Saturday, 28 January 2012

Colour lovers: moss & candy floss

Moss green is a hazy gray-green shade, close to an earth tone and evokes memories of the forest. Psychologically it has a calming effect on us. The complementary colour is a vibrant magenta or hot pink, bold and intense in character, and it injects a sense of fun and drama to this palette. Balanced with two neutrals, beige and brown, magenta sits confidently next to vibrant lime green, a great colour combination in itself but use both sparingly as they can be tricky to use in large doses together. Check out the palette at colourlovers

Saturday, 21 January 2012


A very lonely Christmas tree and my motto for this year.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Huevos Rancheros with poached eggs

Time for a savoury dish again. It suddenly got very cold here over the weekend so out come the chilies to warm us up. First time I heard about Huevos Rancheros was on Jamie Oliver's TV show 'JAMIE'S AMERICA'. His version of this classic Mexican dish called for the eggs to be poached in the tomato chili sauce rather than top the sauce with a fried egg and this is what we incorporated in to our version as well. This recipe is great for breakfast or when you have brunch with friends as you can prepare the sauce in advance (or even make a lot and freeze some) and then just heat it up and poach your eggs. I am not a big fan of runny egg yolk so mine are usually well done but just cook them for a shorter time if you like them wobbly and runny.


2 shallots
1 red onion
1 red pepper
2-3 garlic cloves
1 red chili (hot)
1 bunch of coriander
2 cans of tinned tomatoes
good dash of balsamic vinegar
pinch of sugar
1 tbsp smoked paprika powder
salt and pepper
4 free range eggs

Chop the shallots, onion, red pepper, garlic, chili and coriander stalks. Heat oil in a pan and sweat the onions and pepper. Add the garlic, chili and coriander stalks. Sweat some more, then add the content of the tomato tins, vinegar, sugar, salt and other spices. Simmer for about 15 minutes so the excess moisture can evaporate and the sauce thickens. Now make a little space for the eggs in the sauce so they can be enclosed, drop the eggs in and simmer some more to poach the eggs. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and squeeze some fresh lime on top. Serve with warm tortilla bread and sour cream.
¡Buen apetito!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Toasted pine nuts, olive oil and caramel ice cream

Since I have the ice cream maker I have experimented a lot with different flavours and most of those experiments have been successful (please don't ask for the pea ice cream I made as that really didn't work out well and won't make it on the blog anytime soon...). As with chocolate I love to throw in a pinch of salt as it seems to bring out the flavours even better. Same goes for ice cream. And salted caramel is a classic by now, made even better by adding some salted peanuts if you ask me. For this ice cream though I used pine nuts that I toasted in olive oil and later added a salted caramel to the ice cream so you have ripples going through it.


300ml double cream
200ml milk
50g pine nuts
3 tbsp olive oil
4-5 tbsp sugar

For the caramel sauce
75g light brown sugar
50g salted butter
3tbsp double cream

For the toffee sauce heat all the ingredients in a pan and stir gently with a wooden spatula. When they are all blended to a sauce take off the heat and let cool down. In another pan heat the olive oil and toast the pine nuts. Take off the heat and let cool. Mix the sugar, milk and cream. Add the olive oil and chill the mixture in the fridge. Place in the ice cream maker for about 10-15 minutes or according to instructions for your machine. Spoon through the caramel sauce to create the ripples and it's ready to serve.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

New Year's donuts

Donuts are a traditional New Year's Eve and Carnival treat in Germany and this year I thought I could revive this tradition though mine are bite size mini ones.
I have been catching up with season 3 of Masterchef Australia. I know, I know, a little late, but better late than never, right? Anyway, it reminded me of last year's season when they showed how to make classic donuts in a masterclass. So this is where I got the basic recipe and technique from that I then slightly altered for my needs.
I tossed the still warm donuts in vanilla and lavender sugar. Both can be made in advance to infuse the sugar and I keep it ready to be used in my pantry. Just mix up some lavender and caster sugar and keep in a jar. Sometimes the lavender itself can be a bit overpowering so just sift he sugar to remove the lavender flowers and just work with the fragrant sugar. To make the vanilla sugar scrape out the seeds of some vanilla beans and mix with the sugar. Keep in a jar with the pods. Alternatively use plain caster sugar, it's still delicious!


350ml milk
80g unsalted butter
60g caster sugar
4 eggs
500g plain flour
pinch of salt
8g dry yeast
vegetable oil to deep fry
vanilla or lavender sugar

Warm up the milk to body temperature. Add the butter and sugar and dissolve in the milk. Add one egg at a time and whisk. Now mix the dry ingredients: flour, salt and yeast. Pour in the warm milk mix and combine all the ingredients. Cover with a cloth or cling film and leave to prove for about an hour in a warm place.
Heat the oil in a pot until it reaches 165°C. Spoon little portions in the hot oil and leave for about 4-5 minutes or until golden and cooked through. While still warm roll in and cover with the flavoured sugar and leave to cool or eat while they are still warm.