Tag Archive | Vienna

Bejewelled Cupcakes

Hallo – hallo! I am once more back again!

Some of you might remember telling you that my late mother never taught me to bake any of her beautiful cakes. Was that the reason why I never even attempted baking for my family and friends? I don’t know really; and to be frank with you I also was always a bit “scared” in case I made quite a fool of myself.

Luckily neither Jo nor I have a so called ‘sweet tooth’ – so we never missed that divine piece of ‘sweet temptation’ on our extensive travels around the world, with the exception of one of the various times when we visited the world famous Hotel Sacher in Vienna. How can anyone decline a piece of their Sacher Torte (with 2 spoons, please) and a glass of delicious champagne?!

But the other day we suddenly both felt like having a piece of cake with our tea but could not be bothered to call a UBER to take us to a bakery. Then I remembered a cake recipe my friend Heidi in Berlin used when cake was needed at very short notice. So a quick call to her, recipe written down, needed ingredients checked, cake baked and 20 minutes later enjoyed with a nice cup of Darjeeling tea whilst listening to the heavy unseasonably rain outside.

So here now I share with you Heidi’s recipe and hopefully you too will bake this cake.

I am quite proud of myself for having done this after decades shying away from this but, as the saying goes “…one is never too old to learn” – so watch out for maybe another cake experience soon.

Take care and Namaskaram
Carina

Ingredients for 6 Cupcakes
100 g Butter, softened
250 g Flour
200 g Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Sugar
4 Eggs
1 tsp Baking powder
Pinch of Salt
Ingredients for top
100 g Almonds (skinned and cut into little sticks)
100 g Sugar
Any good jam (solid, not liquid)

Method
Heat your oven to 200 C.
In a bowl mix Butter, Sugar and Vanilla Sugar very well until creamy.
Slowly add eggs, one after another, and mix well
Mix flour, baking powder and salt and add to the above mixture.
Now butter your baking sheet or cupcake pan, sprinkle flour over this and shake off any excess flour.
Cover your baking sheet with the batter, smooth out top.

With a small spoon make a dell in the batter and add a good generous dollop of your favourite jam into this.
Mix the almonds and the sugar and sprinkle over the batter with tiny butter flakes on top.
Bake in the hot oven for app. 20 minutes.

That’s it – enjoy Heidi’s recipe with a nice cup of tea or coffee.

I DO IT MY WAY! HUNGARIAN GULYÀS

“……… I DO IT MY WAY! …..”

I am pretty certain that most of us have a favourite ‘comfort soup’ – for some it is chicken soup, for others a nice vegetable soup, but for me my absolute No 1 soup is “GULYÀS”.

This ‘love affair’ goes back quite a few decades now and I can never get tired of this.

For you who are not familiar with this deliciousness: GULYÀS is actually a soup! And what is generally referred to as Hungarian Goulash (Gulyás) is in fact known as Pörkölt in Hungary which in fact is a One-pot dish, (sort of stew) and that’s why we can find cubes of potatoes in this dish. And as our Hungarian friend in Vienna assured us, a Pörkölt has absolutely nothing to do with Gulyás.

A few years ago JS decided literally on the spur of a moment to take me to Vienna for my birthday, a city which neither of us had been to previously. We spent two glorious weeks there, seeing “the sites”, visiting friends, etc. But the highlight of our stay was a visit to the “Wiener Staatsoper” to see a performance of Verdi’s “La Traviata” – no question about it, this was my most happiest birthday!

Our friends, Katharina and Sandor (who is a true Hungarian!) ‘wined and dined’ us royally during our stay, but when Katharina learned of my passion for a ‘Hungarian Gulyás Soup’, she of course cooked a splendid version of her husband’s traditional Soup for us. Thank you, my friends!

Like most traditional recipes one can seldom find the same one in two households. Every family for generations will put their own little ‘tweak’ to this dish.

And once I started writing the recipe here, floods of (nice) memories came back from quite a long long time ago.

The nearest big city to my hometown Bonn is of course Cologne. And it was and still is quite common to quickly drive or take one of the super trains to this city for Lunch, Shopping or Dinner.

And there one can find one of the famous Restaurants called “Pusztahuette” on the “Neumarkt’ which only serves one dish, and one dish only – yes, you guessed it “Gulyás (Soup)”. This restaurant is still going strong even after nearly 50 years!!! They also sell Gulyás in tins to take home and if you take your own container to this restaurant they fill it with the Soup to be enjoyed at home. Oh, how often I went there with friends for a most enjoyable meal.

Because I started to live around the world, I had to come up with my very own version of this wonderful “Gulyás” which today I like to share with you. And so, although it is not quite like the original recipe, my version is nevertheless most delicious. Maybe you will give it a try one day.

For 4 people you will need:

1 kg of pork, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 x Tbsp of Vegetable oil
3 x cloves of garlic, minced
2 x big onions, sliced
2 x Capsicum, I like to use 2 different colours, sliced finely
2 x medium sized potatoes, peeled and grated
2 x tsp of caraway seeds
2 x tsp of marjoram
3 x Tbsp concentrated tomato paste

A very generous shot of dry red wine
3 x tsp of paprika, mild
3 x tsp of paprika, hot
1 x Tbsp of “Lingham’s Chilly sauce” – (if liked!)
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 – 4 x cups of water

And this here is how I do it.

Heat oil in large/wide pot.
Add meat, few pieces at the time, and brown slightly before taking it out again and keep aside.
Now add sliced onions, sliced garlic, and the capsicums, stir and let also brown very slightly.
After some time add the meat, tomato paste, the 2 types of paprika, marjoram and caraway seeds, stir well.
After 5 minutes add the water, cover your pot and let this simmer until meat is NEARLY tender.
Now add your red wine, stir, and also add “Lingham’s Chilly Sauce” and the grated potatoes.
Stir, cover and let simmer for another 10 minutes maximum.

How to plate

Fill your soup cups or soup plates with this delicious fare. Sprinkle some finely chopped spring onion greens over this and finish everything off with a dollop of Crème fraîche.

N.B. Here are some tips which I learned over the years out of sheer necessity, i.e. non-availability of certain items.

If you cannot get decent Paprika use 2 types of chilli powder, one for heat and Kashmiri powder for colour.

This dish is equally delicious made from beef.

I like to add the grated potatoes, they give the Gulyás body – remember, this is not a thin soup at all.

That’s it – enjoy!

Namaskaram
Carina