Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thank you very much indeed.


For a night of sung lectures, new perspectives and illuminating insights. (We prefer the paradox to logic, we do not accept that illumination debases reality.)

Picture: Felix Knopp, René Pollesch and Katrin Wichmann enjoy the applause after the Berlin premiere of JFK.

Winter Comfort Food


Miso soup at Musashi, Kottbusser Damm 102, Berlin Kreuzberg. Though this small place might not look like it, it's the best sushiya in town.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

bake a cake

Apple Spice Cake

For an upcoming project I am testing my food photography skills and since pictured the baking of my latest (and in this year: first) cake - the Apple Spice Cake of Maria Helm Sinskey, found at David Lebovitz' blog. It's delicious, being very moist and fruity and pretty easy in preparing. David Lebovitz thought the recipe is not sweet enough, however, for me it was just right and I didn't need extra powdered sugar or glaze. The picture above is the muffin version, since I had too much dough for my cup.
In terms of photographing I have to say it's pretty hard to actually bake and photograph at the same time - it's a challenging multi-tasking experience, keeping track of the baking process and good picture opportunities. I wanted to picture the grounded spices nicely decorated next to each other on a board, but simply forgot while trying to get rid of mistaking 1 teaspon baking soda for 1 tablespoon. This is something that needs mere training, I guess. (And maybe a better skilled baker.)

Apple Spice Cake

2 tablespoons (30 g) butter, salted or unsalted
4 tart, firm medium-size baking apples, peeled, cored and cut into 3/4-inch (2 cm) cubes
2 tablespoons (30 g) sugar
12 tablespoons (6 ounces, 170g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups (350 g) sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (110 g) pitted, chopped dates: optional
3 cups (420 g) flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup (240 g) buttermilk or plain yogurt (regular or low-fat)

1. Melt the 2 tablespoons (30 g) of butter in a large skillet and sauté the apples over medium-high heat until the turn golden brown, stirring them as little as possible as they cook.

Apple Spice Cake

2. Once cooked through, add the 2 tablespoons (30 g) of sugar and cook until the apples cubes are nicely glazed. Transfer apples to a plate and cool to room temperature.

3. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and butter and flour a 12-cup (3l) bundt pan, tapping out any excess flour.

4. In a stand mixer, or by hand, beat the 12 tablespoons (170 g) of butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, stopping the mixer between additions to scrape the batter down on the sides, as necessary.

Apple Spice Cake

5. In a small bowl, toss the dates, if using, with about a tablespoon of the flour to separate them.

6. In a medium bowl, sift together the remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

7. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture, then mix in the buttermilk or yogurt. Then stir in the remaining dry ingredients until just almost mixed in completely, but do not overmix. Visible wisps of flour are normal.

Apple Spice Cake

8. Fold in the cooked apples, and dates (if using). Scrape the batter into the prepare bundt pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

9. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out onto a cooling rack. Once cool, dust with powdered sugar, or glaze, if you wish.

Recipe: Maria Helm Sinskey, via David Lebovitz

Saturday, December 19, 2009

ich schenke euch

Saturday, December 5, 2009


christian naujoks

Last night the very talented Christian Naujoks gave a concert inbetween beer crates and peeled off tiles in West Germany at Kottbusser Tor. I'd suggest visiting one of his next concerts in a theater - e.g. on 01/28/2010 at Thalia, Hamburg - or in a location with working sound - e.g. on 03/20/2010 at Panoramabar, Berlin.