eat in my kitchen

To cook, to bake, to eat and to treat.

Tag: apple

German Apple Pancakes and my Berlin Book Launch Event

Eat In My Kitchen Book Launch in Berlin

The BOOK is out and I’ve done so many things for the first time in my life in the past three weeks that I’m still a little shellshocked. I’ve been on TV, which I never ever thought I’d be able to do and to say that I was nervous doesn’t even come close to the feelings that shook me up inside (thank you Ben for being such a patient host!). I held more speeches than in my entire life before the book came out. My natural styling and rather casual dress code of jeans and shirt got replaced by pretty dresses, uncomfortable shoes, and more make up. And I changed planes like buses in the past few days. Once (it feels like a long time ago) I was scared of flying, but I’ve seen so many airports recently, that I think my phobia gave up. Now, I’m back in Berlin, I have a little break to breath deeply and to get some rest before the craziness continues and takes me across the Atlantic, to New York.

In the next few weeks, I’ll share some impressions of my book launch events with you. We’ll start in Berlin, my home town, and then we’ll move on to Malta, London, New York, and Washington.

Berlin is my love, I’ve felt at home in this city since I first opened the door to my apartment almost 12 years ago. One of my favourite spots in this vibrant melting pot is the roof terrace of the stunning Hotel de Rome. It was around a year ago that I decided to have my first book launch event on this terrace. It’s a tranquil oasis, it allows you to enjoy the whole city with all its prettiness and construction chaos from afar, but most importantly, you’re right under Berlin’s clear blue sky. We were lucky, on that early evening on the 26th September, the temperature was mild and the sunset was golden. I couldn’t have asked for more.

The day before the event, in the early morning of a quiet Sunday, my family from Berlin and Malta – thank you Ursula, Alexandra, Emma, Julia, and Matt – joined me in my kitchen to help me bake the cakes for my event. I made a wise decision a few months ago, I only took care of the sweets for my event, the Hotel de Rome‘s fantastic chef, Jörg Behrend, and his team prepared the savoury recipes from my book. They did an amazing job, they actually managed to make me speechless. The food looked like the dishes in my book and tasted like the creations from my own kitchen.

Eat In My Kitchen Book Launch in Berlin

What I’ve learned during the past three book launches in Berlin, Malta, and London is that you can plan every single detail of an event, but you have to accept that it will be unbearably stressful in the last 20 minutes. During these minutes it may feel like it’s never going to work, but then, all of a sudden, in the last minute, everything falls into place. At 6pm sharp, our buffet was set up and Karl Chetcuti was ready to pour the glasses behind the table where he presented five delicious wines from the Meridiana Wine Estate MaltaCynthia Barcomi – who gave me a heart touching quote for the back of my German book – looked gorgeous in her pink dress and we were both ready (maybe she was a little more ready than me) to have a public talk about my book. My pulse was pumping, wine, food, and the view was enjoyed to the fullest by our guests, and our roof top party got going.

It was the first time that I held a speech about my Eat In My Kitchen book, the first time that I stepped out into the spot light to talk about the process of working on this book. I couldn’t have been more thankful for Cynthia guiding me through these exciting minutes, though this new experience, like a sister. My voice and knees were shaking, but my heart was full of joy. The first sip of Meridiana‘s crisp Astarte white wine after our talk was maybe one of the best sips I ever tasted in my life. I felt relieved.

I want to thank all my guests who came to celebrate with us. I’ll never forget the amazing support I keep getting from Türkan, Jörg and the whole Hotel de Rome family, from Karl and Meridiana, from all my family and friends who are there for me no matter how crazy my life is at the moment. Thank you! I want to thank Jules Villbrandt for taking all these beautiful pictures, through your captures I can relive that day again and again. Prestel Publishing, and especially Pia Werner who came from Munich for our celebration, thank you for working on this book together with me.

You might have realized that I sneaked in a few pictures from my own kitchen. I can’t write on this blog without sharing a recipe with you, it feels strange. So I decided to come up with very, very simple recipes while I’m on the Eat In My Kitchen book tour, recipes that fit into my tight schedule and that also have a connection to each country we celebrate in. Today’s recipe is a childhood classic of mine: German apple pancakes. They aren’t light or fluffy, these are thick, dense, eggy German pancakes, rich and filling. And – following my family tradition – they have to be topped with sliced sour apples and lots of cinnamon sugar. Enjoy!

You can see all the pictures of the book launch in Berlin taken by Jules Villbrandt here.

Eat In My Kitchen Book Launch in Berlin

 

Eat In My Kitchen Book Launch in Berlin

German Apple Pancakes

Serves 2

plain flour 130g / 1 cup
ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon, plus 1/2 teaspoon for the topping
milk 240ml / 1 cup
organic eggs 3
granulated sugar 2 tablespoons, plus 2 tablespoons for the topping
a pinch of salt
firm sour apples, peeled, cored, and sliced, 1-2
butter, about 3 tablespoons

Sieve together the flour and 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon.

In the large bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the milk, eggs, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and salt for about 1 minutes. Add the flour mixture, gradually, and continue whisking  until well combined. There shouldn’t be any traces of flour left.

For the topping, combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large, heavy or non-stick pan over high temperature. Reduce the heat to medium, pour in half the batter, arrange half the sliced apples on top. Cook for about 2 1/2-3 minutes until golden at the bottom and just set on top, mind that it doesn’t get too dark. Flip the pancake onto a large lid, add 1/2 tablespoon of the butter to the pan, and let the pancake slide off the lid into the pan. Cook on the other side for about 2 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar to taste. Enjoy immediately, the pancake tastes best when it’s warm.

Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to the pan and bake the 2nd pancake in the same way, adding the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter before you flip the pancake. Sprinkle with sugar and enjoy.

Eat In My Kitchen Book Launch in Berlin

 

Eat In My Kitchen Book Launch in Berlin

 

Eat In My Kitchen Book Launch in Berlin

 

Eat In My Kitchen Book Launch in Berlin

 

Eat In My Kitchen Book Launch in Berlin

 

Eat In My Kitchen Book Launch in Berlin

 

Eat In My Kitchen Book Launch in Berlin

 

Eat In My Kitchen Book Launch in Berlin

 

Eat In My Kitchen Book Launch in Berlin

 

Eat In My Kitchen Book Launch in Berlin

 

Eat In My Kitchen Book Launch in Berlin

 

Eat In My Kitchen Book Launch in Berlin

 

 

Eat In My Kitchen Book Launch in Berlin

 

Eat In My Kitchen Book Launch in Berlin

 

Eat In My Kitchen Book Launch in Berlin

 

Eat In My Kitchen Book Launch in Berlin

 

Eat In My Kitchen Book Launch in Berlin

My Mother’s delicious Tarte Tatin

Tarte Tatin

Tarte Tatin, I know so many people who call this their favourite dessert! Buttery apples fried with lots of sugar until golden brown and caramelised, topped with a crisp shortcrust baked in the oven. It’s like a traditional pie, just upside down! There is something very French about it and it’s not just the amount of butter and sugar, or its origin. Legend has it that this tarte was first created accidentally by Caroline Tatin. She ran the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron together with her sister Stéphanie. A stressful kitchen moment made her forget about the apples on her cooker, they caramelised and Caroline had an idea. She left them in the pan, put the dough on top and baked the first delicious Tarte Tatin ever. The guests in her hotel were impressed and her signature dish was born!

Now, there are many different ways to bake a Tarte Tatin. I make mine like my mother, with a crisp and buttery shortcrust (it’s the one I also use for my Sandwich Cookies). I cut the apples in eight slices each so that they can caramelise evenly on all sides (I find it easier than quarters). I fry them in plenty of butter and sugar, the apples soak up all the syrup and the base stays crisp.

Tarte Tatin

 Tarte Tatin

For the tarte you need a 21cm / 8″ Tarte Tatin dish or frying pan which is ovenproof.

big sour baking apples, peeled, cored and cut into eight slices each, 4
sugar 90g / 3 ounces
butter 90g / 3 ounces

For the shortcrust

plain flour 130g / 4.5 ounces
butter, cold, 75g / 3 ounces
egg yolk 1
sugar 1 tablespoon
a pinch of salt
cold water 1 1/2 tablespoons

For the shortcrust, combine the flour with the sugar and salt. Cut the butter with a knife into the flour until there are just little pieces of butter left. Continue with your fingers and quickly work the butter into the flour until combined. Add the egg yolk and the water, continue mixing with the hooks of your mixer until you have a crumbly mixture. Form a disc, wrap in cling film and put in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Set the oven to 200°C / 390°F.

In a pan (or Tarte Tatin dish), melt the butter together with the sugar and the apples on high temperature. Let the apples caramelise, watch them and turn gently, mine needed 10 minutes.

Roll out the dough, big enough to cover the pan and lay on top of the apples tucking the edges down the sides. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. When the tarte is done, place a large heat resistant plate on top and turn the pan carefully upside down, keep in mind that it’s very hot!

You can serve the warm Tarte Tatin with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Tarte Tatin

 

Tarte Tatin

 

Tarte Tatin

Beetroot and Apple Carpaccio with Pomegranate

Red Carpaccio

A quick carpaccio in bright red with cooked beetroot, apple and pomegranate to welcome a special guest! My mother will be at my home (and in my kitchen) over the next few days. I’m sure we’ll be out a lot but I really hope we’ll find some time to cook together which I enjoy a lot!

I’m a big fan of vegetarian carpaccio. It allows you to combine different flavours in a very pure, quick to make and beautiful way. All you have to do is slice a vegetable or fruit very thinly, arrange it and top with a simple dressing. My red carpaccio is based on the strong, earthy-sweet taste of cooked beetroot which combines perfectly with the sweetness of the apple and pomegranate. I cooked the roots in a bigger batch – as I do every week – in salty water with two bay leaves for 50 minutes (depending on their size they might need shorter but mine were big). For my carpaccio for 2 I need 1 root cut thinly with a slicer, 1 sweet apple prepared in the same way and the seeds of 1/3 of a pomegranate. I drizzle my current favourite lunchtime dressing on top, 3 tablespoons of olive oil mixed with 2 tablespoons of white Balasamico and season it with salt and pepper. It’s a great lunch, as pretty as it is tasty!

Red Carpaccio

 

Red Carpaccio

 

Red Carpaccio