Recipes

Christmas marzipan recipe

 

I love Christmas!

Well, I guess I like the romantic notion of Christmas – cold winter days, candlelit dinners, lovely food, roaring fires, spending time with family & friends  – but ever so often reality looks slightly different. With Christmas around the corner, stress levels build up to make it all so perfect. We run around town to find the perfect gift, we spend a whole lot of money that we don’t have and by the end of it we are so exhausted that if something doesn’t go according to plan we snap at each other and eventually melt into tears.

Last year, I made a conscious effort to relax a bit more and not try to tick every single Christmas box there is. And the same I intend to do this year.

Instead of expensive presents, I get creative and make things – photos collages and calendars are always beautiful presents and they are made to last. I invite friends for dinner and spend quality time with them. Last year I had eight friends over and I made home-made chicken liver pate on toasted brioche which went down a treat with a few glasses of bubbles at the beginning of the meal!

This year, I am doing more baking & cooking to surprise my loved ones. Food brings people together and can say more than thousand words.

I want to share one of my recipes with you which takes less than 30 mins to make and looks great under the Christmas tree.

German Marzipan Recipe

I made my own marzipan for the first time at one of my pop ups in 2015 and ever since I get asked for my recipe. Well, here it is 🙂

Marzipan is very popular in Germany all year round. During the Christmas time, it is common to give marzipan in the shape of a bread, which is called ‘Marzipanbrot’ or small potatoes ‘Marzipankartoffeln’. Another tradition is a Glücksschwein (‘lucky pig’) on New Years Eve.

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Historically, Marzipan is a specialty of the Hanseatic League port towns. In particular the city of Lübeck in the north of Germany, has a proud and long-standing tradition of marzipan manufacture and you will find the German Niederegger Marzipan in most shops these days.

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Marzipan is so delicious and quick to make at home. You can add it to cakes and cookies, make decoration for cakes or simply enjoy it on its own.  I love recipes that allow for modifications. You can add anything to the mix – nuts, chocolate, spices, colourings, you name it.

I made some Marzipankartoffel the other day with dark chocolate coating and inside it had a roasted almond. I wrapped them up nicely and gave them as a present. It was a winner

Here is how it goes 

Makes ten to 15 little marzipan balls

Ingredients

1 cup of ground almonds
1 cup of icing sugar
1 egg white
2 table spoons of pure almond extract
1 table spoon of rose water 

For the filling & coating

100gr of dark chocolate (80%)
Whole almonds

3 table spoons of icing sugar
1/2 table spoons of cinnamon

Preparation

  • Add the ground almonds, almond extract, rose water, icing sugar and egg white together in a bowl. Use your clean hands to kneed the dough until all the ingredients are well mixed together. No need to get the whisker out.

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  • Refrigerate the dough for 15 mins.
  • After 15 mins remove the marzipan from the fridge and form little balls or squares with your hands (any shape goes really). Place one whole almond in the middle when shaping the dough (optional)

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  • Prepare the chocolate. Break the dark chocolate into small pieces and place into a heatproof bowl.
  • Sit over a pan of barely simmering water (a bain marie) and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally. Ensure no hot water gets into the chocolate.
  • Cover the marzipan shapes with chocolate and allow to cool on a flat surface. You can also use cocoa powder for coating, which is less messy and equally delicious.
  • Mix the icing sugar an cinnamon and sieve over the cooled chocolate marzipans.

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Done! 

Eat straight away, wrap up nicely as a present or serve at the end of your meal with coffee & teas.

Enjoy your Christmas and don’t forget..

Christmas is not be about the size of the turkey, the quality of champagne or the amount of presents under the Christmas tree. It is the time to be with family and friends, cherish the moments we have together and appreciate the simple things in life that we often take for granted.

x

 

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Tasty, gluten-free buckwheat waffle recipe

Looking for your next addictive brunch treat?

As much as I love the summer, there’s something special about Autumn colours and comfort food, candle-lit romance and sweet treats to get you through the colder days. I have created a delicious and gluten-free buckwheat waffle recipe, perfect if you want to watch the waistline without saying ‘no’.

As a more healthy breakfast alternative my gluten-free buckwheat waffles with Chia strawberry jam mean a guilt-free indulgent brunch. I recommend topping these scrumptious waffles to your heart’s delight with home-made Chia Strawberry Jam for the sweetest start to your day. Nom Nom

If you have come to one of my recent Berlin brünch pop ups before, you will have tried them – the outsides are deep, golden brown and have a crunchy texture, while the insides are fluffy and soft – so good!

Waffles with Quark Bruench (18 of 29)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I only started to experiment with Buckwheat fairly recently. Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat and is a fantastic gluten-free superfood that is inexpensive to buy and versatile to use. It is perfect for making waffles and other pastries. It has definitely become a superstar in my kitchen. It has a lovely earthy flavour and fantastic nutritional benefits – high in fibre, protein, niacin, amino acids and vitamin D.

Instead of vegetable oil, which you will find in many waffle recipes, I use virgin coconut oil, which is not only better nutritionally-speaking, but it also boasts a richer, sweeter flavour that complements this dish perfectly. Did you know that coconut oil can reduce appetite and increase fat burning?

To give my waffles an extra nutritional punch, I serve my waffles with my home-made Chia Strawberry Jam – no jam sugar needed!

Chia Seeds are amazing. Naturally high in Omega-3, Protein and Fibre it provides a generous amount of Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus. The seeds themselves aren’t too dissimilar to poppy seeds. They are tasteless and combined with water, they will swell up and build a gel-like layer making them perfect for jams as you won’t need any sugar jam. Also sprinkle a few Chia seeds into your morning orange juice for breakfast, helping you to feel energised and ready to seize your day.

So we have cut out the gluten, replaced the vegetable oil with healthier virgin coconut oil and we added an extra punch of nutrients – Bam!

Here is how you make them

Ingredients

Makes about five waffles

  • 2 cups of Buckwheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of sugar or honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups of milk (full-fat milk is best)
  • 1/2 cups of melted virgin coconut oil
  • A few drops of vanilla extract

Unsalted butter for the waffle iron

Instructions

  • Mix the flour and baking powder together in a large bowl
  • Beat the egg and sugar/honey until nice and creamy in a separate bowl
  • Add the milk, coconut oil and vanilla extract to the egg mix
  • Slowly add the liquid mix to the dry ingredients to get a smooth batter
  • Get your waffle machine ready
  • Once it’s hot, coat the iron with some unsalted butter and ladle in the batter mixture
  • If you have a Belgium waffle maker, turn the waffle iron upside down to allow the batter to rise evenly
  • Waffles are cooked after about five minutes but carefully check in between to not over or under cook them. The waffles should be crispy on the outside and nice and fluffy on the inside
  • Serve with whatever takes your fancy – fresh fruits, icing sugar, Nutella or healthy home-made Chia Strawberry Spread – here is how it goes

Healthy home-made Chia Strawberry Spread

Bruench (2 of 29) strawberry jam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 500 grams of fresh Strawberries
  • 2 tsp of chia seeds  (I use WOW Chia seeds for my jam recipe)
  • 4 tsp honey, or to taste (if it’s strawberry season – May until August/September – you might not need as much as the strawberries will bring a lot of own sweetness)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

    • Hull the strawberries using a knife to cut a cone shape into the fruit and remove the stem. Cut into halves
    • Place the fruit, vanilla and honey in a saucepan and bring to a boil
    • Sterilise your jam jars by cleaning them thoroughly and putting them into the hot oven for about 10 minutes. Remove the glasses and leave to cool on a clean towel
    • When the strawberries are boiling and little bubbles appear, mash up the mix with a potato masher or use a blender. The more fruit pieces you like, the less you need to mash up the fruit.
    • Add the chia to the mix and allow the seeds to soak up all the fruit juices and thicken it to a jammy consistency
    • Last but not least, fill the mix into your Jam Jars, close the lid and turn them upside down to create a vacuum, which makes the jam last longer

Note – the texture will be slightly different to the one you are used to when using jam sugar but I hope you like it anyway 🙂

Enjoy and let me know how you get on x

Quark – The Guilt Free Ingredient and next Big Thing in Nutrition

I love Quark (‘kvarg’)

.. and I don’t mean the type of matter particle you find in your physics books.

No, I am talking about the Quark that is lovely and creamy, very easy to work with and super healthy too.

Quark is very popular in German-speaking countries and I am really surprised why Quark is still not very common in the UK. But what is it? Quark is a fresh curd cheese made from pasteurized cow’s milk. You can easily miss it among of all the cottage cheeses, cream cheeses and ricottas. From a nutritional standpoint, I would go for Quark over Greek yoghurt, normal yoghurts and other soft cheeses any day.

Here a little comparison to give you the full picture

 

Lake District

Fat Free Quark

Total 0% Fat Greek Yoghurt Onken Natural Yogurt Low Fat
Energy             63kcal          96 kcal              46kcal
Fat              0.4 g           5.0 g               0.1g
of which saturates              0.2 g           3.6 g               0.1g
Carbohydrate              3.4 g           3.8 g               4.3g
of which sugars              3.4 g           3.8 g               4.3g
Protein              11.6 g           9.0 g               5.4g
Salt

             0.1 g

           0.1g               0.2 g

 

As you can see, it is a great source of protein, naturally fat free and low in salt and sugar – perfect if you are in training mode or simply like to eat healthy and look after yourself.

I use a lot of Quark in my daily cooking and Berlin brünch popups. It is such a versatile dairy ingredient perfect for mixing and baking, in savoury and sweet dishes. At my pop ups many of my guests ask me  where they can buy Quark.

Unfortunately, you cannot get Quark everywhere but don’t despair. The Lake District Dairy Co. Quark, which I personally really like comes in three varieties – ‘Original’, ‘Lemon’ and ‘Vanilla’ and you can get your hands on a 250g pot at a larger Sainsbury’s (the smaller stores often don’t have it). They usually put it separate from the yoghurts and close to the Mascarpone and Ricotta. A pot at the supermarket costs you £1.25 but Sainsbury’s house brand Quark is pretty good too and costs £1.

Here some interesting facts about Quark

  • Quark originated in Europe and is very populat in the northern countries
  • Quark accounts for about half of the total cheese consumption in Germany
  • It has double the amount of protein content than common yoghurts
  • It is the perfect healthy alternative to ricotta, mascarpone and cottage cheese
  • Unlike most commercial cheeses, quark contains neither rennet nor added salt

Now then, I hope this gives you a bit of an idea what I am on about. All I can say is give it a go, taste it and experiment with it. Below a few inspirations and recipes which I love and which are easy for you to try at home.

One of my own signature brünch dishes is Vanilla Quark with home-made Amaranth & Chia Granola. If this sounds too complicated, come along to one of my brünches and I walk you through it.

Tip – Don’t buy the ready-made Vanilla Quark but add fresh vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste and some icing sugar to the ‘Original’ version. If you don’t have Granola at hand, top it up with some fresh fruit and nuts and et voilà 🙂

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Or how about a German Quark Cheesecake with poppy seeds?

 

Quark Cheesecake by Essen und Trinken

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture & Recipe from ‘Essen und Trinken‘

Tip – Always drain the Quark in a towel before adding it to the mix, otherwise the cake becomes too wet.

Or, if you like it savoury, try out this delicious herb quark (German – Kräuterquark) on rye bread

Krauterquark

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture by Eatsmarter.de

Tip – I like to add chives, parsley, garlic and onion but you can add any herb you like really. Add the Herb Quark to your tortillas, sandwiches, on boiled potatoes (typical German dish) or Sweet Potato Wedges instead of sour cream and Mayonnaise.

Or Waffles with Quark?

Tip – Best with fresh fruit, icing sugar and perhaps some golden syrup

 

 Waffles with Quark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture by brünch 

RECIPE FOR YOU TO TRY AT HOME

So here it comes – one of my favourite Quark recipes is QUARK ICE CREAM

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Picture by brünch 

I can eat ice cream any day of the year and any time of the day.

I love a proper gelato – creamy and rich in a fresh home-made waffle. So GOOD! My friend Michael, who is possibly the best chocolatier in London and also a passionate cook, made a fantastic ice cream at one of his dinner parties and I got very excited. Weeks after I was still thinking about it and had so many ideas of what type of ice creams I could make. So I borrowed his ice cream machine and tried a few things out. It is brilliant – you can literally add anything you like ie Molasses, dry sourdough bread (yes, it’s amazing), earl grey tea, Nutella, your favourite chocolate bar, fresh fruit and QUARK.

I was designing my menu for my German-inspired Summer Dinner Pop Up and I decided to serve Quark Ice Cream with Rote Grütze, a German fruit compote which I serve at my Sunday Berlin brünches. A few days later, Michael, his girlfriend Alex and their little daughter Augustine witnessed the making of the best Quark ice cream I have ever tasted (well, it was kind of the first one I tasted..)

Making ice cream is so easy and done within only one hour – perfect for when you have friends spontaneously showing up for dinner. This one is definitely a winner. We tried a few versions until we were happy with the texture, flavour and looks of my frozen desert.

Here is how it goes:

Ingredients

  • 150 gr of sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 300 gr natural quark (The Original Dairy Farm Quark from Sainsbury works well)
  • 2 vanilla beans OR 2 tablespoons pure vanilla bean paste

Method

takes 20 mins to make and 30 mins in the ice cream machine

makes about 500 ml of ice cream

 

  • Add the sugar with a little bit of water (3-4 table spoons) into a sauce pan until dissolved.
  • Beat the egg yolks in a separate bowl and slowly whisk in the sugar syrup until pale and creamy and tripling in volume.
  • Whisk together the cream and quark with a hand-held whisk until it becomes creamy and smooth. Add the vanilla and stir.
  • Fold in the egg mixture and blend with a baking spatula until fully combined.
  • Add the smooth cream into the bucket of the ice cream machine (¾ full) and set the timer for 30 minutes. If you don’t use a machine, fill the cream into a Tupper Ware Box and put into the freezer overnight. Blitz the frozen mix in the morning and back into the freezer for an hour. The latter takes longer but tastes equally delicious.

Ready!

The ice cream maker is definitely on my birthday wish list. Mum I hope you are reading this..:)

Coconut Quinoa Porridge with Caramelised Pineapple

Yay!! Spring has arrived!!! 😀

It is yet again a beautiful morning! I love the change of the season – days are becoming longer, birds are waking me up in the morning, the sun makes me livelier and I see a lot more smiles around me. Letting this Winter Blues go now!

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This morning I woke up with a craving for something sweet. Something comforting but healthy to start this gorgeous day! Quinoa has become one of my favourite staples in the house and I am often experimenting what I can do with this amazing Supergrain. It is a ‘pseudocereal’ and a great source for protein.

Picture from http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-quinoa-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-63344

Picture from http://www.thekitchn.com on how to cook Quinoa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As my tummy struggles with too much milk and especially warm milk, I started using coconut milk a lot more. I was never a big fan of coconuts when I was younger but over the past two years, I re-discovered its taste and texture and now I cook with it almost every day (ie coconut extra virgin oil, coconut water, coconut milk, flakes, …).

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So this morning, I am making my signature Coconut Quinoa Porridge with Caramelised Pineapple in a Weck Jar It is very easy and takes about 20-25 minutes.

Coconut Quinoa Porridge

Coconut Quinoa Porridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Porridge

1/2 cup of Quinoa
2/3 cup of Coconut Milk out of a can (the higher the coconut extract content in %, the creamier it gets)
1 cup of Coconut Water
1/2 cup of water
2 Cloves and/or pinch of cinnamon
1 TS of Algarve Honey (as sweet as you like it but bear in mind the coconut has got some natural sweetness to it)

Note: This is a diary free recipe. If you refer the porridge to become a bit richer in texture and taste, you can replace the coconut water with milk.

Topping

Here you can really go wild but below some ideas:

2 slices of pineapple
Brown sugar to coat pineapple
Extra: Toasted seeds, mixed nuts, dried fruits, coulis, berries…

Also delicious with: dried coconut flakes, blueberries, pomegranate, poached peaches – you name it.

Preparation:

  • Preheat Grill at 220 Degrees Celsius
  • Cut the slices of peeled pineapple into five pieces each and generously coat with brown sugar
  • Place coated pineapple on aluminium foil and grill in the oven until golden brown, then leave to cool
  • Rinse the Quinoa with water and mix the water, coconut water, spices and the honey with the Quinoa in a pot and bring to simmer
  • Turn down to medium heat and allow to cook gently for a few minutes until the grain starts to soften and open up (be careful not to overcook the Quinoa at this stage to retain its nutty texture and flavour)
  • Then add the coconut milk. Continue to simmer until the Quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid and has that nice porridge-like texture
  • Add more coconut milk/coconut milk according to your liking (some like it more liquid than others)
  • Allow Quinoa to rest for few minutes
  • Assemble the dish
  • Serve hot or cold

Here is the difference between Quinoa Porridge made with Milk (left) and the dairy free version with Coconut Water (right)

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ENJOY! 🙂

About Coconut Milk (via BBC Good Food)

Coconuts are highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Unlike cow’s milk, coconut milk is lactose free so can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance. It is a popular choice with vegans and makes a great base for smoothies, milkshakes or as a dairy alternative in baking.

Coconuts contain significant amounts of fat, but unlike other nuts, they provide fat that is mostly in the form of medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs). MCFAs are rapidly metabolised into energy in the liver. It is thought that unlike other saturated fats, MCFAs are used up more quickly by the body and are less likely to be stored as fat.

Coconut Milk is made from a brew of coconut meat and water. But don’t confuse it with lower- calorie coconut water. Rich and thick and more like cream than milk. (via EatingWell)

Unlike wheat or rice, Quinoa is a complete protein – containing all eight of the essential amino acids. The UN named 2013 ‘International Quinoa Year’ in recognition of the crop’s high nutrient content. With twice the protein content of rice or barley, Quinoa is also a very good source of calcium, magnesium and manganese. It also possesses good levels of several B vitamins, vitamin E and dietary fibre. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest. The facts suggest it is close to a perfect ingredient as you can get.

Flammkuchen for Two

Join me for breakfast, lunch and dinner with this fantastic quick ‘German’ (not quite but almost!) recipe!

I probably had my first ever Flammkuchen at my best friend’s house when I was a teenager. I loved it straight away. It is easy to make, light and it can be modified to suit any time of the day and occasion.

Flammkuchen or ‘Flame Cake’ or ‘Tarte flambée’ is one of the most famous specialties of the Alsace region in France, which borders with the west bank of the upper Rhine adjacent to Germany and Switzerland. And this recipe is so good that it did not take long until the Germans got wind of it and made sure it is now eaten anywhere across in the country.

Flammkuchen is basically a simple version of bread dough rolled out very very thinly in a rectangle (traditionally) or circle shape, which is then covered with crème fraîche, thinly sliced onions and Speck cubes (Eng: lardons).

I have my friend Jamie over for dinner (but I could certainly also have this for Brunch!) and I decide to make the traditional savoury version – Elsässer Flammkuchen, followed by a sweet version à la Noemi 🙂

This is how it goes (for two people) : 30 minutes

Dough

300 grammes of all-purpose flour
125 ml of sparking water
4 table spoons of vegetable or sunflower oil
1 pinch of salt

Savoury Topping

100 grammes of Crème fraîche
150 grammes of Speck (lardons)
1 large onion (I like red onions)
4 large Chestnut Mushrooms (not part of the original recipe, but I add them anyway! Use any mushrooms you like)

Sweet Topping

100 grammes of Crème fraîche
1 large apple (I use Gala Royal, they are sweet and I am just a big fan. The Boskoop Apple is also a really good apple to bake with, but it is more sour)
A hand full of raisins and finely sliced almonds (you can use any other nut, but I quite like the combination of almonds and apple)
Cinnamon and some fair trade brown sugar or Muscat sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to c. 220 degrees Celsius

Mix all the flour, water, oil and salt in a bowl and knead until it becomes a non-sticky dough (add more flour if too sticky)

By the way, the sparkling water makes the dough a bit lighter and more airy than if you were to use normal tap water

Cut the onion and mushrooms into very fine slices and the speck/lardon into small cubes

Roll out half of the dough very thinly onto baking paper and spread the Crème fraiche evenly on top

Add the slices of onion and mushrooms over the Crème fraiche

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Before…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bake for 10-15 mins in the oven but I advise to check after 10 minutes as the dough is very thin and burns quickly around the edges (Yep, happens to me ALL THE TIME!)

Add some mixed garden leaves on top and done! We are enjoying this lovely dish with a nice bottle of Merlot and candle light! 🙂

Capture3

…After 😉

 

 

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Gone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the main course, I get started on my desert! Yay!! Same dough – different topping! Love this!

Method

Roll out the other half of the dough very thinly onto baking paper and spread the Crème fraiche evenly onto the dough

Add the cinnamon and finely cut apple slices on top of the Crème fraiche

Then sprinkle the raisins, almonds and sugar all over the dough

Capture

…Before!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bake for 10-15 mins in the oven at c. 220 degrees Celsius

Similarly to before, check after about 10 minutes as the dough is very thin and burns quickly around the edges (as you can see…)

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…After!

 

 

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Gone as well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am an absolute ice cream fan and if I had not finished all my ice cream last night, I would have had some now. Home-made vanilla ice cream goes splendid with this desert

Enjoy this just as much as we did! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

Baked Frittata with fresh Herbs and caramelised Onions

I love eggs for breakfast!

I woke up this morning super hungry…(as always) and I really wanted to try out my new mini skillet pan to make a Frittata.

Omelette vs Frittata? Unlike an omelette, where you fold in a filling, a Frittata mixes it all up, almost like a Spanish tortilla.

Similar to an omelette, Fritattas are great because you can put in everything and anything. I love cooking with whatever is in the fridge and believe me, my fridge does not look like the one from Nigella Lawson, who seems to have literally everything when she decides to cook up a midnight leftover feast!

Anyway, so there are a few things I always have in the house. Herbs! My assortment usually comprises flat leaf parsley from the market, fresh mint, rosemary and thyme from our garden and some home-grown basil. Eggs! I try to make sure I always have eggs in the house and this time I even have some duck eggs, which I bought from Borough Market yesterday for another egg recipe. Bread! My freezer is full of various breads. I went to Berlin recently for a few days and I brought back some nice Sonnenblumenkernbrot (sunflower seed bread) and Wurzelbrot (Root Bread). Other than that, I always have some pumpkin seed bread rolls from my German supermarket around the corner and some sourdough bread in the freezer. Cheese! I looooove cheese. I do not eat any melted cheese funnily enough! But not one day goes by without me having some very mature cheddar, goats cheese or similar. Last but not least Butter! My favourite is slightly salted French butter. I love the smell when cooking with it and some quality butter on a slice of fresh sourdough just makes my day!

Ok, enough of what I have in my cupboards. This morning I am making Frittata and I have some nice ingredients to go with it (recipe for one person):

One skillet Pan (16.5 x 3.1 cm)
3 free-range hen eggs or two duck eggs (eggs are a great source of protein, which makes up muscle tissue and which in turn helps to keep your body active, strong, and healthy)
1 clove of garlic (good for the heart and circulation)
1 small red onion (lovely sweet taste)
Half a teaspoon of Agave Honey (contains naturally occurring sugars, a healthier option than added sugars)
4 cherry tomatoes (good for heart and circulation)
5 pitted olives (green or kalamata, depending on your liking)
Mint and basil (both good for the digestive system)
Parsley (high in Vitamin C & Vitamin K, good for bone health)
Sea Salt and black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil to cook

Method

Preheat your Grill to medium heat

Saute the finely sliced red onion, pressed garlic, honey and cherry tomatoes with some olive oil in a skillet pan over medium heat until the onions turn soft/caramelise and the tomatoes open up slightly

Add the eggs into the pan on medium heat, sprinkle the chopped herbs and olives on top and fry until the eggs starts to cook through around the edges of the pan

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Then place the skillet pan into the oven until golden brown

Serve with some dark rye or sourdough bread and salted butter!

Enjoy! 🙂 x

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Product Testing – Coconut Quinoa Porridge with Caramelised Pineapple

As part of the CREATE programme, I will get the opportunity to test my food and introduce my business concept in front of a panel of experts.  

I just got the brief and it says… ‘At the ‘Tasting & Testing’ session, you’ll have the opportunity to present your business (elevator pitch) along with samples of your food and any branding / packaging / marketing you’ve developed to a panel of experienced food entrepreneurs and industry experts for their feedback and advice’

I thought I write a post about this as it is the first time I am actually testing my own ideas with people who I do not know and who are experts in the field! And testing your product is probably THE most important thing before starting your own business.

I am very excited but also slightly nervous. I decided I will present three dishes to the panel, including my own creation – Coconut Quinoa Porridge with Caramelised Pineapple (recipe below). I will have to prepare parts at home and parts on site. I hope I have thought about everything:

1) Create my recipes – I tested my recipe again and again and my housemates have had quinoa porridge for the last three days! It is delicious, lactose free and MUCH healthier than your traditional oat porridge. Give it a go!

2) Timetable of when to prepare what – Generally YES, but I might have to improvise a bit as we will be in a group of people, I am not sure how much preparation time I actually have and I will be working with commercial kitchen equipment, which tends to be slightly more powerful than what I have at home.

4) Food Presentation/Packaging – CHECK! I have a plan! 🙂

5) Elevator Pitch – Still practising but I am getting there…

6) Ideas of Branding and Design – CHECK!  

Coconut Quinoa Porridge with Grilled and Caramelised Pineapple served in a WECK Jar

IMG_20141003_125927  My Housemate is loving it  WECK Glasses imported in Germany

Porridge

1/2 cup of Quinoa
2/3 cup of Coconut Milk out of a can (the higher the coconut extract content in %, the creamier it gets)
1 cup of Coconut Water
1/2 cup of water
2 Cloves and/or pinch of cinnamon
1 TS of Algarve Honey (as sweet as you like it but bear in mind the coconut has got some natural sweetness to it)

Note: This is a diary free recipe. If you refer the porridge to become a bit richer in texture and taste, you can replace the coconut water with milk.

Topping

Here you can really go wild but below some ideas:

2 slices of pineapple
Brown sugar to coat pineapple
Extra: Seed Mix, Nuts, Dried Fruits

Also delicious with: dried coconut flakes, blueberries, pomegranate, poached peaches

Preparation:

  • Preheat Grill at 220 Degrees Celsius
  • Cut the slices of peeled pineapple into five pieces each and generously coat with brown sugar
  • Place coated pineapple on aluminium foil and grill until golden brown, then leave to cool
  • Rinse the Quinoa with water
  • Mix all liquids, spices and the honey with the Quinoa in a pot and bring to boil. Turn down to medium heat and allow to cook until the Quinoa has absorbed most of the liquid
  • Add more coconut milk/water/milk according to your liking (some like it more liquid than others)
  • Allow Quinoa to rest for few minutes
  • Assemble the dish
  • Serve hot or cold

Here is the difference between Quinoa Porridge made with Milk (left) and with Coconut Water (right)

20141006_185639[1]

ENJOY! 🙂

About Coconut Milk (via BBC Good Food)

Coconuts are highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Unlike cow’s milk, coconut milk is lactose free so can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance. It is a popular choice with vegans and makes a great base for smoothies, milkshakes or as a dairy alternative in baking.

Coconuts contain significant amounts of fat, but unlike other nuts, they provide fat that is mostly in the form of medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs). MCFAs are rapidly metabolised into energy in the liver. It is thought that unlike other saturated fats, MCFAs are used up more quickly by the body and are less likely to be stored as fat.

Coconut Milk is made from a brew of coconut meat and water. But don’t confuse it with lower- calorie coconut water. Rich and thick and more like cream than milk. (via EatingWell)

Unlike wheat or rice, Quinoa is a complete protein – containing all eight of the essential amino acids. The UN named 2013 ‘International Quinoa Year’ in recognition of the crop’s high nutrient content. With twice the protein content of rice or barley, quinoa is also a very good source of calcium, magnesium and manganese. It also possesses good levels of several B vitamins, vitamin E and dietary fibre. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest. The facts suggest it is close to a perfect ingredient as you can get.

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