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.
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.
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?
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
Blend butter, sugar, eggs and cream of coconut until well incorporated.
Add all other ingredients.
Scoop 1 1/2 oz cookie dough onto a greased baking pan, or on a silicon mat.
Flatten dough with fingers or spoon.
Bake at 365 degrees Fahrenheit or 185 degrees Celsius for 7-9 minutes.
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.
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
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
In a sauté pan melt all ingredients except berries and liquor over medium heat.
Cook sugar mixture until it is reduced to half.
Now add the blueberries.
Once the blueberries come to a boil move pan away from fire and add the liquor.
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Guyanese Black Cake
Recipe Type: Dessert, Cakes,
Author: Kraemer’s Culinary Blog
Serves: 2 x 9″ cakes
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
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.
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:
With an electric handheld mixer or KitchenAid mixer whip butter and sugar on high-speed until it doubles in volume.
On medium speed slowly add molasses, all flavors and spices.
Now add one egg at a time.
By now the batter should have doubled again in volume.
Add chopped walnuts.
Mix baking powder with flour and slowly add to batter.
Oil and flour two 9″ baking pans and divide batter among the two.
In a 300 degree Fahrenheit preheated oven bake for about 1 hour and thirty-five minutes.
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?
I think chocolate – I eat chocolate – and – I crave chocolate all the time. I don’t know what it is, but I think chocolate is addicting. I have to admit I don’t care for the really cheap chocolate, because they lack the cocoa that makes chocolate so good in the first place. I know chocolate is not everyone’s favorite. Like my wife doesn’t like it at all. It’s really too bad because they say chocolate is an aphrodisiac. 🙂
Chocolate Makes You Happy
Let’s be serious here – Chocolate has some great health benefits. Whether it’s the flavonoids or the antioxidants, chocolate has much more health benefits than any other candy. Other benefits include reduced bad cholesterol, blood thinning properties, lower blood pressure, it may even prevent diabetes. And according to one study chocolate makes you feel good, what about that! Did I mention it’s good for your skin, too. Though one thing is important here. To get all the health benefits of chocolate one should stick to the dark one. I know – milk chocolate tastes sooo much better, that’s because of the sugar. So stick with dark chocolate.
My First Love
Chocolate mousse was one of the first desserts I learned to make when I was in my apprentice ship more than twenty years ago. Fond memories remind me when we created coffee chocolate mousse filled in homemade chocolate cups for 500 people. It was then and still is my culinary passion that drove me through the gastronomic craziness (in a positive way). With great excitement did me and my colleagues looked at our upcoming catering functions. The more functions we had the more hyped we became. Just before serving each course everyone was highly focused, one could hear a needle drop. Once the dinner is completed a feeling of relief and happiness as well as a sense of achievement kicks in. A great feeling it is – to serve our guest whether it’s in our own dining room or in a restaurant.
I remember creating the chocolate cups from scratch, which in today’s fast environment would be uneconomical. It’s much easier and cheaper to buy them now. Nonetheless we blew up 500 balloons the size of a fist, a bit smaller maybe. We would than dip each balloon a little more than half way into tempered chocolate. The balloon is than rested on a with wax paper fitted tray or marble table. For certain customer request we would dip the still wet chocolate balloons into coconut flakes, caramelized almonds or pistachios. Once the chocolate is completely cold and hardened, the balloons would be popped and carefully pulled off. Nowadays these chocolate cups are available at a very low price. So there is no reason to spend hours to make your own chocolate cups even though it is very rewarding. This particular coffee chocolate mousse recipe I made for my parents on their 75 birthday. However as you can see I didn’t use chocolate cups for this Coffee chocolate mousse.
Why not make a White Coffee Chocolate Mousse?
I like this particular chocolate mousse because it is infused with real coffee beans. The coffee beans are submerged in the heavy cream overnight or even better for 24 hours. This process will give the heavy cream a full coffee flavor. Later the cream is strained, whipped and carefully incorporated into the chocolate mousse. This process works also fantastic with a white coffee chocolate mousse. In case anyone cares for white chocolate mousse, it’s necessary to add 2 sheets of gelatine. Otherwise the mousse wouldn’t set properly. That’s because white chocolate has by far less cocoa butter than milk or dark chocolate. I’ll be happy to post the recipe for white coffee chocolate mousse for anyone interested.
Coffee Chocolate Mousse with a Very Berry Cherry Compote
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
Coffee Chocolate Mousse
10 oz / 300 g milk chocolate
10 oz /300 g dark chocolate
8 eggs divided
3 oz / 85 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
1.5 fl oz coffee liquor
¾ qt heavy cream
1 cup whole coffee beans
Cherry Berry Compote
2 cups dark cherries
2 cups assorted berries
1 1/2 cups cherry juice (the juice that came with the cherries)
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1.5 fl oz cherry liquor
1/4 tsp cinnamon
sprigs of mint
Coffee Chocolate Mousse
In the morning or the night before starting the mousse soak coffee beans in the heavy cream. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in refrigerator.
Break up both chocolates into small pieces. Pour chocolates in a bowl and place over a bowl with hot water (around 120 degrees Fahrenheit / 50 degrees Celsius. Stir often with a wooden spoon.
Beat egg yolks, half of the sugar, and coffee liquor in a double boiler. This time the water should be almost simmering. Beat egg yolks until they become foamy like a Sabayon / Zabaione. This should take about 4-5 minutes.
In a very clean bowl whisk the egg whites. Once egg whites are half way stiff add the remaining sugar. Continue to whisk until stiff peak is achieved and keep cool.
Strain heavy cream from the coffee beans and whip with vanilla sugar until stiff, set aside in a cool place.
Pour chocolate into the egg mixture and incorporate.
Slowly fold in whipped cream with a whisk.
Gently incorporate the egg whites with a spatula. It’s important to fold in the airy egg whites carefully so the mousse stays very light.
Chill chocolate mousse for at least 4-6 hours or until set.
Cherry Berry Compote
Heat cherry juice until simmering.
Mix cornstarch with a little bit of water until a liquid paste develops.
Add cornstarch to simmering cherry juice, keep whisking until the juice starts to thicken. Let it come to a boil once.
Incorporate liquor, cinnamon, cherries and berries, let cool.
Once the mousse is set it can be easily piped through a pastry bag into glasses or spooned onto a plate. Add the cherry berry compote and decorate to your heart’s content.
What was your first dessert you learned to cook?
Do you like chocolate?
Do you have a favorite way of making a chocolate mousse?
It has been 15 days since Hurricane Sandy hit and left us with no power, water or heat. I would like to apologize for not posting lately, but it was just impossible for me to get power.
I have to admit I have seen better days. Sandy flexed her muscles and showed us that Mother Nature is still in charge. No one really wanted to believe that this storm would hit this community so bad. In the end it was a 15 foot coastal flood wave which basically rolled over our sea town. It didn’t end there; the 36 hour tropical storm that followed the flood, blasted with 95 miles per hour winds and finished the disaster for what is now known as the worst storm New York has ever seen.
What Bragging Rights and Hurricanes Have in Common?
Seeing disasters like this on TV is one thing experience it first hand is nerve reckoned. I thank god my family and neighbors are fine. Some neighbors, who actually laughed at me for evacuating to higher grounds, lost their cars and almost their life. Of course anyone stays behind has bragging rights, but for what cause? Houses burned down and fire departments couldn’t help since the roads were flooded with over 4 feet of water. Bragging rights?! – No thank you. The hardest part, after returning to the house, was the cleanup progress. It felt like there is no end in side. Even worse seeing the all so dear memories such as childhood pictures floating away is heart ranching.
Hey, life goes on, but why should I burden you with my worries. Everyone got their own problems so I don’t want to add to those. However there is a good side to this. Communities come together and help each other. We all got a little closer – the nice and not so nice neighbors. Differences were put aside and friendships were made or refreshed. And the moral of bragging rights and hurricanes are: Both can have dangerous consequences.
In my next post you’ll find out how we made out without power, heat and water and how wood stove cooking and candle light dinners made our day a little sweeter.
Coconut Rice Pudding with Warm Dark Cherries
Here is a little teaser we cooked on the wood stove. It’s a very simple coconut rice pudding which I served with warm dark cherries. You can serve it with any fruit you like, I find rice pudding taste just great with saucy fruits.
Coconut Rice Pudding with warm cherries is one of my favorite childhood dishes. It’s not every ones taste because it’s sweet, but to me it’s very satisfying. My Mom cooked this dish at least ones a week and all of us were fighting for the leftovers.
Coconut Rice Pudding with Dark Warm Cherries
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
Coconut Rice Pudding
1 cup Arborio or short grain rice
4.5 cups vanilla soy milk
0.5 heavy cream
0.5 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon and more for sprinkling on top
1 tsp vanilla
1 fl oz Orange liquor
0.3 cup coconut flakes
Pinch of salt
2 cup dark sour cherries
1.5 cup juice from cherries
1 tbsp cherry liquor or Orange liquor
1 tbsp cornstarch
Coconut Rice Pudding
In a heavy bottom pot bring all ingredients to a simmer and stir frequently with a wooden spoon. Cook until rice is soft and most of the milk is absorbed.
Warm Dark Cherries
Bring cherry juice and liquor to a boil. Add cornstarch and Stir. Add only so much cornstarch until juice is lightly thickened. Pour cherries in to juice and serve over coconut rice pudding.
It is important to use short grain rice or Arborio rice, since this rice is ideal to absorb the milk. It also becomes softer and taste just better than long grain rice.
For the fruit you can use what ever you like, whether it’s can fruit or fresh. Everyone has their favorite. I also like to use fruit cocktail or orange mandarins over the rice. Don’t forget to sprinkle the dish with cinnamon.
I like my rice pudding to be more on the liquid side. Because I like to munch on it all day – it will set and will become more pudding like.
Kaiserschmarrn, I remember this dessert from the days I went skiing in Austria while on vacation. During the day I would bother my parents if I could have this dish for dessert after dinner. Every night – yep. I Couldn’t get enough of it. To me Kaiserschmarn is nothing different from a fluffy torn-apart pancake. Instead of using the original recipe I decided to add coconut flakes, coconut milk and Grand Manier. Kaiserschmarrn is served in Austria as a dessert – however – it works well for brunch, too.
Orange Coconut Kaiserschmarrn with Mint Ice Cream
Once the Kaiserschmarrn is cooked it leaves behind an aroma that is so addicting – at least to me – that I can’t resist munching.
Beat egg withes until soft peaks develop and add half of the sugar. Continue beating until peaks are stiff – set aside.
Combine egg yolks, vanilla, orange zest, remaining sugar, coconut milk, coconut flakes and beet until foamy (3-4 minutes).
Slowly add milk and flour until well incorporated.
Tap dry the raisins from the Grand Marnier and add to egg mixture.
Fold egg yolk mixture under the egg whites and let rest for a few minutes. Do not over mix.
Warm up a large stainless steel pan over medium heat.
Add some butter.
When butter is foaming pour some of the batter into the pan to the size of a large pancake.
Once the kaiserschmarrn turns golden brown on one side start to tearing it apart as well as turning it over with two medal spatulas. Make sure every side is cooked properly, although it shouldn’t take longer that 1.5 minute on both sides.
Sprinkle icing sugar on kaiserschmarrn and serve immediately.
Hello and thanks for visiting Kraemer’s Culinary Blog.
I am in the process of changing my blog name to Life of a Vegan Chef.
I have been a vegan for some time and love it.
I am also convinced that veganism is the most sustainable lifestyle, which will ultimately help the environment.
Please excuse any of the confusion, while I change my theme and concept.
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