Strawberry-rhubarb delight

This cake is light and refreshing, just the thing for a warm summer day. You will need some time in between the different steps of making it, but you can space it out and do other things, as each step is fairly quick. Here in Germany the strawberry and rhubarb season is from May to June 24th, St. John’s Day or summer solstice. After that you should no longer cut the rhubarb stalks.

If I am hard pressed for time, I buy a Biskuitboden at the supermarket. You can also bake the cake layer:

  • beat 3 eggs light and fluffy
  • slowly add 125 g sugar until the batter stiffens
  • carefully fold in 125 g flour, 75 g starch and 1 tsp. baking powder
  • bake at 175°C on the 2nd lowest rack for about 18-22 minutes

Meanwhile peel 3-4 rhubarb stalks, cut off the ends, cut into pieces and gently heat them with the juice of half a lemon and 150 g sugar for about 8 minutes until tender.

Pull the pot from the stove and add in 500 g strawberries, washed and without leaves, cut in half if you wish.

Take a packet of gelatine which has soaked for ten minutes in 3-4 Tbsp. of water or juice and stir the gelatine into the warm (not hot!) fruit. Let the fruit and gelatine cool until almost cold and not quite jellied.

Whip 300-400 ml heavy cream, add in some sugar if you wish. Fold the whipped cream into the cold fruit. Pour the fruit and cream onto the cake layer with a cake ring placed firmly on top. Put the cake into the fridge and let the fruit topping set over night.

Enjoy with hot coffee or iced tea!

Cherry cupcakes

What can be more delicious than some cherry cakes from scratch? And it is really simple.

So here goes:

about 3 handfuls of cherries, pitted  or  one jar drained

one large cake pan lined with paper or two cupcake pans lines with paper cups

Mix in a large baking bowl, till fluffy:

200g margarine or butter

200 g sugar

aroma: vanilla sugar or 1 tsp. of Grand Marnier

2 – 3 eggs, one by one till fluffy

 

Sift on top:

200g flour

2 tsp. baking powder / soda

Stir in carefully, making sure all ingredients are well-mixed. Put spoonfuls into your cups or tin. Bake at approx. 190° C / 375 ° F or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Personally, I am like a Poppins and can always sniff out a finished cake or tart a few minutes before my timer can ring. Cool down slowly, the cakes can be left in the warm oven with the door opened.

Frost if desired or if you are making it as a whole cake, try out some Streusel:

100 g each of flour, sugar and butter, mix till you have a crumbly mixture and crumble it over he top of your unbaked cake. Along with whipped cream, deeelicious!

Ah yes, my latest fun line:

Und wenn ich die Schokolade im Dunkeln esse, finden mich vielleicht die Kalorien nicht.

(If I eat chocolate in the dark, the calories will perhaps not be able to find me)

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cherry cupcakes

 

 

BFF – fresh fruit and cake

BFF – fresh fruit and cake

BFF –  Best Friends Forever! Fresh fruit of the season combined with a simple cake recipe that goes a long way, because adaptable to your needs. If you have guests, you can just up the recipe to 250 g each or downsize to 150 g each ingredient. 

Preheat your oven to 200° (360° F)

You need:

200 g butter / margarine (1 cup = 250 g)

200 g sugar, white refined or cane sugar

2 – 3 eggs

Schnapps or vanilla or butternut aroma (a dash)

200 g flour

2 tsps. baking powder / soda

about 2 cups / 500 g fresh fruit: apples, rhubarb,  red currants, plums (or mix!)

nuts for topping if you like

lots of cinnamon on top of the apples or quinces or plums or pears

a bit of extra sugar for sour berries

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Whip the butter and sugar till creamy, add in eggs one by one and beat till frothy. Add in the flavoring / aroma and beat some more, till the sugar is dissolved.

Put in the flour with the baking soda and stir in carefully. Add nuts and / or raisins if desired.

Spoon the batter into a cake form (mine is 26 cm) lined with baking paper at the bottom. Spread evenly. Top on the fruit and press into the batter delicately.  The fruit will sink in while baking. Bake approx. 35 min. on the 2nd bottom-most rack or until a toothpick inserted will come out clean again.

The above photo shows my currants while ripening from green to a brilliant red as of end of July, as well as plums, pears, and gooseberries. Yes, I am busy. But then again, straight from Mother Nature’s abundance into my mouth, yumyum! Enjoy!

Strawberries ! Rhubarb! Scrumptious!

Strawberries ripen on top of straw, hence the name. You will probably already know they are not actually berries, but the fleshy part, the visible “seed” (achene) on the outside of the fruit is actually one of the ovaries of the flower, with a seed inside it.” (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strawberry) . This year most of my woodland strawberries (Fragaria vesca) were hit by the cold period and the regular ones Fragaria × ananassa did not blossom unless they were tucked in by other plants. Plus, my rhubarb plant from way back simply did not last more than the first five years, it simply wanted much more sun and room and better soil than the clay soil in my corner of the world. Luckily we have (super)markets nowadays, so that worry is taken care of.

My favorite for a hot day is the cake variation (no baking!) :

Prepare:

1  biscuit or cake bottom with a plastic ring  or a cake pan (for the filling while setting)

1  packet of gelatine dissolved into 6 Tbsp. of orange juice and left to set for 10 min.

 

3 – 4 stalks of rhubarb,   peeled and cut into chunks

4 – 5 Tbsp. sugar

1       juicy lemon

Put all three ingredients into a pot and simmer on very low heat for about 10 min. till tender. Before switching off your stove, add in

500 g  (one basket) strawberries,   washed, cleaned and cut in half

Let the fruit mixture simmer for another minute. You will have soft chunks of strawberry, I don’t like to see them reduced to nothing.

Once cooled down a few minutes, add in the softened gelatine and stir thoroughly. Leave to cool down further while whipping

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400 ml / 2 pots of heavy cream with a tsp. of sugar and vanilla sugar for taste

Once your fruit mixture is sufficiently cold but not yet set  – use a timer – gently fold in the whipped cream and leave to set in the fridge. Ice cold chills guaranteed!

20180613_122811 strawb limes

For the evening sunset hour, you might prefer Strawberry Limes:

1  basket of strawberries, washed and cleaned

4 – 5 Tbsp sugar

lemon juice to taste

vodka

Blend all ingredients in a blender and fill in a clean bottle with a screw or selters cap. Serve ice cold!

 

 

Blueberry cheesecake – easy as pie!

Here’s the ultimate summer recipe: fat, luscious blueberries (mmmh!) on a no-bake crust and (light, light, light! almost no calories) layer of yummy cream cheese.

It’s quick, no-nonsense and even healthy – did you know that all red and blue fruits and vegetables have lots of anti-oxidants and are therefore anti-aging superfoods? No problem, just load on those berries and smile while your wrinkles just fade away.

Ingredients

for the crust:

1 packet of graham crackers / Bahlsen Vollkornkekse, crushed

3 – 4 tablespoons melted butter

Crush the crackers and mix with the melted butter. Press down firmly into a 10″/ 24 – 26 cm cake pan on top of baking paper.

for the cheese:

2 – 3 p.  cream cheese light

150 ml (1 glass) milk (or light cream)

1 – 2 tablespoons sugar or vanilla sugar

juice of 1 lemon

Whip the ingredients into a light, fluffy cream, add just enough milk to make the mixture smooth.

for the topping:

1 pint/ 500 g fresh blueberries (or canned and thickened)

1 pk. cake glaze, prepared according to directions (with orange juice to enhance flavor)

Distribute blueberries evenly and pour glaze carefully over them. Leave cake to chill for at least 1 hour.

Enjoy on a sunny terrace in a cool breeze!