Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gingerbread Cookies

Today we celebrate the first advent in Germany. For people who don't know this tradition, Advents are the four Sundays before Christmas. Usually people have a wreath decorated with four candles. Each Sunday you would light one candle, so on the fourth advent they are all lit. You often meet in the afternoon for cookies and other goodies or go together to the Christmas market. I really like this time of year, and since last year it is even more special to me since I got married at this time of the year. We even took some of our wedding pictures on the Christmas market.

I just got some new cookie cutters from the market. I can usually never walk by these stands without getting at least one. Especially the deer looked so adorable, like little Bambis. I chose to make gingerbread cookies to try them out. They are really easy to make. The dough was a breeze to roll out. They taste really good and still have a soft center after storing them for a while. You can decorate them with royal icing or just leave them plane.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pear Almond Tart with Black Currant Jam

If you have ever been to Vancouver and are into sweets chances are you have heard of Thomas Haas. He is quite a famous p√Ętissier in the city and makes the most wonderful chocolates. He also creates my favorite cakes and pastries in Vancouver. There are two store locations, but you can also find his chocolates at several food stores. I am also proud to say that he is a fellow German. One recipe which was all over the internet were his chocolate sparkle cookies, named as one of the best chocolate cookies from the LA Times. They are wonderfully moist and very chocolatey.

For today I made his pear and almond tart with black currant jam. It is a wonderful tart for the fall season. The almond cream is so rich and buttery that it melts in your mouth. The tart has a few steps involved, but is totally worth the effort. The recipe was for one 9-inch tart, but I had enough to fill three more little tartlet forms. And on a side note, I wish all my American readers a very Happy Thanksgiving today.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Apple Cake with Almond "Bee-Sting" Topping

Apple pie or cake is one of our familie's favorite Sunday treats. Luckily our apple trees were bursting full of nice apples. So, besides a lot of pies we made some juice, compote and also dried them for snacking. Most apples can also be kept for several month, if stored in a cool dry place, like a basement.

I often make apple pie with a streusel topping, this time I changed it to a "bee-sting". A bee-sting is a caramelized almond topping, with butter and cream. It is similar to a florentine cookie, and very delicious. For the apples I would suggest to use a mix of tart and sweet apples. Boskop and Elstar are some good choices.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Chocolate Mousse Cakes

It's time for some chocolate dessert. Over the summer I made mostly fruit desserts, but now since it's getting colder my craving for some good chocolate is getting bigger every day. Don't get me wrong I can eat chocolate all year round, but in summer I prefer it in form of ice-cream.

These chocolate mousse cakes will make quite an impression. They taste wonderful and are a perfect dessert for a special occasion. There are a few different components such as shortcrust, chocolate mousse and marzipan all under a chocolate cover. If you plan for the cooling times, it will be easy to assemble.

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