Peach and Rosemary Polenta Cake with Honey Buttercream

One of the wonderful things about the expat community is how incredibly welcoming it is to newcomers. It’s easy to make friends in that kind of environment, especially for us wallflowers, but the community is also tends to be fluid. Most folks, at least here in Munich, tend to be on fixed term contracts and will be leaving after a year or two. So as wonderful as it is making friends from all over the world, you know that eventually they will be moving on to new places or going back to old familiar ones. It’s lovely having friends all over the world, but it’s also a bit lonely when all of your friends have left while you’ve stayed behind.

But then… they come back!

It seems like our house has been {and will continue to be for a few more months at least} a revolving door. Friends and family have made our sofa bed their home and lots of great visiting has been happening over a couple beers and a table full of food. These awesome people have also unwittingly been guinea pigs for lots of new recipes so for that, thank you.

Today one of my friends from my au pair year is arriving and, since food is my love language, naturally I made cake. So here’s to catching up, trips down memory lane, great conversations, trips to the Wies’n, and tons of great food.

Peach and Rosemary Polenta Cake with Honey Brown Butter{cream} from Kiwi+Peach

Peach and Rosemary Polenta Cake

{inspired by Adventures in Cooking}
The whole recipe is reduced to make a two layer cake instead of three only because I don’t have three pans. Aside from adding the peaches, I replaced the sugar in the cake with honey so some amounts of other ingredients also had to change to compensate for the differences. 

The Dry
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour {I used spelt.}
1/3 cup uncooked polenta {or cornmeal. It’s the same thing. I can’t get cornmeal here, so I went with polenta}
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda

The Wet
3 eggs
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp apple juice {I used unfiltered.}
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 cloves, crushed and ground

To Fold
2 Tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
2 small peaches, cubed

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.

Sift the dry ingredients together into a medium sized mixing bowl and then set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and honey. Then add the olive oil, apple juice, vanilla, and spices and stir until it’s combined.

Slowly add the dry ingredients in batches and mix until it’s just combined. Don’t want to over mix it! Gently fold in the peaches and the chopped rosemary.

Pour the batter up into two 6 inch cake pans and bake for 30 minutes.

When they’re finished transfer the cakes to a cooling rack and let them cool completely before icing.

Peach and Rosemary Polenta Cake with Honey Buttercream from Kiwi+Peach

Honey Buttercream

{from Adventures in Cooking}

1 stick {140g} butter
1 cup powdered sugar {icing sugar for the Kiwis}
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp cream {or in my case, soy cream}, optional but recommended

First step is to brown the butter. The short version is melt the butter over medium heat then let it keep cooking until it goes from light yellow to a rich tan color, little black bits start to form, and it starts to smell like nutty toffee. {Eva over at Adventures in Cooking explains this process beautifully, so if you’re unsure head over there and read up.} When you get to that point, set it off the heat to cool for a bit then pour it into a bowl lined with plastic wrap. Pop the bowl in the fridge until the butter is cooled and firmed enough to use for the buttercream.

When you poke it the butter should feel soft but your finger shouldn’t sink in. Let’s make some buttercream!

Sift your powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and add them to the bowl along with the honey. Beat them all together until you like the consistency. If it’s a bit thick, add some cream to smooth it out.

Peach and Rosemary Polenta Cake with Honey Brown Butter{cream} from Kiwi+Peach

Honeyed Tequila Shrimp and Mango Tacos

Hey there buddy. Happy Labor Day! I hope you’re having a lazy day off from work as the summer days wind down.

Fall weather has well and truly made it’s arrival in Munich. That said, we are still getting a good amount of summer produce at the market so I snatched up a mango while the getting was good. {Unfortunately I think we’ve seen the last of the peaches though. Sad day.}

Since it’s not a holiday today for us here in Deutschland, we decided to celebrate last night with tacos! Actually, pretty much any summer celebration means tacos for us. We are big fans. {Okay, I’m a big fan. The Kiwi eats what I put in front of him.} The Kiwi says that these are his favorite tacos yet. {I believe his exact words were that they were “awesomely, deliciously, tasty.”} But really. The spicy and the sweet and the earthy flavors are all perfectly balanced into one little taco bundle that is begging to be eaten.

I also made a rosemary and maple bourbon lemonade and was going to make this fig and salted honey topped faux cheesecake but completely forgot I had to soak the cashews. Doh! {No worries. I made it today. Yum!}

I thought this was a perfect way to say farewell to summer. How are you celebrating today?

Honeyed Tequila Shrimp and Mango Tacos

The Wet
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp chili flakes
pinch of salt, pepper, and oregano
2 Tbsp tequila
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey

The Shrimp
4 oz shrimp, tails removed
1/2 of a sweet onion, sliced

The Assembly
6 wheat soft taco tortillas
3-4 leaves of red cabbage
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 mango, cubed
a few dollops of sour cream {or plain yogurt}

Start heating a pan on medium heat. When it’s hot, pour a tiny bit of olive oil in the pan and toast the tortillas, one by one, lightly on both sides. Set them aside until you’re ready for the assembly.

While the tortillas are toasting, mix all the herbs and spices together in a small bowl. Whisk in the tequila, olive oil, and honey.

If you have some extra time, now is when I generally prep the goods for the assembly and slice my onion, but you can do it whenever.

When the tortillas are finished toasting, add a bit more olive oil to the pan and then pop your shrimp and onions in there. Pour in the wet and, stirring frequently, cook for 5-7 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by about a quarter and the shrimp are nice and pink.

Onto the assembly. It isn’t rocket science…load the suckers up! {I do a layer of cabbage, then the shrimp and onions, mango, top it with cheese, and if you feel so inclined, a big ole dollop of sour cream.}

Enjoy!

Seed and Berry Honey Whole Wheat Bread

When I mentioned on Monday that I’d love to share my dad’s bread recipe with y’all, I had no idea that Daddy would want to write a whole post. What a sweet daddy I have?! So without further ado, I’ll turn it over to the daddy-o to talk y’all through making some of his tasty bread.


First let me say what an honor it is to be asked to contribute to Lauren’s blog. While Lauren is young and the blog may appeal to her generation, I think a lot of people of my age are in the same situation. We empty nesters are now cooking and preparing meals for two, so paring down recipes {and making them work} is essential.

After a visit with Lauren in the Spring 2012, I came back determined to bake a decent loaf a bread. Everywhere we went in Germany there were bakeries with an array of fresh baked breads and pastries. I think I could have lived just on the bread but then there was the pork knuckle, the steckerl fish, and the different beers I had to try {but I digress}. After several attempts and a few failures, I have settled on the recipe below.  I have found that by using whole wheat flour you just aren’t going to get the light fluffy bread we are all used to. It will be denser but packed with goodness and flavor.

This is not a low calorie deal by any means but a combination of healthy nutritional foods that will sustain you throughout the day. I  have this almost everyday for lunch {crunchy peanut butter sandwich} and it holds me through the rest of the workday and my afternoon exercises.  Making your own bread can seem a bit of hassle but the routine can be very therapeutic. Plus, you can customize your loaf to your tastes switching out seeds or berries to your liking. Give a try.

Seed and Berry Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Seed and Berry Honey Whole Wheat Bread

The Proof
¼ cup water
1 tsp sugar
1 pack active dry yeast {I use Fleischmann’s or Hodgson Mill}

The Wet
½ cup honey
1 cup unsweetened applesauce

The Dry
3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 ¼ tsp salt

The Crust
1 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.

Start with proofing your yeast. Directions vary by brand, so its best to follow the directions on the back of package. Usually a 1/4 cup of warm water {120° F} and teaspoon of sugar will get it done. Mix water and sugar first, then add the yeast last and give it a quick stir. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. It should have foamed and almost tripled in size. {It’s alive!}

While its proofing go ahead and prep the wet and dry.

Mix honey and applesauce together in measuring cup. Stir together and put in microwave for about 20 seconds. Give it another stir and 20 seconds more in the microwave or until it’s warm to the touch.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowel and stir until evenly distributed.

Prepare bread pan by spraying or oiling all sides.

Once the proof is finished, add it and the wet to the dry. Plunge your hands in and starting mixing. Once the mixture becomes doughy and can be lifted out of the mixing bowl without making mess, place it on your kneading surface. {I use a pastry mat but any clean hard surface should do if floured first.}

Knead dough for about 8-10 minutes. If everything is going right, you should get a dough with a nice elastic texture. You will be able to tell while kneading if it is too dry or too wet. Add more warm water or flour depending on your ‘knead’. {Ya get it?}

Form dough into loaf the size of your bread pan and place in pan. Cover with a towel and put in warm dark place for 1-2hrs. When dough doubles in size you should be good to go.

Place the pan in oven and set your timer for 25 minutes. After the 25 minutes, tent with aluminum foil and put back in oven for 20-25 minutes. The time may differ for your oven but somewhere in the range of 44-50 total time should do it.

Take your loaf out of oven and place on cooling rack. Melt the butter and brush it over the top of your loaf. This will keep the crust from getting too hard. Slice and enjoy!

Seed and Berry Honey Whole Wheat Bread from Kiwi and Peach