Sunday, July 30, 2023

Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies


Yet another cookie recipe you might think. But let me invite you to stay a little bit longer on this page and read the story behind this recipe. 

Last fall, I went to see a friend in New York, and the second night of my stay we went to a bbq night at one of her friends'. The French-Puerto Rican couple, who were such great hosts, served great grilled steak and beautiful salads and cheese. You already feel the French summer night vibe here, right? 

Once we finished our meal, the hosts served Levain cookies for dessert. If you ever had cookies from the Levain Bakery, you know how awesome this was. They're undoubtedly the best cookies in the world. It's the perfect ratio of crispness on the outside, and gooeyness on the inside. 

I stayed several days in the city, then continued my trip to the Hamptons, and later on to Boston/ Cambridge to visit another friend. A fews days there, I introduced her to the Levain cookies. We both agreed: best cookies in the world. I was so happy to share this experience with her, as we all know that shared happiness is doubled happiness. This is especially true when it comes to food!

Back home I couldn't stop talking about the fact that I've finally found the best cookie in the world and found a few more fans among friends and colleagues. Some of them walking 15 blocks under pouring rain to bring a decent amount back home, just to enjoy them a little longer than a 5 day trip in NYC.

So what does all this have to do with my recipe, you may ask? Well... actually it's the root of it all. Since last September I've researched so much, compared numerous recipes and asked skilled fellow bakers what they think about my findings in order to create my own delicious recipe of chocolate chip walnut cookies. 

I always aim to recreate my culinary experiences, when it comes to travel recipes. I start with good research, and talk to people from the countries I visited before I start my testing process. For this recipe I stayed longer in the theoretical process than usual, but I am glad I did. It only took me one test run to get to the final recipe. And I am soooo happy with the result. 

For 15 cookies you'll need:
300g good quality dark chocolate chips
225g butter
240g walnuts
300g fine brown sugar
330g flour
2 large eggs
1,5 tsp fine sea salt


In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar. Gradually add the flour, then add the eggs one by one until the dough is well combined and starts sticking to the sides. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then fold in the nuts and chocolate chips. Whisk again until you get an even dough.

Flatten the dough, wrap it in cling film, and refrigerate for an hour. Divide the chilled dough into 15 equal portions (+/- 90g) and roll each of them into a ball. Refrigerate the balls for another 2 hours. 

Preheat the oven to 180° fan & line a sheet pan with parchment paper. 

Place 4 dough balls on the prepared sheet pan and bake for 18 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to let cool a little more. You can either enjoy them still warm or completely cooled down.


Thursday, April 6, 2023

Asparagus Quinoa Salad (sponsored)

Oftentimes when I am researching delicious flavour combinations of seasonal produce, I am
wondering which wines would be the perfect pairing. Spring is the most challenging season, I find,
because it might still be a bit chilly, yet the vegetables are already spoiling us with their particular

For this particular recipe, with the Vinsmoselle Fréijoerswäin (spring wine) I knew I wanted there to
be asparagus and a zesty note from the lemon vinaigrette. This very type of wine is fruity with
aromas of ripe grapes and tangerines. On the palate, it is juicy, fresh with hints of lemon, and vanilla.
I enjoyed doing this taste recall in order to round it all up.

For two portions you’ll need:
180g dry quinoa
1 bunch asparagus
200g peas
50g feta
3 scallions
5 sprigs flat parsley
60g slivered almonds
60ml olive oil
1 lemon (juice & zest)

Start with rinsing the quinoa, then cook it according to the instructions on your package.
While the quinoa is cooking, blanch the peas and asparagus in salted boiling water for just a few
minutes, then place them into ice cold water for them to cool quickly.
Once the quinoa has cooled, combine it with the blanched veggies in a bowl. Slice the scallions, chop
the parlsley and add them to the salad. Now you can also add the almonds and give it a good toss.
Pour over the olive oil & lemon juice, add the lemon zest and stir again. Season with salt and pepper
to your taste and give it a last toss. Crumble the feta and sprinkle it over the salad.
Now the salad is ready to be served.


Monday, March 6, 2023

Lemon Almond Cake


If there's one thing we should all love about winter, it is the large variety of citrus fruits. Their prime harvest time is between late November and early March. My favourite citrus fruits to use in the kitchen are lemons and blood oranges. They give me that instant summer feeling, and add  a lovely taste of sunshine to all of your dishes. I like adding them to savoury recipes as much as I like them in desserts.

Today's treat is my super moist and fluffy lemon almond cake. I have to admit, it's been ages since I've last made it so I was a little nervous if I still remembered the instructions my granddad gave me decades ago. When my grandma handed me his old cookbooks, I found a note with this very recipe but the 'little extra' was not written on it. I have a great memory, and I hope it stays this way for a while, because part of my recipes that are not yet on the blog, exist only in my head. All jokes aside, if all goes according to plan, the three remaining recipes will appear on the blog until the end of the year. 

So back to the cake, this lemon almond cake is a perfect cake for your afternoon teas or coffee dates with friends. It is gluten and dairy free, but not vegan. So if you have people with dietary restrictions around you, you may still bake them a super delicious treat. 

For one cake you'll need:

225g sugar
225g ground almonds
zest from one lemon
juice from two lemons
4 eggs


Preheat the oven to 180°

Separate the egg whites from the yolks. 

In a bowl whisk together the sugar and egg yolks. Add the almond powder, lemon zest and juice. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt in a separate bowl until stiff, then fold them gently into the almond lemon mixture. 

Butter a springform tin, then add the batter. 

Bake for 45 minutes. When a toothpick comes out clean, the cake is ready.

Leave to cool before unmoulding. 


Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Vegan Lentil Bolognese

Are you in the mood for delicious yet healthy comfort food? Then you're in the right place!

During these gloomy winter months, we definitely all need delicious flavourful dishes to warm our souls. When I first researched what I could use as substitute in a vegetarian or vegan version of the classic Italian ragù, I didn't expect to love the lentil option so much. But, as  always I was quite determined to end up with the perfect recipe. And after 2 solid trial runs I had the perfect ratio between proteins & veg, acidity & crunch.  

My lentil bolognese is a very recent recipe I developed, but I can sense that it will be one of my go to pasta recipes from now on. It's better than the store bought sauces, it's nutritious... and let's not forget about the best thing:  you may open a bottle of wine to cook it. One glass for you, and one for the sauce. That's a fair split, right?

For 4 people you'll need:
3 large carrots
1 celery stalk 
500g (cooked) lentils
125g dried tomatoes (I used the ones not soaked in oil)
3 garlic cloves
1 large onion
olive oil
150ml red wine
800g diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 tsp Italian seasoning (marjoram, thyme, rosemary,..)
1 tsp oregano 
Salt & pepper
150ml water

500g Pasta

cheese (vg or dairy) or yeast flakes


Roughly chop the vegetables and dried tomatoes, then add them to your food processor. If you don't own one, finely chop all the mentioned ingredients. Make sure not to over-process the vegetables in order to avoid them becoming purée. 

Heat some olive oil (make sure to use enough as there is no meat fat) in a large pot and add the shredded vegetables to brown. Let simmer for a solid 15 minutes while stirring regularly in order to prevent them from burning. 

Then add the red wine and let it cook-off completely. Add the tomatoes and lentils and stir. Now add the Italian seasoning, bay leaves and oregano and stir again. Once all the ingredients combined, reduce to low heat, add the water and let the sauce simmer for around 40 minutes. 

Meanwhile, cook the pasta and keep a cup of the pasta water in order to add to the sauce if necessary. 

Take out the bay leaves and serve the lentil bolognese over the pasta. And for the final touch don't hesitate to top it off with parmesan, nutritional yeast or vegan cheese.  


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