Monday, 27 December 2010

Daring Bakers - Christmas Stollen

Been gone for a while for Christmas vacations, hence the lack of posting. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with wonderful food of course :)

This month challenge in the Daring Bakers was really on the spot, since i wanted to try to make a Stollen, the typical German Christmas bread with fruit and nuts. The recipe makes for a quite big stollen, or actually more than one. In my case the dough came out a bit dry, I would probably bake it for less time or add a little bit less flour if I do this recipe again. Otherwise the taste was fabulous, though I must agree it is not quite the typical recipe ;)
In my case I substituted the raisins by cranberries, since most of the people who were going to eat it don´t like raisins that much.
This bread reminds me a lot of the portuguese "Bolo Rei" also typical for this season.

The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book.........and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.

If you want, you can check out the recipe in the Daring Kitchen.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Fast tabbouleh

Nothing faster than couscous. And bringing a little bit of warmth from the orient to the cold days that we´ve been feeling here.

I believe that tabbouleh is most typically made with bulgur, but I only had couscous so that´s what I used. In it´s essence I kept the spices and herbs, specially the mint.
Wonderful to eat just as it is or as a side dish. And with a glass of black tea to the side, even better...


Ingredients (for 2 persons)

Around 100 gr of couscous (or bulgur)
1 finely diced onion
2 garlic cloves, diced
Half of 1 leek in fine slices
1 diced tomato
Half grated carrot
salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
Finely chopped herbs: mint, coriander and parsley
2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil
Juice of half a lemon

In a pan place the olive oil, garlic, onion and leek. Simmer until the onions and leek are soft. Add the chopped tomatoes and carrot, mixing and letting simmer for a few minutes. Mix in the couscous and the herbs, and season with the spices. Add water just until the couscous are covered, and let simmer for 10 min (or until most of the water evaporates). Before serving top with more fresh herbs and a drizzle of lemon juice.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Sour cream scones with cranberries

The perfect start for a cold winter weekend!
I think the sour cream gives this scones a very soft texture, which actually holds well until the next day.

Simple and fast.

Sour cream scones with cranberries 

Ingredients (around 6-8 scones):

250 gr of flour
70 gr of sugar
1 tablespoon of baking soda
a pinch of salt
cinnamon (optional, to taste)
6 tablespoons of cold butter
150 gr of sour cream
1 egg
50 gr of chopped cranberries

Pre-heat the oven at 180°C.
In a bowl mix the dry ingredients and the cranberries. Add the butter in small pieces and mix until you get a coarse sandy mixture. In another bowl, mix the sour cream and the egg, whisking briefly until the egg is incorporated in the cream. Add the cream mixture to the flour and butter and mix only slightly.
Form small balls and placed them in the baking tray. Bake for 15 min or until slightly golden.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Daring Bakers Nov. 2010 - Persimmon Crostata

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well. 

My first participation in the Daring Bakers challenges. I followed the first version for the pasta frolla, and for the filling I used some very nice persimmons I found in the supermarket the other day.
The instructions are quoted from the Daring Bakers challenge, all all credit goes to Simona from Briciole!

Persimmon Crostata

Ingredients for the base (pasta frolla): 
1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon [105 ml, 100 g] 
superfine sugar  
3/4 cup [180ml, 90g, 3 oz] of powdered sugar 
1 and 3/4 cup [420 ml, 235 g, 8 1/4 oz.] unbleached all-purpose flour 
a pinch of salt 
1 stick [8 tablespoons / 4 oz. / 115 g] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 
grated zest of half a lemon  
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl 

Making pasta frolla
1. Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl. 
2. Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice. 
3. Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on – place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use). 
4. Add the lemon zest to your flour/butter/egg mixture. 
5. Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips. 
6. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball. 
7. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight. 

Making the persimmon filling

2 persimmons (the hard type)
100 mL of water
30 gr of dark sugar
100 mL cream
1 Star anis
Grounded cinnamon
Grounded nutmeg
Grounded ginger
2 medium eggs

Cut the persimmons in pieces and put them together with the water, sugar and star anise in a sauce pan. Simmer until the fruit is soft. Cool down.
Take to the food processor until you have a soft puree. Add the cream and the lightly beaten eggs, mixing well. Reserve.

Assembling and baking the crostata

1. Heat the oven to 375ºF [190ºC/gas mark 5]. 
2. Take the pasta frolla out of the fridge, unwrap.
3. To help roll the crostata dough, keep the dough on top of the plastic wrap that you had it wrapped in. This can help rolling the dough and can also help when transferring the dough to your pan. You can also use parchment paper for this. However, you can also roll the dough directly on a work surface if you prefer. 
4. Lightly dust the top of the dough and your work surface (if you’re rolling directly on a work surface) with flour. Keep some flour handy to dust the dough as you go along. 
5. If the dough is very firm, start by pressing the dough with the rolling pin from the middle to each end, moving the rolling pin by a pin's width each time; turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat; when it softens, start rolling. 
6. Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8th inch (3 mm) thick. 
7. If you used the plastic wrap or parchment paper as rolling surface, flip dough over the pan, centering it, and delicately press it all around so the corners are well covered. Peel away the plastic wrap. 
8. Trim the excess dough hanging over the edges of the pan. Press the remaining dough around the border into the sides of the pan making sure the border is an even thickness all the way around. 
9. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork in several places. 
10. Spread the filling evenly over the bottom of the crostata
11. Put the tart in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. 
12. After 30 minutes, check the tart and continue baking until the tart is of a nice golden hue.  
13. When done, remove the tart from the oven and let cool. If you have used a tart pan with a removable bottom, then release the tart base from the fluted tart ring. Make sure the tart is completely cool before slicing and serving. 

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Preserved goat cheese

I managed to find for sale in some shops here in Germany, these wonderful portuguese goat cheeses that I love. They are quite firm, and very salty, so it´s a once in a while treat.

Then I remembered that my father used to preserve these type of cheeses in oil, so you can keep them at hand whenever you want a nice appetizer.

I suppose you could do these with other types of cheeses and adding the herbs or spices of your preference.

Preserved Goat Cheese with Rosemary, chili and garlic


Portuguese goat cheese 
Olive oil or oil of your preference
Rosemary brunches (4 to 5 if small)
2 chilies chopped in half
2 garlic cloves cut in half

Cut the cheese in small pieces of homogeneous size. In a clean sterilized glass flask put the cheese, garlic, chilies and rosemary. Add the oil until everything is covered and close with a tight lid. 
Before consuming I advise to let it rest for at least 2-3 weeks, so you can get a nice infusion of the flavors. You can always add more cheese or seasonings along the way, or even use the oil for seasoning/frying (it will have a nice garlic taste).

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Oeuf en Cocotte with Chorizo

Oeuf en cocotte is a very french way of making eggs, usually served in a small ramequin or the more fashionable "Cocottes". This are small ceramic ramequin with a lid, a sort of miniature, one portion pan. They are specially nice for slow cooking food, like stews, soups or even soufflés.

Anyways, i was alone for lunch and in the mood for something simple and fast. And this is perfect as well as delicious!

Oeuf en cocotte with chorizo


1 egg
about 100 mL (less or more according to taste) of cream
grated cheese (or mixes of cheeses)
chopped chorizo to taste
salt, pepper, fresh herbs

Place the chopped chorizo and the cream on the bottom of the ramequin. Open the egg on the top, season with salt, pepper. Add the grated cheese and sprinkle with the fresh herbs.
Take it to the oven at 180°C for about 10 to 15 min, depending on how runny you like the eggs.
Serve with toasted bread.

It is very easy to make variations to this. You can add some chopped vegetables (which you should slightly cook before baking on the ramequin), or instead of chorizo, you can use bacon, chicken leftovers, or even tuna.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Pistachio Macarons

Honestly I never tried macarons before. But I´ve seen so many beautiful pictures of these little french cookies all over the internet that I felt tempted to try.
This ones were my first try. I followed a basic recipe of Tartelette. You should go there, she has amazing recipes and beautiful pictures. And of course her macarons always look so perfect, that I thought if I had to follow a recipe then might as well be one from there.
For the filling i used a simple vanilla cream. I am not a big fan of buttercream, so I went for something simpler.

Of course they didn´t came out all pretty! But i would say that 90% of them looked like this ones in the picture. I guess it takes practice to make them look perfect and all of the same size.

Pistachio Macarons with Vanilla cream


3 egg whites, left overnight at room temperature (aged)
30 gr of granulated sugar
200 gr of powder sugar
55 gr of finely ground almonds
55 gr of finely ground pistachios
Green food die (I didn´t use any, hence my macarons didn´t come out very green...)

Sift the powder sugar, almonds and pistachios in order to get rid of any lumps.
In a bowl, with a mixer, whip the egg whites until foamy. Then add the granulated sugar and continue whipping until you have a glossy stiff merengue.
Add slowly the sifted sugar mixture to the egg whites, folding gently. Do not over mix or this can ruin the consistency of the merengue. 
Fill a pastry bag with a large plain tip, and pipette the merengue in an oven tray covered with baking paper. Try to pipette the same amount, in order to have equal size macarons in the end. To me this was a bit hard but I guess it requires a bit of training!

Leave the macarons sit for around an hour, until they spread a bit and form a harden shell. 
Heat the oven to 150°C. Place the tray with the macarons in the oven for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. I guess this also takes a bit of trial and error according to your oven. 
After this time take them out of the oven and let it cool down. don´t let them sit on the tray too much or they will become soggy. You can store them in a air tight container before filling them.

For the Filling:

150 mL Milk
1 egg slightly beaten
20 gr of sugar
1 vanilla pod
1 teaspoon of corn starch (Maizena)

Cut open the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds placing them in the milk. Take the milk to medium heat with the sugar and vanilla, the egg slightly beaten and the corn starch well dissolved.
Mix it in well while heating until the cream thickens. Let it cool down before using on the macarons.

With a piping bag (or a spoon), place the cool filling on one of the macarons flat side, and place another macaron on the top. Do not press them down or you might break them.

I think that the day after they taste even better...

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Chicken and vegetable soup

Or how to use left overs of roasted chicken. A delicious one by the way, but a bit to much for both of us. Since I don´t like to waste food, I arranged something with some vegetables lying around in the kitchen. Other variations might result delicious as well!

Chicken and vegetable soup


Left overs of one roasted chicken (carcass included)
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves
2 carrots peeled
1 large parsnip
1 big sweet potato chopped in cubes
1 leek
2 bay leaves
1 large parsley spring
1 large thyme spring
olive oil to taste
salt and pepper

Start by separating the chicken flesh from the bones and carcass. Reserve the meat and place the bones and carcass in a pan. Add around 1liter of water. Add half of the onion, 2 garlic cloves, 1 carrot chopped in half, and a bouquet made with the bay leaves, 1 parsley spring and the thyme spring. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil, letting simmer for around half an hour (or more if you want a more pronounced taste). Filter the broth and reserve.

In a another pan, add the other half of the onion, chopped, the garlic cloves also chopped, and the sliced leek. Add a bit of olive oil to taste and bring to medium heat, until the onion is soft but not brown. Add the chicken broth and the sweet potatoes. After around 10 minutes, add the carrot and parsnips previously chopped in thin slices. Add also the reserved chicken meat and let cook for another 10 min, or until the sweet potatoes are soft. Finally add salt and pepper to taste, and chopped parsley.

In this case I served with some polenta slices on the top, and some fresh bread on the side.

Saturday, 16 October 2010


The perfect ending for a perfect Autumn afternoon.

I didn´t made them though. All I can say is that the butter, garlic and fresh herbs were mixed perfectly with these snails.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Feigen-Senf Chutney

Or Fig-Mustard Chutney. 

This year I´ve been craving figs like hell. Thank goodness for the nice turkish shops, and their nice imported blue figs! I found some with a huge discount this week, and since somebody was talking about feigen-senf the other day, I couldn´t resist to do it.

Fig-mustard is something that you can easily find here in Germany, but honestly in Portugal I never noticed it´s presence. It goes wonderfully with cheeses (and a glass of good red wine), but you can also use it for seasoning meats for example.

Feigen-Senf Chutney


500g of fresh figs
200 mL of red wine
100 mL of balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
100 gr of brown sugar
100 gr of Dijon mustard
salt and black pepper to taste
a pinch of dry sage (optional)


In a pan mix all the ingredients except the Dijon mustard. Take to a boil, and let it simmer until the figs are cooked almost like a pure. Finally add the mustard and let simmer for a couple more of minutes.
Poor while hot in clean glass flasks, closing them and turning upside down to allow for vacuum to form.

You can conserve them closed for some months. After opened, keep in the fridge and use it in the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Apple and cinnamon rolls

I took pieces and bits from other recipes until I got what I wanted...
For the filling I took inspiration in a German cooking magazine, though I changed it a little bit and added a bit of rum.

Apple and cinnamon rolls

For the dough
500 gr flour
50 gr sugar
80 gr unsalted butter melted and cooled down
250 mL of lukewarm milk
1 medium egg
1 package of instant dry yeast (or the equivalent for the amount of flour used)
a pinch of salt

For the filling
2 apples chopped in small cubes
2 tablespoons of grounded cinnamon
1 tablespoon of rum
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter melted
3 tablespoons of brown sugar

Preparing the dough:

In a bowl mix the flour, salt and sugar. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Add all together the beaten egg, melted butter and milk/yeast mixture to the flour. Mix well until the dough is fully hydrated. Knead the dough for some minutes until is homogeneous. Placed in a slightly greased bowl and cover, leaving to rise for until it doubles its size.
Roll the dough in a rectangular shape until it is around 1 centimeter thick.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

Preparing the filling:

In a bowl, mix the butter, sugar, cinnamon, rum and chopped apples. Let it cool down totally.
Spread the mixture evenly over the dough.

Preparing the rolls:

Roll the dough from the largest side, pressing gently along the way.
Cut the roll in 5 cm pieces, and placed them in a greased backing tray, with around 1 cm distance between each other. Leave to rise one last time for about 20 minutes.
Bake the rolls for 10 minutes or until slightly golden on top.

And enjoy!

Monday, 27 September 2010


And so you are thinking, "What is this?".

Well it is a blog. My blog. Tangerine.

Not an ambitious one by that matter, just a sort of "memory box" for me. Sometimes I just feel like writing something, taking a picture, painting a canvas, bake a cake... And that is somewhat what you will find here.

I won´t go much into personal details though. You can always ask if doubts arise along the way.

But for politeness, some facts about me.

My name is Rute. I am Portuguese and a Chemist. Currently I work and live in Germany, in the beautiful city of Mainz. I love to cook and to paint, and most recently to photograph.

The rest you´ll figure it out along the way.

And now, we start by the end. The end of Summer (at least here...).