How to prepare fish baked in a salt crust

This is a perfect way to prepare a bigger fish for several people. It’s pretty simple and just delicious plus it’s lean and healthy with no fat added.

What you will need:

Fish (seabream, seabass or grouper are perfect) enough for all people
Coarse salt 1 kg for one medium sized fish
1 lemon

Start by cleaning the fish, but leave it intact apart from the cut on the belly for cleaning. Cover the bottom of your oven dish with some coarse salt and place the fish on top.

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Then cover the fish completely with salt (just the tip of the head and the fin may peak out) and make sure the salt adheres to the skin of the fish.

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Bake the fish in the preheated oven (180-200°C) for about 40 minutes.

When done take the fish out of the oven.

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Remove the salt. Where it created a hard crust carefully knock on the crust to break it. Pay attention not to break the skin as you do not want the salt on the meat.

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Then open the skin in order to be able to divide the meat and place it on the plates.

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Serve with a slice of lemon and sprinkle some fresh parsley.

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Can you see the juicy texture of the meat?

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Enjoy your meal!

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Delicious two ingredient frozen fruit shake

With summer finally having arrived in the afternoon it’s time for fresh and fruity and possibly healthy treat.

Here’s how to make an easy 2 ingredients frozen fruit shake:

All you need to do is mix equal parts frozen fruit (I especially love mixed berries) and skim milk in the blender.

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Add sugar if the shake turns out too sour, prepare in glasses and enjoy!

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Did you try this recipe? Let me know what you think, did you like it? Do you have any questions or suggestions? Let me know, leave a comment or send me an email using the contact form below or using my contact details.

How to prepare tagliatelle with fresh cherry tomatoes and shrimps

Here’s another quick and delicious Italian recipe: tagliatelle with fresh tomatoes and shrimps.

It’s really quick, you can make the sauce while waiting for the pasta water to boil and the pasta to cook.

Start by putting the water for the pasta on the stove.
In a bigger pan, heat olive oil and add a chopped onion and the fresh cherry tomatoes.

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When the onion becomes golden, add 250ml of white wine, or if you prefer not to use any alcohol, fish stock. Cover the pan and leave everything to cook.

Don’t forget to put the pasta into the water once it boils. Proceed by cleaning the shrimps, only the meat of the tails will be used.

When done, take the lid off the pan and squash the tomatoes. Then add the shrimps and cover the pan again for the shrimps to cook.

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By now the pasta should be done, take it off the heat and put in a strainer.

Take the lid off the pan, add salt and chili powder for seasoning (if you used stock, try before adding any more seasoning) and some fresh herbs (basil, persil and thyme work very well) if available.

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Stir the seasoning into the sauce, add the pasta and mix everything.

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Serve.

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How to prepare violet flavoured rice pudding

Rice pudding with the delicate flavour of violets

Ingredients:

Dried violets
1l / 184 gallon milk
250g / 1 cup Rice

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First pour the milk into a pot and add the dried violets.

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Let boil on low temperature for about 10 minutes so that the milk absorbs the violet flavor.

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Sif the mixture to separate the flowers from the milk. Collect the milk in a new pot.

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Add the rice.

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Cook until the rice is done and sweeten as desired.
Add food coloring to achieve the surprising violet effect.

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Or decorate with candied violets.

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Did you try this recipe? Let me know what you think, did you like it? Do you have any questions or suggestions? Let me know, leave a comment or send me an email using the contact form below or using my contact details.

How to prepare peaches with spirit

Simply put we are talking about peaches pickled with grappa. You can do this whatever kind of fruit you want and you can use different kinds of (strong) alcohol. “Rumtopf” is very popular in Germany. You start a big pot with lots of rum in summer and slowly add all different kinds of fresh fruit as they mature during the season. Then you leave it all in a dark place until winter when it’s a lovely addition to icecream and lots of other desserts.

I used peaches (they are a typical product of this part of Italy and so I always end up with lots more than I can possibly eat) and grappa. You will also need a little bit of sugar. The standard recipe says to add 250g sugar for every litre of alcohol, but I personally prefer to use not even half.

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First wash your fruit.

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Then clean it and cut it into medium sized pieces. Place the fruit and the sugar in your bowl. The mixture is supposed to be kept in the dark, so if you have such a container (e.g. ceramic) that’s great. I happened to have a 2.5l glass “mushroom” jar and so decided to use that and store it in the guestroom closet where it’s dark.

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Add the alcohol and make sure every single piece of fruit is completely covered.

Now it only takes lots of time for the grappa to soak the fruit.

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Close the container and store it for at least about two months. The fruit will conserve well, so you will be able to slowly use it up during the whole winter.

I had so many peaches, I prepared a smaller mason jar with peaches and rum. Another home-made little gift that will be ready by christmas.

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Did you try this recipe? Let me know what you think, did you like it? Do you have any questions or suggestions? Let me know, leave a comment or send me an email using the contact form below or using my contact details.

How to prepare “petit pot de chocolat” chocolate cream

This “little chocolate pot” is an absolutely delicious, rich, chocolatey cream. Bliss in chocolate!

Ingredients (serves 8):

600ml ( 2 1/2 cups) cream
4 egg yolks
1 egg
50g (1/4 cup) sugar
45ml (3 tblspoons) water
225g (1 1/8 cup) medium dark chocolate (I use half milk and half dark chocolate)

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Preheat the oven to 180°C (82° Farenheit). Prepare 8 individual souffle pans (holding 75ml – 5 tblspoons each) on a on a deep baking tray.

Bring the cream to a boil in pot stirring frequently so it doesn’t scorch.

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Mix 3 eggyolks, the whole egg and half the sugar in a bowl.

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Add the hot cream and mix well.

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Heat the water with the remaining sugar in a second, smaller pot. Stir frequently.

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Turn the heat off and add the chocolate stirring until the chocolate has melted.

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Mix the remaining egg yolk into the chocolate mix.

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Now mix the chocolate mix into the cream mix and stir well.

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Now pour the mixture into the pans and pour hot water onto the baking tray filling it about half.

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Bake for about 25 minutes then leave to cool for about 45 minutes.

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Decorate with cream and chocolate chips or with a caramale crust.

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Or, for a special effect, pour high percentage rhum on top and flambè in front of your guests.

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Did you try this recipe? Let me know what you think, did you like it? Do you have any questions or suggestions? Let me know, leave a comment or send me an email using the contact form below or using my contact details.

How to prepare Mousse au chocolat

Heavenly mousse au chocolate

Ingredients (serves 4):
200g (1 cup) medium dark chocolate (I use half milk and half dark)
3 eggs
2 tblspoons sugar
300 ml (1 1/4 cups) cream

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Heat the chocolate in a bain-marie (in a bowl over a pot with boiling water) and stir until it’s melted.

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Divide the eggs and pour the whites into a big bowl. Beat the eggwhites with the sugar until the mixture is creamy.

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Remove the molten chocolate from the oven and add the 3 eggyolks.

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Add the chocolate mixture to the eggwhites and carefully work it in with a metal spoon.

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Whip the cream and work it into the mixture carefully.

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Divide the cream into four individual glasses and leave to cool in the refrigerator for about 2 hours before serving.

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Devorate with whipped cream and chocolate chips.

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Did you try this recipe? Let me know what you think, did you like it? Do you have any questions or suggestions? Let me know, leave a comment or send me an email using the contact form below or using my contact details.

How to prepare candied nuts

Candied nuts are easy to make and make a great addition and decoration for various desserts.This time, I prepared walnuts, their slight bitterness makes a great contrast to the sweet caramel crust.

All you need is nuts and sugar. Place them together in a nonstick frying pan and mix the two ingredients.

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Place the pan on medium heat and stir often. It won’t take long until the sugar starts melting.

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Now stir continuously so that the sugar won’t burn.

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The sugar will start to form crumbs before it melts completely.

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Move the nuts in the melted sugar to achieve uniform coating.
Place the nuts on a baking sheet (I add a little pan-spray just to make sure it won’t stick). You can either place the nuts individually for single candy covered nuts.

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Or make one big heap and then break it into pieces when it’s cooled for candy brittle.

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Then eat as a special treat or use for decoration.

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Did you try this recipe? Let me know what you think, did you like it? Do you have any questions or suggestions? Let me know, leave a comment or send me an email using the contact form below or using my contact details.

How to prepare super-chocolatey Austrian Sacher cake

This traditional Austrian cake is very chocolatey with a hint of fruity apricot.This version also features almond paste, which adds to the rich, moist texture.

Ingredients (for a 23cm/9inch round cake):

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350 g cups semi-dark chocolate
75 g cups soft unsalted butter
175g cups almond paste
4 eggs
30ml Cointreau
80g 7 fine sugar
50g cups all-purpose flour
salt
100 ml apricot jam
45 ml water

Heat the oven to 180°C / 356°F.
Prepare your cake pan (I use pan spray and, when I use a springform pan I cover the bottom with baking sheet before locking it into the frame).

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Melt the chocolate in a pan over a pot with boiling water.

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Mix 75g of almond paste with the soft butter.

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Add the egg yolks to the mixture.

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Then add the Cointreau.

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Put the mixture aside and, in a big bowl, bit the egg-whites with 50g of sugar until white and creamy.

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Add the flour and a tip of salt to the beaten egg-whites. Then put the bowl aside.

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Get the butter/almond paste/yolks/Cointreau-mixture and add the molten chocolate.

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Then add the now chocolatey-mixture to the egg-whites and fold it in carefully.

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Pour the dough into the cake pan filling to about 3/4 of its height. And bake for 30 minutes.

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When done leave the cake to cool.

Roll the remaining 100g of almond paste into a thin layer with your rolling pin. It’s easier if you place the almond paste between two layers of baking sheet. I actually put it into the still hot oven for perhaps 20 seconds to make it softer and easier to work with.

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When the cake has cooled turn it onto a plate and cut it into two layers.

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This is done most easily with a wire. I just love the little contraption you see in the picture below. You simply put the wire in the desired position on the sides of the metal bow and then slide it through the cake to get perfectly even upper and lower halves.

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Spread apricot jam onto the lower half of the cake.

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Then place the upper half back onto the cake.

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Coat the top of the cake with apricot jam, too.

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Then place a layer of almond paste on top,.

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For the icing bring 45ml of water with 30g of sugar to a boil. Add 175g of chocolate and stir until it’s melted.

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Cover the top and sides of the cake with the chocolate icing.

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Leave the icing to dry.

This cake is typically served with unsweetened whipped cream.

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Did you try this recipe? Let me know what you think, did you like it? Do you have any questions or suggestions? Let me know, leave a comment or send me an email using the contact form below or using my contact details.

Stuck Santa cake decoration

For basic information on how to work with gum paste and use cutters, have a look at this tutorial on winter inspired cake decoration with ice crystals.

For the mistletoe cupcakes, prepare green gum paste, cut the leaves with your cutters and place the first triple leaf on the cupcake. Always brush a little bit of water (or whatever other liquid you prefer) on the gum paste to make it stick.

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Then place a second leave onto the first.

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Make variations with different sizes of cutters.

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To finish the decoration add three little balls of red paste on top of the leaves.

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The mistletoe cupcakes are ready:

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For the 3-dimensional Santa prepare a cupcake with the gum paste base.Then make a red ball for Santa’s body.

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Stick the body to the cupcake with a bit of water and softly press into shape.

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For the legs prepare a long stick and cut off two pieces of the same size for the two legs.

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Stick them to the body with half a toothstick each (the legs are too heavy and won’t stay in place with just some water).

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Attach the two legs so they show upwards.

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For the feet and belt use black gum paste (to color black mix red, blue and yellow food coloring). Make two small balls.

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Glue the feet to the legs with water and press them into a rough shoe shape.

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Then prepare a think long strip of black paste. This is for the belt.

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Place it around the girth of Santa’s belly making it stick with some water.

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For the buckle use yellow gum paste. Make one long thin strip and cut four short pieces.

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Place the four pieces in a square over the belt.

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For the mistletoes prepare as many leaves you can fit. Brush water onto the base and make the mistletoes stick pressing the flat end of a wooden stick into the center of each leaf.

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Finish Santa by adding small red balls into the center of each leaf.

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Here is Santa from all angles:

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