Frau Kuchen

cooking and eating in Berlin (and elsewhere)

Posts Tagged ‘cake

Prinzessinnengarten

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I recently read about, and then visited Prinzessinnengarten. It immediately became one of my favourite places in Berlin.  Robert and Marco welcomed me, and didn’t think my idea to grow fruit to bake with completely insane.

Prinzessinnengarten is an urban garden, it’s on a long disused site on one corner of Moritzplatz roundabout. The terms of the lease mean that everything has to be moveable, so all their veg is grown in cartons generously donated by Märkisch Landbrot.

Their own website can tell your far more including how to get involved. This weekend they’re running a Stadtsafari to try and get 11 to 16 year olds to think about how openspace is used in their local environment.

My idea to grow fruit won’t  go anywhere this year – it’s too late to start planting – but hopefully next year I can get some Berlin raspberries, blueberries, etc. planted up and then Hudson’s can bake with really locally ingredients. In the meantime we’ve supplied the cafe with cake on a couple of occassions…and work of mouth led us to supply Betahaus next door.

Written by hudsons

October 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm

Lemon Verbena cake

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Some time ago I posted a link to some Verbena recipes I’d bookmarked in Delicious. A friend of mine had a glut she needed to use up so I nosed around the internet adding recipes that looked worth trying.

My own verbena is now growing like wildfire along with the rest of my balcony plants, so I asked which of the recipes she had used.  The Lemon Verbena Bread came back as a clear favourite.


Image 1: Verbena                          Image 2: Cherry Tomatoes       Image 3: Peppers

I have to say I agree, it’s a lovely light sponge with a light lemony taste, although I’ve no idea why it’s called a bread – there’s no yeast and nothing bread like about it.  The first time round I made it without nuts; the second time I threw in a couple of handfuls of nibbed almonds. I couldn’t tell you which I preferred, both were good – the first went down stormingly well at a house warming party.

The recipe is unclear on a couple of points:

  • I recommend warming the glaze ingredients slightly to dissolve the sugar
  • A large loaf tin is a 2lb tin (or 1 kilo), small is 1lb (or 500g) and mini are 8oz (or 250g)

Image 4: Adding the syrup

This isn’t a cake Hudson’s will be able to sell – I can’t grow enough Verbena – but I do urge you to try it out at home. And if you don’t have Verbena it’s a good adaptable sponge recipe.

Written by hudsons

August 30, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Rose syrup

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I’ve been planning to try out a cake with a rose syrup for sometime, and I thought I had the perfect sponge recipe to try it with. An almond and yoghurt based sponge, which seemed to have the middle eastern connotations that matched the rose water I planned to use.

Unfortunatley, despite it looking beautiful, the sponge was just too heavy.  I’ll try it again with a lighter one – probably the one I base the Hudson’s Lemon Drizzle Cake on, as I know it works really well.

The syrup was a great success though, so I  thought I’d include the recipe here.  Last night I tried a splash of it topped up with sparking water and ice; I loved it, but my parter, who tells me “rose isn’t a flavour, it’s a flower” isn’t so keen!

The syrup was made up a as I went along, so the quantities here are rough.

Ingredients

150ml water
175g sugar
juice of 1 lemon
8 cardamom pods
1 tsp rose water
dried rose petals
sprig of lemon verbena leaves (or you could use lemon zest)

Crush the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar and place them in a pan with the sugar and water.  Heat gently until the sugar is dissolved, stir occasionally to help it along. Add the verbena leaves and the rose petals and leave on a low heat (no bubbles) for 5 minutes for the flavours to infuse. Take off the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes.  Strain to remove the cardamom, petals and leaves (I use a paper coffee filter in a funnel for this). Add the lemon juice and rose water to taste – I was aiming for something that reminded me of turkish delight.

Store in a jar or glass bottle in the fridge, sterilise the bottle if you want to keep it for some time.

Use to flavour drinks, drizzle over ice cream, moisten cakes, etc.

I made holes in the two sponges with a skewer and drizzled the syrup over. I then sandwiched them together with turkish rose jam.  It’s topped with a simple lemon icing (sieved icing sugar + lemon juice), a sprinkling of rose petals and a couple of lemon verbena leaves.

Written by hudsons

July 3, 2009 at 6:19 pm