Rhubarb Tart à la mode d’isi

Spring time brings back all the healthy fruits and veggies. It has been a long wait until we got asparagus, strawberries and rhubarb back! Today, I bought all of them! Asparagus directly from the fields, the rest in the supermarket.

Here’s my rhubarb recipe, a tart, slightly modified from regular recipes.

Ingredients:
800 g rhubarb, washed, peeled and cut in cubes/bits
1 tart dough (me: Butterkuchenteig Betty B.), any other goes, home-made would be preferable, but I have no time for doing one myself today
2 eggs
2 tbl spoons sugar
2 tbl spoons lemon juice (me: freshly squeezed Amalfi Lemon juice)
1 tbl spoon cinnamon
1 tea-spoon vanilla sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1.5dl cream
2 tbl spoons condensed milk out of the tube (not the liquid one)
1/2 tea-spoon cornstarch
Cocoa
2 meringues
1 tbl spoon desiccated coconut
(Boring alternative to cocoa, meringue and coconut: ground hazelnut)

In a bowl, marinate the rhubarb with the sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and vanilla for at least 1hr. Cover it and let rest in a cool place, but not in the fridge.

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Heat the oven to 210c. Extend the dough in a baking pan of 26cm in diameter. Make thousands of little holes in it with a fork, cover the base with cocoa powder, coconut and the finely crushed meringues ( crushing them is simple, put them in a little plastic bag, close it firmly and bang on it with your fist a few times, et voilà: crushed meringues)!
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Meanwhile, the marinated rhubarb has developed a nice juice, drain it into a glass.
Place the rhubarb bits on the dough and distribute evenly.

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For the topping, beat the eggs into a shaker, add sour cream, cream, condensed milk, a bit of the rhubarb juice and cornstarch (which you have dissolved in a bit of the cream before adding it to the mix n the shaker. Now shake well, like the handsome bartender did in the movie….
Pour the topping over the rhubarb, sprinkle some cocoa on the tart and off it goes into the oven.
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Baking time is approx. 35-40 mins. Watch it closely!
Remove from oven and let cool. Enjoy with a cup of coffee and friends! You can use the remaining rhubarb juice like a syrup and add water, or use it as sweetener for your tea. Yummie!

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Cracked Lemon Cookies-i

You know by now that I love lemon, I saw this recipe and thought I try it by adapting it to my own version. Well, ok, the cookies looked a bit different from the ones in the recipe, but, my test person Andy told me: it is essential for them to taste delicious, not if they make a “bella figura”. So here we go, I wrote below recipe considering a few corrections, so in order for your cookies to turn out “belli e buoni”!

Ingredients:

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200g soft butter (not heated/melted..remember what my Daddy told us?)
300g granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 lemon, 2 teaspoons zest, 6 tablespoon juice (me:Juicy Amalfi Lemon)
1 cl Mastika (optional)
Vanilla seeds (I bought this vanilla mill, really useful and less a hassle than scraping out a vanilla bean)
350g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of  baking powder
1 knife point of baking soda
Powdered sugar (about 50-100g)

The making of:

To start with, heat the oven to 180c. Place a baking paper on a baking tray. Pour the powdered sugar in a soup plate, set aside.
My Kenwood Chef now came into action, first I mixed the butter and sugar until it got a fluffy texture. Then, I added all the ingredients up to the Vanilla and let the Chef mix very well for a few minutes.

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Then, I added the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and soda. Mix until you get a dough.
The dough remains quite soft, its texture is between a dough for muffins and one for bread.
Now comes the fun part, hope you don’t mind to get your hands full of sticky dough (yeah, wash your hands first, dry them very well, remove all jewellery and put some powdered sugar in your palms). Now, the recipe I read said to take a good tablespoon full of dough and roll it in the powdered sugar. Which I did, but they turned out quite big. So my recommendation is: take half a tablespoon full of dough out (maybe the size of a walnut), roll it in the sugar and put it on the baking sheet. Make sure to not place them too close together, else they will stick to each other. Maybe you will need two baking trays.

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Bake the cookies for 11 minutes until golden brown. When you remove them, they are still very soft but will harden when they are fully cooled down.
So, yours hopefully turn out better looking than mine, which were “brutti ma buoni”!

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A relaxing Weekend Trip

 

A very spontaneous idea came to my mind last Wednesday. Why not take 4 days off and spend them in a nice SPA hotel? Great idea, the day before labour day where about 8 million other Swiss had the same great idea. But, you know me, I never give up!
After checking about 654 websites, I found this place: Mohr Life Resort, Lermoos Tyrol, Austria. Close to the german border. What? No online booking tool? Okay, so I called them and was actually surprised when the nice girl at the reception told me that they have a room left in the new part of the hotel. Ok, I originally wanted the FireSuite, but that Deluxe room looked nice too, so I booked it.
On May 1st, we packed and drove off, first stop: Füssen and the kitschy castle of Neuschwanstein. We had lunch in Füssen, a really nice village absolutely worth a visit. The medieval old part is very pretty and offers lots of restaurants, café bars, shops and yes, museums for those who are interested.

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We continued on, with the intention to visit King Ludwig II’s castle Neuschwanstein. Okayyyy, we were not the only ones with that same idea, so all I did was taking a few pictures and we continued on to Lermoos.

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The village is actually only about 30 mins from the german border, at the foot of the Zugspitze. Lermoos is beautifully set in  very green and mellow moorlands.

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The welcome at the hotel was very genuine and hearty. This hotel has an amazing history and the harmonization between the old, renovated and the brand-new part has been done in a perfect way. Be it in the lobby, the rooms, the dining areas or the SPA.
The SPA, what can I say?! I have been to many Wellness Hotels, but what The Mohr offers, is truly outstanding! Countless saunas, steam baths, relax zones, pools…it is a fantastic place to unwind! Although the hotel was fully booked and the weather bad, it was at no time overcrowded, you could always find a quiet spot to relax, be it close to the fireplace on bean bags (or beds I should say), or on a beach chair in the Moroccan area and so on! You can also choose from a vast list of treatments, needless to say that I indulged in some of them. The funniest one: seaweed detox … Smell and feel like a sushi, but it helped to purify my body, no kidding!
On friday, we made an excursion to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a 25 mins drive away. We went to the farmer’s market where I got green asparagus, juicy tomatoes and…tataaaa: Amalfi lemons!

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We strolled a bit through the calmer Partenkirchen part, it has beautiful houses with stunning facades, but, it was a calm, empty area with nothing to do or see. So, we hopped back in the car, drove back to the hotel and enjoyed our time in the SPA area. It did really help to unwind, relax, forget about emails, etc.
The culinary experience at The Mohr was a very good one too. The breakfast buffet was abundant, cold and warm choices, wonderful selection of breads (the most important thing to me…), fruit, cereals, anything you could imagine.
Between 15:00 and 17:00 they serve a “Jause” (snack), with salty and sweet treats. And dinner was either a five course menu or buffet style you could choose from. It is not a 20 points Gault Millau place, but it was really well cooked and you would not leave the table being hungry.
The hotel offers a large selection of activities. The owners (with Swiss ancestors) own a horse stable and three lakes where guests can go riding, diving and fishing. You can rent Ducatis, scooters or Segways, or you can play a round of golf at the nearby golf course. I sound like their marketing manager, eh? But it is true, the choice is incredible. Before I forget to mention it, they also own the italian coffee shop next door.
If I would change something, I would not alow guests to smoke in the open space bar, a weird thing to do these days when smoking is mostly banned. They could easily build a smokers lounge. Well, maybe that will change soon.

Unfortunately, the four days passed too quickly, we truly enjoyed that relaxing break.

image  Deluxe Room

image Lobby

image Indoor Pool

image Morrocan  Relax Area

image My fav place!

image Relax by the pool