Monthly Archives: October 2014

maple walnut scones

A few weeks ago my friend J choose this recipe from Baked’s “New Frontiers in Baking” for me to bake, but because I was sure that maple extract could not be found in Berlin, I gave up on them immediately. But then just a week later my BFF Tracy from my time at Norwalk high school (a time when BFF might not have been used as an acronym yet), whom I hadn’t seen in 20 years found me on fb. Since she was going on a short holiday to Europe with her husband and daughter, she spontaneously decided to come to Berlin for a day. She asked me what she could bring from Florida and I asked for maple extract (among other things). It was an incredibly great day and I am immensely happy we have found each other again (even though I’m sorry I have to admit fb made it happen).


maple walnut scones
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Yields: 12
  • 4 cups flour
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups (340g) butter, cubed and cold
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  2. Add the butter. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until you get little cornflake – sized pieces.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, the buttermilk and the maple extract, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently knead the dough.
  4. Add the walnuts to the dough and knead gently.
  5. Move the dough to a lightly floured surface and use your hands to shape the dough into two discs.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350° F / 176°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Cut each disk into 6 wedges with a knife and brush each scone with buttermilk and sprinkle with raw sugar.
  8. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes (rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time) or until the scones are golden brown.
  9. Transfer the scones to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  10. Add icing.


Sorry, this picture turned out blurry…




chocolate bread

I have been looking for recipes that require a lot of chocolate because I need to reduce my chocolate stash that has been magically building up in the last months. So after baking my favourite brownies last week I searched for a new recipe and came across this chocolate bread. It is adapted from my Paula Deen.

chocolate bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Yields: 25
  • 2¼ cups (280g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 (190g) cup sugar
  • ¾ cup (145g) caster sugar
  • ¾ cup (85g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup & 2 tablespoons (150ml) crème fraiche
  • ½ cup & 6 tablespoons (200ml) milk
  • 1 cup (340ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups (320g) chopped chocolate
  1. Preheat oven to 325° F / 162° C.
  2. Grease two loaf pans (total size: 18 by 4,5-inch (46x12 cm) and line them with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl mix the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
  4. Beat in the milk, crème fraiche, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
  5. Add the chocolate pieces and pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 80 minutes and let cool in the pans for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove the bread from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.



I added a caramel chocolate to the dark chocolate and the chocolate bread turned out nicely moist and slightly gooey.


my favourite brownies

I’ve been making these brownies for at least 15 years, so I’m not sure where the recipe actually originated. It is one of my most used recipes, these brownies were especially popular at parties, where my friends would get the munchies for no apparent reason…

It’s a very basic recipe and you can use milk or dark chocolate, or a mix of both and you can add chocolate chips or nuts or marshmallows.


my favourite brownies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Yields: 20
  • 7 oz (200g) chocolate
  • 4 eggs (L)
  • 1½ cups & 4 tablespoons (340g) sugar
  • 11½ tablespoons (170ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup & 7 tablespoons (175g) flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Grease a 9 by 13 inch (22 x 28cm) baking pan or line with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate over a hot water bath. Some people melt chocolate in a microwave, but since I don't have one, I'm not sure how well that works.
  3. Cream the eggs and the sugar and then add the vegetable oil.
  4. Add the flour, salt, baking powder and vanilla extract, beat well.
  5. Preheat oven to 320° F / 160° C
  6. Then add the melted chocolate. It will sink to the bottom of the bowl, so scrape the bowl with a spatula to add evenly to the batter.
  7. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and then add the chopped chocolate or nuts or....
  8. Bake for 25 minutes and let the pan cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. If the brownies are too gooey in the centre bake again for another 10 to 15 minutes.




rose salt + lemon


Antidote Choco is a bean-to-bar maker based in Brooklyn founded by Red R. Thalhammer. Their chocolate is made with a 50/50 blend of raw & roasted Arriba Nacional cacao from Ecuador. The cacao is organic certified and they use very little whole (unrefined) cane sugar. Their chocolates are vegan and gluten free.


This is a 77% raw chocolate with rose salt + lemon.


It’s not my usual go-to-chocolate because of the high cocoa percentage, but I was still intrigued by the flavour combination. The bar has a strong snap, the colour is very dark, and the lemon and salt flakes are visible on one side of the bar. The melt is grainy, the lemon taste hits you first, followed by the salt. It’s quite intense, not very sweet, but not too bitter. As far as raw chocolate goes, this is quite interesting, even though I prefer milk chocolates.


Ingredients: 77% raw & roasted organic cacao. cacao beans, whole cane sugar, cacao butter, lemon, andes mountain rose salt, soy lecithin (0,5%, gmo-free) [certified organic] 2.3 oz bar

Zutaten: 77% roh und gerösteter Bio Kakao. Kakaobohnen, Voll-Rohrzucker, Kakaobutter, Anden-Bergsalz, Zitrone, Sojalecithin (0,5%, gentechnik frei) [biologisch kontrolliert] 65g

This bar is available at a few online shops. I bought it online from Schoko-Express. Price approx. €4,75.

Images by Axel Lambrette (thank you!!!)

sambirano valley 50% with fleur de sel

benoît nihant

Benoît Nihant is a Belgian bean to bar producer, who is a trained engineer and used to work as project manager for multinational companies. Around the age of 30 he changed gears and entered the world of chocolate. On his website he states that he hunts down fine cocoa beans, which he buys at a fair and just price directly from the plantations.


This bar is made from trinitario cocoa from the Somia plantation in Madagascar and has been stone ground and conched for 70 hours.  The bar is quite delicate and smells slightly of caramel. The melt is grainy, which is common for a stone ground chocolate. It isn’t too sweet, has a slight acidity, and it is not salty and smooth enough for my taste. The chocolate is not too bad, but not quite my taste.


Ingredients: Organic cocoa beans, organic cane sugar, whole milk powder, cocoa butter, sea salt from Guérande. 1,76 oz

Zutaten: Kakaobohnen, Rohrzucker, Voll Milchpulver, Kakaobutter, Zeesaltz. (sic!) [Biologischer Anbau] 50g

This is available at various online shops. I bought it from the Berliner Kaffeerösterei – a micro-coffee roaster, online store, coffee shop, patisserie – with a good selection of chocolates in Berlin. Price approx. € 4,80.

Images by Axel Lambrette (thank you!!!)