mobile minds archive

Saturday, June 2, 2018

fennel apple chutney

I am a real fennel fan. Fennel is one of the healthiest vegetables. It is a real healing plant, very good to relief peoples`stomach problems. Fennel seeds are a very fine cooking spice as well as a good tea to calm your stomach down. Fennel has a mild, sweet taste and can be used in many variations. This fennel chutney has been in my head for a very long time. I refined it over the last weeks and it  now  is a very tasty product – ready to blog.
Besides the fennel chutney you can serve fresh goat chese or any other mild creamy, tasty cheese.
If you prefer a stronger goat cheese, rolled in ashes or stuff like that, you can add a complete red chili into the chutney and remove it after cooking. The chili should not be too strong, because if it is, it overloads all the fine sweet fennel flavours.
Chutneys can be stored in jars like marmelade, if they have enough acid, salt and sugar. Even if the fennel chutney has, you should serve it fresh, because the mild flavours do not stay stable for a very long time. With the fennel tubers you can create your main dis: like oven fennel or fennel potatoe gratin, or a fennel summer salad with roasted chicken or grilled fish. Recipies for all that will follow soon.

fennel apple
What you need 
Fennel sticks from 2, 3 or 4 fennel tubers (round about 12). Buy very fresh organic fennel and chose the tubers with long sticks and a lot of green.
1 red apple
1 organic lemon: juice and small chopped lemon peel
1 teaspoon of very mild sea salt, if not mild, use half a tea spoon in the beginning and taste 
1 clove of garlic
2 small chopped shallots
1 spoon of white mild balsamico
3 spoons of sugar
200-250 ml water
black pepper
1 red chili if you like

How to do it 
Wash all vegetables. Cut off the sticks of your fennel. Do not use too much fennel weed within the chutney. Keep that for your second fennel dish and for decoration purpose. Cut the sticks into very fine slices.
Wash the apple carefully. Peel it not too thin. Useing a knife is better than a peeler. Cut the peel into small slices. Cut the apple into small little cubes (without the core). Cut the shallots into thin slices. Peel the washed lemon with into zests and cut the cests again into very small pieces. Squeeze out the juice. Peel the garlic clove. Put all the vegetables into a small pot. Add the vinegar (use good, organic white balsamico otherwise it gets too sour), the lemon juice, water, and the red chili. Cook the chutney slowly down for 20-25 minutes. Stir from time to time. If you like the chutney to be very smooth, add a bit of water and cook it a bit longer. Taste the salt and sugar level carefully within the cooking phase.
If you want to store the chutney, fill it hot into preserving jars. Otherwise let the chutney cool down, lid closed. Check the salt and acid level before serving, if necessary, add some vonegar, and salt. Serve the chutney with goat cheese, a pinch of black pepper and fine white bred.
dolce vita ahoi! 
monika ebert • mobile minds

Sunday, June 19, 2016


During my childhood tinned sardines were merely part of the emergency ration on our sailing boat and hidden deep down under in the dry food box. Afterwards on my first trips to Italy and France at the age of 15 – for sure living in a tent:-) – we discovered some very fine tinned sardines and ate them with wonderful fresh bread and enjoyed a deep red wine with them sitting at the seaside watching the sunset. One of my real fish favourites at that time during these trips became fresh little fried sardines with lemon and fleur de sel, a wonderful simple delicacy, prefereably eaten fresh at the seaside. The tinned sardines didn´t give up and came back to me in my late twens, travelling over six weeks through portugal with a long stay in Lisbon. In this wonderful city which became one of my absolutely favourite ones I discovered shops with an unbelievable variety of very nice fish tins containing amongst others wonderful sardines. Henceforward tinned sardines have been on the fringes of my culinary life. But then suddenly one of my favourite gourmet food shops in Berlin, Maître Philippe & Filles,, fantastic vendors of mostly french cheese, wine and deli food discovered their so far hidden addiction to tinned sardines and now offer an enourmous range of tasty, lovely design collections of different fish tins from Portugal, France... – even differentiated by age groups. After I tasted a few boxes I discovered my absolute favourite ones – and they are French:-))): from la compagnie bretonne du poisson and called "Jahrgangssardine 2014 (Michael Weston, he is the English artist living in Brittany and responsible for the wonderful tin design)". Even the harbour and the ship is mentioned on the tin. Voilà.

If you work with strong, very tasty ingredients like tinned sardines it is good to add a few companions to let the dominant taste evolve more facettes. For my beloved tinned sardines I choose shallots, caper, lemon, black pepper, red chili, parsley, a bit of fresh spearmint and a mature parmesan. You can cook this dish very quickliy but it tastes much better if you give it a bit more time.

What you need for 2 guests

• 200 grammes Spaghettini (very thin Spaghetti)
• 1 sardine tin "Jahrgangssardine 2014 (Michael Weston)"
• 300 grammes of shallots
• 1 little red chili pepper in a whole, do not open it!!!
• 1 very small half clove of garlic
• 8 table spoons of good mild olive oil
• 1 small glass of little capers
• Fresh black pepper, crunshed in a mortar
• Sea salt, if possible not bleached 
• 5 branches of parsley
• 5 little spearmint leaves
• 100 grammes of fresh raped mature parmesan
• ... and a dash of lemon juice

How to do it

Open the sardine tin only a little bit at first and drop the oil into a pan. Ad the olive oil. Peel the shallots and the garlic and cut them into ver fine pieces. Ad the red chili and the black pepper and steam the ingredients very slowly, lid half on. They should not become brown! Add the dripped off and fine cut capers and the sardines, take out the chili, stir once and turn off the heat. Add the fine sliced herbs and close the lid. If you have the time let it rest for one hour or two.

Cook the Spaghettini al dente, turn the heat on your sardine pan again and add the dripped off pasta into the pan, mixe it carefully under the sardine sauce and add a very littel dash of frehs lemon juice to finish. Serve it on deep plates and spread the fine raped parmesan over your pasta. Choose a strong white wine aside this wonderful fish dish. As a sauvignon lover I always often take a strong one with this dish. A carefully chosen raw sauvignon could also go perfectly with it as well as a strong rosé. Bonne appetit!

dolce vita ahoi! 
monika ebert • mobile minds

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Four days ago I got a wonderful present from friends who visited Sicily. Seven fresh lemons picked right form the tree, a sweet tomato jam and a pistachio spread. Marvellous! But I wanted to enhance the pisatchio taste of the spread and further more I wanted it to taste less sweet.

Thought. Done. I went to a turkish market in Kreuzberg and bought 400 grammes of first class unpeeled pistachio. It took me a long time to pull the nuts out of their peel, I nearly fell into a kind of peeling meditaion.-) From another friend of mine I lately got a very nice pistachio oil and these two ingredients were my basis for the spread.

Then I thought about a few little natural enhancers to turn my pistachio spread into something harmonic though inspiring and well flavoured result. I decided to add a bit of my home-dried orange peel and roughly chopped organic deep dark chocolate (90% should be the best).

You need

400 grams of first class pistachio with peel
3 soup spoons of pistachio oil
1 tea spoon of agave nectar, more if you like it sweeter
1 tea spoon of brown sugar
1 soup spoon of homemade orange peel, choppend into very, very tiny pieces
1 glimpse of fresh vanilla to enhance everything
40 grams of roughly chopped dark chocolate (90%)

How to do it

Put the peeled pistachio with the oil into a blender and mix it until you get a smooth cream. Add the orange peel, the brown sugar, the agave nectar and mix it again for 5 minutes.
In the end you add the chocolate – bit do no use the blender again! Stir it with a spoon. Best is to let it rest for one night. Afterwards eat it as fresh as possible and do not keep it for a long time. But according to my experience that should not be a problem:-)

dolce vita ahoi! 
monika ebert • mobile minds

Saturday, December 26, 2015

happy 2016 and a quick review of gaumenperlen 2015

First of all: I wish you a very happy, sunny, joyful, healthy, exciting and tasty news year 2016!
Let´s start with a quick review of the year 2015 : It was really a very wild one – for gaumenperlen as well as for mobile minds and me:-)
Reviewing all the pictures a lot of scenes came back vividly to my mind and I smiled as well as being glad, that some thigs are really over.

The year started with a fantastic trip to Genova, where all the orange tress were already carrying fruits! It was like a direct jump form winter into summer. I remember a very nice party and my walks at the seaside, the water drops of the spray in my face. These short days were one of the most beautiful eperiences of the year 2015.
Afterwards in March I had a wonderful birthdayparty at – big thanks again to Alessandro and Nicola for hosting this event with so much care, attention and love!
Briefmarkenweine is still the best winebar in town and my absolute favourite. There are always new and rare wines to discover, and the two are the greatest hosts!!!!:-), have a wonderful team, and marvellous anti-pasti. I hope they will be here forever!
Then there were a lot of professional u-turns in early summer, not easy to handle but in the end everything worked out, and I am really greatful for that. That was why the gaumenperlen summer production did not really happen, except for a few private gems: One new chutney out of grapes, barberries and dill, and in autumn a fantastic chocolate plum cream - best to eat with homemade vanilla icecream.
Vanilla icecream ist the keyword for the next chapter: I still remember the superhot weeks in summer, when it was nearly impossible to move, the city was completely overheated. People acted slowly and sometimes a bit crazy:-). I still remember a great garden dinner evening in the coolness of the lounge at rummelsburg at a friends´house. I discovered two new favourites during that hot period:One at the cafe aroma in Schöneberg - they call it maumau. It is a light cocktail, very simple and it tastes so refreshing and bracing. And one at a street cafe in Prenlauer Berg, it is called "affogato al caffe".

How to prepare Maumau

Cut a pealed fresh ginger peace in very tiny slices. Put them in a glas with a few fresh menta leaves and round about 2cl homemade Limoncello. Then pound it slightly. Put ice cubes on it and fill it up with an extra brut Prosecco or Champagne. Marvellous summer stuff!
Since I did not like the Limoncellos I tried – they all taste so artificial and remind me more of american chewing gums than of fres lemon – I satrted to make Limoncello on my own. The result of thsi period were two extraordinary Fruit Liquors: A Limoncello and an Orancello – some technique, but made out of Oranges. Unfortuneately the whole production has already left my kitchen: one part for presents and the other part for all the dinner drinks @ palais gaumenperlen during the summer dinners.

Let´s move on to my second favourite summer rediscovery: affogato al caffe. A fine italian Espresso with a little bowl of vanilla ice cream. This little sweet thing will stay on my alltime favourites list forever. Super simple and very fine taste. But be careful: The espresso really has to be of high quality and really hot and the vanilla ice cream should also be not too sweet – best way: homemade:-)

At the end of the hot summer I started my trip over Munich to Switzerland for a fantastic holiday with my very dear friends. Back to Berlin I already planned the second trip to Switzerland for their wonderful wedding party at the Albula Garden Ressort - I was so happy for them that they got amrried after 15 years:-) Unbelievable nice event, so many nice people, top food and wine and sunshine the whole day as well as one of the last hot summer nights. Will never forget that party.
Autum started softly and turned into a wild final period of the year. Had a lot of very nice and dear visitors here in Berlin, went to the RAW wine fair with my favourite private Sommelier:-) and met a lot of interesting new people. There were so many marvellous moments in the last two month, a lot of them to private to talk about, but they were so sweet and turned this wild year into a soft and sweet one in the end.
All the best for 2016 for you!! Thank´s for being my friends, guests and partners!

dolce vita ahoi! 
monika ebert • mobile minds

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Munich + Switzerland + bella Italia

Last week I traveled to Munich, Switzerland and bella Italia. In Switzerland I visited my dearest friends - now just married :-) On my first stop in Munich with family and friends I took part in a fantastic winewalk from Andreas Röhrich, Chief Sommelier @ Munich´s top Restaurant . This winewalk took place at the "Genussfestival" and he dedicateded his walk to the grape Silvaner. Andi is one of those fantastic sommeliers who have a whole world of wine knowledge as well as the rare talent to find the right words, tell fantastic wine stories and encourage everybody to trust and enrich the own tasting experiences.

We discovered one of the most impressing natural white wines I ever tasted, made with the oldest Georgian wine amphoras out of Silvaner grapes. Unbelievable taste and a very nice, gifted and experienced wine maker, Manfred Rothe -

Travelling further to Switzerland we had a fantastic week of excursions over the alps alternating with relaxed garden days on the fantastic terrasse of my friends right next to the river Albula. Because the heat was enormous - sometimes I layed down indoor on the marvellous appartment floor to cool down my backside - the fllor is made out of black natural slate. And I had a glass of spritzer near by.-)  

A few days I took care of all the garden Oleanders in the evening, my favourite southern trees, and I was very happy that they overcame the extreme heat with my "water treatment" :-) very well.
Our terrasse wine evenings were focused either on Italien or French top wines. We had a fantastic Tignanello and a Château Lagune Grand Cru, both excellent and very different red wines. After drinking wines of that range for a whole week it is always hard to downgrade to one of those nice but normal daily wines. 
With the wines we had superbe salmon or lamb filet from the grill accompanied by fresh garden vegetables like string beans or a fine summer salad.  

One of our trips over the Julier Alpine Pass and the Silvaplana led us to Chiavenna, a small, very nice little Village in the region Bergell. We had a marvelous, classical, simple Italian lunch at the river terrace and afterwards drove on to an impressing little castle called Castelmur. Not only the building and the antique interior were impressing also the modern art installations of a current exhibition of video installations added a fantastic new level of inspiration to our stay.
To sum it up in a few words: the quietness, the deep breath of raw nature and our excursions and evening talks as well as our silent moments of indulgence, our walks and dinners were so inspiring that it is hard for big beloved Berlin to fascinate me at the moment. I am very glad that I am back there to the Albula again at the End of August.

dolce vita ahoi!
monika ebert • mobile minds

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Caramel cheesecake with almonds

I love cheesecake. We have a few very nice Cafés in Berlin specialised in cheesecake. They have excellent cakes – but homemade is homemade:-). The perfume in the kitchen when you bake a cheescake is as magic as the different textures and tastes of the cheesecake – changing hour by hour and day by day: lukewarm fresh out of the oven – an unbelievable pleasure. Then after one day the cake starts to mature, like real cheese. And if the friends you invited for coffee left a piece (which is a very rare situation:-) even the second and thrid day taste and consistancy of the cake changes.
After I red a whole bunch of cheescake recipies obver the last decade I combined my favourite two recipies with two recently found ones and made a cake half with peanuts and half with almonds. I decided that the almonds work perfectly so here is the result: Top of all cheesecakes 2015 with almonds and caramel.

What you need

I normally work with a smaller baking pan which has a caliber of 22 cm. 

The ingredients

100 grammes of butter cookies
80 grammes of butter (60 for the cakebase | 20 for the caramel)
100 grammes of planed almonds (40 for the base | 60 for the topping)
4 eggs

110 grammes of sugar  (80 for the topping | 30 for the caramel)

80 grammes of crème fraîche

600 grammes of fat cream cheese

1 soup spoon of fresh orange juice 

How to 
For the cake base crumble the butter cookies and work almonds and the melted lukewarm butter in. Cover the cake pan with a baking paper and press the cakebase on the bottom and form a border of 3 cm. 
For the topping mix the cream cheese, the eggs and the sugar forand stir the ingredients for two or three minutes. In the end put the almonds in. Spread the topping plain over the whole cake base. 
For the caramel melt the rest of the butter and the est of the sugar until the two ingredients beging to become light brown. Be careful!!!! when adding the orange juice!!!! Very hot steam is rising!!! Put the pot beside and if the steam is over stir until the juice is mixed completely with the caramel. Then add the caramel sauce spoon by spoon over the cheesecake topping and stir it slightly in with a little fork.
Bake the cheesecake for round about 50 minutes – electric oven, 180 degree. Cover it with sugar powder after it has cooled down.

Bon appétit!

dolce vita ahoi!
monika ebert • mobile minds


Monday, February 2, 2015

Short trip to Liguria Genoa – with pasta genovese :-)

Last weekend I was invited to a big birthday party in Luguria. The venue was near Genoa in a samll village called Nervi. The unbelievabe coast impressions, the wonderful little bars at the seaside and the wild sea of January combined with sunshine and round about 12 degree temperature outside were so heart movong that I felt like being in a dream – travelling there out of the snow covered Berlin. 

I have been to that wonderful coast in my twens so it was a very special trip for me to be there again and to remember those wonderful italy trips of that decade fo my life. There were trees full of oranges and the air was so mild and smooth like on a vrigin spring day. Everything I ate there tasted differently because of that salty, mild, warm air. The woman who celebrated her birthday was so wonderful and impressing, that I was totally enchanted of her, ehr freinds and her party - "a typical italien party" as she said after midnight:-) Mille grazie Chiara! We spent a wonderful evening there at a bar called "Bomfin" at the seaside of Nervi and besides that we drank a lot of nice spumante we ate a few very nice genoese delicacies. Genoa has to offer a lot of them.

Pasta Genovese

The most famous and most known of these genoese delicacies was the pasta geovese, a fresh pasta with the classical, well known paesto genovese. I fell for it when it is fresh and handmade. It is very simple to cook: you stir a bunch of fresh aromatic basil with fine raped "parmeggiano" (parmesan cheese), pine nuts, salt, if you want a bit of black pepper and a fine strong olive oil. You stir until you got a purree. Some peronple add one cooke potatoe to make it more viscid. This paesto genovese you put over hot handmade pasta. That´s it. If all the ingredients are of high organic quality it is one of the most tasty and most simple things I have ever eaten in my life. Never make paseto genovese with basil out of the supermarket or with low quality parmeggiano!

Back in Berlin, sitting at my work desk today, grey outside, everything feels a bit strange after that weekend full of sun, nice people, unforgettable moments and italien delicacies.
I want to travel very, very soon again through the whole country. 

dolce vita ahoi!
monika ebert • mobile minds


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Wonderful 2015 for everybody!

Folks:-), what an intense year lies behind us! Sometimes it felt like a ride through heavy sea and sometimes it felt so smooth like a bath in milk and honey.
Now it´s over and I am grateful for the days I spent with my friends! I appreciated all the dinners we had, the lovely moments we shared, the fine food we tasted, the great wines we drank, the trips we made. Thank you so much for all kisses and lovely compliments and feedbacks you gave to me in 2014! :-)) Thanks a lot to everybody I met, be it an old or a new friend!

3 very special culinary discoveries of the last year are worth to mention here at the end of 2014: 
2 new places in Berlin and one in Amsterdam (the Amsterdam seafoodbar, I wrote about that before

Back to the Berlin places: 
One is french, the other one italien. Very very different places. But the hosts share the same passion for what they do and that´s why I love to be there:

The Italien one is made by Alessandro and Nicola from the south of Italy

and the French one is hosted by Sébastien from Grenoble

It´s not only the excellent food and wines they serve at their places, it is also the lovely attitude to care about their guests in their role of a host.

A lot of other very nice retsaurants and bars opened this year. The list is long and the choice where to go becomes more and more difficult in Berlin, what a wonderful place to be! I am happy that we have the year 2015 to come and hopefully the time to try all the new things together.
Wish you all a happy new years eve and a wonderful 2015! See you soon @ palais gaumenperlen in my kitchen or in any other extraordinary culinary place on this earth! I hope 2015 will be my year for the next big trips.  
Big hug! Monica

dolce vita ahoi • monika ebert • mobile minds

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Beeeeeeeeeeeeetroooooot forever!

Beetroot is one of my favourite vegetables. Its sweetness and the slight taste of soil, the wonderful colour, the cute round appearance – all that is a challenge to enhance or combine it when I cook winter dinners.
I chose three very simple recipies for my post: the first one is a beetroot spread which enhances the sweet taste of the beet through lemon or lime and shapes their character with a hot aspect of red chili pepper. The second one is a beetroot pumkin soup with a slight touch of curry and cinamon, which emphasises their sweetness and the manifold possibilities to combine it. And the third one - my alltime favourite – is a beetroot salad with a fine tuned mustard-honey-apple-lemon dressing. All three dishes are very simple to duplicate, simple and handsome like their main ingredient: the beetroot.

No1: Beetroot spread

For a small appetizer you need 1 up to 2 beetroots, depending on their size. Cook the beetroots - without the peel - "al dente" in enough very salty water and a small red hot chili pepper without the pits. If the chili is very hot, only take a half. Let the vegetables cool down. Cut them into small slices, add a good amount of seesalt of necessary and a very little piece of garlic as well as two tea spoons of lime juice, the  same amount of fine light olive oil and a half teaspoon of fresh cut lemon peel.  
Depending on the size of your beetroots change the amount of the olive oil. Put all the ingredienst in a mixer an purée it until you got a fine, smooth spread. Let the spread rest for minimum 2 hours. Taste it agian and add some more sea salt if you like. Normally the sweetness of the beetroot takes a huge amount of salt.

No2: Beetroot-pumpkin soup

For the beetroot pumkin soup for around 3 up to 4 persons as an entrée you need the following ingredients:
• a small half a big/one very little hoakido pumpkin
• 2 big beetroots
• 3 red onions
• 1 boskop apple
0,25 liter of white wine with a strong acid
• 0,25 liter of apple juice 
• 0,25 liter of hot water
2 branch of thyme  (one for decoration)
1 leave of laurel 
1 red hot chili in the whole 
1 glove of garlic 
• 1 teaspoon of hot indian curry
• knife point of cinamon
black crushed pepper and seasalt 
• sour cream

Peel the onions, the garlic and the apple. Cut everything into small pieces. Same thing with the hokaido and the peeled beetroots. 
Heat 3 soup spoons of olive oil in a big pot and roast onions, apple and garlic gently in it. Before the ingredients became brown deglaze them with the wine and put the lid on for 7 minutes. Add all other ingredients and let the soup cook very slowly until the vegetables are done as you like it. After everything is ready remove the laurel, the chili and the thyme branch.
You can purée this soup or eat it with the vegetable pieces. Bevor serving it, add a spoon of sourcream on top and decorate it with a few thyme leaves.

No3: Beetroot salad

For the beetroot salad as an entrée for 4 people you need the following ingredients:
• 2 beetroots
• 4 leaves of raddichio
• sea salt as you like
• 3 teaspoons of a fine, hot french mustard
• 1 teaspoon of a strong dark honey
black crushed pepper 
• 1 teaspoon of lime juice
• 2 teaspoon of white soft vinegar
• 6 soup spoons of fine olive oil 
For the second oil on the radicchio:
• about 10 crushed salted pistachios
6 soup spoons of fine pistachio oil
• 2 branches of parsley

Cook the beetroots with the peel on in water until they are not just done (al dente). Let them cool down and peel them. Cut the vegetables into small long pieces. Out of all the other ingredients of the first part mix a fine dressing, and oversalt it slightly. The beetroot will need a lot of sea salt, as already mentioned before. Put the dressing over the beetroot slices, cover the bowl and let it rest over night, but not in the fridge! 
Wash the raddicio and cut in into very fine slices. Out of the 3 last ingredients mix a fine pistacchio oil. Stir the beetroot salad before serving and add salt as you like. Arrange the beetroot salad in the middle, the rdicchio slices around it. pure the pistacchio oil over the radicchio.

dolce vita ahoi • monika ebert • mobile minds

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gaumenperlen - a label by mobile minds, monika ebert::: gaumenperlen is a diary about affairs of the heart. I´m addicted to delicious food, unique and extraordinary places as well as valuable things, fine arts, design, music, tango argentino and interesting people. The focus of this diary is food. Delicious food is much more than nutrition, health or prestige. it is the basis of your body& soul, it is at the core of your way to think, to live and act, it is your attitude towards nature. For me cooking is a wild, joyful, creative process with the objective to share the result in the end. This process is surrounded by a bunch of exciting encounters - nevertheless where I am:: at the markets, talking to producers, at the book stores, in restaurants, in my kitchen. That´s why I love cooking and travelling.