One tradition in Germany I value very much: Giving bread and salt to newly wed couples or when someone moves into a new house. And when two very dear persons got married beginning of this month, I started two think directly about the traditional gift. But as the two lives two far away as that I could simply drop a basket there, I decided to send it per mail.
To make sure that the bread survives the trip in the parcel and stays fresh until its arrival, I bake a simple rye bread in weck jars and canned them afterwards. Treated like this, the bread keeps fresh for several weeks.
If you want to avoid the canning, you can close the lit on the glass directly after baking. But as I have the tendency to burn my fingers in this process I prefer variant one 😀
I like white nougat very much. And most I like hart variant, the Turrón Duro. In the last years I tested different recipes but I never found the perfect recipe for me because I always get the soft white nougat.
So I optimized the recipe once more this year and was successful at the end. With more sugar, a little bit of invert sirup and and summer flower honey is the nougat not as white as it could be but it is very delicious and just the way I love my nougat!
Who still needs a present for Christmas has to hurry up now. A delicious last minute present for people with a sweet tooth is this Chai Syrup. And with a flask of Chai Syrup the next Chai Latte is just a question of warm (maybe frothed) milk.
For the syrup you just need some black tea, some spices, water and sugar and ten minutes time. And then you can fill your syrup into glasses or flasks and wrap them up for Christmas. Or you keep a flask for your one…
This year you can buy a lot of different bread mixes backed in Weck-Flasks. Even our book stores sells them. When I studied the flasks there I realized that they charge ten Euro for 750g of flour, yeast, salt and some spices or seeds! Really, ten Euro? I mean, ok, the Weck flask would cost something about two Euro. But then there are still 8 Euro left for a little bit of flour.
Home again I grabbed an old juice flask and filled it with layers of wheat flour, rye flour and potatoe flakes. I used the organic instant mashed potatoes from Alnatura which consists only of dry potatoes flakes, salt and spices. Filling the flask took its time, so choosing one with a wide bottle neck would be better! The 500g of flour, potatoe flaks, yeast and salt cost me about 1,20 Euro and the flask was for free. And it is a nice present, even a last minute one, as long as you have the ingredients and a flask/glass with one litre volume at home.
Of course I test-baked the recipe, too! And I was surprised about the potatoey taste of the rolls, and I like their moist crumb and crisp crust very much, too. Maybe I should rethink my “no instant mash potatoe-rule” in favour for easy potato rolls!
Sometimes I see a recipe and I have directly a person in mind who would be like it as small treat.
That happened to me, when I saw the little meringue mushrooms on Food52 shortly before christmas. At this time it was already to late but I kept it in mind the whole year and made it this week as little Christmas present for someone who loves to go on a mushroom foray.
And I was surprised who simple they are made. Who ever made some meringue before will do this easily. You just have to pipe flat, round hats with a big piping tip. The stems are made by moving the tip slowly upwards and the lamella are made by dipping the bottom side of the hat into molten chocolate. You see, it is really easy to do but the effect is great!
A perfect gift for mushroom fan!
Christmas eve is now near. And the nearer this day comes the more I enjoy the fragrance of almonds, cinnamon, vanilla, clove and other spices. And when I read a recipe for Chocolate Almonds I knew instantly that I has to try this recipe. But – and I knew this instantly, too – that I would have to make spiced chocolate almonds, with cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla – just like the delicious chocolate almonds that you can buy at this time of the year.
They are not very complicated to make but to coat them with chocolate needs some time. The chocolate is added in small increments and then the almonds have to be stirred until the chocolate sets. And then the next increment of chocolate is added… And that repeatedly until the almonds are covered with a thick layer of chocolate. It is a similar principal as dipping candles.
When the almonds are done you have to find a save spot hide the almonds, otherwise small or big christmas mice will eat them
This year was a bad year for quinces and apples. There were only few on the the trees of my parents, and the fruits stays rather small, due to a mostly cold summer. But anyway, we harvested the few fruits and I cooked quince juice in my pressure cooker. And then I freeze it because the boyfriend protested against more quince jelly, because there was still glasses left from the last year when we had so much quinces.
In December I was planning to cook some little treats from the kitchen for my lovely colleagues and then I remember the quince juice once again. After thawing I cooked the juice with some sugar and vanilla bean, getting a delicious syrup. Mixed with some sparkling water this syrup is delicious, a perfect mixture of tartness and sweet fragrance, with a hint of vanilla.
I decoreated the bottles with some printed labels which I created with Inkscape. If you like, you can download them here.
A homemade Hot Chocolate Mix is a simple but delicious little Christmas gift. In the cookbook “Süße Geschenke aus der Küche: Leckereien backen und verpacken” I found not only nice recipes like a Hot Chocolate Mix flavoured with cinnamon and cardamom but also great Ideas for beautiful decorated glasses, bags and boxes. After I prepared the “normal” Hot Chocolate Mix, which I liked very much, too, I started to experiment with the recipe to create a orange flavoured mix.
I had this idea because some of my colleagues like an orange flavoured cacao from Quai Sud very much to flavour their coffee with it. But this cacao is expensive and hard to get. So I thought a homemade hot chocolate mix would be a great Christmas gift for them.
The best way to get the orange flavour into the chocolate mix is to grated a lot of orange peel, dry it in the oven and ground it together with sugar in a food processor.
I like the taste of the orange flavoured hot chocolate mix very much – I hope that my colleagues like them, too.