Monday, July 23, 2012

Perfect Lava Cake

This post makes me really happy. Some of you may remember that in one of my first blogposts I attempted to bake a warm chocolate soufflé with a liquid inside. 
Well, looking back now I have to admit that didn't work out that well. 
Even though it was still a tiny bit liquid inside, it simply wasn't chocolaty enough.
Good, but not good enough... I know, I kind of raved about how good it was. 

But let's face it: It was my first blogpost, I was all excited and proud. But with a little bit more experience, I can only recommend you to FORGET ABOUT THIS RECIPE! 
I found a lava cake recipe that is way better and easier to prepare. And I can guarantee you that it will stay perfectly liquid inside, if you follow my instructions.

What you need:

6 eggs (medium-sized, at room temperature)
225g / 7.6 oz refined sugar
90g / 3 oz flour
170g / 5.7 oz bittersweet chocolate 
(good quality, like Valhrona or Lindt, with at least 60% cocoa)
170g / 5.7 oz butter
some butter and sugar for the soufflé cups


Preheat oven to 160°C/320°F.

Using a hand blender mix eggs, sugar and flour in a large bowl.

Melt chocolate and butter over a bain marie (bowl in a hot water bath). 

Slowly add the chocolate-butter to the egg-sugar mix while blending.

Butter the cups and sprinkle with sugar.

Fill each cup to about 2/3 or 3/4 with the chocolate batter (the lava cake won't rise that much).

Place cups on top of a cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. 
My lava-cake needed much longer. Could be because I have a gas-oven where the heat does not circulate that evenly. I did one test cake and checked after 8 minutes for the first time, and then every 2-3 minutes.That way you get a good idea of how long they need to bake.

You can tell the lava cakes are perfect, when the edges are firm, but the center is still runny. 

Take the cakes out of the oven, carefully run a knife  around the edges to loosen the cakes from the cups.

Invert the cakes onto plates, garnish if you like and serve immediately!


  • I served hot cherry-elderflower sauce with mine!
  • To make it a little less sweet, try using brown instead of refined white sugar. I haven't done tried that before, therefore I don't know if it'll work, though...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Salmon With Blueberries

Over the last couple of weeks I've become a huge fan of the New York Time's "Dining&Food" section. Their articles are really interesting and the recipes are always very inspiring.

Last week they had a recipe up for King Salmon With Agrodolce Blueberries
That's a weird combination, I thought. But for some reason it made total sense to me, and so I decided to give it a try. The preparations are quick and easy. Therefore it is perfect when you are in a hurry or don't really feel like cooking anymore. And it's a nice and ideal starter or appetizer you can surprise your guests with.

What I liked so much about this was that the acidity of the blueberries and white wine vinegar  in combination with the cinnamon, honey and thyme really balances out the particular fish oil flavor of the salmon. 

INGREDIENTS (for 6 Persons):
  • 6 (240g/8-ounce) fillets wild king salmon
  • Sea salt, as needed
  • Vegetable oil for baking sheet
  • 2 shallots, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 375ml/1.5 cups white wine
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 4 springs fresh thyme
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • approx. 160g/1.3 cups blueberries
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Black pepper

Run your fingers over the salmon flesh and pull out any pinbones. Season fish generously with salt and let rest at room temperature while you prepare the sauce.

Heat the oven to 200°C/400°Fahrenheit . Oil a large baking sheet.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, simmer together shallots, wine, vinegar, thyme, cinnamon and a pinch of salt until most of the liquid has evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. Toss in blueberries, butter and honey; cook until berries soften and turn the sauce pink, 2 to 4 minutes.

Place salmon on baking sheet. Spoon berry mixture over salmon and season with pepper. Bake until salmon is cooked to desired doneness, 8 to 10 minutes for medium-rare.


Next time I think I will try to sear the salmon on one side at really high heat for a minute or two because I think some roasting flavor may go really well with it.

When I prepared this recipe it I only had fish for two people. I thought it could have used more sauce/blueberries and a tiny bit more sweetness from the honey. But i also messed up the conversions. So I wouldn't worry about that. Just try the sauce in between, and if it's not enough blueberries, liquid or honey, just add more...

I also left it in the oven for too long. My salmon wasn't medium rare unfortunately. 
Fish cooks so quickly!
But still it was all juicy and soft! Delicious.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Wild berries & jam

Last weekend Wil and I went to the forests in order to search for the first chanterelles. We didn't find any mushrooms, but came back with a basket full of rasp- and blueberries. They were everywhere!

We also surprised a wild boar family. There is no photo of that because I was busy peeing my pants. Wild boars can be quite dangerous when you surprise them, especially when they have litter.
In the end they were just pretty cute and funny and even more scared than we were...

Over 1kg of berries!

Back home I decided to make jam out of our berry harvest.
I've never really done it. Therefore I just got one of those packs of preserving sugar 1:1.
You just follow the instructions on the package and after 4-8 minutes you have jam. Easy as that.
I would recommend to look out for the 2:1 (2parts fruits : 1part sugar) or even 3:1 packs. It's less sweet then. The jam still turned out fantastic, but yeah, it could have used a little less sugar.

Also, next time I'd rather try the "ancient" method and make jam oldstyle, by making a syrup out of regular  sugar and water and then adding the berries. Aside from getting the exact temperature for the syrup, it's as easy as making jam with preserving sugar...

My raspberry-blueberry jam on cream-cheese and homemade sourdough-bread.

I thought I also share some more images of our foraging adventures...
On an earlier trip we also found a whole bunch of wild strawberries. They taste really funny. They pretty much taste like artifical berry-flavor in chewing gum or drinks. 

That same day we also picked camomile and corn flowers for tea...

cornflowers are probably my favorite flowers. They look so beautiful,
especially with those bright red poppies!

In other news: I have a new camera! Ah! You can't imagine how happy I am about this. I even got a smoking deal on ebay. The camera was sold used but is pretty much brand new.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Back and MURRied!

I spent the last weeks in Calgary, Alberta to get married to my wonderful husband Wil Murray.
Yes, I'm part of the Murray-Clan now, which makes me really proud and happy. Everything was perfect. The weather was great, the location was beautiful and everyone has been so lovely and generous. We are so blessed having such wonderful friends and loving family.

Photo by the wonderful Anna Coe!

And best part of all this is: I don't need to refer to Wil as to my fiancé ever again! Thank God, I hated this word. Husband sounds so much more solid...

For my hen party the ladies took me to Bistro 2210, a really nice little French place
with amazing vintage cocktails like "St. Germain Royale" or "French 75"

I've also been eating and drinking my way through Cowtown, and still managed to fit into my wedding dress (wohooo!). As a European I definitely missed the reasonable portion sizes and prizes for alcoholic beverages, but, hey! "Life ist not a pony farm", as we like to say in Germany, and this should not keep you from making amazing discoveries and having a good time.

delicious pulled pork sandwich from the Cowtown Beef Shack, a little tiny hut ,
or "Imbiss" as we like to call it in Germany, on the side of one of the main roads...

And yes, sometimes you simply cannot resist greasy American fast food chains...

I ate fantastic mangos (yeah, that's Calgary), drank really good micro-brew beer, was served delicious beef and discovered how amazingly good portwine is
(especially with dark chocolate pecan pie, OMG).

Oh, and I almost forgot: WE FOUND MORELS IN CALGARY!!!!

They were just sitting there, begging us to pick them...

That's the area where we found the mushrooms...right before we found the mushrooms.
And no, I won't tell you where exactly. A mushroom picker never reveals their spots!

After searching for them by pretty much turning the nearby German forests upside down, without luck, I almost stumbled over them during a pre-lunch walk in Calgary's nature...
A couple days later we decided to go on an official morel mushroom hunt.

We simply fried them in butter with some wild sage we found in the same area,
 added some salt, pepper and squeezed some lemon over it.
They strangely didn't taste all that mushroomy.
More like a savory omelette with an almost meaty flavor to it. 

The biggest news that I'm dying to share with you is that Wil and I will be moving to Canada in the fall.
And it even looks like we'll be trading our super-urban city life for living on the prairies!
I'll keep you updated on this. But I cannot tell you how excited I am.
Oh Canada!

In other news: I will have a new camera by the end of this week and that means I will finally be able to take good (or at least better than cell phone) photos again! And this will mean more posts, unless I get buried underneath moving-across-the-world stuff...