  You can increase the firmness of the pudding by adding more seeds. To serve: In 4 wine glasses place some fruit in the bottom of a cup, sprinkle some granola on top, spread a layer of chia pudding and repeat until you use everything up.

Lemon Verbena and Chamomile Cream Brulée

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chamomile cream bruléeLemon Verbena and Chamomile Cream Brulée

Ingredients: 500 ml heavy cream, 5 egg yolks, 100 grams sugar, 3 grams (about 3 sprigs) lemon verbena leaves or 2 verbena tea filters, 1 gram chamomile leaves

In a small saucepan pour the heavy cream and add the herbs to it and bring to a boil. Turn the heat off in order to let the herbs steep in the cream for a few minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar. Temper the warm cream into the yolks and whisk. Strain the custard through a fine sieve.

Place ramekins on a cake pan. Pour custard into ramekins and place pan into the 300F/175 degrees preheated oven. Once the cake pan is on the oven rack, pour some boiling water to create a water bath. Steam cream in this bain mairie for about 20 minutes (it depends on the size of the ramekin). The cream brulée is ready when the center of the cream jiggles slightly but in the midst of the cream is non-liquid.

Refrigerate the baked custards for at least 4 hours. Before serving, sprinkle cream brulées with some brown sugar on the top and caramelize them with a torch or under a hot broiler.

Chamomile Shortbread

Ingredients: 110 grams butter, 80 grams sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 tbsp lemon zest, 1/2 tbsp chamomile leaves, 175 grams flour, a pinch of salt

Churn the butter with the sugar. Add the egg and mix together. Scrape the bowl. Add the flour, salt, lemon zest and the chamomile leaves. Mix everything together until they are well combined.

Place dough on a parchment paper and roll into a log that is about 1 inch thick. Wrap it in the parchment paper and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Slice the log, place the cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment or silicon mat and bake at 350 F/175 degrees for about 12 minutes or until short breads are slightly golden.chamomile-lemon-cookie

Dandelion soft drink with orange and mint in the best beer garden of the world

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Zili+Zeger 013Since I’ve been living in Munich (the capital of the German state of Bavaria) for a couple of years going to beer garden is a must. All the more because the beer garden culture started up in Munich, from the 19th century and its popularity is increasing worldwide. To explain a bit better  how does it operate: in Germany the beer gardens are usually attached to a beer hall, pub, or restaurant, with a distinction being made between a Wirtsgarten where only food sold by the venue is allowed and a traditional Biergarten where patrons may also bring their own.

Short beer garden history of Munich

It is unknown which Munich brewery opened the first Bavarian Biergärten as the concept evolved over time, but it was likely one of Munich’s big six: Löwenbräu, Hofbräuhaus, Augustinerbräu, Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr and Spaten. What is known is that they developed in Germany in the then kingdom in the 19th century.

Seasonal limitations on when beer could be brewed were already in the Bavarian brewing regulations by 1539; in 1553, Albert V decreed a period from 29 September, the feast of St Michael to 23 April, the feast of Saint George, for its production. The cool seasons were chosen to minimize the risk of fire when boiling mashed grain into wort. Numerous conflagrations had occurred, resulting in the prohibition of brewing during the summer months. In response, large breweries dug cellars in the banks of the River Isar to keep their beer cool during storage. “Beer cellars” for consuming beer on premises naturally followed.

To further reduce the cellar temperature during the warm seasons, 19th century brewers covered the river banks with gravel and planted chestnut trees for their dense spreading canopies. Soon after that, serving cool beer in a pleasant shaded setting emerged. Simple tables and benches were set up among the trees, creating the popular “beer garden” we know today. Food service followed, aggrieving smaller breweries that found it difficult to compete. They petitioned Maximilian I to forbid it. In compromise, beer gardens allowed their patrons to bring their own food, still common practice. With the advent of widespread lagering in the later 19th century, beer gardens grew more popular than ever.

But Maximilian’s decree is no longer in force, and many beer gardens serve food, usually common Bavarian fare such as Radi (radish), Brezn (soft pretzel), Obatzda (cheese dip), halbes Hendl (half a grilled chicken), Hax’n (knuckle of pork), and Steckerlfisch (grilled fish). Equally important to the beer garden is an atmosphere of “Gemütlichkeit”, conveying a feeling of warmth, friendliness, and belonging. Reinforced by shared tables, it is often accompanied by music, song, and fellowship among strangers.

My favorite beer garden is in the middle of the Fürstenried forest, near from our home. Last week because of the heat-wave we decided to go there with some friends. After work we took our bikes and rode there. It was a nice Thursday evening luckily the beer garden-my Forst Haus Kasten– was not crowd as usual when the weather is that scorching hot. At the buffet area everyone had found their picks in record time. I chose the Spatzle, a kind of noodle with cheese and with fried onion flakes on the top my hubby chose the roasted ribs and since I never consume alcohol I picked up a fantastic local soft drink the dandelion with fresh orange and with mint (without alcohol). It was so good that I had to drink two! After drinking them I asked the recipe. Here it is for youZili+Zeger 019Zili+Zeger 015

Dandelion liquor

Dandelion flowers can be used to make dandelion wine, for which there are many recipes. Most of these are more accurately described as “dandelion-flavored wine,” as some other sort of fermented juice or extract serves as the main ingredient. In Germany instead of vodka, korn (or Branntwein-spirits) is often added to the dandelion flowers. But korn differs from vodka because in it is distilled to lower alcoholic proofs and less rigorously filtered, which leaves more of the cereal taste in the finished spirit

Ingredients: 70 g dandelion flower, 150 g lump sugar, 1 lemon, 0,7 l vodka or korn

Directions: Shake well the dandelion flowers, so that the small insects may fall out. Then pluck the tops of the yellow flowers. The pollen can flake heavily so wear gloves. (Yellow or green dye colors can be obtained from the flowers). Peel the skin of the lemon finely and then squeeze the juice from it. Put the dandelion flowers, the lemon zest, lemon juice and lump sugar in a glass and pour over the vodka. Let the drink in a bright place approximately for 4 weeks then filter off.

You can make a “snaps” with dandelion syrup mix with soda water and a bit of freshly pressed orange juice. Serve in cool!Zili+Zeger 014

Korn (from German, “grain”) is a German colorless distilled beverage that is usually made from fermented rye but may also be made from barley or wheat. Korn is the cheapest kind of liquor available in northern Germany. It is very popular there and is regarded as the liquor of the working class.

The dandelion has several culinary and medicinal uses. The flowers are used to make dandelion wine or liqueur, the greens are used in salads, the roots have been used to make a coffee substitute (when baked and ground into powder) and the plant was used by Native Americans as a food and medicine.




Belgian miserables cake

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The best of Belgium! I can say about this butter-vanilla cream filled miracle! No wonder why it has become a Belgian classic! So that it is funny why was it named after the book of Victor Hugo: Les Miserables but believe me this cake is everything but not miserable!

Ingredients for the biscuit: 8 egg whites, 50g sugar, 250g icingsugar, 250g ground almonds, 50g flour

for the cream: 1 vanilla pod, 250g sugar, 2 eggs, 300g softened butter


Methods: Preheat the oven to 190°C. Lightly whisk the egg whites and add 80g sugar. Continue whisking until stiff. Mix icing sugar with the ground almonds and sieve together with the flour. Carefully but quickly fold into the egg whites. Distribute the mixture evenly over a high-rimmed baking tray that is lined with grease proof paper until you have a layer that is approximately 2 cm thick.

Bake for 20 minutes on 190°C (or on 180°C for 30 minutes) (Warning! don’t pour the biscuit massa in a spring form because the middle of the massa will be really “miserable”!)

Turn the slab of sponge out onto a tea towel.

Slit the vanilla pod lengthwise. Whisk the egg yolks with the icing sugar well. Add the softened butter and the vanilla flesh all at once and beat until a smooth cream is obtained.

Cut the edges from the slab of the sponge then cut it into two equal halves. Smear the butter cream into an icing bag with a round nozzle and pipe a layer of butter cream to one of the halves. Place the other half on top and press down gently. Smooth the cream out evenly round the edges. Dust the top of the cake with icing sugar and, if desired, with cocoa powder.



Roasted turkey on “pain perdu” canape with chervil and curry mayonnaise

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180 km 064The chervil is sometimes called garden chervil to distinguish it from similar plants also called chervil, or French parsley, is a delicate annual herb related to parsley. It is commonly used to season mild-flavoured dishes and is a constituent of the French herb mixture fines herbes.

Chervil is used, particularly in France and Belgium (kervel soup), to season poultry, seafood, young spring vegetables (such as carrots), soups, and sauces. More delicate than parsley, it has a faint taste of liquorice or aniseed.

Chervil is one of the four traditional French fines herbes, along with tarragon, chives, and parsley, which are essential to French cooking. Unlike the more pungent, robust herbs, thyme, rosemary, etc., which can take prolonged cooking, the fines herbes are added at the last minute, to salads, omelettes, and soups.

Roasted turkey on “pain perdu” with chervil-curry mayonnaise

Pain+perdu+met+kalkoen,+asperges+en+kerriemayonaiseIngredients: 2 turkey thighs, 250 g white asparagus, 250 g green bean, 1 egg, 111 ml milk, 2 g chicken grill spice, 2 cl oil, 40 g butter, 80 g mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon curry, 1 bunch fresh chervil, 4 slices toast breads, salt and pepper
Methods: Salt and pepper the turkey thighs. Fry them in a little bit of butter or oil for max. three minutes then place them onto a baking tray and bake them for 30-35 minutes on 180°C/375 F. When turkey is golden brown carve thighs into nice slices.

Prepare French toasts (without sugar!): add egg to milk, flavor with grill spice mixture and mix well. Dip breads into milk mixture. Heat some oil and fry breads until golden brown. Place them on a kitchen paper.

Clean asparagus and green bean, cut them into small slices. Soaté both in a frying pan, adding a bit of butter to it. Salt and pepper, pour over some lemon juice and a pinch of sugar to vegetables.

Flavor mayonnaise with curry and with some finelly chopped chervil. Salt and pepper to taste. Arrange French toast onto plate, place the roasted turkey on the top, smear the top of the turkey with a bit of mayonnaise and put vegetables alongside.