Frau Kuchen

cooking and eating in Berlin (and elsewhere)

Posts Tagged ‘fruit

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

Granola (or Muesli)

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Over the years I’ve tried numerous muesli and granola recipes, and although I think that homemade granola is 100% the way to go, I’ve never found that perfect recipe.  In my experience they’re either too sweet (lots of honey, sugar or syrup)…or too healthy (look and taste like sawdust).

Recently I’ve decided to trust my instincts; I’ve played around with proportions and ingredients and now I think I’ve come up with the perfect mix – slightly sweet, crunchy and made with loads of seeds.  I’m not mad keen on dried fruits and nuts in my muesli; I prefer to top it with seasonal fruit, yoghurt and a touch of honey, – or perhaps a fruit compote and greek yoghurt, – or (in winter) spiced and soaked dried fruit — (it sounds as if more posts may be needed to tell you some of my favourite toppings…).

Frau Kuchen’s (not too sweet, and not too dry) Granola Recipe


  • 200g rolled oats
  • 150g porridge oats
  • 80g pumpkin seeds
  • 60g sunflower seeds
  • 30g linseeds
  • 20g sesame seeds
  • 20g poppy seeds
  • 10g wheatgerm
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 2 Tbsp honey


  1. Heat the oven to 160C
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl
  3. Spread the mix in a shallow layer in an oven proof pan
  4. Put in the oven
  5. Stir occasionally to stop it catching
  6. It’s done when it looks toasted on top and around the outsides (30-40 mins usually does it)
  7. Turn off the oven, but leave the tin in until it’s cooled right down (this helps it dry out and go nice and crunchy)
  8. Store in an airtight container

Written by hudsons

August 16, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Candied Peel

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A great way to use up leftover peel, and you won’t believe how much better it tastes than the diced shop bought stuff.  We’ve just started using it to decorate Hudson’s “Lemon Drizzle” cake – my personal favourite.

So far I’ve only made candied lemon peel (altough double the quantity here), but I’m in the process of trying out some grapefruit – leftovers from our daily breakfast grapefruit. [1]


8 juiced lemons (4 oranges, or 2 grapefruits) [2]
4 cups sugar (+ extra for dusting)
2 cups water

  • Put the peel into a saucepan and cover it with water by a couple of centimetres.
  • Bring it to the boil and reduce to a simmer until the peel is tender when prodded with a knife (about 10-15 minutes)
  • Leave it to cool.
  • Use a teaspoon to scrape out the pulp and the and as much of the white rind as possible. What you have left will look very thin (I thought I’d scraped out too much the first time I did it)
  • Cut the peel into whatever shapes you like – I use triangles (good for decorating) but you can also use strips.
  • Put the peel into a pan with the sugar and water, heat until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is simmering.  Stir occassionally to stop the sugar catching.
  • The syrup should submerge the peel, if it doesn’t add water and sugar in the same ratio as above until it does.
  • Simmer until the peel looks translucent and the syup has thickened.
  • Turn up the heat and bubble until the syrup reches the thread stage (a thread is formed when you our syrup off a spoon)
  • Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes.
  • Spread the peel on a wire rack, or on greaseproof paper, using a slotted spoon – be careful as it will still be hot.
  • Leave to dry overnight.
  • Toss the cooled peel in granulated sugar – we found that using a large jar with some sugar in and shaking it worked well.
  • Store in an airtight container.

You can use the remaining syrup in other recipes (drinks, poaching fruits, on icecream, etc).

Another option is to make candied orange peel and dip it in melted dark chocolate – it makes a great after dinner nibble or gift.


[1] I try to buy locally grown ingredients wherever possible, but I couldn’t give up my grapefruits. That sharp tang wakes me up every morning.

[2] If you’re not sure what to do with all the juice, why not try the Lemon, Ginger & Mint Cordial recipe

Written by hudsons

June 26, 2009 at 6:04 pm