Mini Speculoos-Mousse-Cake

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Right before the most important festival of the year I have a recipe for you, if you are still looking for a special dessert for your big Christmas dinner.

Believe me, this dessert will impress any of your guests. ;-)

I wish you a very merry Christmas, with lots of yummy treats and a lot of laughs!
聖誕 快樂: – D

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Ingredients and preparation (10-12 servings):

For the cake base:

250g traditional spicy Christmas cookies (I used the german Speculatius, finely crumbled)
50g black sesame (roasted, finely ground)
200g butter
10-12 dessert molds

Line the bottom of the pan with baking paper. Melt butter over low heat, mix the butter well with the finely crumbled cookies. Spread the dough on the bottom of the mold and compress it firmly.

For the mousse:

250g Belgian Speculoos paste
900g whip cream
6 egg yolks
Cocoa powder for garnishing

  1. Boil 200g cream in a saucepan and add the Speculoos paste to cook until it is dissolved. Allow to cool.
  2. Beat the egg yolks until frothy with a power agitator. Stir in the Speculoos cream, mix well.
  3. Whip the remaining 700g of cream stiff and carefully fold in Speculoos cream egg mixture.
  4. Divide the mousse on the now chilled dough, cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. Before serving, sprinkle the tart with cocoa powder

Christstollen – German Christmas Cake

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

The Christmas time is my favorite time of the whole year in Germany. I just love this cosy atmosphere: The tempting smells of the caramelized almonds on those crowded christmas markets, people holding a cup of  Gluehwein (hot spiced wine) in their hands and talking and laughing in good mood, the huge variety of christmas pastries in every bakery and café…

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

But the best of all is baking a christmas pastry or cake at home! In the candle light, the christmas music is floating in the air… This is also one of the rare moments for me and my hubby to bake something together. We are discussing the recipe, kneading the dough with our hands, competing who has the better kneading technique and laughing a lot…

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Now you can see the result: Not really bad, is it? My hubby made a traditional version of the German Christstollen. And I decided to go for a Christstollen with a tiny asian touch. Instead of raisins and candied orange and lemon peel, I took the dried lychee which I discovered during my Thailand trip and the candied pomelo peel which I bought from a wonderful food store in Paris.

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

I can not decide which version I prefer. Indeed I love both of them. And I love to bake them even more! ;-)

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Enjoy the wonderful Christmas time!!! :-D

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Ingredients (adopted from Hias2000‘s great recipe, with some changes)

For the filling:
600g raisins
100g blanched almonds
30g candied orange peel
30g candied lemon peel
30g dried lychee
30g candied pomelo peel
20g sesame seeds
150ml rum

For the dough:
1kg flour
80g fresh yeast
170ml milk
10g sugar for the yeast
500g butter
150g sugar grated peel of 2 untreated lemons
1 tsp salt

In addition:
80g butter for brushing (melted)
Icing sugar for dusting

  1. Prepare the filling the day before baking: Mix all ingredients for the filling with rum, mix well and let it sit overnight covered.
  2. For the dough: Crumble the yeast into a bowl, cover with warm milk (below 30 degrees celsius!) and mix in 10g sugar, sprinkle with a little flour. Let it rise covered in a warm place (not too hot!) for about 30 minutes . Sieve the flour into the bowl of the food processor. Spread 500g butter flakes over the flour. Thereafter, add the sugar and salt. Spread the risen yeast onto it. Work the dough with a dough hook on low speed (stage 2 for KitchenAid) to a streusel-like mass. Then add the milk gradually. Knead the dough for another 15 minutes until you get a greasy but not sticky mass.
  3. Press the dough flat on the work surface and spread the filling on top. Knead briefly (not too long). Then allow to rise (covered) for another 30 minutes. Again knead briefly. Portion in desired size, shape the stollen into long loafs (I made three stollen from the dough).
  4. Line the baking tray first with aluminum foil, then with baking paper. Place the stollen on the baking tray and again let rise for 30 minutes (covered).
  5. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Bake the stollen in the oven for about 50 minutes. Once the stollen are turning light brown, cover them with aluminum foil.
  6. Get the stollen out from the oven and brush with melted butter immediatly, allow to cool completely. Then again brush with melted butter. Finally, sprinkle with powdered sugar and wrap in wrapping film. The stollen can be made several weeks before Christmas (they need some time to become soft and juicy).

Thailand

Hey there, I’m back!

It’s been a couple weeks since I posted the last post …

Before I show you a new recipe, I really want to share some impressions from my holiday in Thailand with you: The fabulous Loi Krathong Festival (Festival of Lights) in Sukhothai, breathtaking temple ruins in Ayutthaya, the exciting wildlife safari in Khao Yai National Park and of course also some exciting culinary experiences. :-)

Furthermore, I also got some great ideas for my new recipes through this wonderful journey.

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Tender Chicken Stew with Chestnuts

What would you be eager for eating, when the days are becoming cooler and darker?

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

 

What I love to see on our dining table during such kinds of days, is a wonderful hot savoury stew. Imagine this: In your kitchen … a cast iron Dutch oven is on the stove … a silent buzzing sound “gloo, gloo…” coming from the casserole for hours and hours … and this wonderful aroma of seductive spices such as star anise, bay leaves…

Are you getting hungry? ;-)

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Before chestnut season was over, I wished to cook a stew with these lovely autumn fruits. The sweet chestnuts go incredibly well with poultry. Therefore, I have decided to go for the extremely tender corn chicken legs. This spicy stew tastes incredible with freshly cooked jasmine rice.

Enjoy! :-D

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

 

Ingredients (6 servings):

800g legs of corn chicken
500g chestnuts (peeled, steamed, ca. 30 minutes)
40g ginger (peeled, cut into thick slices)
60g Chinese dates (Asia Shop)
50g spring onions (washed, cut into long pieces)
1 star anise
2 bay leaves
1 tsp sea salt
100g caramel water (see below)
10g cooking wine (Asia Shop)
20g sesame oil
500g chicken stock
50g rapeseed oil

For the marinade:
5g sea salt
50g light soy sauce
10g cooking wine (Asia Shop)

For the caramel water:
100g sugar
10g oil
60g water
Caramelize the sugar with the oil over medium heat in a sauce pot. Once it begins to bubble, pour in the water, set aside.

Preparation:

  1. Peal the hard shells of the chestnuts and steam for about 30 minutes until they are done. Then peal the soft shells of the chestnuts.
  2. Wash the chicken legs and dry with kitchen paper, bone and cut into 3cm size cubes. Marinate with the marinade ingredients for about 5 minutes.
  3. Heat 100g rapeseed oil in a wok at about 160 degrees, add chicken to stir-fry briefly. Then take the chicken out of the oil, drain on paper towels, set the oil aside for later. Clean and dry the wok. Add 4 tablespoons of the oil into wok, heat up to 120 degrees. Add the ginger and spring onions, fry briefly. Then add the chicken, stir-fry for about 5 minutes. Pour in the cooking wine and cook briefly. Then pour in the caramel water. Cook until the chicken absorbs the caramel color.
  4. Now add the chicken stock into the wok and bring to boil with the biggest flame. Reduce the heat, add the steamed chestnuts, star anise, bay leaves and dates. Cover with the lid, simmer for about 10 minutes. Season with sea salt and sesame oil. Simmer everything with covered lid until the sauce turns thick and glossy.

Steamed Rice Dumplings, stuffed with Shiitake Pesto

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

When I came to Germany fifteen years ago, european food was a big challenge for me and my stomach. The thick cream sauce, those strong smelly cheeses,  the always too large pieces of meat … Rarely I could find something in the university canteen, which was tasty for me.

One of the few dishes that I have quickly accepted from the beginning, were the German potato dumplings (Kartoffelknoedel). I could just eat a lot of them purely without any sauces or accessories. Now I know why. In my Chinese hometown there is a kind of dumpling, which has a very similar consistency like the German potato dumpling. However, it is not made from potatoes, but from rice (what else?). ;-)

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

The rice dumplings in China are usually a sweet dish, filled with delicious sweet black sesame paste. These sweet dumplings are mostly served on the last day of the 15 days of Chinese New Year’s celebration. Because they are a symbol of a happy get-together for the whole family. The name of these dumplings is tang yuan, by the way, in case if you want to challenge your potential for Chinese learning. ;-)

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

The rice that is used for these dumplings is not  the well-known jasmine rice, but the relatively unknown sticky rice. The sticky rice has much more starch than regular rice. Therefore,  this rice has a nice sticky consistency. The sticky rice is a popular ingredient for desserts in East and Southeast Asia. Whether it’s Japan, Korea or Thailand, Vietnam, everywhere you can see very similar desserts that are made from glutinous rice.

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

At my home in China, we also ate these sweet rice dumplings during each New Year’s festival. However, we have a specialty in Sichuan, which is also made of glutinous rice, yet filled with a savory filling. And its cooking method differs also from the sweet dumplings. Namely it is steamed in the steam baskets, while its sweet colleagues are always cooked in boiling water, like the Germany potato dumplings.

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

My version of tang yuan looks like this: A hearty filling is a must, they should have an Italian touch, they should be steamed since this keeps their form look nicely  and they need also to match the autumnal season. It was very quickly clear for me that I wanted to fill my rice dumplings with my favorite shiitake pesto.

It turned out to be a great side dish which goes well with meat or vegetables. Either, way it can simply be enjoyed as a main dish with a lot of additional mushroom pesto as a dip. Absolutely delicious … :-D

Ingredients (4 servings):

For the dumplings:
200g glutinous rice flour (Asia Shop)
170ml cold water
1 pinch of salt

For the filling:
3 tsp homemade shiitake pesto
10g freshly grated Parmesan
10g freshly grated Pecorino
3 tsp breadcrumbs

For garnishing:
Shiitake Pesto
Freshly grated Parmesan

Preparation:

  1. Mix the flour with water and knead to a smooth dough. Shape the dough into a long roll and cut into 15 pieces. Take a piece of dough and form it  into a round sheet.
  2. Mix the ingredients for the filling. Add a little bit of mushroom filling on the dough sheet. Close the dough sheet carefully. Form it into a ball with moistened hands. Repeat this until all the dough pieces are crafted into dumplings.
  3. Add water into a wok. Place a steaming basket with the lid on top of the wok. Boil the water. Then add the dumplings into the steaming basket,  steam over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  4. Garnish with pesto and Parmesan. Serve immediately.