On the third Sunday in May is World Baking Day and World Bee Day! The World Bee Day was created to get more acknowledgement of the role of bees and other pollinators for our ecosystem and our food. I will talk about the other day here.
Tomorrow is World Baking Day! So what is better than baking a cake and use also what is in season. Now it is time for asparagus and rhubarb. I love both and it is nearly a whole year I am waiting for it. My choice this time is for something fruity.
I decided for a delicious rhubarb cake with a meringue topping, decorated with almond slices and hydrangea blue icing sugar. Looks so delicate and vintage!
The inspiration came with just looking up some photos of rhubarb cakes. To me the meringue topping sounded so inviting. The base for the recipe I found on this side (in German). The photo maybe is not the most mouth-watering one, but the recipe sounds easy. And actually is. I changed the sugar into Xylit, I used ghee instead of butter, I omitted the vanilla sugar and cinnamon and because I didn’t have a lemon I used acv.
I also baked 45 minutes instead of the 35, but that depends by your oven. Mine was still a little wet inside after the first baking (and also after the second). I decorated with the wonderful blue icing sugar which gave it a very delicate vintage look. I baked a small cake and 6 muffins. The cake was for 4 people (easily 6 pieces per cake) and the muffins were for two.
The cake itself came out so delicious! Very smooth, juicy inside, the meringue was lightly soft. The taste heaven on earth! I think it is a perfect cake for a little summer afternoon party in the garden!
Whisk ghee and sugar until it is fluffy. Add the egg and yolks and continue to whisk until it is creamy. Add lemon zest, almond meal and the flour previously mixed with the baking powder.
Fill the cake batter into a small 18 cm/7 in springform pan (previously greased) and 6 muffin forms. Distribute the rhubarb pieces equally on cake and muffins.
Bake the cake for 35 to 45 minutes and the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the meringue. Beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt and apple cider vinegar until stiff. Then slowly add the sugar continuing to whisk.
Put the meringue mixture first on the hot muffins and spread some almond slices on the top. Put back in the oven and bake them for additional 15 minutes.
When the cake is ready, take it out and cover with the meringue, spread the rest of the almond slices on the top and put back in the oven for additional 15 minutes.
Let cool out the muffins and the cake and decorate with the colored icing sugar.
The cake is best when still a little warm when you serve it.
The meringue sometimes doesn't get really hard and crumble, that doesn't do anything to the taste. It is also great with a softer meringue on the top.
Don't ruin the cake by serving whipped cream with it. It just doesn't seem right!
The cake is great also the day after. I didn't put it in the fridge during the night but left it out, just covered with a piece of parchment paper. In the fridge it should be sealed in an air-tight container.
The greater rhea is a South American flightless bird. In 2000 a male and some females escapes a farm in northern Germany and since then lived in the wild. From a handful of birds they became a large group of around 500 animals by now.
It’s a year I know about the great rheas in that area after a friend of mine told me and I actually saw them. I had no camera with me at that time so I always wanted to come back and look for them, with my camera this time.
The greater rhea is a huge ratite originally from eastern South America. He lives in open spaces like grassland or wetlands. He can become around 25 kg, 1.50 meter high and can live more than 10 years in the wild. The male is distinguishable as he is slightly bigger than his harem. He looks a little bit like a smaller version of an ostrich in grey.
In Germany they were brought in during the nineties. In 2000 from a farm in Groß Grönau in the Lauenburg area a smart male escaped with five females and established the whole group in the open surroundings. They survived all during the winter and succeeded in breeding the following year. The population is growing, though the farmers are allowed to destroy the eggs to not let them become a pest for their crops. I learnt they mainly nest in the fields only, without eating the crops. There are no real predators here. The birds are a near threatened species. In Germany the groups are protected and even help to maintain the habitat diversity.
We saw them in two different places. First near the Schalsee, a biosphere reserve and very recommended for nature walks. The little town of Zarrentin on its southern banks is beautiful and offers also a walk in the cloister.
A very funny rhea one we discovered in a rape field. We stopped just to shoot the yellow field when a greater rhea started to ‘play picke-doo’. I was curious why the bird was acting so funny and walked into the rape field. It was a female nesting. She was not shy and got up off the nest only when I arrived near to her. I respected the ‘social-distancing’ we are now required and just said hello before leaving. She made my day with the photo and allowing me so near to her.
What do you do when you are not allowed to go far away from the place where you currently live and there is nothing open to go to? Exactly: hop in the car and drive around. That’s what we did. And on a sunny spring day there is nothing better than exploring nature with its beauty.
We drove through nice little villages with a handful of houses, mostly old thatched-roofed houses and with beautiful front gardens/yards. I love especially the dry stone walls with low growing flowers. Look at the wall I took a picture of, isn’t it beautiful?
The many alleys start now to put their young light-green dress on. In summer they give a lot of shade and oftentimes are like tunnels made of trunks and leaves.
Shetland ponies, deer, storks, grey herons and many other animals we saw in the fields. Nature at its best! We took hundreds of photos, here are some of mine.
The Donauwelle is a typical German and Austrian sheet cake. It has multiple layers covered with chocolate. It is perfect to celebrate the Anti Diet Day!
Today is World Anti Diet Day. What is better than making a nice cake? I made this cake for a friend’s birthday. It is one of her favorites but any day in the year is perfect for it.
I found a recipe on Gluten Free in German. I used ghee instead of the butter and xylit as granulated sugar. The required milk I substituted with cashew milk. The pudding powder I used a gluten free. Chocolate at minimum 80 %. I added vanilla paste. For the rest I just did exactly what the recipe says.
It is a cake that needs a little attention and is not that fast throw-all-together-mix. The batter wants to be slowly prepared, one ingredient after the other added, always mixed well in between. The batter is then divided in a plain layer and a chocolate one (2/3 and 1/3), the sour cherries are spread all over the cake and slightly pressed in the batter. This way they form waves later after baked. The buttercream is fluffy and light as it has mainly vanilla pudding as base.
The baked cake has to be covered with the vanilla-pudding-buttercream and then additionally cooled. When the last layer is firm it can be covered with the chocolate glaze. As decoration you can put a wavy design on the chocolate.
I wasn’t sure how the cake would taste to the others of the birthday party because I never had Donauwelle before. But apparently they all liked it very much, thought it was very similar to the traditional one. The cake was nearly gone in the end. Very satisfying to me. And yes, I liked it, too!
Prepare a 20 x 30 cm square baking sheet with some grease or parchment paper and preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
For the batter stir the ghee to a smooth cream. Add slowly the sugar and salt. The eggs have to be added one by one and stir well into the cream. Add the baking powder into the flour and then the flour in 2 or 3 steps into the batter.
Two third of the batter you put on the baking sheet. Spread it evenly. In the rest of the batter add the cocoa and milk. Stir well and spread the chocolate batter on the other. Now top the chocolate layer with the cherries, lightly pressed in the batter. Bake the cake in the lower third of the oven for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the vanilla pudding with the pudding powder, milk and sugar and let it cool.
When the cake is ready take it out of the oven and let it cool out.
Prepare the buttercream. Whisk the butter into a cream, add the cold vanilla pudding spoon by spoon. It's important that both have room temperature in order to combine well.
Put the buttercream on the top of the cake and leave the cake for an hour or more in the fridge.
For the icing melt the chocolate with the oil in a bain-Marie. Spread evenly the chocolate on the top of the cake and let it harden just a little bit to make a wavy design on the top. Put the cake back in the fridge and serve cold by cutting square pieces.
You can make also muffins with the Donauwelle. In this case make only thin layers in order to get a good size.
There is a day for everything. And today it is the Day of Laughter and the Sun! Two different things apparently but they are very much connected as well. Sun gives life, laughter is vital. Not many maybe will know about these days, but I think both are worth a celebration.
The Sun Day was born in 1978 out of Jimmy Carter’s devotion for solar power. It is celebrated on the 3rd of May which this year is the same day of the Laughter Day. On its day many countries are promoting solar energy. Meanwhile the nowadays used energy resources are endangering the earth, solar energy is endless and not damaging anything. The Sun Day shall inform about the clean way for energy in our life and the many possibilities today. BTW: German techniques are with the Asian technique world-leaders.
The World Laughter Day is a symbol for peace, brotherhood and friendship. Dr. Madan Kataria, an Indian family doctor, founded the laughter yoga movement in 1998. It takes place on the first Sunday of May. He was convinced that laughter gives a powerful, positive emotion. Laughter changes a depressed personality in a positive one, increases lung health and the immune-system. Plus it brings people together. Did it ever happen to you that you saw someone laughing (and you didn’t know why) and you started to laugh as well after a few seconds? It is contagious like yawning! And don’t you feel so much better after a good laugh?
On this day people of the laughter movement meet in public places and at 2 p. m. they laugh for 3 minutes. Many videos are made, they are worth watching! Laughter clubs are around the world in more than 105 countries.
When did you have a real good laugh for the last time? Let’s laugh together and be happy for at least a few minutes. Positivity helps us to go through the daily mess and to see things in a more positive way. So: let’s have a laugh!
Do you remember this?
What kind of laughter do you have?
Something more …. dark?
And now learn how to practice the best stress relieve!