Buddha’s Hand marmelade

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Buddha’s Hand, aka fingered citron, has a sweet lemon blossom aroma, no juice, no pulp and no seeds. It looks bizarre, smells heavenly and in Asia it symbolizes happiness, wealth and longevity.

Here’s some examples what to do with this crazy lemon:

  1. cut off a “finger” and slice it thinly over a piece of grilled white fish
  2. add some grated peel to your vinaigrette
  3. add a slice of peel to your vodka or gin cocktail

Finally I decided to use up the whole fruit by making a “good luck” marmelade.

Buddha’s Hand marmelade

1 Buddha’s Hand citron
water, 3 x the weight of the citron
1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 package of “2:1 preserving sugar” from the whole food store (usually they have raw cane sugar with apple pectine)

Rinse and dry the citron, then slice and cut it thinly.
In a pan bring to a boil the citron and the water. Simmer until the fruit turns slightly glassy. Add the freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Add “2:1 preserving sugar” in the correct ratio and cook following the instructions on the package. Fill in glass jars while hot.

Buddha’s Hand Marmelade

Pinotage Cake

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Cakes + Cookies

Pinotage Cake

4 eggs at room temperature
200g sugar
180g butter, melted
100ml extra-virgin olive oil
150ml milk
400g flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
a generous pinch of sea salt
the grated zest of a an organic orange
the grated zest of an organic lemon
300-600g sweet little grapes (or blueberries)

Preheat oven to 175°C. Butter the bottom and the sides of a 25 cm baking dish.
In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs and the sugar until creamy. Add the butter, the oil and the milk. Add the grated citrus zest. Finally whisk in the flour, the baking powder and the salt. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes.

With a wooden spoon or with a spatula mix in 200g of the grapes, then pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
Take out of the oven and spread the remaining grapes onto the batter. They will slightly sink in. Bake for another 30 minutes until golden brown.

Enjoy with a good glass of Pinotage Bon Courage Estate 2014.


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(yields 1)

1 generous tablespoon oatmeal
1 cup of milk ( any nut or rice milk is fine)
a pinch of salt
1 generous piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 -2 teaspoons almond butter

fruit for topping

roasted seeds, bee pollen to your liking

wild mirabelle upside-down cake

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Cakes + Cookies

wild mirabelle upside-down cake

500g wild mirabelles (or any stone fruit), stoned
150g butter at room temperature
3 tablespoons muscovado sugar
sea salt
100g sugar
2 eggs
120ml milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
200g flour

vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or crème fraîche for serving

a bucketful of wild mirabelleswild mirabelle upside-down cake

Preheat oven to 180°C.

In a large bowl, use your hands to combine 3 tablespoons of the butter, the muscovado sugar and the pinch of salt. Spread the mixture on the bottom  and the sides of your pan.
Distribute the mirabelles on top of the butter layer.

In the same bowl whisk the remaining butter (ca. 110g) with the sugar until smooth. Whisk in the eggs, then the milk.
Add the flour, the baking powder and a pinch of salt. Whisk in until just combined.

With a rubber spatula gently scrape the batter over the mirabelles. Be cautious not to mix them into the batter.

wildemira (4 von 6)wild mirabelle upside-down cake

Bake for ca. 45 minutes until the cake is golden brown. Let it cool for 30 minutes. With a knife loosen the cake from the pan. Put a serving dish on top and carefully turn the pan over. If there are mirabelles sticking to the pan, use a spoon to put them back on top of the cake.

Enjoy with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or crème fraîche.

wild mirabelleswild mirabelle jamwilde Mirabellen

red pepper, potato and pear soup

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This is one of the soups I prepare  when I’m craving a “juicy” detox week, but the temperatures are still too low to fully enjoy the raw freshness. 

evening sunred peppers

red pepper, potato and pear soup

4 red bell peppers, halved, cored and seeded
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves
a sprig of thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 pear, peeled, cored and diced
ca. 1,5l  vegetable broth
parsley, finely chopped for serving

Put the bell pepper halves skin-side up on a baking sheet and roast until the skins are blackened . (I use the fan grill at 220°C).

Immediately transfer the pepper halves into a bowl and cover tightly with a plastic wrap. The steam will help to loosen the skin. Rub off the skin and chop the roasted and peeled peppers.

Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, garlic, potatoes and thyme. Sprinkle with pepper and salt. cook until the vegetables have softened, for about 15 minutes. Discard the sprig of thyme.
Add the peppers, the pear and the vegetable broth. Let it simmer for 15 minutes. Puree the soup.

Serve sprinkled with parsley.

GroßteichCunnertswaldephoto sessionred peppe, potato and pear soup


a gingerbread story

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Cakes + Cookies

It all began with the idea of a competition. A competition between family and friends. A friendly one, of course.

This is the Great Gingerbread House-Off.

The brief: A gingerbread house should be built, from scratch, edible and breathtakingly beautiful with no limits concerning style or century. 

the partsginger (10 von 16)

the gingerbread house

With an engineer and designer combining forces, the duo did not rest from start to finish. With a prototype built and dimensions noted, the dough was made:

2 cups sugar syrup
1 1/2 cups muscovado sugar
250g butter
1kg  flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cloves

Mix the flour, salt and spices. In a pot melt the butter and the sugars, then pour the melted sugar/ butter mixture into the flour. Be careful and let it cool before you start kneading with your hands. If the consistency is still too crumbly, add more sugar syrup.

With the dough flattened, cut the templates and place into baking trays. One tray at a time, slide into the oven at 180°C for 12-15 minutes. As one is heated, the others can be cut.

Continue until all pieces are cooled and solid.  

gingerbread house gingerbread (2 von 8) gingerbread house : the doughCalebgingerbread dough

When all the pieces have cooled, mix a thick sugar syrup to act as glue, combining the pieces to construct your desired layout. Make sure to hold in place until you’re sure they won’t fall! The thicker the syrup, the less time this takes.

To decorate:

Tons of glue! (4 packages of icing sugar mixed with water to a glue-like consistency)
A bag of Haribo Colorado sweets (infinite possibilities!)
A box of Smarties, silver pearls and sugar patties, meringues
Goji berries, red peppercorns, star anise and cinnamon stars

Use your imagination when decorating! We crafted lanterns by slicing licorice haribo sweets, moulding and sticking yellow, flame-like sweets onto the ends.

The tools:

A knife, steady hands and anything else in your kitchen you deem useful!

gingerbread housepreparing the doughgingerbrad house


the  playlist:

  • Kings College Choir
  • Steve Reich
  • Bach
  • James Bond
  • Spotify’s coffee table jazz playlist


the gingerbread house

poached pear with vanilla and cinnamon

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I just adore pears. Cute butt shapes and so many ways to prepare them. They are delicious with game, paired with elderberries and quinces for jam , poached or simply eaten out of hand.

My pear tree had very little water and a lot of sun this summer and proudly presented me with seven (wow!) ripe pears. Here’s the recipe how I poached them with some lovely spices for my birthday lunch.

poached pear with vanilla and cinnamon

6 pears (Williams or Conférence)
1l red wine
100g sugar
1-2 sticks cinnamon
1/2 vanilla pod

Put the sugar and the wine into a heavy saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low.
Peel the pear leaving the stalk on.
Add the pears , the cinnamon and the vanilla pod.
cover with a lid and bring again to a boil. Turn the heat right down and simmer for 30 minutes. Let the pears cool.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or panna cotta and a drizzle of the poaching liquid.

massaged kale avocado salad

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Lunch / Salads

 1 bunch of kale (tear away the pieces from the stem)
1 avocado
1 lemon
salt, pepper and a dash of tamari

Rinse and prepare kale into bite sized pieces. Put into a large bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients. Massage into kale until the leaves are soft.

My recipe differs slightly from Jill Daltons, but you might watch her video for the perfect “how to”.

raw baby spinach soup

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Lunch / Soups

raw baby spinach soup
(recipe inspired by Anthony William)

1 generous handful baby spinach
1 orange, peeled
2 tomatoes
1/2 avocado
chili salt and freshly ground black pepper

For more spiciness add a clove of garlic, chili, cilantro or basil.

First blend the orange with the tomatoes, then add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

Enjoy cold or lukewarm. Top with sprouts, herbs or roasted seeds.

raw spinach soup