Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Zimtsterne (cinnamon stars) and a Merry Christmas!

Zimtsterne (Cinnamon-Stars) are a form of traditional treats that are associated with Christmas. You will find it in almost every household in Germany around this time of the year. It is a relatively simple and fun recipe, and the ingredients are also quite easy to obtain. Baking them is a good reason for a family to gather and celebrate the holidays.

Speaking of which, we have reached yet another year. Thank you all for reading my blog (and, of course, continue support). I hope you enjoy your Christmas and New Year holidays.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Amarena Cupcakes

The cupcakes I have made for you today, are a real treat. Amarena cherries are very popular in Germany, especially the amarena ice-cream sundae is a favorite flavor in gelaterias. Here I combined the cherries with almonds, as those two really complement each other, since Amarena cherries are soaked in Amaretto, an almond liquor. The topping is made with heavy cream instead of buttercream, which makes it a little bit lighter. These cherries can be bought either in the supermarket, or you can make them yourselves, when cherries are in season.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Strawberry Yoghurt Cake with Matcha Sponge

I was surprised to see that local strawberries are still available. I had this cake on my to-do list for some time, and even it is more a summer cake I went ahead and made it.

The sponge cake is flavored with matcha tea, which works well with the strawberries. I would probably use more matcha the next time, since the taste didn't come through very much. The yoghurt mousse is nice and refreshing and not too sweet. So, a really nice cake, for the last days of summer.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Raspberry Quark-Cream Cake

This cake is wonderful for every raspberry lover. Beautiful raspberries lay on a light quark-cream on top of a soft almond flavored cake. Unfortunately the raspberry season was very short here this year, but this cake would also taste great with blackberries or blueberries. Make sure to reserve enough time for cooling.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Mixed Berry and Hazelnut Dacquoise for my 4th Blog Anniversary!

This post marks the fourth anniversary of Berry Lovely. As with every anniversary I always make a berry cake. This time it is a hazelnut dacquoise filled with a mascarpone berry cream and topped with some beautiful fresh berries from our garden.

Make sure to give enough time for cooling, since it will make it easier to cut. You can also make this cake with a single berry of your choice, like just strawberries would probably taste great.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Aperol Spritz Sorbet

We are having quite the heat wave in Germany right now. So, instead of tea I like to spend the afternoon with one of my favorite summer drinks, the Aperol Spritz. I love the flavors of sweet oranges, bitter Aperol and sparkling prosecco and wanted to put them together into a fruity sorbet. The sorbet turned out really refreshing with just a hint of bitter. A perfect snack for a hot summer day!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Strawberry-Almond Tartlets with Sour-Cream and Chocolate Topping

I hope you are having a great summer weekend. I have the perfect treat for a lazy sunny afternoon for you today. Strawberries, chocolate and cream - all combined in some wonderful tartlets. The tartlet shells contain both ground almonds and chopped almonds, and can be prepared in advance. The topping uses both heavy cream and sour cream, which gives it a nice tang. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Rhubarb-Strawberry Streuseltaler

Germany is famous for its "Streuselkuchen". We also love to put streusel, a sweet crumble topping, on fruit pies, cheesecakes and tarts. One item you can find in almost every bakery is the "Streuseltaler". Basically a free form tart from yeast dough topped with a huge amount of streusel, sometimes filled with custard and often with a sugar glaze. It's a great snack to take away.

Often these "Taler", which is another word for coin and resembles their shape, are also topped with fruit. They are my favorite kind. Mostly you will see peaches, but since rhubarb and strawberry are in season, I wanted to try this combo. They turned out great and will be best he day you baked them, when they are nice and crunchy.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rote Grütze (Red Fruit Pudding) and a trip to the island of Sylt

Today I have a traditional German dessert for you, and it's the Rote Grütze. It is basically a fruit pudding thickened with tapioca pearls, and sometimes corn starch. You can use your favorite fruits and berries for this. The most popular choice is a mix of cherries, currants, strawberries and raspberries.

Rote Grütze is probably the most popular dessert on the island of Sylt, situated in the German North Sea. It is often served with heavy cream or crème anglais, but you can also serve it as a topping for waffles, cheesecakes, rice pudding or ice-cream.

Sylt is one of the popular spots for Germans to spend their holidays. A over 40 km long, unbroken chain of sandy beaches and mud flat makes up the island's coastline. There are many protected nature habitats for fishes and birds to feed and rest. Majority of the houses are decked with traditional north German thatch roofs which gives a very rustic characters to the island. There are also many, many fine restaurants. It also has some of Germany's most expensive real estate, and is also known as a place for the rich and famous. Therefor you can probably say that it has a similar feel to the Hamptons.

I am in love with this beautiful place. The landscape is unbelievable. Everyday we were greeted with a clear blue sky and refreshing ocean breeze. I felt connected with this island, even though I have not been there for a long time, probably because I am born in north Germany, not too far from Sylt.

Since the land is mostly flat, one of the most popular tourist activities is cycling. There are plenty of shops where you can rent bicycles. You can probably travel around the island that way within half a day or so. Where bikes are not accessible, it is still very comfortable to reach these destinations at walking pace. There are hiking trails for those who wish to experience nature.

Another regional icon for Sylt, and perhaps north Germany, is something called Strandkorb. It literally means "beach basket", but are basically the Cadillac of beach benches. Traditionally built with woven wickers, the Strandkorb comes with accessories such as sun shield, collapsible mini-tables, and pull-out foot rests. You can see these little boxes peppered over the island, and they are a very comfortable place for spending a day on the beach.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Rhubarb Cheesecake Muffins

Spring came quite late this year in Germany; our garden was still covered in snow six weeks ago, and I was worried when we would finally get to see the first rhubarb. Once the snow was gone, everything started growing in a hurry. My beloved rhubarb grew very nicely, and after a few weeks I was already able to harvest some for my baking.

Rhubarb is a very good ingredient for making cheesecakes since it makes them less sweet. I posted a recipe for a rhubarb cheesecake with a nice buttery crust before. This time I have decided to make them in muffin forms. The recipe is super quick and easy to make. They are not very sweet, so you might want to add more sugar to it if you want your cheesecake a little sweeter.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Petits Fours

Finally spring has arrived here in Germany. It's about time, I don't remember when we still had snow in April. Within 2 weeks the landscape changed from grey and white to pretty greens and spring colors. Trees are starting to bloom and we can finally sit outside to have a nice cup of tea. Inspired by the starting blossoms I made some cherry blossom petits fours.

I was lucky to find some Cherry Blossom (Sakura) extract, when I was traveling to Japan last year. It was not that easy to get as you might think. I got offered many things, when asking for sakura, like pickled sakura, sakura drinks, or sakura candies, before I got the right thing. The taste is very subtle, maybe a little bit like almond.

I used the same butter-cream I made here as macaron filling, which was really good. Please go ahead and share your sakura desserts, if you have made some.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mini Angel Food Cakes topped with Advocaat

Something that is very popular in Germany around Easter is "Advocaat". It is a liqueur made with egg yolks, and is often used in cakes and desserts. People also drink it straight, usually in chocolate shot glasses.

It is widely available in Germany in supermarkets or from Artisan manufactures. Many people also make their own. I have never tried it, but I found a recipe for homemade Advocaat, in case you want to try.

I don't make angel food cake often, because you need so many egg whites, but those little ones are perfect for just using up a few. For me angel food cake always needs some kind of topping, and this is really the easiest cake dress up you can do. Just pour as much on the ready baked cakes as you like, and you are done. The advocaat is pretty thick, so no need for adding anything else to it. I think the color is really pretty for any Easter table.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

White Chocolate - Raspberry Mousse Cakes

I made those little cakes for Valentine's Day. They have a very silky texture and every bite tastes like a kiss.  My husband loves white chocolate and I love raspberries, so it was the perfect pairing.

Both mousses taste very good together, one sweet and creamy, and the other more tart and fruity. I wish I would have made some more, but I just made two this time.

To make the decorative strip I used chocolate transfer sheets, which are acetate sheets embossed with cocoa butter and powdered food coloring. They are a great and easy way to really dress up your cakes. Read more: How to Use Chocolate Transfer Sheets.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Linzer Tartlets for Valentine's Day

Are you in search for something cute to bake for Valentines Day. Then maybe these little Linzer tartlets are for you. The dough is really flavorful with lots of hazelnuts and a good amount of Kirsch. They are filled with raspberry preserves, but fell free to use any jam your sweetheart favors.

The tartlets can be baked a few days before, as they store well. So, how about slipping some of them in a pretty package in your sweethearts work-bag. I am sure that makes a nice surprise.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cappuccino-Mascarpone Cakes

French patisserie, especially entremets always hold a fascination for me. They are so delicate, so elegant, so perfect. When you run your dessert fork through it, you can see those different layers, each with a unique taste and texture. They take some time to make, but it's well worth it. In the end even the serving temperature can affect the tasting experience. So I have decided to try making these beauties more often, starting with some cappuccino mousse cakes.

The cakes consist of four parts: a coffee flavored sponge, a mascarpone mousse, cappuccino core, and a coffee glaze.  It flavors are similar to tiramisu. I had some problems with putting the glaze on the cakes. It was either too thick, or too hot, that the cakes started to melt right away. I didn't really like how they looked. Well, they still tasted great, and so I hope to be able to make them look better next time. If you have any tips how to perfectly apply a thin glaze, I would be very happy to hear them.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

BAKED Chocolate Brownies and a wedding gift idea

I made Brownies, not any kind of brownies, the famous BAKED Chocolate Brownies. Praises for them are all over the internet. Lots of people have called them the best brownies ever. So, this was the best recipe for the occasion.

The occasion was my cousin's wedding in December. No, I didn't make them as a wedding cake, even though they taste great. And here comes the idea. My cousin's best friend collected recipes from each wedding guest before the wedding and made a cookbook out of it. It wasn't just written up pages, each guest designed their own page, with pictures or drawings of their favorite recipe. All the pages, ranging from soups, pasta, Sunday dinners, cakes to desserts, were then bound as a book. I think this was a really great gift, since it's a very personal collection, which they will enjoy and look back to for many years.

I chose the brownies, because it's a classic dish, not too complicated and is loved by everybody. You can also dress them up as a fancy dessert, maybe for Valentine's Day. Cut out shapes using a round or heart cookie cutter, serve them warm with some vanilla ice-cream and hot cherry sauce. Lovely!

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