29 May 2010

Upside down citrus cake. Blood oranges and kumquats.

Hello, my name is Mel and I have fructose malabsorption... Imagine reading all those wonderful strawberry recipes this time of year and and not being able to eat even one little strawberry. Same with apples, pears and cherries. Don't feel sorry for me - leaving fruit away is better than a hurting stomach afterward.

As a coping strategy, I started looking for fruit cakes with citrus and/or banana - fruit I can definitively eat. And stumbling through flood blogs I found this upside down cake - sweet, tangy, fruity and a very good ersatz for all the fruit desserts I missed in the last year.

22 May 2010

Elivs' Meat Loaf. Pure Rock'n'Roll.

Meat loaf is a classic dish in German and American culture and there are tons of variations: my grandma used to put in a hard-cooked egg, my mom puts in tons of herbs and spices and my friend Nadine makes kind of a Greek version with rosemary and feta. But somehow I have settled on the version mentioned in my mother-in-law's Elvis cookbook: glazed with ketchup and with bacon on it. It somehow tastes like home and it tastes even better with a cold beer and some loud rock'n'roll.

15 May 2010

Canelés. Like straight from Bordeaux.

Canelés are to Bordeaux what macarons are to Paris. You will find them in every café and in some very expensive confiseries in the town center - selling not much else. Except those original copper molds for ridiculous prices. I tried one canelé in a café after a shopping tour. As I was in desperate need of caffeine to survive the 2-hour drive back, I ordered a double espresso and one of those rather boring looking canelés. But I was in for a surprise: the crust was actually so caramelized that it cracked and crunched when I took a bite. And the center was soft, almost pudding-like and tasted deliciously of eggs and rum.

It was totally clear to me that I had to make those at home and I was more than happy when I found a silicon mold for making 10 canelés in the supermarket - for the price of a copper mold for making 1 canelé. Don't be afraid, it's not a unitasker: you can also make very cute muffins and cupcakes with it.

Be aware that the batter needs to rest for at least 24 hours before baking - apart form that, they're ridiculously easy to make. And if you don't have a canelé mold, just go ahead and use your muffin tin or simple espresso cups. They won't look original, but you're going for the taste, right?

08 May 2010

Parmesan-crusted chicken. Perfect with salad.

This is one of the recipes I found on the internet, lost it and then found it again on a totally different site. Turns out I found the original recipe. And turns out, there's no such thing as Italian-flavored breadcrumbs in Germany - so I just decided to add some Italian herbs myself. And some chili flakes for an extra kick.

I imagine this chicken would also work very well with a Caesar Salad - in fact, this chicken basically is a Chicken Caesar Salad without the salad...

01 May 2010

Upside down pineapple carrot cake. Who needs frosting?

This simply is a great cake. Or muffin. My mom has a friend called Debbie and she's from Texas, but has been living in Germany for a long time. She once made the cake when I was a teenager and I was blown away. It was cinnamony, had complex flavors and the concept of carrots in a cake was absolutely new to me, She was kind enough to give me the recipe and I have baked it since on uncounted occasions. It's great every time: fluffy on the inside, somewhat spicy, nuts and caramelized top for the crunch, pineapples for juiciness. I've never made a frosting for this cake (it would be a shame to cover up those beautiful pineapples) and personally, I don't think it needs one.

But if you really insist on putting something on this cake, some vanilla ice cream goes tremendously well with it. Especially if the cake is still warm.