Thursday, June 23, 2011

froyo @ i love leo, Munich

Since Yoli opened its doors in 2009 frozen yogurt has become fairly common in Berlin. Especially in Mitte and in Prenzlauer Berg, where the young folks are anxious to go with the flow, you can get froyo in nearly every frequented street now.

A little introduction for those who don't know about frozen yogurt:
  • Its origin (whether it was in Britain in the 1970ies, in Israel or in the U.S.) couldn't be assured but for sure it wasn't until 2005, when it started to be widely distributed via Pinkberry in West Hollywood, L.A.
  • As it consists of yogurt and milk instead of heavy cream it has roughly half as much calories as does regular ice cream.
  • Because of its rather plain flavor, it is to be topped with sweets. So if the topping is e.g. chocolate and caramel, the caloric value wouldn't be so much different. Here you can get more nutritional guidelines.
  • The regular froyo-serving is double the size of a regular scoop thus be prepared to pay twice as much.
  • Conspicuously often the owners of froyo-stores come from the creative or highly academic business and have studied in California, New York or London. Thanks to the corresponding clients froyo is still considered as a yuppie-dessert on this side of the pond ;)
  • Why froyo-store-interiors have to be white and remind one of the clinical or aerospace industry isn't clear ;)

When I visited (stunningly pretty) Munich last weekend my friend brought me to a froyo-store that his flatmate recently opened: i love leo.
Located ideally between the university buildings and the English Garten, it was spacious and friendly. They serve a single flavor together with a whole lineup of good quality toppings.

The sunny and peaceful surrounding was enough reason to elevate one's mood and it was the best froyo I have tried so far. So happy lunch-break folks around - enjoy this dessert in the park!

i love leo (Maxvorstadt), corner Kaulbachstr./Veterinärstr.
every day 11 am-7 pm.

Froyo-Stores in Berlin:
  • Yoli (Mitte), Invalidenstr. 112 or Münzstr 11 c.
  • DÄRI (Prenzlauer Berg), Oderbergerstr. 6.
  • Yobarca, (Prenzlauer Berg) Schönhauser Allee 122, (Friedrichshain) Simon-Dachstr 40 or (Charlottenburg) Windscheidstr. 22.
  • YoMunchy truck, Strandbad Mitte and other places.

Other beautiful and tasty cafés in Munich:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Schlesisch Blau, Kreuzberg

I finally made it to Schlesisch Blau.

With a slightly special concept and located at the vibrant night-life-traffic area at Schlesisches Tor this hobby restaurant has gained stable popularity since its opening. It is one of those odd places that I think can only exist in Berlin. When dining outside you sit directly at a bus station. When elsewhere such places would be avoided with contempt here nobody, whether the traffic nor the diner cares.

For a four course dinner you pay only 17 euros. This is possible because three (a soup, a lettuce salad and a dessert) out of four courses are prepared in advance and for the main dish you can chose only between two non-vegetarian and one vegetarian dish. I had the vegetarian Maultaschen with glazed onions and carrots. Except for the Swabian raviolis which weren't distinct in taste, I enjoyed all the food.

A friendly and amusing place to visit once and bring out-of-town-visitors with you but not so impressive as to come back in the near future ;)

Schlesisch Blau, Köpenicker Str. 1a. Everyday from 8 p.m. Closed on Sundays.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Blueberry Cheesecake - Junior's Style

How many cheesecakes do you have in your repertory?

I have five (I think i will present them all in the long run):

1) The classic, simple
German cheesecake. It's filling is mostly curd. My recipe asks for a shortcrust pastry and 750 gr of curd. It is from an old baking book from Dr. Oetker so probably every household in Germany has this recipe... It is one of my favorite cakes since ever. Just a very honest, reliable cake.

2) A cheesecake that
Marion von Haaren (btw one of the most elegant ladies in German news business) introduced in Alfred Biolek's cooking show (btw the most redundant private chef in German television) about ten years ago. It involves tons of mascarpone, ricotta and tons of ingredients in general. Ms Haaren explained that she brought this recipe from London but I call it the Italian cheesecake. A truly impressive huge cake that is still down-to earth.

3) The ultimately fluffy and light Japanese Cheesecake. For this I have no particular recipe but chose one from the www down to my whim.

4) An
American Cheesecake with Graham cracker crust and a cream cheese filling. Most often the filling is flavoured either with lime zest or pumpkin puree. Once again I don't stick to one particular recipe here.

5) And then there is the Brooklyn
Junior's New York Cheesecake that to a Berlin folk was widely introduced by Cynthia Barcomi's baking book and her delis. I have tried the recipe from Barcomi's book. Delectable it is but it matches neither the cheesecake that is served at Barcomi's delis nor at Junior's so I experimented on my own to get closer results.
Some tips in the beginning:
  • I found out that you can never get an ultimate creamy texture when the filling is baked as Barcomi and various online-recipes suggest. Instead you must bind the mixture of cream-cheese and heavy cream with a gelling agent.
  • A New York style cheesecake is very tall. So if you do not want to process 1 kg of dairy in order to fill a normal 28 cm-baking pan, a 16 cm one with a high frame is advisable.
  • Before you start anything, put the cream cheese out of the fridge as it is much more easier to work with when it has room temperature (I always forget to do so).
  • If you want to transport the cake let it completely freeze beforehand. By the time the cake arrives at its serving point it will have been defrosted and still kept its splendid shape ;)
This cheesecake with a topping of fresh seasonal blueberries is the creamiest, most luxurious and at the same time the most elaborate cake in my current pastry repertory.
  • What makes it so elaborate? The crust is a sponge cake which naturally involves more working steps and demands more caution than other doughs. Besides it may feel more elaborate than it is as most of the preparation time is waiting time. Successively you must let cool the crust, the filling and the topping. For a stable entire it should sit about 6 hours in the fridge.
  • Why is it luxurious? Because divine blueberries are only available at this special time of the year and fresh blueberries are simply the most aromatic among all berries.
I would say it makes up a great homemade gift for a special occasion or person. My apology that I don't have a picture of the final cake slice but the web will offer gazillion pics of Junior's blueberry cheesecake and this doesn't look different :)

Blueberry Cheesecake, Junior's Style

1) The crust:
  • with an electric mixer beat 1 egg white and set aside
  • with an electric beat 1 egg yolk with 50 gr sugar until color and consistency have changed remarkably
  • add 30 gr melted and cooled butter into the mixture
  • mix 35 gr flour, 35 gr corn starch, 1 tsp baking powder, pinch of salt and add into the mixture
  • add the zest of 1/2 lemon
  • carefully add the beaten egg white
  • bake in the oven at 170 °c for about 10-15 min
  • if the crust turns out too thick or not even trim it to your liking
2) The filling:
  • mix 350 gr Philadelphia with 70 gr vanilla sugar
  • beat 250 gr heavy cream and mix carefully with the cream cheese
  • dissolve 3 sheets of gelatin in a little warm milk and mix it with the filling (or cook 1 tsp agar-agar in a little warm milk and mix it with the filling)
  • pour over the crust and refrigerate
3) The topping:
  • cook 200gr fresh blueberries with 50 gr sugar
  • when enough juice comes out take 3 tbsp away, mix it with 1 tbsp of corn starch and add to the berries
  • let it cook for around 5 min
  • let it cool down
  • pour over the cake and refrigerate