Quarkbällchen, curd balls, are best when dipped in hot coffee. They soak your morning blend all up, mine is an organic single origin from Ethiopia at the moment, and the sugar coat sweetens it ever so crispily. It’s really the best start in the day. Just make sure to be alone when you take your breakfast like that. Eating them like that, one tends to look like a toothless old caveman. It’s not very becoming. If you want to get rid of your partner though, you better start a curd-ball-coffee-dipping-diet right away…
The best thing about having a garden is having an apple tree in that garden, especially one that carries Boskop as these are the best for baking apple cakes. They’re slightly sour which presents a nice contrast to the sweetness of the dough and wonderfully aromatic. We had lots, this year, and thus we had to make a lot of apple pies, and apple cakes, and apple tarts, and apple jalousies, and, well, you get the point, don’t you? What’s second best about having an apple tree in your garden is the fact that you really know every single apple growing on it is as organic and as healthy as it possibly gets. So, here’s to you, good old apple tree of mine!
Sometimes, when I’m awfully low, when the world is cold, I feel a glow just thinking of Sprüngli’s Himbeertorte and the way it once looked on my balcony’s marble table in Zurich. The raspberries were red and firm and tasted like real raspberries, grown on a real field, not like these wannabe raspberries from God-knows-where, that just look good, but taste like, well, nothing, like chewable air if you do need a reference. The rest of it was sweet and soft, a creamy delight with a hint of almonds, and just to be fair, I’m giving you a similar reference: to me, it tasted like a chewable 1998 Château Yquem.
Our baker is the strangest baker on this planet; his brötchen never taste the same, nor do they ever look the same. One day, they’re almost burnt, the next day, they’re white as a geisha. When you buy them, you never know whether they’re crispy outside and airy and light inside or deplorably squashy inside and out, you never know if you will enjoy your breakfast or not. Why that is, we have never found out. It seems as if the only consistency in his life was being inconsistent. The same goes for his bread by the way. He’s consistently inconsistent here, too. I hate reliable people, I really do.
The recipe sounded like it presented a shortcut to paradise: apricots, honey, rosemary, lemon peel and amaretti, all blended together, quirled and layered, little bits of heaven transformed into a cake. I followed each step as described, religiously. I picked the rosemary in the garden myself, chopped it with the utmost care and precision, quite lovingly one might even say, pelt the lemon, stuffed the apricots with the amaretti, quirled the eggs and the milk, spread the honey, I did not change a single step, and if there were any justice in this world, I would have created the perfect cake for anybody into apricots. If! Instead I got a perfect mess. The morale of the story? Perfection comes in a variety of appearances.
Cake. Who could ever live without it? I don’t like to compliment myself but I am said to be a brilliant baker, just to semi-quote one of Jane Austen’s characters from Emma. However, I sometimes have neither the time nor the longing to stir and quirl some dough, peel organic lemons for flavour, go buy organic lemons in the first place, slit vanilla pods open to get some pulp, have the scent of vanilla on my hands all day and make people wonder why I sniff my fingers all the time, and then wait for the cake to finally come out of the oven, and then wait some more to let it cool off so that I can put the icing on it. That’s why I love store-bought cakes. And believe you me, the cheapest ones are the best ones. Anything with lemon, these aren’t expected to be organic of course, but you can’t have it all, or marzipan in it are my very favourites. And they are spongier than my own homemade cakes. I don’t know why though, as I said, I’m said to be a brilliant baker myself.