Lemon Meringue Cupcakes with Lemon Curd

At my parents's house, there is an awesome lemon tree that bears a LOT of lemons this time of year. They inspired me to make these lemon meringue cupcakes with lemon curd! Also, there was a flea market in the next town and since I'd been searching for a vintage footed cake stand for a while, I kept my eyes open and found this one :-)
It's vintage and frilly enough for my taste, but not overly garish ;-)
I made more lemon curd than I needed for the 12 cupcakes - although it keeps only for a few days, I decided to keep some in the freezer and use some as a bread spread or for the next batch of cupcakes. It's delicious!



Visiting my parents together with my dear sister, we could harvest a lot of lavendar which we used for lavendar pillows and this great jam (of course, the composition was my sister's idea!). The flavours of strawberry, vanilla and lavendar harmonize even better than we'd thought!


Cereal Grains

On my daily bike trips to work via the rural outskirts of Munich, I enjoy (apart from the many wildflowers) the idyllic landscapes with fields of cereal grains.  It's really great to watch as the fields change their color over time from a soft green to a full yellow, until at the end, there are only cute little hay bales left. And since I do use different kinds of flour for my baking, I thought I should blog about the kinds of grains and other foods growing on the side of my daily route!


Pretzel Basket for the Beergarden

From yeast dough, you can braid almost anything, and for the beergarden, you always need a basket.
This gift basket for a birthday in a beergarden couldn't truly be used for the transport of the contained food, but at least it provides a pretty setting! 
I also learned a lot about the theory of basket weaving...

The dough is exactly the same as the one described in the Pretzel dough post, it's very easy to work with.


Big Oktoberfest Pretzels

I've loved Pretzels since I was a small kid. After spending some time in Bavaria, I realized that there are subtle differences between Bavarian and Swabian Pretzels - the Pretzel arms are thicker and sit higher on the Bavarian Pretzels, the Swabian Pretzels have a bigger "belly" that is cut open so that there is a well-defined white spot on them while the Bavarian Pretzels just burst at some random place. ;-) My big Oktoberfest Pretzels are Bavarian Pretzels. You could tell, right? Concerning the lye, there are heated discussions online whether sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or sodium carbonate solution(Na2CO3) is better to use. I tried both, but the big Oktoberfest Pretzels can only be made with sodium hydroxide, as you need to boil the pretzel for a bit in the sodium carbonate solution and that won't work for Pretzels this size. For normal-sized Pretzels, it works well, see below. For these Pretzels, I used light spelt flour (type 630), which is similar as wheat flour type 550. From this amount of dough, you can make 16 normal-sized pretzels instead of the 4 Oktoberfest Pretzels, or one Pretzel Basket!


Quick Blueberry Tarte with Almond Sponge Cake Base

Today, the weather for plucking blueberries was perfect, so this is precisely what we did with relish under a bright blue sky... Blueberrys are much easier to pluck than strawberries, as you don't have to scoot around on the ground but have the berries in a great ergonomic height, practically falling into your basket! And they're so healthy! As we'd been invited to dinner spontaneously, I spontaneously tried once again to make a sponge cake base for fruit cakes myself - that mold is another one that the cake usually refuses to come out of! But then, it enables you to bake a cake base on a sunday, when you cannot buy one, and you can add ground almonds to make an almond sponge cake, which you cannot buy at all!


Hugo-Cubos: Mint-Elderflower-Icecubes

My beloved herb garden is in the process of growing over my head, so I'm thinking about harvesting and preserving as many herbs as possible for the winter. Some herbs can be dried, others lose their aroma and should be preserved in oil or frozen. Apart from water, you can use other fluids for freezing the herbs, such as melted butter, especially if you want to use the herbs with butter later, e.g., sage butter...
And that's how I had the idea to preserve my great crop of mints this year combined with Elderflower Syrup in frozen "Hugo-Cubos": Icecubes to which you only have to add prosecco and maybe a little lime for the trendy Italian summer aperitif Hugo- such that you can enjoy it in winter, too! :-) As an alcohol-free version, you can combine the Hugo-Cubos with Tonic Water and Soda!