A Lovely Ice Cream Cookie for Valentine’s Day

A Lovely Ice Cream Cookie for Valentine’s Day

Vanilla Ice Cream cookie with warm blueberries

I love the combination of blueberry, coconut and vanilla. You probably have seen this combination in my blueberry & vanilla soy milk oatmeal post. For this dessert I warmed up blueberries with cream of coconut and served it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream served on a cookie.  The cookie’s ingredients support this dessert with flavors of coconut,  vanilla and chocolate chips. Topped with a thin slice of banana and chocolate shavings makes this dessert a very simple yet tasty treat for any occasion.

Ice cream cookie with blueberries

A Quick Journey into the History of Valentine’s Day

As Valentine’s day is upon us we honor our spouses, partners or friends. We look to buy the biggest  and reddest roses, the best chocolate money can buy and send the  biggest cards out to our loved ones. It is truly a beautiful day to spend the evening together and celebrate a lovely friend ship or marriage. But where is this tradition originated and why are we celebrating Valentine’s day?

Did you know?

To make a long story short:  According to the history books and online archives. St. Valentine who lived around A.D. 270 was a priest from the Roman Catholic church who married  young soldiers before they went to war. The only problem was that the Emperor Claudius had forbidden soldiers to get married, because he thought these men are vulnerable and don’t make strong warriors compared to single men who have nothing to lose. St. Valentine ignored  these regulations and kept on marrying  soldiers in privacy. Once the Emperor Claudius heard of that he ordered St. Valentines to be killed. In his prison cell he was alleged visited by a maid to bring him food and drink. Before his death he wrote her a letter whith the ending words “from your Valentine”.  This is almost 2000 years ago. Tell me Culinary Traditions aren’t powerful? Of course there are other theories about St. Valentine, maybe you know a different one.

Chocolate Coconut Cookies

What will it be? Chocolate, Flowers or jewelry.

According to an online survey published on about flowers; men buy flowers, candies and chocolate to show their affection to a loved one, while women use this opportunity to honor their relation ships to mothers and female friends.  Chocolate is the most bought item for Valentine’s Day, followed by flowers and jewelry.  Valentine’s Day is the second busiest Holiday after Christmas. How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Jar of chocolate chip cookies


Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies

Recipe Type: Dessert, Baked Goods
Cuisine: American
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookie Dough
  • 6 oz / 175 g / 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 8.5 oz / 240 g / 1 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp cream of coconut
  • 2 egg
  • 3.5 oz / 100 g / 1 1/4 cup organic quick cooking oats
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 12 oz / 345 g / 3 cups unbleached organic flour
  • 4.5 oz / 130 g / 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies
  1. Blend butter, sugar, eggs and cream of coconut until well incorporated.
  2. Add all other ingredients.
  3. Scoop 1 1/2 oz cookie dough onto a greased baking pan, or on a silicon mat.
  4. Flatten dough with fingers or spoon.
  5. Bake at 365 degrees Fahrenheit or 185 degrees Celsius for 7-9 minutes.
  6. Place baked cookies on rack to cool.
I used a confection oven, which speeds up cooking time. For regular ovens add about 2-3 minutes baking time.


Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies


Warm Blueberries

Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • Warm Blueberries
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp cream of coconut
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 5 oz / 140 g / 1 cup organic blueberries
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Orange liquor
Warm Blueberries
  1. In a sauté pan melt all ingredients except berries and liquor over medium heat.
  2. Cook sugar mixture until it is reduced to half.
  3. Now add the blueberries.
  4. Once the blueberries come to a boil move pan away from fire and add the liquor.
  5. Bring blueberries one more time to a quick boil and serve immediately
Serve warm blueberries to your favorite ice creams or puddings. It also taste delicious with crepes, pancakes or French toast.


Cookies taste best after they have just cooled out. Although you can store them in a cookie jar and munch on them for days to come. For this dessert I served the cookies with vanilla ice cream and warm blueberries. Decorated with a slice of banana and chocolate shavings. You can create your own ice cream cookie with any type of berries and your favorite ice cream.

Happy Valentine’s Day


Lovely vanilla Ice cream cookie


What are your favorite cookies?

What is your favorite dessert using cookies or ice cream?

Do you like warm blueberries or do you prefer other berries?

Do you celebrate Valentine’s day?



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Caribbean Black Cake to Bring Prosperity and Luck

Caribbean Black Cake to Bring Prosperity and Luck

My cousin-in-law Roseanne was grateful enough to reveal her Guyanese black cake recipe to me. As you know by now I have acquired a passion and love for Caribbean food and have come to enjoy many of their culinary traditions. Mainly due to the fact that I have lived and worked in the Caribbean and second because of my beautiful wife Denise, whom I have met there, while, working as a chef. Now, 20 years later, I have two big sons who love our culinary traditions. We always wanted to make sure that our kids grow up knowing both cultures. So over the Holidays I usually cook popular German foods and my wife cooks Caribbean cuisine. That way my sons could appreciate different culinary traditions and indeed they love it. Thank God for that.

Guyanese Black Cake


Culinary Traditions over New Year to bring Prosperity and Luck

One of these traditions is the black Cake, which is usually baked at Christmas, New Years and for weddings. Black cake is home to the entire Caribbean and is offered throughout the year in gift stores and bakeries alike. When it comes to Christmas and New Year it is a must to bake black cake. As my cousin-in-law puts it; the New Year can’t find you without black cake, freshly baked bread, pepper pot and black eye peas & rice. According to Caribbean traditions these four food staples bring you luck and prosperity for the New Year.

Roseanne baking a Black Cake

The Difference Between Fruit Cake and Black cake

Black cake is essentially a fruit cake which is simply colored with molasses. However, there is a fundamental difference in preparation and taste of both cakes. The fruits for black cake are soaked in alcohol and spices for a few month, preferably up to a year. After the black cake is baked it is immediately soaked with more alcohol. I’ll get to the specifics of the alcohol a little later. Both cakes are being baked for weddings and other festivities.

Caribbean Black Cake


Planning and Preparing the Black Cake is Essential

In order to bake a perfect black cake one should plan for it way in advance. As I mentioned before, soaking the fruits in rum, brandy, port and other flavors is very important to make a flawless cake. The longer the fruits being soaked the better the outcome meaning flavor. However, I have baked a black cake with fruits soaked only a week and it worked out, too. But to get the real flavor and moisture into the cake, it’s better to soak it for a longer period of time. Then, when it comes to bake the cake having fun is equally important. Traditional a few friends come together and join the “baker” to help with simple procedures, talk about the old times and sip some port wine.

Piece of Black Cake


Guyanese Black Cake

Recipe Type: Dessert, Cakes,
Cuisine: Caribbean
Author: Kraemer’s Culinary Blog
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2 x 9″ cakes
  • Soaked Fruits
  • Prepare fruits early in advance (if possible) for better flavor.
  • 1/2 lb golden raisins
  • 1/2 lb currants
  • 1 lb prunes
  • 1/4 lb candied lemon peel
  • 1/4 lb candied Orange peel
  • 1/4 lb candied cherries
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 tsp almond essence
  • Cover with 1/2 liter dark rum, 1/4 liter cherry brandy, 1/4 liter port wine
  • Keep an additional 1/4 liter of rum and port wine for later.
  • [url href=”http://verygoodrecipes.com/desserts” target=”_blank” title=”Caribbean Black Cake”]Black Cake[/url] Batter:
  • 1 lb / 454 grams unsalted butter, room temperature but not too warm
  • 3/4 lb / 340 grams dark brown sugar
  • 12 fl oz / 360 ml molasses
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp almond essence
  • 1/4 tsp anise essence
  • 1 cup / 120 grams chopped walnuts
  • 11 Eggs, room temperature
  • 14 oz / 400 grams flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
Soaked Fruits
  1. In a food processor chop <a class=”zem_slink” title=”Dried fruit” href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dried_fruit” rel=”wikipedia” target=”_blank” data-mce-href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dried_fruit”>dried fruits</a> to about a quarter of its size.
  2. Soak dried fruits with alcohol until completely covered, then close with a tied lid or aluminum foil. Keep at a cool dry place for at least 2 month to up to a year.
Black Cake Batter:
  1. With an electric handheld mixer or KitchenAid mixer whip butter and sugar on high-speed until it doubles in volume.
  2. On medium speed slowly add molasses, all flavors and spices.
  3. Now add one egg at a time.
  4. By now the batter should have doubled again in volume.
  5. Add chopped walnuts.
  6. Mix baking powder with flour and slowly add to batter.
  7. Oil and flour two 9″ baking pans and divide batter among the two.
  8. In a 300 degree Fahrenheit preheated oven bake for about 1 hour and thirty-five minutes.
  9. As soon as the cake is removed from the oven pour about 1/4 liter of rum over it. Do not remove the black cake from its form. Let the cake absorb the alcohol. Once the cake is cooled out remove it from the form and wrap it with plastic wrap and foil. After about 4 hours pour 1/4 liter of port wine over it. Wrap cake again airtight.
Very often peanuts are being used in the black cake as specially in the Caribbean, since peanuts are always readily available at a lower price. I just happened to like walnuts over peanuts. [br]Warning: This cake should not be fed to children and young adults under the age of 21 due to its high alcohol content.


What are you cooking for the new year?

Do know of any dishes that suppose to bring you luck and prosperity?

Have you tried black cake before? Did you like it?




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Apple Plum Cake – A Favorite in Germany

Apple Plum Cake – A Favorite in Germany


Plum cake, it’s either you like it or you don’t. That’s my experience. Not everyone likes plums. During my trip through Germany, I tasted quite a few pieces of plum cake and was able to bake my own, too. I was lucky to get some great plums since the season was almost over (in Germany). These plums actually called Zwetchgens or Quetsch plums here in the USA. Zwetchgens or Quetsch plums are only available during August through October. Other plums might be available through imports during the year.

If you have never eaten plum cake, give it a try. Let me know if you liked it.

German Apple Plum Cake

German Apple Plum Cake

Yeast or Short Dough for Plum Cake?

German plum-cake can be made with a number of doughs ranging from yeast dough to short-cake. Some cakes are layered tightly with plums while others have a little space between each plum for the dough to rise. For this cake I added Boskoop apples, which I thought gives it a different twist. This plum cake is made with a completely different dough and will pleasantly surprise you. At least it surprised me and my friends. See recipe for more info.

German Plum Cake

German Plum Cake

Which Plums are best to use?

When buying plums look for the more tart ones such as Csar or Quetsch plums. Using sweet plums resulting in a much sweeter cake. Sweet plums also release more juice, which is than absorbed by the cake dough making it soggy. It’s really up to your personal taste. Don’t use hard plums as they are not ripe yet. Keep them in a dark place to become slightly soft to the touch. As with apple cake – tarter apples are usually preferred. In general: Sweet fruits – you would enjoy eating – are not ideal for baking. This plum cake is slightly different as it has less plums and more cake dough compared to a yeast dough.

Apple Cinnamon Cake Batter

Apple Cinnamon Cake Batter

Use Applesauce for Two Reasons.

The apple sauce in this recipe will keep the cake moist for days where other plum cakes with a yeast dough will dry out after the first or second day. Applesauce also replaces about half of the amount of butter or oil you would use otherwise. So if you have a favorite cake dough try to replace half of the oil or butter amount with applesauce. Let me know how it worked!

Greased and flour dusted cake pan

Greased and flour-dusted cake pan


Apple Plum Cake Preparation

Apple Plum Cake Preparation

You can put as many apples and plums on your cake as you wish. I prefer a moderate amount of fruit so I can taste the dough, too.

German Apple Plum Cake Platter

German Apple Plum Cake Platter



German Apple Plum Cake
Recipe Type: Dessert, Cake, Baked Goods
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 50 mins
Total time: 1 hour 20 mins
Serves: 8
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 0.75 cup vegetable oil
  • 1.5 cup sour cream
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2.5 cup apple sauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp dark rum
  • 3 dashes of bitter almond oil
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 cups flour, sifted
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • a sprinkle of salt
  • 2 LB Quetsch plums, halved and seeded
  • 4-5 large Boskoop or Granny Smith Apples, sliced in 1/2 inch wedges
  1. Mix eggs and sugar until foamy about five minutes with an electric mixer.
  2. Incorporate oil and then sour cream.
  3. Add apple sauce and all other flavors.
  4. Mix flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder together.
  5. Stir flour mixture slowly under the eggs until well incorporated.
  6. Do not over mix.
  7. Cut plums in half and remove the seeds. Than cut each plum half way through the center. They just look better that way.
  8. Spread batter evenly over greased and floured baking pan.
  9. Alternately place one row of Quetsch plums and one row of apples on top of batter. Depending on your size of baking pan you might have left over fruit.
  10. Bake cake in a preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes at 350 Degrees Fahrenheit or 175 Degrees Celsius.

I used baking powder and baking soda for a reason. Baking soda works well with acids and sour cream. Since I have plenty of acids in this cake it makes sense to use both. Make sure to bake the cake immediately after mixing and assembling the fruit. Otherwise the plum cake will fall.

Tip: If you like crumbs on your cake this is the one to do this.

If you don’t like the flat baking pan you could use your loaf pan. Just make sure to use about half the amount of fruit and cut them into small pieces. Otherwise the fruit will fall to the bottom of the cake.

What’s your thoughts on this?

Have you tried Plum cake before? Did you like it?

To reduce calories in your cake have you replaced the oil with applesauce yet?

Do you prefer yeast over short dough? What’s your favorite dough for cake?

Whole Wheat Pizza

Whole Wheat Pizza

Last Friday I came home from work, hungry of course only to see that I had nothing to feed my family. Well, what do you do in this situation? You order food or cook something. I chose to cook actually to bake, since my kids like pizza why not bake one. So I decided to bake a whole wheat pizza with whatever vegetables I had left in the refrigerator.  In this case I had tuna, mushrooms, artichokes and red peppers. This recipe makes about two 16 inch pies.

Whole wheat pizza


Whole Wheat Pizza dough:
3 cups of wheat flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tbsp yeast
1/2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups of water
1/4 cup warm milk

2 lb shredded mozzarella
2 small cans of tuna (in water)
1/2 pint of mushrooms, thinly sliced and marinated
with a little olive oil, salt & oregano
1 red bell pepper, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 small can of artichokes, cut in quarters
And what ever toppings you love on your pizza!

Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce:
The sauce can be made ahead of time so you can use it immediately when needed.
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 gloves garlic
1 tbsp dry oregano
1 tbsp dry basil
1/4 bunch fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
28 oz can of fire roasted crushed tomatoes
15 oz tomato sauce
salt and pepper

Whole wheat pizza dough

Mix pizza dough until all flour is incorporated

Place the yeast in a bowl and add warm milk to it, but not hotter than 95°F, stir and let the yeast rise. In the meantime put the wheat flour, whole wheat flour and salt in a mixing bowl such as a stand up mixer like kitchen aid. A food processor works too. Turn on the Kitchen aid mixer, which I prefer on low-speed. Add the yeast, water and oil to the flour and incorporate until all ingredients are incorporated to something like a ball. With the Food processor keep in mind to use the pulse button until a ball develops. Once all flour is incorporated into the dough let rest in a bowl for about 30-40 minutes. Knead the dough by hand by folding it 20-30 times, that is also called strokes. Repeat the whole process one more time. Once the dough is kneaded use a pizza roller and shape the dough to the size of your pan. I used two square 10-15 inch baking trays,

Folding the pizza dough

One Stroke by folding the pizza dough

but you can use 2 x 16 inch round pizza tray as well. If you don’t need all your dough wrap it in plastic and freeze it. Grease pans slightly and lift dough gently on pizza pan. Fold edges under the dough, if necessary roll it a little more to fit the pan.

For the tomato sauce
I prefer to use Muir Glen Organic tomato sauces, they have a great taste and you don’t have to worry about pesticides. I guess by now you realize that I prefer organic products. I you can’t get organic tomato products go with Hunts tomato products. Hunts tomatoes are peeled using steam compared to others who might use chemicals. I know sometime I take it to another level, but I just like to know what I eat.

Fire Roasted Tomatoe Sauce

Pour crushed tomatoes over sautéed onions

Instructions for Tomato sauce:
Heat olive oil in a stainless steel sauce pan over medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent, then add crushed garlic and dry herbs. Keep sauteing for another 2-3 minutes. Pour contents of both tomato cans, season with salt and let simmer for 45 minutes on low heat.  Add freshly cracked black pepper and the fresh basil. Set a side to let cool.

Ladle tomato sauce on whole wheat pizza dough, distribute evenly and add mozzarella cheese atop the tomato sauce. Then sprinkle tuna, mushrooms, artichokes and red peppers. I like to marinate the mushrooms first so that they don’t dry out during baking. The seasoning gives the mushrooms a nice flavor, however make sure that all toppings are as dry as possible to avoid a pool of juices atop your pizza . Bake at 420 °F for about 18-22 minutes.

Ladle tomato sauce on pizza dough

Ladle tomato sauce on pizza dough

The thickness of the crust is really preference. I like my crust a little thicker so I roll it to about 1/8 of an inch, however if you like your crust thinner that’s fine, too. The thinner the crust the shorter the baking time. Enjoy your pizza!

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Apple Walnut Cake

Apple Walnut Cake

I like this cake because it’s very moist and easy to bake. The apple sauce can be substituted by cherry or blueberry compote, if apples are not your favorite. Mashed ripe bananas also work well in this recipe. I used to make all my cakes with a more traditional pound cake recipe, however the amount of butter and eggs used in theses cakes add too much cholesterol to our daily lives. Yes we eat cakes almost on a daily basis at tea time. That’s why I like this apple walnut cake recipe. It is much lighter than most cakes, yet just as delicious.

1.5 cup Apple sauce
1.25 cup sugar
0.5 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
0.75 cup sour cream
Zest of 1 lemon & 1 orange
0.75 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 dash of bitter almond extract
0.5 cup raisins
0.5 cup walnuts
2.25 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
0.3 tsp salt

5 oz cream cheese
0.5 tsp vanilla
2 cups powder sugar (confectioners sugar)
0.5 stick butter unsalted
dash of lemon extract

Baking Instructions:
Pour the apple sauce, sugar, eggs, oil in a bowl and on low-speed. Whether you have a hand mixer or kitchen-aid mixer, both work fine. Add sour cream, zest, vanilla, cinnamon and almond extract. Now add the sifted flour, baking powder, walnuts, raisins, salt and incorporate well, but don’t over mix. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into a greased 9-inch square baking pan. A 9-inch kugelhopf mold works too. Bake apple cake for about 50-60 minutes.

Tip: If you are not sure if the cake is completely baked insert a skewer into the deepest end of the cake. If it comes out clean the cake is finished, otherwise give it a few more minutes. Clean the skewer before reinserting again. Depending on your oven the baking time might vary.

Let the apple walnut cake cool out and remove from pan. Once cake is cool it is ready to be frosted.

Apple Walnut Cake Frosting:
Before starting the frosting make sure the butter is at room temperature. Mix cream cheese, butter, vanilla and lemon extract in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Then add the sifted sugar and incorporate until creamy. If the frosting is to liquid at more powder sugar.

If you don’t like frosting you can dust it with a little powder sugar, the way shown in the picture. Of course the kids like to have it a little sweeter so you could serve this cake with vanilla ice cream or whatever flavor you prefer. Decorate with fresh berries and you have a simple but delicious cake. Enjoy!




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