Happy Birthday

HAPPY BIRTDHAY to a very special man in my life, who has supported me since day 1, no matter how difficult I’ve been in the past 25 years (yes, these type of men do exist). Thank you!
I don’t know if you recall the birthday craze two years ago where I baked 5 cakes for one celebration. And there weren’t even many leftovers! Lucky for me, after a certain age, big birthdays only come once every 5 or 10 years (depending how excited the birthday child gets). This year, having reduced the guestlist from roughly 50 to an intimate family affair, one cake fed all. Not just any cake, but my grandma’s famous chocolatey, flourless, moist, gluten free, almondy heaven. It was praised by all tasters. One even demanded I post the recipe online. So here you go, try and recreate, let me know how it goes, invite me to taste and judge, but most importantly – enjoy.

Grandma’s Chocolate Cake

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The Medical Gourmet meets The Nail Stop

As previously promised – a post for my Swiss readers. Respectively, for Swiss residents.

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Yes!! If your sweet tastebuds have been craving a bite of The Medical Gourmet’s creations all along (and you have not yet been lucky enough to try any) – head to The Nail Stop in Gstaad this afternoon. Never heard of it? It’s probably the cutest nail salon ever. Interestingly, it is also the first nail salon in the town/village of Gstaad to date. Looks like the creators discovered a niche. And boy, what a successful one. It is booming!  Having opened a few years ago in a small location, it has sadly/luckily had to relocate to a bigger space. Lucky for me, the owner decided to add a Café featuring the one or other medical gourmet special. With winter finally arriving and village life picking up it is high time for the first cupcake special. Head down this afternoon, grab a bite, enjoy.

And for those of you too far away to actually drop by – try the recipe below, add more spice, maybe puree the pumpkin yourself and let me know how it turns out:-).
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Berner Lebkuchen Bites

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL! I cannot believe another year has already passed – and boy what a crazy one it was…. so many fantastic moments, a few not so fun times, yet somehow I feel no different to December 2014 (apart from the odd new wrinkle or two). I also don’t really feel like the holiday season has properly started – let me blame that on the lack of snow. WHERE ARE YOU?

Nonetheless, it is truly a wonderful time of the year filled with family traditions, games, mulled wine, presents and exorbitant amounts of food. I’m pretty sure you all have either a lunch or dinner invitation/duty on the 25th. For those of you out there who haven’t had a chance to bake christmas cookies, but promised to bring something homemade along on Christmas day, these hazelnut bites are perfect – unique, nutty, spicy, gluten-free, lactose-free (sadly not vegan – haha) and delicious. Berner Lebkuchen is a special sort of “gingerbread” from my home town – a.k.a. the capital city of Switzerland. Traditionally it comes decorated with the cantons coat of arms – a rude bear sticking its tongue out. Personally I prefer the bite size finish – one doesn’t feel so bad about eating more than two ;-).

Berner Lebkuchen Bites

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adapted from Wildeisen

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The Big Apple

Time for a post. Time for dessert. Using possibly the best fruit of the winter season – blood oranges. NOMNOMNOM.

My new favourite city: New York. Even better: New York before Christmas. Not Thanksgiving though – because oh my is Black Friday crazy (I tell you – stay away from the shops or practice boxing before going in..). Anyways, NYC in the holiday season is truly magical – beautiful Christmas lights, ice rinks in central and bryant park, Christmas music playing in all cafe’s, millions of holiday markets, the Rockettes (hahahahahahaha), waaaay too much good food – what’s not to like? Ok, you Londoners are probably thinking – their Subway is disgusting – true that, true that, in comparison your Tube could almost be mistaken for Swiss public transport;-). One of the best experiences I had while meandering about the city was up north in Harlem. My mother would be proud – I went to church on Sunday – a Baptist church – WOW. Breathtaking. Amazing. If you love gospel music, don’t mind putting on your Sunday’s best and dare yourself to travel above 120th street it is worth the trip. It was something kind of like this: Enjoy. And if church doesn’t quite fulfil your expectations, why not head to the Red Rooster for a gospel brunch.

Blood Orange Mousse with Almond Brittle
blood orange mousse with almonds

adapted from greatbritishchefs

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Almond Cardamom Mousse with an Apricot/Passionfruit Sauce

For all the Swiss and German pastry lovers out there: if you think back to your childhood, what was your favourite breakfast pastry? I’m not speaking cake, but more of pastries such as filled croissants, chocolate buns, cinnamon or nut rolls, donuts, spitzbuebe, danishes. Have one in mind? Well, one of the top contenders on my list is the classic almond croissant. Not the kind you’ll find in an English bakery where a normal croissant is cut in half post baking and stuffed with an almond filling, but the Swiss kind where one fills the croissant before baking. I couldn’t (and still cannot) get enough of that rich almond filling. It’s like marzipan but better. When I came across the filling in a jar, I secretly wanted to run around in the supermarket 10 times screaming my head off to express my joy. Luckily my inner sensible self stopped me before I had a chance to embarrass myself.

Now I have the filling.. what next? I wasn’t in the mood for actual croissants, but desperately wanted to use the filling for something….. what to make for grown ups which isn’t breakfast….. hmm….. and what do I do best….. DESSERT! After googling (haha I cannot believe this is an actual word..) for inspiration I found a recipe to use as a guideline. Of course I decided to add some cardamom, because, why not, let’s face it, cardamom for the win. Let me know what you think!

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adapted from wildeisen

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Citrus and Berries Vol. II

After the success of my previous citrus and berries dessert I couldn’t get enough of the curd – I had a craving which I needed to satisfy. Almost as though I were pregnant… HAHA… definitely not the case. Anyways…. I have also never made a pavlova. What a great excuse to make both – pavlova topped with lemon curd. Sounds like pure perfection to moi.

This is actually the first time ever that I have attempted to make meringue. I was determined to make it early on during the day so if it failed I still had enough time to  quickly pop to the shops and buy replacements…… sadly sunshine and birthday bubblies kidnapped any sense of time I had and suddenly dinner was only 2 hours away. And no meringues to be seen. AAAHHHHHH. I took a deep breath, one last sip of bubblies, found this extremely helpful guide guide and switched into my Emergency Room efficiency mode. My meringues were saved.

Mini Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Berries

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Citrus and Berries

Happy Summer to you all!!! I hope you are all soaking up some sun and working on the tan;-) And so sorry for not posting….. this seems to follow my last years trend of not posting during this time of year either…. work and life just seem to have sucked me in and kept me farfar away from WordPress. Slowly I am having withdrawal symptoms -.-. Time to catch up. And what better way to begin the new recipe season than with a delicious french citrusy inspired dessert? Yes, I know my last post was about the Champagne Region and now I’m talking about France again… you must think I am french crazy. So. Not. True. But, quite frankly, they do know how to enjoy life with excellent cuisine – the wine, the ham, the endless fruit markets, not to forget the daily fresh baguette, the seafood and of course all the pâtisserie mmhhhmmmmm. My current favourite français dessert: Tarte au citron +/- meringuée. NOM. I cannot get enough of that goodness!

When recently invited to an Apéro Riche in the Basque Region, I, being me, immediately offered to bring a dessert, with Tarte au citron on the back of my mind. Admittedly, a Tarte is not the best for a standing dinner, but, nevertheless, I was determined to make lemon curd play the lead role. What did I end up with? A sharp lemon curd topped with a refreshing berry coulis and wild berries. The guests loved it. Let me know what you think:-)

 Lemon Curd with Berry Coulis

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