Apple Caramel Blondies

Dear Zebras,

autumn has disappeared – slowly but surely – and now Christmas season is creeping up on us… The year has gone by incredibly fast, don’t you think? As a child I could never understand those statements of my parents – now I know: THEY WERE RIGHT! 😀

In order to sweeten your pre-Christmas coffee time I have an amazing recipe for you: Incredibly moist and fluffy blondies with lots of apples and caramel sauce – believe me, this recipe is a keeper! 

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Apple Caramel Blondies

makes about 30 pieces

  • 500g apples
  • 75g brown sugar
  • 50ml cream
  • 60g butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 385g flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 175g butter
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • some white chocolate for decorating

Peel, core and finely dice the apples. Then heat up the apple cubes together with 75g brown sugar, cream, 60g butter and cinnamon in a saucepan until the butter has melted. Stir well and set aside.

Preheat oven to 180 °C and grease and flour a baking pan (about 25 × 30 cm).

Mix butter and sugar until creamy, then add the eggs one at a time and stir in the vanilla extract. Combine flour and baking powder and gradually add to the batter. Now fold in the apple mixture, pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it evenly.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool, then decorate it with some melted white chocolate, cut it into pieces and serve!

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I wish I could hand you some of it right through the screen… but let’s be serious: First of all, that’s technically not (yet) possible and secondly, they are already eaten up, all gone …  I guess you’ll have to heat up your own oven to try them 😉

Stay sweet & HAPPY BAKING!

xx Kristin

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Quick Brussel Sprout Pasta with Bacon

Hello my Zebras,

Some of you are hopefully already on board and part of #TeamBrusselSprouts, the others I’ll try to convince with this post! Because I think it’s a bit unfair that those poor Brussel Sprouts always seem to be hated or forgotten. You just need to prepare them properly and they’ll turn into a delicious and aromatic treat.

The most important part for me while making Brussels is the timing: In no case you should overcook them or they’ll turn mushy, develop an intense cabbage flavour and just rather unappetising. That’s why – just like in this recipe – you should only cook them for a few minutes so they end up crisp and really delicious!RosenkohlPasta-1RosenkohlPasta-5RosenkohlPasta-7

Brussel Sprouts Pasta with Bacon

makes 4 servings

  • 300g Penne
  • 150g bacon
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • thyme
  • 350g Brussel Sprouts
  • 30g butter
  • 75g grated Parmesan

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta in it as per package instructions, until ‘al dente’. Drain well, but reserve some of the pasta water – about a cup. Set the penne aside.

Peel the garlic and chop finely. Clean the Brussels and slice them roughly.

Heat a large frying pan. Cut the bacon into strips and fry it in the hot pan until crispy. Add the garlic and some thyme to the bacon and fry for another minute. Add the Brussel Sprouts and cook for about 5 minutes until lightly browned. Reduce the temperature and add the reverved pasta water, butter and Parmesan and stir until it becomes a creamy sauce. Season to taste, combine with the pasta and serve.

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Here comes the moment of truth: how many of you could I convince with this recipe?

 

Stay sweet & HAPPY COOKING!

xx Kristin

Cherry Chai Tiramisu

Dear Zebras,

The cold season is beginning and we had our first snow fall a few days ago – winter is coming! Time to get cosy inside and enjoy the warmth. And what could be more perfect for that than a hot cup of tea …

I am an absolute tea-lover and have now amassed a considerable collection of different teas. The more varieties the better – that guarantees a change! If you want even more change, try this: Just replace the coffee in your tiramisu with some strongly brewed chai tea. This gives the dish a wonderfully sweet and spicy note and will certainly be great in the run up to Christmas! The whole thing is rounded off with some cherry compote and the perfect winter dessert is ready!

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Cherry Chai Tiramisu

for about 6 servings

  • 200g cherries (eg from a jar, drained)
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 4 tbsp chai tea (eg the Chocolate Chai from Lebensbaum )
  • 200g whipping cream
  • 100g sponge fingers
  • some extra chai tea
  • cocoa powder

 

Heat the cherries and the sugar in a small saucepan and cook for about 5 minutes. Mix the starch with the water, add to the cherries and let it thicken. Take it from the stove and let it cool off.

Mix mascarpone and honey in a bowl, then stir in the chai tea. Beat the cream until stiff and fold gently into the mascarpone mix.

Roughly crumble the sponge fingers with your hands. Each glass starts off wit a layer of biscuit crumbs, then drizzle a little of the remaining chai tea over them until they’re lightly soaked, then a layer of mascarpone cream and teaspoon of cherry compote. Now repeat that process once more until the glass is full. Smooth the surface and chill the jars for at least one hour and dust with cocoa powder before serving.

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If you consider yourself a ‘tea adventurer’ and like tasting new varieties, then you should take a look at Lebensbaum‘s ‘Welten & Bummler’ collection – 20 wonderful organic teas, from mint to chai, all the way to black tea, your imagination knows no bounds and there is something for everyone in this collection!

Are you also so eager to experiment with tea or have you found your favourite and remain faithful to it?

Stay Sweet & HAPPY DESSERT MAKING!

xx Kristin

 

* This post was sponsored by Lebensbaum, who kindly provided their product for testing. My opinion was not affected and I only recommend the products that really convince me!

Ham & Cheese Rolls with Poppy Seeds

Dear Zebras,

on some days things just need to be a bit quicker than usual! If the day, or indeed the whole week, has been really stressful, then I  just have to get something hearty on my plate – otherwise things could go awfully wrong and there might be casualties 😉

That’s why today I want to share with you a real magic recipe for such days: These delicious pastry slices stuffed with ham and cheese and topped with a crispy poppy seed layer are cooked faster than you can say ‘ham and cheese rolls with poppy seeds’ – and sooo yummy! Since they are so easy to make they’re great for sharing and make wonderful finger food for parties … try it out!

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Ham & Cheese Rolls with Poppy Seeds

for about 2 servings

  • 1 pack storebought pizza dough
  • 100g ham (depending on taste, cooked or raw ham)
  • 80g grated cheese
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tbsp sweet mustard
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ketchup

Preheat oven to 180° C and slightly grease a deep baking dish.

Unroll the pizza dough and evenly spread the ham and cheese over it. Now roll up the dough tightly from the longer side. Carefully cut into thick slices with a knife – approx. 12 – 14 pieces – and put the slices with the cut side up in the baking dish.

Now melt the butter and mix with the remaining ingredients. Pour this poppy seed mixture over the rolls (with a spoon or pastry brush)  and bake in a hot oven for about 25 minutes until crisp. Allow to cool for a few minutes and serve!

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What’s your favourite homemade ‘fast food’?

Stay sweet & HAPPY COOKING!

xx Kristin

Sweet Potato Marble Cake

Hello my dear readers,

can you still remember the sound of your parents’ urgent reminder to eat up all your veggies when you were a kid? Even though most of us don’t have any problems with vegetables by now, I’m still going to show you a recipe I would have loved as a child: a sweet, delicious and very juicy Marble Cake – just don’t tell my childhood-self about the sweet potatoes hidden in it, okay? That’s our little secret … 🙂 

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Sweet Potato Marble Cake
for 1 small bundt cake

  • 300 g sweet potatoes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200 g sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • 160 g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 150 ml vegetable oil
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 50 g sour cream
  • 2 tbsp milk

Peel and roughly chop the sweet potato, then boil for about 25 minutes. Drain and mash them and allow the mash to cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 175° C, then grease a small bundt cake pan and coat with breadcrumbs.
In a bowl beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla until creamy.  Add 170 g of the sweet potato puree. Add flour, baking powder and oil. Halve the batter and mix one half with cocoa powder, sour cream and milk.

Now spoon the batters alternately into the mold and swirl with a fork to create the marble pattern in the cake. Bake for about 1 hour, let cool completely, flip and serve.

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Thanks to the sweet potato the cake doesn’t only get a fantastic color, but is also really moist and tastes still tastes great after a few days – but it’s quite unlikely that there will be leftovers! 😉

Stay sweet & HAPPY BAKING!

xx Kristin

Beer Chili | Student Week

Hello my loves,

in the whole of Bavaria, but here in Bamberg in particular, beer is one of the main food groups and can be found in just about every (student’s) refrigerator. But I’m going to show you today that beer doesn’t necessarily need to be served ice cold because in this recipe, we’ll also use half a bottle of beer – the other half is for the cook 😉

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Beer Chili
makes 3-4 servings

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion
  • 500 g mixed mince
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 bottle of beer
  • 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 250 ml water
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 can kidney beans

Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic, clean the peppers and cut into small cubes.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan at high heat. Add mince, onion and some salt and sautée for about 4 minutes. Reduce the temperature to medium heat and add in garlic, chili powder, paprika powder, pepper and cinnamon. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the beer, cocoa powder, water and tomato paste. Let it simmer for half an hour. Now add the peppers and well-drained beans and simmer for another 10-20 minutes until the peppers are soft. Serve with sour cream and tortilla chips.

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The good thing about chilli is that you can easily cook a big batch of it, because it tastes amazing when reheated and also freezes very well!

Do you like chili as much as I do?

 

Stay sweet & HAPPY COOKING!

xx Kristin

Microwave Chocolate Cake | Student Week

Hello sweeties,

we all know this feeling: Sometimes all you need to be happy is something sweet. To be honest, this happens quite often to me, but that’s different story altogether 😀

Sometimes this craving is simple but sometimes you want more than just a bit chocolate or gummy bears. For these moments – or when there’s an unannounced visitor – this microwave cake is a terrific solution! Warm, fluffy and with built-in chocolate sauce: No one would ever guess that came from the microwave if you don’t tell them!

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Microwave Chocolate Cake
makes 2 cups

  • 4 tsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 40 g chopped chocolate

Put 1 tsp of cocoa powder into each of 2 large cups. Add 1 tbsp syrup to each cup and mix well.

In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients – except the chocolate chunks – to make a batter. Now, fold in the chopped chocolate and evenly spread over the cups. Cook for 1 -1:30 minutes at 800W.

Allow to cool briefly and then either turn onto a plate or enjoy directly from the cup.

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Super simple and super fast, so try it out and impress everyone with your ‘baking’ skills 😛

 

Stay sweet & HAPPY ‘BAKING’!

xx Kristin

Käseschmarrn (Savoury Cheese Pancake) | Student Week

Hello my dears,

today I’ll introduce you to the traditional Austrian cuisine but instead of Kaiserschmarrn, which translates to ‘Emperor’s mess’ and is a shredded fluffy pancake, we’re making Käseschmarrn, a savoury and cheesy variation of the Austrian classic. And even if this sounds complicated at first, believe me, it really is not. So go ahead and try it and you will be rewarded with a delicious and very unusual dish!

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Käseschmarrn
makes 2 servings

  • 3 spring onions
  • 100 g grated Emmental cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 ml milk
  • 150 g flour
  • Salt, pepper
  • 50 g bacon cubes

Clean the spring onions and slice finely. Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until stiff. In a second bowl, combine egg yolk, milk, flour and cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Then carefully fold in the egg whites.

Heat up a large pan, then fry the bacon until crispy and remove it from the pan. Add the cheese-egg mixture to the hot pan and cook at medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, then flip it over – it doesn’t matter if it breaks apart, well shred it later anyway – and also fry from the other side. Use two spoons to tear the pancake apart, then add the spring onions and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Add the bacon back in and serve.

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What would you prefer? The sweet classic or a hearty variation?

 

Stay sweet & HAPPY COOKING!

xx Kristin

Pesto Potatoes with Parmesan | Student Week

Hello my dears,

another day, another recipe and part 2 of student week! Today’s dish consists of only 3 – you read that right.. THREE ingredients. That’s enough? Oh yes! It’s often those very simple recipes, that bring out the best in the produce and really make the dish shine.

This success story is quite simple: the pesto provides the potatoes with a neat coat of olive oil, to make them wonderfully crispy and flavourful at once. And the Parmesan … cheese makes everything better, doesn’t it? 

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Pesto Potatoes with Parmesan
makes 2-3 servings

  • 450 g small potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt, pepper

Preheat the oven to 200° C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Wash and quarter the potatoes. Mix them in a large bowl with the pesto and season with salt and pepper as desired. Spread evenly on the baking tray and bake for 20 minutes. Briefly, remove from the oven, sprinkle with the Parmesan and roast for a further 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are crispy.

The Pesto Potatoes taste great on their own, served with a dip or as a side dish to meat.

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There are really no more excuses for not to cook! So heat up the oven and get the potato party started 😛

 

Stay sweet & HAPPY COOKING!

xx Kristin

Energy Balls | Student Week

Hello my dears!

 

Today in Bavaria uni starts again and that’s why I’ll share student-friendly recipes with you all week long. They’re fast, easy and inexpensive – perfect for small student kitchens, busy timetables and empty bank accounts!

Let’s start the week with some brain food for long days, something you can easily take with you to classes: Energy Balls! Made within minutes from oats and coconut flakes, as well as peanut butter and cranberries they’re the perfect snack for exhausting uni days. Here’s the recipe:

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Energy balls

makes approx. 20-25

  • 40 g desiccated coconut
  • 100 g rolled oats
  • 125 g peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 50 g dried cranberries
  • 4 tbsp honey

Toast the coconut for about 1 minute in a small pan without fat and allow to cool. Finely chop the cranberries. Combine both with the remaining ingredients in a bowl and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

If the mix has become too dry, simply add some water. Then shape into small balls and store them in an airtight container in a cool place – this way they will last up to one week!

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Small balls full of power – what other snacks do you like?

 

Stay sweet & HAPPY COOKING!

xx Kristin