And there was Kändi

I was busy for a while. But now there’s news. I began setting up my own candy lab and production space: Kändi!

Ginger bug with some of the foam produced by the wild yeasts.Starting a new journey called ‘Kändi‘.

Naturally Fermented Sodas!

Living in Amsterdam sometimes means that summer can be a rare visitor. But it’s the perfect place to learn how to get into a summer time feeling despite rainy spring weather. One way to do so is by having an ice cold glass of homemade soda!
It’s actually pretty easy and fun. And it is yet another manifestation for one of biggest things I’ve learned about food so far, which is: Fermentation is magic!

Ginger bug with some of the foam produced by the wild yeasts.Ginger bug with some of the foam produced by the wild yeasts.

Unloading Rum & Cocoa

Last Friday was the celebrated unloading of the ‘Tres Hombres’, a retro-style cargo sailing ship. Quite some people came to help unload rum, cocoa, and chocolate bars that were brought from the Caribbean, all using ‘CO2 neutral’ means of transport. And in Amsterdam this mostly means: Bakfiets!1

Unloading rum and cocoa from the sailing ship 'Tres Hombres' in Amsterdam NoordUnloading rum and cocoa from the sailing ship ‘Tres Hombres’ in Amsterdam Noord

Footnotes
  1. For the non Dutch-knowers, ‘bakfiets’ are the omnipresent cargo bikes, usually used to carry kids+all kind of luggage. But can be used for pretty much anything. Including heavy cocoa bags of 70kg each. []

Cooking know how – Podcasts!

I started to share some cooking resources that I really like, most of all because they brought me new knowledge and new perspectives on food and cooking. After listing some online cooking courses and forums I’d like to mention another type of resource that I use extensively: food podcasts!

Food podcasts - a great source of knowledge, fun, and inspirationHow sounds basil to you? Food podcasts can be a great source of inspiration and knowledge…

Cooking know how – Online courses

Want to create some amazing food? Do something you have never done before? It might be my inner scientist acting, but whenever I embarque on such a mission I usually jump to the ‘theory’ first. That is: learn more about it! And luckily, there’s plenty of great ways to get the knowledge you need! But it can be quite hard to find it in the middle of all the low-quality, false, or nonsense ‘knowledge’ out there…

Online there's plenty of cooking know how - such as ChefStepsOnline there’s plenty of cooking know how – such as on ChefSteps (here a snapshot from their website) which is a great resource for unconventional recipes and techniques.

Changes ahead!

After more than six weeks my first post for this year! What a burden…
Feels like I am far too late for a classical ‘what comes 2015?’ post. Well, who cares.

I am in busy times right now and don’t find any time to spend on blogging. Much worse, I don’t find time to experiment in my kitchen. By now I should maybe rather speak of my kitchen lab because that’s what it became over the last 2 years. Speaking of which: I did spend a lot of time in my kitchen lab in December so that I could distribute many candy bars and caramels to friends and family.

Self-made - home-made chocolate caramel candy barsCandy bar prototypes I made shortly before Christmas. Organic, plant-based, dark caramel with peanuts in dark chocolate. With and without fleur de sel on top. It feels great to do ‘experiments’ where the results are perfectly edible.

First time Cider Making

When I found myself picking apples in a beautiful south-German orchard in early September, I wondered what could all be done with the large amounts of organic, delicious apples. Eating, sure. Baking, yes. But wouldn’t Cider be the ideal way to refine the apples’ potential? Only problem: I had never done Cider or anything alike by myself. Normally I use my kitchen (besides ‘normal’ cooking) to experimente with confectionery recipes. Now it’s cider as well…

First time Cider Making - apples from the south German orchard First time Cider Making – Hand-picked apples from the south German orchard I took along to Amsterdam for first cider making trials.

Amsterdam Microbrewing

There are two interesting events for people that want to learn (and taste) more about Amsterdam microbreweries in the next two weeks. The ‘Local Goods market’ and beer lectures and beer tasting in Pakhuis de Zwijger. But first let me start with a confession: As a German that moved to the Netherlands I was as arrogant as most Germans when it comes to beer. ‘German beer is the best’ is beyond dispute. So why even try other beers… well, maybe to find out that German is indeed often pretty OK. But also a bit boring. Pils, Weizen, some dark beers. That’s it…1

Beer brewing infographic Brewing process (beautiful infographics taken from this site).

Footnotes
  1. Jaja, I know, there is also Bockbier and Doppelbock and so on… but in most bars you will find only 2 or 3 rather ‘normal’ (aka boring) beer types. []

Good or Gooey?

When I converted into a 99% vegetarian many, many years ago most people around me expected I’d be challenged by all those fantastic, delicious meet dishes. As a matter of fact, I am more tempted by the trashiest of all candies: wine gum!1 Unfortunately, most of them are based on gelatin as gelling agent2.

Goody good stuff makes gooey vegan wine gums Goody good stuff makes vegan wine gums – but are they really good?

Footnotes
  1. All those really trashy wine gums: colorful, sticky, artificially flavored, and best if covered with extremely sour stuff. []
  2. And gelatin, as you will probably know, is extracted from animal bones. Not vegen. Not vegetarian. In many cases not halal… []

Food Film Festival

May 9-11, Amsterdam will host the fourth edition of the Food Film Festival! Ticket sales is open since yesterday, and its program is definitely worth a closer look.

Food Film Festival 2014 in Amsterdam
Program of the Food Film Festival 2014 in Amsterdam