Mirabelle & hazelnut cake








Find the German translation (recipe) below / Rezept auf Deutsch am Ende


Wonderful Mirabelle are this cake’s salient feature, they shine like jewels half-sunken in their vanilla & hazelnut batter bed. It is a rustic cake and has a homemade, informal appearance, something that is made with love when you’ll come to visit for a slice of cake and a steaming mug of tea when supposedly summery days get darker and colder and rainier (buckets, cats & dogs & elephants by the look of it) than one beliefs a day in August could or should be.

Mirabelle & hazelnut cake

There is a minimum amount of work involved here since all ingredients are blitzed together in the food processor (which makes this a one-bowl-cake) and the resulting dough is more a batter that gets decanted into the cake tin. The hard bit is a bit of Mirabelle work, I mean keeping the resolve not to pop every second or third one for a “taste test”. Continue reading


Falafel with lemony tahini sauce








Deutsches Rezept am Ende…metric Recipe in German at the end…

Falafel is either made with dried chickpeas or broad (fava) beans or a combination of the two. Most Middle Eastern countries use chickpeas, I have tried the Egyptian broad been version (called ta’amia and the Egyptian National dish according to Claudia Roden) for its hearty, nutty flavour and meaty texture. All largely owned to the ingenuous combination of cooked and raw pulsed beans in the Moro recipe (Please note: fava beans must be cooked & the ground raw beans will get cooked when fried), though chickpea falafel are equally delicious & healthy.

Nowadays veggie burger and bean fritters are ubiquitous as vegetarian alternatives to meat but this fantastic Middle Eastern street food deserves more attention than being just Ersatzmeat. I love a mezze spread with lots of different plates & bowls to pick, dip and nosh from (luckily we are catching up with this convivial food sharing where it is allowed to taste from other plates, yes, I am that person but normally contain the urge) and thinking about it, I always favoured the 24 starter plate (tiny portions) over any main course when we went out for Egyptian food and never ordered anything else. Continue reading

Corn-tomato-basil salad



Recipe in German at the end of this post / Das Rezept gibt es auch auf Deutsch, siehe unten.



Jenny Rosenstrach is quite stern about having this salad, no excuses. And boy, is she right! Everything is in season: sun-ripened tomatoes, the sweet corn is fresh & local and many times just pinched picked of the stalk, the dark green basil overwhelmingly fragrant. These prime ingredients only need a little dressing of oil & I think a squeeze of lime. At the utmost, perhaps a pinch of chilli for a spicy kick but that’s it and you’ve got a wonderful summer salad, a refreshing side Continue reading

Blueberry soup








Recipe in English & German / Deutsches Rezept am Ende

The blueberry season draws to a close and these last berries are ripe, beautifully sunshine-sweet and laden with the floral, heathery taste of their smaller wild relatives from the woods. The best thing to do with these is to make blueberry soup.

A traditional Swedish (& Finnish & Danish) dish, this cold fruit soup, is on the thin side and rather fruity than sweet, which I prefer (add more sugar to taste, if you need to bolster the sweetness of your blueberries). Best know in our house as the soup that Emil of Lönneberga (Michel in Germany) lands in face first after crashing on stilts through a window and then pouring the rest over the fainted hostess Fru Petrell. Maybe, as a child you had a similar crush on idyllic Swedish country life Continue reading










Apparently, the Ipanema has been around for aeons – a sufficiently long time to be mocked as a mere mock Caipirinha. Pffh… Both iconic Brazilian drinks share the muddled limes and cane sugar but this refreshing & alcohol-free cocktail is a classic in its own right and never tacky. Here, I have fiddled with the original recipe (½ lime muddled with 2 teaspoons raw brown cane sugar, shake with 4cl passionfruit juice & ice cubes, strain & top with Ginger Ale) for a less sweet and even more invigorating zingy version. Continue reading

Citrus-spiced salmon








See below for the recipe in German, siehe unten für das Rezept auf Deutsch

This is a fabulous oven-cooked salmon dish with a fragrant spice rub where the different citrus notes of orange, sumach & lime are enriched by woodsy cumin, warm cinnamon & scented pink rose petals. Minimum work for maximum flavour and the colours are equally beautiful. I bet you will fall in love with this Persiana recipe the moment you’ll grind the rose petals for the rub. I am no expert on Persian cuisine but Sabrina Ghayour’s book is one of my favourite books since I opened it and daydreamed of eating every single one of its enticing & mouth-watering pictures & recipes.

We have already had this three times and it could have been four times, if I had not foolishly decided to Nobu-Miso-Marinate the last salmon I have bought, that very pretty & expensive piece of wild, hand-caught, artisan, signature, super duper ‘loin’. You may want to skip the rant and rejoin at the beginning of the next paragraph… or: Let’s just say, I’ll reserve judgement until I try the original version with Black Cod but that was some wasted Mirin-candied salmon. To smoothly round off the whole saccharine fiasco (and adding even more sweetness), Ottolenghi let me down as well with a Japanese-ish vegetable side with a sweet sesame sauce (the name might have been a hint, more Mirin). Though, I am quite sure we’ll make up very soon. Rice was good.

Back to the good news… Continue reading

Lemon verbena sorbet








If life gives you lemon verbena, make sorbet: This is a perfect summer treat, a refreshing citrus sorbet where the emphasis is on the floral lemon verbena while lemon juice & zest provide a citric lift.

Once tried, there might be no going back from lemon verbena. It used to be impossible hard to find though has now reappeared together with other forgotten or neglected heirloom plants, fruits & vegetables that are ‘rediscovered’ daily. The shrub grows easily in a planter on a balcony or terrace and is luckily quite hardy so that ours comes back every spring for this super summer-cooler. Its essential oils are useful as insect repellents, too but I am not sure how many scoops of sorbet are required for that particular benefit. Great justification, if needed.

Continue reading