March 27, 2013


Osterchüechli is a shortcrust pastry based pie that may not be missed from a Swiss Easter brunch table. Personally, I have fallen in love with this elegant and simple pie after the first bite. The filling is a fragant vanilla and lemon zest flavoured milk rice with almond. Of course in this kind of pies raisins may not be missed, however not in my kitchen, because I just can not make myself like them. I think these little cakes are a perfect Easter treat! Happy Easter!



makes 10 pieces of 10 centimeter pies

for the pastry:
250 g flour
180 g butter
3 tablespoon sugar
1 egg
1 pinch of salt

for the filling :
250 ml milk
50 ml water
60 g round grain rice
60 g sugar
60 g ground almond
3 eggs
50 ml cream
1 lemon
1 vanilla pod
1 tablespoon raisins (optional)
icing sugar for serving

Sift flour and make a mould into the middle, add diced butter, pinch of salt and start to crumble the ingredients together. Then add sugar and egg and knead a smooth dough. Chill for 1 hour.

Half and scrap out the seeds of the vanilla pod. Bring milk and water together with the vanilla pod and seeds to the boil. As soon as it is boiling add rice, reduce the heat to the lowest, put a lid on and cook until the rice is soft. It takes about 30-35 minutes. Pour milk rice into a bowl and let it stand for 10 minutes.

Beat egg yolks with sugar until pale and fluffy, then stir it to the milk rice. Stir in cream, ground almond, lemon zest and raisins. Finally fold in beaten egg white.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out dough on a floured surface and with the help of a cookie cutter cut out round pieces and press them into the baking forms. Divide filling in the forms and bake for 15-20 minutes and cool them on a wrack. Sprinkle icing sugar on top before serving.

March 25, 2013

Orange blossom water-pistachio madeleines

Spring seems to play hide and seek as it disappears again and again! I remember that during the winter holidays we had gorgeous warm weather. And now? Easter is knocking on the door and it is snowing! On such a depressing Monday, I had no other choice then to bake something that goes well with a nice cup of hot tea.

for about 18 pieces

4 egg whites
130 g icing sugar
55 g flour
55 g ground pistachio
130 g butter
1 tablespoons orange blossom water

Preheat the oven to 180°C (do not use air circulation!). Beat egg whites until it gets liquid (just until the first signs of frothyness appear). In the meantime melt butter over low heat and let it cool. Sift flour and icing sugar to the egg white, add ground pistachio and orange blossom water and whisk everything together. Finally whisk in the molten butter. Pour batter into madeleine forms and bake for 10-15 minutes.

March 22, 2013

Chicken liver pâté with sour cherry chutney

I absolutely adore chicken liver pâté and you certainly can not compare home made stuff to the store-bought one. Besides those have hardly seen any liver, not to mention the list of the rest of the ingredients. It is really difficult to find free range chicken liver in my area and when I manage to find it I always try to make the most out of it. I am a huge fan of chicken liver with freshly baked bread and an onion-tomato salad, of course only when tomatoes are in season. I am so looking forward to end of summer, the best time of the year to eat tomatoes. Anyway, back the the pâté that this time I served with a spicy sour cherry chutney.

for the chicken liver pâté:
150 g chicken liver
50 g butter + 1/4 teaspoon
1 shallot
3 tablespoons madeira
3-4 sage leaves or as desired + a few more for the top
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
chicken lard for frying the liver
2 tablespoons ghee
freshly ground pepper

for the sour cherry chutney:
150 g pitted sour cherries (mine from the freezer)
1 red onion
30 g dried sour cherries
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 green cardamom pods
2-3 cloves
2-3 allspice berries
4-5 black peppercorns
3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons port wine

Melt chicken lard (best if you get it fresh right out of a free range chicken) over low heat and fry chicken liver, then set aside. In another saucepan melt butter and sautee onion until it is caramelised, add madeira and reduce by half. Puree liver with the madeira-onion liquid, add butter and sage and puree again. Mash it through a fine sieve, season with salt and freshy ground pepper and pour into a small ramequin and put a few sage leaves on top. Melt ghee and let it cool slightly and pour it on top of the pâté. Chill for at least 3 hours.

For the chutney chop onion and bring it to the boil with the rest of the ingredients. Then reduce heat and cook over medium heat for 30-40 minutes, then remove the spices and fill into a jar and chill.

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