19 Sep 2016


If I would translate this blog title directly from German to English,
the English name of this dish would be "Steam Noodle". 
But that doesn't make sense at all.
I prefer to call them 
Sweet Yeast Dumplings here.
They're not baked like bread rolls.
They're not boiled like pasta or other dumplings.
They are cooked in a steamer insert 
over a pot of boiling water. 

These dumplings are a traditional dish from
Bavaria or Austria or Tirol.
They are sweet and fluffy and really filling. 
I would not eat these as a dessert,
we eat them as dinner on their own. 
Well... with vanilla sauce and poppy seed sugar. 
Not necessarily healthy. But GOOD.
And for us, they taste a bit like childhood!
Try them!
It takes a bit of time to make them,
but you won't be disappointed.


50g unsalted butter (plus some more for greasing)
2tsp easy bake dry yeast
200ml lukewarm milk
4tbsp sugar
500g plain white flour
1 egg
1 pinch of salt

Melt the butter.
Mix yeast, milk and  sugar and leave in a rather warm place for a few minutes.
Add the flour.
Add egg and salt.
Add butter.

Knead the dough thoroughly until there are no lumps left. 
We want a smooth but rather firm yeast dough.

Form a ball, but it into a bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave in a 
rather warm place and give the yeast plenty of time to work
and leave the dough to rise.

Give it at least 2 hours.
Even more, if possible.

Knead again, form 10 little balls and put them on a baking tray.
Cover with the tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for another 30 mins.

Grease a steamer insert with a bit of butter and put 5 of your dough balls into it.
Take a pot that fits the size of your steamer,
fill with a bit of water and bring it to the boil.
Put the steamer insert on the pot and cover with a lid.
Cook the dumplings in the steam for about 15 minutes. 
If you do so, the dumplings will collapse!

Tidy up your kitchen instead.
Fill the dishwasher.
Read my blog. 
Just, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES lift that lid!

Thank you.

After 15 minutes of steaming, your dumplings will be ready.
Serve with vanilla custard or vanilla sauce
and poppy seed sugar.

Listen to German march music while eating
and pretend you are at the Oktoberfest in Munich. 

Have a bit of fun eating these!!!


18 Sep 2016

Pear and Chocolate Cake

Today, we baked a cake.
 Because it was Sunday. Because it rained. Because I really like baking and cooking. 
We found the "regular" cake ingredients as well as pears and dark chocolate.
So we decided to make a "Birne Helene Kuchen". 
A Pear and Chocolate Cake.
Apparently, the fancy name for the combination of pear and chocolate and stuff is
Poire Belle Helene.
I googled that.

Poire belle Hélène ([pwaʁ bɛl elɛn]GermanBirne Helene) is a dessert made from pears poached in sugar syrup and served with vanilla ice creamchocolate syrup, and crystallized violets. (source: wikipedia)

So there we went and baked. And it was really, really nice.
A not too sweet, very moist, brownie-like base with juicy pear pieces.
Fruity, caramelised pear slices on top.
Really fluffy. Really comforting. 
And really easy and quick to make. 


100g dark chokolate
4 pears
3 ggs
125g unsalted butter
60g sugar
vanilla essence
200g white spelt flour 
(plain white flour will do, too)
1 level tsp baking powder
75ml milk
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 175 degrees
(fan assisted to 160 degrees)

Carefully melt the chocolate.
Peel all pears and remove the cores.
Slice 3 pears, cut one into little cubes.

Generously whisk butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt.
Add flour and baking powder.
Add the milk.
Add the chocolate and pear cubes.

Pour the mixture into a 20cm cake/sponge pan.
Put the pear slices on top and push them slightly into the dough.

Bake the cake for 50-60 mins. 

Leave to cool and dust with a bit of icing sugar.