Thursday, September 30, 2010

Backen auf Deutsch, Part I: #76 Kiwikuchen

While in Germany, I bought myself a present:
Present to myself!

It's the perfect gift (I know myself so well). I can read German, bake cakes, and then eat dessert. AND, today, my dear friend Kelsey suggested I blog through it. Fab. Kind of like Julie and Julia, but much shorter, much easier, much cheaper, and hopefully much less dramatic.

1. I can't re-bake a recipe until I have tried every single one in the book.
2. I can't eat an entire cake by myself.
3. I do not have to bake every cake before I graduate. Don't even suggest it.

So here we go! Wir backen auf Deutsch!

#76 Kiwikuchen

Rachel joined me for a lovely Sunday afternoon recently and we christened the cookbook! We felt like something light and fruity, and the kiwi cake sounded perfect. Earlier, I bought a food scale: the measurements in the book are, naturally, metric! Grams of butter, what?

Armed with an Android German-English dictionary app, we set about translating.

>Preheat the oven. Got it.

>"Kuchenform einfetten"...clever! "Put fat in the cake pan"-->grease the pan!

>Stir the 200 grams of flour and the...wait. "2 TL [baking powder]". TL?

We almost added 2 Tbsp of baking powder, before pausing to discuss how most recipes call for teaspoons of it, not tablespoons. A quick Google led us to this beautiful German Cooking Glossary.

For your personal edification:
1 TL=1 Teelöffel=1 teaspoon=1 tsp
1 EL=1 Esslöffel=1 eating spoon=1 tablespoon=1 Tbsp

Once we sorted that out, we were home free! The cake itself included chunks of fresh kiwi and the glaze was delicious with cream cheese, lemon zest, and powdered sugar. We topped it with kiwi slices, and ENJOYED!

#76, Kiwikuchen

It was perfect. The cake itself wasn't too sweet, which offset well the super sweet glaze. The kiwi was refreshing. We both highly approve.

Changes made:
~Added about a Tbsp of milk to the glaze
Next time would:
~Cool the cake more before frosting. :)
~Double the recipe; it only made one 9x5 loaf.
Perfect for:
Afternoon tea with the ladies.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ich bin fertig! Germany, Part IX

My last full day in Germany was Friday, August 20. I zipped out for one last 3-mile run, stopped at the apartment to grab my bike, biked it up 0.5 miles to IPP, locked it in the bike rack, and ran 0.5 miles home. Bike=returned. After a shower and breakfast, I said goodbye to my cute little abode and dragged my gigantic suitcase back over 0.5 miles to IPP, where I turned in my keys and waited at the guard booth for my taxi. While I was waiting, Steffi ran out with a present from the group--mints and an IPP lanyard (which now holds my PPL badge). :)

Auf Wiedersehen, IPP!
Bye IPP!

Taxi man and I spoke pleasant German to each other and he left me at the train station. I took the three-hour train to Berlin, which was quiet and pleasant and uneventful. I would like to say a huge "DANKE SCHÖN" to all the random German men who helped me lift my embarrassingly huge suitcase. Note to self: get hiking backpack and don't buy so many books. At the Berlin Hauptbahnhof, I had a latte, lunch, and free wireless. Then, I jumped on the S-Bahn, transferred to the U-Bahn, and walked another mile or so to my hotel. MY JOURNEY WAS OVER! Wait, no? No. I arrived at my room, anticipating with delirious glee a shower and a nap, only to find that it hadn't been cleaned. Instead of just moving me to a new one, they showed me to the bar and set housekeeping on it. Half an hour and one beer later, they let me in. I passed out for a blissful hour on my cushy bed. Relief.

Not one to waste an evening in a fabulous city, I freshened up and headed back to the U-Bahn!

I loved the decor of my station:

I got off at Wilmersdorfer Straße and walked down Kantstraße. I liked the garden in Savignyplatz:

Even though it seemed to be the place to be if you are fifty years old and want to drink a bottle of wine and smoke with your friends. Hmm.

I cut down to Kurfürstendamm, a famous street of high-end shops, and actually found a 60 euro sweater for eight euros. SCORE.

This led me to the Kaiser Wilhem-Gedächtnis-Kirche, an eerily beautiful cathedral which was partially destroyed in WWII and left as a reminder of the horrors of war. Two buildings were built next to it: a tower with a bell (and souvenir shop inside) and a short, round building, where the church services are now held.
Cathedral, destroyed in WWII, left as a reminder of the horrors of war.
It's impressive.
"The former entrance hall of the old Kaiser-Wilhem-Gedächtnis-Kirche was reopened on January 7, 1987 as a memorial.
This is a place to warn against war and destruction and a call to reconciliation in Jesus Christ."

Near the somber site, I bought a German national soccer team jersey! WOOHOO! It was also eight euros. Yessss.

Walking back, I passed a sports shop with this beauuuutiful display:

Who DOESN'T love Bastian Schweinsteiger? Eeeh??

(I received several strange glances while taking the above photograph. I am quite used to this.)

Back on Kantstraße, I found a Thai restaurant and read my German novel while eating more amazing tofu curry. I was quite tired, and U-Bahned back to the hotel.

Just outside Rohrdamm station is a huge WWI memorial:
WWI Memorial

I watched a bit of a show which appears to be Germany's Got Talent or German Idol or Some Germans Can Sing and Some Really Can't, then I fell asleep.

After paying way too much (of thankfully not my own) money for an okay continental breakfast, I took the free shuttle to Berlin Tegel Flughafen, spent my last moments on German soil, and then flew home!
At the airport

Hopefully, I will return soon. :)