A tale of Two

New start.

We took our time to decide. And figured it out.
We decided to make a clean cut. And stop blogging here at a tale of two.
It felt like the right moment to pause and ponder.
About our aspirations and possibilities.
About time and place.
And achievements.
We are grateful for the things that happened to us. For your comments and support.
We will take part in other projects.
Though we will privately continue what we did here.

On the other hand, I (A) started my Journal Grey|Woods.
A journal about living and photography.
About seasons and change.
I would be thrilled seeing you there and have kinfolk around.



For a moment.

We are taking things slow. We haven’t done posts last week. We haven’t been baking nor cooking. We don’t know where we are going or where we want to go, what to expect and what to create. Though we are nominated for the Saveur “Best New Blog” Award and we are honoured and filled with gratitude. We thank you all so much for reading and supporting us. We will let you know what comes next. Stay with us and another thank you!


Prinsesstarta is THE birthday cake in our family (philine’s) ever since my greatgrandmother made one for my mother about 50 years back. Apparently her two siblings took for granted that this delicious cake would be available at their birthday celebrations as well and were emphatic on this matter. By now, everyone except my austrian aunt who still insists on having Malakoff-Torte for her birthday, which is fine, is bound to wake up to a mintgreen, soft and sweet Prinsesstarta on their special day.



sugar – 150 grams
flour – 150 grams
water, cold – 3 tablespoons of
eggs – 3
baking powder – a tablespoon of
redcurrant jam – 200 grams
cream – 200 grams
apple sauce – 400 grams
marzipan, unsweetened – 250 grams
icing sugar – 100 grams
food colouring – green

For the sponge:
Beat eggs and water until very foamy. Add sugar and beat for another few minutes. Sieve flour and baking powder on top of the egg mixture and carefully fold in until everything is well corporated. Bake at 200 °C for about 15 minutes. Use a circular tin with 24 – 26 cm diameter.
Remove from oven and set aside. Once completely cooled down, cut the sponge in three equally thick horizontal slices.

For the filling:
Beat cream until very stiff and mix with apple sauce.
Spread a thin layer auf redcurrant jam on the first of the three layers of sponge. Place a third of the cream and apple sauce mixture on the sponge and spread it evenly. Put the second slice of sponge on it and once again, aplly the jam first and then cover with cream and the second third of apple sauce mixture. Place the last of the sponge layers on it and pour the rest of the cream and apple sauce mixture over it. Spread evenly and let the mixture flow down on the edges so everything is well covered.

For the marzipan:
Place the marzipan and almost everything of the icing sugar as well as some of the food colouring in a bowl. (You’ll need the rest of the sugar for the rolling pin and for dusting the surface on which you are rolling the marzipan into a flat, thin blanket for the cake. Also, according to how much food colouring you use, the darker and more intense the marzipan layer will get in the end. It’s your choice, really.) Kneed everything well together. This will take a while, but the more icing sugar you add to the marcipane, the less moist it will get later on. Once everything is well incorporated it’s time to finally transform the clunky heap of marzipan into a nice and flawless marzipan blanket. Cover the surface with icing sugar. Place the marzipan in the middle of it and sprinkle with icing sugar. Dust the rolling pin with icing sugar and start rolling. Try to get an even circular marzipan layer. Whenever the marzipan seems too moist, sprinkle some icing sugar on it to prevent it from sticking to the rolling in or the surface. Also it will ease the process of removing the marzipan from the surface and laying it on the cake. The end product should be just large enough to cover the top as well as the sides of the cake.
Put the cake in the fridge for at least 6 hours.

Bread Spread: Fig and thyme mustard.

Much ado about nothing. No time to cook and regrettably no time to post. Just this quick spread. A sweet and savoury topping for bread. Best with hard cheese and salad.

Fig mustard.

figs, dried – 250 grams
thyme – a handful
mustard, grainy – 2 tablespoons
water – 1 tablespoon

Place the figs in water along with the time and bring to a gentle boil. Let simmer for about 30 minutes till the figs are plump. Drain except for one tablespoon, remove the thyme’s sturdy stalks and pour into a food processor. Blend till fine and creamy, add the mustard and mix until combined.

Flavoured butter: savoury.

The delightfully nutty flavour of sesame enhances the mellow taste of butter. Have it served wit bread and other kinds of spreads as well as a big bowl of warm soup.

Sesame butter.


butter – 125 grams
sesame, roasted – 1 tablespoon


A plain one with salt for toasted bread.
The classic with herbs and garlic for picnic and campfire.
One with dried tomatoes, roasted pumpkin seeds and thyme.
And a fresh one with cilantro and lemon zest.

Flavoured butter: sweet.

This one will softly tickle your tastebuds. It goes very well with any kind of bread, white, wholemeal, whatever, really.

Honey and walnut butter.


butter – 125 grams
honey – 1 teaspoon
walnuts, chopped – 1 tablespoon


Another sweet one with dried figs.
One with Blueberry and lemon butter.
And one with a teaspoon of strawberry jam or orange marmalade.

Blackberry almond and buckwheat scones.

For some reason winter came back. The streets are quite and cold. The light candles, read books and invite friends for tea and scones. Some years ago I (anne) travelled to Dublin, fell in love with scones and finally managed to bake the perfect ones. Different flours, blackberries and homemade vanilla sugar emphasise each other. It is the distinctive scent of baked goods, the cracked top of the scones and good black tea that eases me.


makes about 12

flour, wheat – 250 grams
flour, whole-wheat – 50 grams
buckwheat flour – 150 grams
bicarbonate of soda – 1 1/2 teaspoons
sugar, caster – 50 grams
vanilla sugar, homemade – 10 grams
cold butter – 110 grams
milk – 250 ml
egg, organic – 1
a pinch of salt
blackberries – 150 grams
almonds, crushed – 50 grams

sugar to coat

Set the oven at 200°C. Put the flour in a large bowl, add the sugar, the bicarbonate of soda, then the salt. Cut the butter into small cubes and rub it into the flour using your fingertips. Add the almonds. Pour into the milk and the egg and bring the ingredients together and form a ball. Try not to knead the dough or it will turn out hard and dry. Do not worry if the butter is not fully incorporated. Then add the blackberries. Form round balls, pat gently and place on a baking sheet.
Bake the scones in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes, till golden and firm to touch. Coat with a little sugar. Allow to cool for a few minutes then serve warm with clotted cream and a little jam.



Salmon and broccoli salad.

Berlin has been sunny these days. With a warming sun and soft wind. People with sunglasses and confident faces. We’ve been walking around, drinking coffee and indulging the air filled with the scent of spring. This dish is an ode. A good bye to winter and a hello to summer. A composition of the first spears of sprouting in spring with a hint of summery lemon and earthy salmon.

Salmon and broccoli salad.

for 1

salmon – 1 piece
broccoli – 200 grams
chilli – 1
garlic – 1/2 clove
lemon – 1/2
almonds, crushed and roasted – a handful
a pinch of salt and pepper

Wash and cook the broccoli in salted water. Warm a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over moderately hot flame, then put the garlic, chilli and salmon in and let colour on both sides. Break the salmon into small pieces and mix with the broccoli. Season to taste with salt and pepper and sprinkle with almonds.
Serve it warm, not hot, with a squeeze of lemon.

England: Fish and Chips.

During chilly February last year a and p visited p’s sister, a violin maker in training, in Newark-on-Trent, England, Great Britain. We had some very nice days and a splendid birthday (p’s) there. The german, french, british, dutch, icelandic violin maker crowd kindly welcomed us and made this trip very memorable. Also this is when and where everything about A tale of Two started.

We where invited into very welcoming homes, with home made bread and honey along with the perfect cup of tea. We walked along the countryside, visited Lincoln’s beautiful cathedral and attended a piano concert in Nottingham. It has been a week, packed with beautiful occasions and people.

Read the rest of this entry »

Roasted Apple Sorbet.

Although some think it is still too chilly for ice cream, we couldn’t resist having this glowingly golden apple sorbet. In colours it delights us in winter perfectly (in temperature even more so). Since weeks, shops are selling chocolate rabbits, though Easter is still a month away. Even though we make jokes about that, we are likewise anticipating spring.

Roasted apple sorbet.


apples – 7 to 8
a pinch of cinnamon
juice of half a lemon
icing sugar – 6 tablespoons
apple juice – 4 tablespoons

Simply cut apples into large chunks and place on an oven tray and sprinkle with cinnamon. Let roast for about 15 to 20 minutes at about 200°C. Once they are really soft remove from heat and let cool. Put the apples together with lemon juice, icing sugar and apple juice in a large bowl. Puree until you have a very fine texture.
Place the apple sauce in the freezer for several hours. Until it’s time to finally serve the sorbet, occasionally stir the mixture with a fork so you get a fairly smooth texture.