Monday, June 25, 2012

Rhubarb Hazelnut-Meringue Cake

It's already the end of June and I haven't posted any rhubarb recipes yet. That doesn't mean I didn't bake any rhubarb cakes this year. Far from it! Rhubarb is always one of my favorite ingredients in baking and luckily our garden is full of it. So, I have already done some old favorites and tried some new ones this year. This one will definitely be repeated in the future, since it was really easy to make and tasted really good.

The base is a simple pound cake, which is topped half baked with a big meringue full of nuts and rhubarb. Instead of the hazelnuts I used you can also try almonds, or any other nuts. Since the topping is sweet it goes well with the tart rhubarb.

The recipe comes from a fairly new German magazine called "Sweet Dreams". If you have access to German magazines you should really check it out. Each issue concentrates on a few fruits in season and has really beautiful pictures. In the current issue a picture from my blog is published. They chose my Red Currant Meringue Cupcakes from last August.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Chinese egg tarts and a trip to Shanghai

Today I am bringing you a souvenir-dish from my recent trip to Shanghai. My first encounter with Chinese egg tarts was at a Dim Sum restaurant. I fell in love with them ever since, but I have never made them myself, since they were so easily available in Canada. I also didn't think they are so easy to make. Often the pastry dough is made with lard, but I just used regular butter puff pastry. Egg tarts are most popular in Hong Kong, but I was also happy to see them for sale in Shanghai.

It was my first trip to China, and I was totally overwhelmed by this city. The city was very impressive and there were many things to see. On one hand it is very modern, with new ultra-chic skyscrapers being built constantly and endless shopping possibilities, but on the other hand there is still a very traditional side, with old temples and people doing Tai Chi in the park each morning. I took almost 2000 pictures, and it took me some time to go through them all. I have included a small selection here to share my experiences with you.

My favorite past time was to stroll around the city in the morning. You can see people practicing Tai Chi on the streets, play cards, ballroom dancing in the park or just meet for a chat. Everybody seemed very relaxed and very friendly and curious to me. It was really exciting to see how energetic these people are and how much fun they have even at such early hours.

The food in Shanghai was also amazing. I love Chinese food and I also know many authentic dishes from my husband and his side of the family. But the choices, variety and quality of the food in Shanghai were simply endless. Whether it is street food or gourmet restaurant dishes everything tasted incredible, and the prices were still very reasonable.

Opposite to all the hustle and bustle you can still find peace and quiet, for example in one of the many temples. It is nice change in scenery and I enjoyed visiting them very much. If you happen to be at the Longhua Temple around lunch time be sure to try their vegetarian noodle soup. It is extremely delicious.

I didn't really know what to expect before we went, but I was pleasantly surprised. I hope to return to Shanghai soon for another exciting visit.

But this was not the whole trip; I will tell you about our next destination in another post.

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