Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage Butter

I did it! I finally managed to prepare the perfect sweet potato gnocchi. Whereas normal gnocchi are much easier to make, the sweet potato gnocchi are quite a challenge. I remember, when I first tried a recipe with my friends. We were standing in the kitchen for hours, not getting that dough into the right consistence to finally bring them to a boil and eat. Either the dough was to sticky oder not moist enough at all. Juggling with flour and water almost ruined the flavour. Because at some point, one could barely taste the sweet potato. 

For this recipe, I was also standing in the kitchen for a few hours. This time I prepared myself a little differently and hat flour and mashed sweet potato at each hand to find the perfect ratio and finally find  THE recipe for sweet potato gnocchi. It definitely is a balancing act but I am very very happy with the result. 

For 4 portions you'll need:
500g sweet potatoes
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
360g flour
5 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
200g butter
5 tbsp olive oil
7 sage leaves (sliced)
150g rucola

Preheat the oven to 220°

Cut the sweet potatoes in half. Then put them onto a baking tray lined with baking paper cut side down. Roast for about 30 to 40 minutes (depending on the size of your sweet potatoes). When the sweet potatoes are tender, take them out of the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Once cool enough to handle peel of the skin and place them into a bowl. Mash the potatoes until there are no chunks left. Stir in the egg. salt and nutmeg, then mix again until you get an even mixture. Now add the flour and stir everything together until well combined. 

Dusk a work surface with some additional flour. Place the dough on it and knead very gently. If needed, you should add more flour. Be careful, it should still be moist but not sticky. Divide the dough into 6 portions. If necessary, dust with more flour. Now you can roll each portion into a long 1cm wide log. Cut it into 2 cm pillows. To shape the gnocchi, I chose to lightly press them with a fork, then pressing them back into a rectangular with my thumb and index finger. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil over a medium heat. Drop 20 gnocchi and wait until they float up to the surface. Wait 1 more minute, then fish them out of the water with a slotted spoon. While the gnocchi are cooking, you can prepare the sauce. Place a large frying pan over a medium heat as well and melt half of the butter with half the oil. When the butter is melted, add the chopped garlic and sage. Pour in 4 tablespoons of the gnocchi water, cover with a lid and cook for 2 minutes. Add the rucola, cover again, and cook once more for 2 minutes. Finally add half of the gnocchi to the pan and toss to coat. Repeat the process with the second half of the ingredients. 

Serve the gnocchi immediately. Cheese lovers may sprinkle their portion with some grated parmesan. 


Sunday, December 30, 2018

Beetroot Cheesecake

If someone told me fifteen years ago that I'd develop a recipe including beets, I would probably have called them crazy. I didn't like this vegetable at all, and every time my mother told me to try it at least once, I refused categorically. Only when I left home for the South of France, and a friend cooked a beet soup (because I liked the pink color so much) I started appreciating its flavour. I think this is mostly due because it weren't the store bought cooked ones, but she roasted the fresh beets before blending them into soup. Anyways, from that moment on, I started to test several recipes ranging from roasted beetroot fries to beetroot curry or bourguignon. The latest favourite beet thing is the juice. Mixed with ginger and apples it gives you such a great boost.

When travelling over the last few years, I also discovered savoury cheesecakes. Most of them included goat cheese, which I don't like so much. And that's when I thought that I should make my own recipe. The first one I made was a salmon cheesecake, which was not bad but still needs some fine-tuning. Then I thought about a juicier one, and that's when the base of this very cheesecake was build. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I do. 

For one cheesecake you need:

100g butter
200g crackers
3cm fresh ginger
3gelatine sheets
200g cooked beets
450g cream cheese
150ml liquid cream 
pink radish sprouts
salt & pepper

First soften the gelatine sheets in a little cold water. 

To prepare the base, melt the butter in a saucepan. Put the crackers into your food processor and blitz into chunky crumbs. In a bowl, combine the butter and crackers, then grate 1cm of fresh peeled ginger into it. 

Line a 22cm springform with baking paper, then put the cracker crumbs into it and press to form an even base. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, you can start preparing the topping. Grate the remaining 2cm of fresh ginger and blend the cooked beetroot. In a large bowl whisk together the beets, ginger and cream cheese until well combined. 

Bring the liquid cream to a boil, then remove from heat and stir in the gelatine. Before adding the gelatine, make sure to squeeze out all the water. Pour the cream on the cream cheese and mix again. 

Now remove the base from the refrigerator and top the cracker crumbs with the beetroot cream cheese. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. 

Before serving the cake, remove from the springform and put onto a serving plate. I chose to place pink radish sprouts onto the cake, to give it a little extra fresh kick. 


Monday, October 15, 2018


Luxemburgers love Gromperekichelcher! It's somehow in our DNA. The Swiss have their Rösti and we have our Gromperekichelcher. This very simple Luxembourg classic is the highlight at every funfair. Back in the days, our grandmas used to prepare them for family gatherings. My grandma used to serve the potato fritters with our traditional vegetable soup. 

Even though everyone loves Gromperekichelcher over here, I only like them homemade. At the funfairs or other public events, I find them way too greasy and too bland. Making them at home is always nice because you can juggle with spices and herbs. 

For 25 Gromperekichelcher you need:
10 medium potatoes
2 eggs
a bunch of parsley
1 garlic clove
2 shallots
25g butter
110 ml sunflower oil
Apple compote

First wash the potatoes. Peel the three vegetables and grate them (one by one) either manually or with a food processor. Now put the potatoes in a cloth and press all the moisture out. Put the above mentioned ingredients into a bowl, chop the parsley and add to the potato mixture as well. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Heat butter and oil into a frying pan until they start bubbling.

Drop a heaped tablespoon of the potato mix into the pan, flatten and fry on each side for about 2 minutes. Then take out of the pan and lay on a plate lined with kitchen paper in order to absorb part of the grease. Repeat.

We usually serve the Gromperekichelcher with apple compote. 


Sunday, October 7, 2018

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Guess who's back, back again? Almost one year of silence on the blog or how I like to call it: creative break. It's not that I was not motivated creating new recipes, but I felt like I had to think this whole blogging situation through and find out where I really want to head to with the blog and the brand. The many positive messages from my followers and the kind words from my friends made me rethink about retiring as a blogger. I did a lot of recipe testing tough, and I promise you won't be disappointed about the results. 

To celebrate the end of a long break, I decided to spoil you with coconut chocolate chip cookies! Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, they definitely lighten up rainy autumn days. I chose to add grated coconut, to give the ordinary chocolate chip cookie a little twist. After having a few throughout the weekend, I came to a promising conclusion: these delights should be on everybody's table at a tea party, but be careful - they are addictive. 

For around 40 cookies you need:
380g flour
350g sugar
190g grated coconut
250g butter
350g chocolate chips
1 egg
1 pinch of sea salt
1 large pinch of vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 150°

In a large bowl whisk together the butter and the sugar until well combined. Add the egg and mix again.

In a separate bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients: flour, vanilla, salt, baking powder, grated coconut and chocolate chips.

Fold in the dry ingredients to the liquid ones and mix until everything is well combined.

Finally put one tablespoon of cookie dough onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Slightly flatten the dough with your fingers. Be careful to leave enough space between the cookies, as they will spread while baking. 

Bake the cookies 15 to 20 minutes. 

The cookies will be a bit soft when you take them out of the oven, that's why you should leave them cooling down on the baking tray for several minutes before placing them on a wire rack and leave to cool completely. 


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Cauliflower Pasta (sponsored)

There we go.. winter is slowly approaching. Even though, and just in time for the opening of the Christmas markets here in Luxembourg, temperatures rise back to 16°. So mulled wine might not be an option... not yet at least. Facing the cold season just before it arrives is always a good idea, as you can mentally prepare and check out which recipes to prepare. 

As you might have noticed over the years, I am not a big fan op soups. You won't here me order a soup ever. And you will even less se me cooking some at home. As long as my teeth are working fine, I will not consider soup a decent meal. You might ask yourself how I heat myself up during the cold days? Well... I boil up some tea and have a normal meal. It's as simple as that. So what does all that soup talk have to do with this lunch huh? Well, when I was preparing the sauce, I was thinking that it might also be a great soup actually. The strong flavours of the vegetables are melting as one with the pasta. All creamy and silky it was a great pleasure to find out what the result would be. 

For 2 servings you need
300g pasta
120g freshly chopped spinach
1/2 head cauliflower 
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
150 ml almond milk
salt & pepper

All the ingredients for this recipe can be purchased on the Auchan Drive website.

Cook the pasta. Meanwhile chop the spinach and set aside. Once the pasta is done transfer it to a large bowl and mix with the spinach. Then bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower with a pinch of salt and simmer until it's all tender. Drain the cauliflower and throw it into a blender. Now add the milk, garlic, lemon juice and the olive oil and mix until you get a creamy sauce. 

Finally pour the sauce into the pot you boiled the cauliflower in and cook over low heat. Add the spinach pasta and stir until everything is well combined. 


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Hazelnut Tea Cakes (sponsored)

Autumn baking I am back! 

When you cross your neighbours in the elevator and they see you packed with baking ingredients and they say 'Oh are you finally baking again? I've missed the smell of freshly baked goods'. Well dear neighbour, if you're reading this, I may tell you that Christmas is in less than 2 months and there will be loads of cookies and treats. So watch out!

Summer was truly busy and I know I did not spoil you with many recipes. All my friends decided to get married, so I was travelling from Luxembourg to the Netherlands to Serbia to finally end the Wedding Season in Zürich. There was definitely not enough time for me to test and develop new recipes. Now my wallet is empty and I decided to stay home for a while. So be prepared, I will pass my weekends in the kitchen again. This week I had a revival of my childhood memory:  hazelnut cakes. At the time, this cake was a true winner at kids birthday parties. 

Several years later, when I was not a kid anymore, I tried to bake the recipe on my own. Not concentrated at all, I transformed this rather dry Luxembourgish classic into a moist teacake. So how did I do this? Basically I added too much butter to the batter, I didn't want to throw away some small amount of milk that would have been left behind in my fridge and I forgot to buy vanilla sugar and hereby opted for freshly ground vanilla. 

For 8 tea cakes you need:
125g butter
200g sugar
6 eggs
125g ground roasted hazelnuts
2 tbsp rum
135 ml milk
2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 fresh vanilla bean
125g flour
1 tsp baking powder

All the ingredients for this recipe can be purchased on the Auchan Drive Website

Preheat the oven to 180°

In a bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until well combined. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and add them to the batter. Then add the ground hazelnuts and mix until you get an even dough. Add the sugar and baking powder, then de milk. Now add the rum and the vanilla bean, then the flour. When the batter is almost ready, whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until firm. Stir in the beaten egg whites and the dough is ready. 

Pour the batter into the little tea cake pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.


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