Sunday, December 19, 2010

christmas-experiments and my new swiss munk
Do you know what a munk is? Nor do I, since yesterday. I got one of those very nice christmas parcels form my dear swiss friends living in Grisons.
In there were a few wonderful products from the fine small swiss food brand viva-la-vida (
My favourite product among the delicious range from viva-la-vida, comprising sugar, salt and fine liqueurs etc. is the "dolce-vita-tea". This is a very nice tea with different fine herbs form the Grisons region which all have a very specific taste. The region herbs grow in is the basis for their difference in taste, smell, size and colour. These differences are similar to the terroirs in wine culture. So I´m very glad to have a delicious, non-alcoholic "dolce vita drink" right now.

There was a very special mentionable item in the parcel - a wooden little animal. As my friend told me it was manufactured by an old carpenter in Grisons. He craves those regional alpine marmots - called munks. The old carpenter was very glad to hear that this one of his munk family will move to Berlin:-)
I immediately fell in love with this little wooden hero and above all with his defiant sight. Standing on my kitchen-shelf he is now responsible to keep an eye on all the gaumenperlen products there. I call him Hugo.

Current gaumenperlen experiments
No cookies, no stollen, no new goose recipies... at the moment I experimentalize for my label gaumenperlen with creams to eat with bread. these creams are made out of nuts, almonds, chocolate and divers liqueurs.
Another new gaumenperlen product line I´m working on at the moment are pralinée-cakes in glasses. They are heavy mixtures out of chocolate, butter, sugar a few eggs and other fine ingredients. Because there´s no flour in it the cakes get a very mellow consistancy and you have to eat them with a spoon - like dough.
Meanwhile the second tasting took place and the first pralinée-cake-edition, a heavy chocolate-orange-bomb, was so coveted that I had to produce a further bunch after the tasting to send them out.
Yesterday I ate my very last own chocolate-pralinée-orange cake and it was a wonderful taste on my spoiled tongue, so I decided to develop this product line to a further degree of excellence in 2011.

Merry X-mas!
dolce vita ahoi • monika ebert • mobile minds

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

First tasting event: new label gaumenperlen
by mobile minds

On Sunday afternoon the first tasting event of my culinary sublabel gaumenperlen took place in my freshly restyled kitchen - new shelves for the product range were installed before. The gaumenperlen could be translated as palate pearls.
The first products of gaumenperlen - jams and chutneys - were opened for tasting at 5 pm last sunday.
12 jams and 3 chutneys could be degustatetd, all cooked with fine fruits and fresh flavours like ginger, lemon grass, lime and orange pale, cinnamon, star anis etc.
In contrast to this whole sweetness and also for the refreshment of the palates of the tasters ciabatta, italian scarmoza cheese and a fine black pepper salami was served.

This was accompanied by drinks like fine green darjeeling tee, prosecco of a franconien winery and orangewater.

Now let me list - with a little bit of pride of the creating cook:-) - the first range of gaumenperlen products.

The variety of jams was as follows:
- peaches with authentic vanilla
- yellow nectarines with star anis
- white nectarines with authentic vanilla
- yellow nectarines with star anis, orange and lemon peel and ginger
- speptember pears with lime peel and lemon grass
- orange jelly with crawnberries, cinnamon, black pepper
and clove
- blackberry with apples
- dark prune plum with orange
- dark plum with orange and cinnamon
- prune plum butter made in the oven

The chutneys were:
- nectarine chutney
- plum chutney
- onion chutney

I introduced the 2 tasting hours with a little lecture about the creation of my jams, chutneys and the characteristics of every single product. A few lines about the idea of the label gaumenperlen and the tasting event(s) closed my introduction.

Then the tasting began, followed by those wonderful sounds of human beings enjoying all the different tastes and talking about what they were eating.
The guests seemed to be very content about the atmosphere and the tasted results of my gaumenperlen summer production and I was deeply glad about that. In the end each guest could choose her/his fouvourite jam and chutney by leaving a dry little pepperoni on the corresponding cap.

Here is the ranking of the top gaumenperlen - autumn 2010:
The winner of the jams has been the orange jelly followed right up by the speptember pear. The best chutney according to all the tasters has been the plum chutney, followed by the onion chutney.

Thanks to all those lovely people who were my guests at the first tasting of gaumenperlen! Hope to see you soon at the second tasting! My plan for this upcoming event gaumenperlen No 2 is to work out a range of new jellys and chutneys with citrus fruits.

Looking forward to seeing you soon in my kitchen!

dolce vita ahoi • monika ebert • mobile minds

Friday, September 17, 2010

Little hero with pears
Autumn in Berlin arrived far to early after a very short hot summer of more or less only three weeks. Rain and coldness are rarely interrupted by precious few hours of sunshine. But autumn is also a lovely time concerning all the fruits and vegetables freshly harvested and put on the markets. Local pears are one of my favourite fruits of that time. Even if they are not as tasty as in other years before because of the scarcity of sunshine in 2010, I was lucky to come upon some very tasty little ones on a market nearby.
Besides a wonderful pear jam with a slight touch of fresh lime and a whiff of cinnamon and cardamom I created little dark cakes with slices of pear for dessert of my first autumn invitation for a few friends. Instead of those muffin cake pans, which dry out the border of the little cakes too much, I use small ceramic souffle bowls.

For the dough
For 3 small bowls the following ingredients are needed:
1 fresh egg
60 gram of warm butter
60 gram of sugar
70 gram of fine flour
20 gram of dark cacoa
2 knifepoints of fresh grounded cardamom
1 knifepoint of baking powder
1 pear, mature, cut in small peaces (with the peel!)
2 table spoons of milk

Make a normal cake dough out of the ingredients and put in the little pear pieces in the end. Portion the dough out to the 3 bowls and bake it around 20 up to 25 minutes at medium heat.
To serve the desert strew it with sugar powder and decorate it wiht a bit of pear jam or fresh pear puree (put some lemon in it so that the puree doesn´t become brown)

At the moment I´m preparing the first official tasting of my limited-lot production of jams in October under my sublabel gaumenperlen. The whole kitchen is full of different jams and I hope all the invited friends will like them. There are classical combinations like pear and blackberry as well as new ones like nectarine with ginger and star anis so that every friend will hopefully find his/her favourite.

dolce vita ahoi • monika ebert • mobile minds

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Red summer breeze
Pomegranates are one of my favourite fruits: Their outer form, their inner look, their special colour - an irresistable red and their fine taste. In all, pomegranates are one of that perfect natural things. The colour of pomegranates is used to tint carpets, their inner seeds are full of healthy components. The main harvest season is September until December.
Pomegranates are often processed into sirup, which is mostly over-sugared.More seldom you get 100% pomegranate juice. The best way however is to press the juice out freshly on your own.

The mix
For your summer breeze you should press 3 pomegranates halves and make some ice cubes out of the juice. Keep the seeds of the fourth half for decoration.
Mix 4cl fresh pomegranate juice with one drop of flower honey and two drops of fine lime sirup in a champagne glass. The honey-drop underlines the aroma of the pomegranate, the lime keeps the freshness. Then fill your glass up with a good, not too dry champagne or sparkling wine. Put two of the pomegranate ice cubes into it, decorate with fresh mint and drop a few pomegranate seeds into your glass in the end. The ice juice cubes keep your drink cold without watering it, and spread their amazing colour step by step. Your drink taste like a refreshing summer breeze at the seaside, no matter where you are.

dolce vita ahoi • monika ebert • mobile minds

Friday, July 16, 2010

Iced cucumber soup
Summer heat, 34 degree Celcius last more than a week, everybody is moaning. I like it. Even íf I work a lot these days. The whole city moves more slowly, the inner city is a bit more quiet and everybody seeks dark shadow.
The real challenge is what to eat these days if you have no chance to be allowed to fall in a deep after-lunch-sleep. Solely fruits and salad feels a little bit boring on the tongue after a while. And what your body needs is something salty. So I remembered an old, very simple summer recipe of my childhood: A cold cucumber soup. To cool down the soup more efficiently and tastefully, I made cucumber ice cubes which were served in the soup. Besides the cucumber soup I offered a good italien handmade ciabatta and a zucchini dip.

Cucumber soup + cucumber ice-cubes
Pale and rasp 3 normal big cucumbers. A half cucumber puree with salt and pepper, pure it in ice cube tray and put it into the freezer.
Cut an onion and a clove of garlic into very small pieces. Roast them gently in a pot with 4 teespoons of olive oil until the pieces are light brown. Add a huge amount of sea salt and szechuan pepper and the rasped cucumbers at the end. The best pepper to use in this dish is szechuan-pepper because this pepper has a very fresh taste with a lemon aspect that goes perfectly with the cucumber. Switch of the cooker. Add 2 bowls of natural yoghurt and one bowl of sourcream. Taste it and add 6 leaves of very fine cut basil and lemon pale before you put the soup into the fridge for 2 or 3 hours.

Zucchini summer dip
A very nice thing to accompany bread in summer is a

dip out of oliveoil, a bit of pureed zucchini, garlic, sea salt, medium crushed szechuan pepper, lemon and basil.
Cut a half little zucchini into small pieces. Pour a lot of fine olive oil over it. Add seasalt and crushed szechuan pepper, a bunch of basil leaves and a bit of lemon pale. Puree the whole ingredients until you get a viscous consistency. If it is too solid add a bit more olive oil. This dip goes perfectly with white bread in summer. And in this case it is a perfect addition to the cucumber soup because of its slight taste. I hope, as I do every summer again, that this summer lasts forever:-)

dolce vita ahoi • monika ebert • mobile minds

Monday, May 31, 2010

Short trip to the south
Lately an invitation for a short trip to Croatia was a very welcome change to this
never coming summer of 2010 and I accepted it with joy.

Nevertheless I´m not a real fan of the croatian mentality because of the missing friendliness and the missing of the typical "savoir vivre feeling" of the south like in France or in Italy. The little apartment in Novi Vinodolski we lived in had a wonderful balcony with a fantastic viewand a very nice little garden cultivated by an astonishing, very nice old Croatian lady. Every morning I went into the little garden and harvested a few leaves of her laurel and grated
them between my hands. What a wonderful light but though intense smell!

The cuisine of Croatia
There are not so many dishes and recipies the Croatian cuisine is known for, but a few very tasty ones I would like to mention here.

What I really liked is the honey of the region around Senji. It is full of taste and comprises all kinds of mediterranean aroma like rosemary, sage and laurel. They also have a very tasty sheep cheese there. Both you can by on sundays at the little market stands besides the country road to Zagreb.

Red wine
In addition we tasted avery smooth red wine in Croatia. It came from the well known vineyard Dignac (founded in 1902)from the peninsula of Peljesac. It is made out of the Plavac-Mali and has a deep, intense and clear tasteof berries and a fine tannin.
Furthermore I fell for the brand logo of Dignac: a little drawn donkey.

Favourite vegetables
My very favourite vegetable of the Cration region is a kind of chard. It is nearly as fine as
our spinach, comes fresh from the fields and has an awesome taste. It is served together with fresh boiled potates (cut in little pieces) out of the pan .

Fresh sea food
And the best thing they serve with these vegetables are fresh grilled calamari covered with lots of fresh garlic pieces:-)
If you sit there in the shadow of the summer midday heat, eating this very fine dish, accompanied by a glass of fine white wine the happiness of mediterranean lifestyle arrives quickly.

The mountains of the outback of the caost of Croatia with their wonderful views inspire you to savour all the tastes of the mediterranean south as well as to dance a little tango:-)

dolce vita ahoi • monika ebert • mobile minds

Monday, May 10, 2010

Soft dark chocolate cake:
the brown birthday kick

Chocolate cakes are offered in a huge variety of form, consistency, quality and taste in my urban district in Berlin Mitte. Starting with the classic chocolate brownie and the monster brownie from Synthia Barcomi (they also sell a lot of other tasteful chocolate bombs:-) you can continue with the chocolate coconut cake from Café Napolionska at Kastanienallee and move further down Weinbergsweg to the lovely Café Fleury, where you can get that flat chocolate cake with its intense smell of dark chocolate and its smoth taste nearly like a dough. If your baking level is slightly over beginners, fine chocolate cakes are really easy to make. One of my favourites is a very simple but really nice one, called the brown birthday kick with a wonderful taste of dark chocolate.

Ingredients (all organic)
3 fresh eggs
160 g of fine brown sugar
160 g butter (warm, soft, not out of the fridge!)
100g grouded almonds
120 g of flour
40 g dark organic cacao powder
1 teespoon of baking powder
1,5 bars of dark chocolate (70%)

Cake glaze
200 g of powdered sugar
100 g of dark cacao powder
a bit of water, added carefully sip by sip

Melt the chocolate slowly in a water bath. Stir eggs, butter and sugar for a while until it a creamy consistency is created. Mix cacao powder, flour, almonds, baking powder and add it step by step carefully to the dough.
Wait until the melted chocolate cooled down a bit and add it then also to the dough.
Put the dough into a cake pan and bake it at a temperature of 175 degree Celcius round about 40 minutes. Then switch off your baking oven, open it a bit and let the chocolate cake rest another 10 minutes in there.
Afterwards cover the warm cake with the cake glaze. That is important to keep the soft consistency and the full chocolate flavours.

A very nice taste variation of the brown birthday kick is to add another bar of chocolate, crunched into little peaces. Furthermore you can enhance the flavour of the dark chocolate with a fresh aspect by adding the peel of one or two oranges, cut into very little pieces to the dough and to the coke glaze.

And never forget: chocolate makes you feel happy:-)
dolce vita ahoi • monika ebert • mobile minds

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ramsons season
Ramsons or wild garlic is a little green plant which maturates in march and april for a very short period. The leaves have a fine taste of garlic and they are a real spring highlight of fresh intensity in the kitchen.
Wild garlic is a wonderful add-on for grilled meat and saussages.
Because the harvest season of this wonderful spring herb is not synchronized with the barbecue season, you have to find a way to preserve ramsons. The best way I found was to make a delicious wild garlic paesto. Not only with all kinds of meat this paesto delivers a great taste combination, but also on fresh white bread, within a salad vinaigrette or mixed under spaghetti

Homemade paesto
Paesto is one of the easiest ways to preserve all kinds of herbs, not only wild garlic. The preservation is done by oil and a lot of salt, the best one to use for peasto is raw sea salt.
All you need is a big bunch of herbs finely chopped. Add 6 dried tomatoes in very fine slices, a big spoon of black
crushed pepper, if you have sechuan pepper, and two tea spoons of seasalt. Over that pure olive oil until the herbs are covered. Mix it and let it rest for a while. After half an hour stir it again, if necessary add more oil. The paesto in this condition has to taste very salty. The salt will be absorbed by the herbs lateron when you store it. The best way to store
peasto are little glasses in the fridge. Be sure that the surface of the herbs is covered by olive oil during the storage.
For refinement you can add two tea spoons of finely chopped lemon peel. The lemon leaves a bit of freshness on the deep garlic aroma.
Another very tasty addition are crushed nuts: walnuts, sunflower seed or even hazelnuts. The nuts dispens their fine flavour and enrich the basis of your paesto by their oily texture.

dolce vita ahoi • monika ebert • mobile minds

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fine and strong essences
The making of good beef, chicken or vegetable broth is described in millions of cook books. Broth – no matter which kind – is a basic essence of all good sauces and it is an irreplacable fundament of fine cooking. Considering the chinese nutrition science broth is an absolutely basic and important element of food to provide energy to your body. That is because broth in the chinese understanding contains the essence of all its ingredients: the essence of the meat, the spices and the vegetables the borth ist cooked with. Meanwhile you can buy all kinds of broth – so-called "fond" – ready to eat, some with a quality that is not too bad. But if you have ever tried selfmade broth, and if you have ever worked with it in your kitchen, you would never use broth from the supermarket shelf or even from your organic supplier anymore. Therefore be careful: if you try fresh broth it will change your culinary life from scratch :-)

The basis: vegetables, herbes, meat or fish of high quality
If you want to create a high level broth with magic taste and smell you have to take care of two basic things:
First of all buy or use high quality organic ingredients only, be it meat, fish, vegetables or herbs. The whole essence of all you put together is in your soup later!
Secondly: cook it very, very slowly and at least 2 hours.

The mixture of ingredients will turn into a fine composition of taste and smell in your soup or sauce later on.

Fine strong and spicy beef broth

For this variation of a broth you need the following ingredients:

2 onions
1 leek
5 carrots
piece of ginger
3 red little chilis
fine olive oil
raw sea salt
clove of garlic
5 balls of pimento
3 leaves of laurel

Last time I used laurel being brought into my kitchen from a friend of mine. This laurel originated from Ticino. It was an herb with an unbelievalble taste, comprising all the smells of the warm climate of the south it has grown up. So take this example to be aware that little changes in your combination of ingredients can be the reason for an extraordinary, small but important change in the taste of your broth.
As meat for your beef broth you can use oxtail, beef shank and a few marrowbones. Cook the meat 10 minutes in extra water before adding it to your soup pot because it dispenses a foam of protein that should not be used.

Your broth can be boiled at a very small heat for round about 4 hours. After that time you own a real treasure to savor it immediately or for use with your further cooking. Broth can easily be kept for a week in the fridge or also be deep-freezed. But don´t forget: nothing will ever be comparable with a fresh broth.

Beef broth with filet, ginger and coriander
A very fine and easy version of a beef broth is to serve it with fried beef filet stripes, very thin sliced ginger and a bit of minced coriander.

dolce vita ahoi • monika ebert • mobile minds

about mobile-minds

My photo
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.