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Bon jour Strasbourg; City of (pretty) Lights!

Bon jour and festive greetings to you all from Strasbourg, France!

Strasbourg is a beautiful town, and indeed very festive at this time of the year; the city is decorated beautifully with very pretty decorations. Almost every shop has a decoration of its own, so lovely to look at.

This cafe has a “bonbon candy, presents” theme with their decoration, you feeling like reaching out to try one!

The Crocodile Restaurant, of course had a great big crocodie hanging amongst the pretty decorations:)

The main square and la petit France, where wonderful Christmas markets are tastefully decorated in every corner. Here is “Office de Tourisme”, decorated with gingerman, so tempting to have a little bite!

Each pattiserie and bakery is so inviting with smells of cinnamon, chocolate and many more and buzzing every time of the day 🙂


Each stall at the Christmas market reflects Strasbourg’s heritage and closeness to France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

But best bit for my children has been the Merry-go-round in the middle of the market, such fun and happiness it brings, whatever the age!

Wishing you all a happy, fun filled festive season, look forward to sharing many more delicious bites in the New Year!

Ozlem

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"Yes, I would love another glass of tea" – Highly recommended


My sister forwarded this wonderful link, featuring American author Katherine Braning’s speech on her book called “”Yes, I would love another glass of tea” . Tea here, is our, Turks, beloved “Cay”. At her speech, the author wonderfully describes tea, cay, as a national identity for Turks; their spirit; their love of life, family, humanity; their traditions, rituals, generosity and many more. One of the best observations of Turks and their perception of life, I have ever witnessed. Utterly beautiful, so well worth watching – I hope you can copy and paste the below link and enjoy it.

http://analiztv.aktifhaber.com/news_detail.php?id=26264

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Flourless Chocolate, Nut and Prune Torte

We have been well due for a nice, sweet treat:) I saw this lovely torte at the Good Housekeeping magazine; the original recipe used ground hazelnuts in the torte, my version has ground almonds – just because we love it- . It turned out to be a wonderful, moist torte that we enjoyed at the end of a meal with friends. The ground almonds make the torte really moist and torte stays moist for good 3-4 days, if there is any left!

Vanilla ice cream or double cream goes very well by the side.


Serves 8
Preparation time: 25 min Cooking time: 35 min

75gr (3oz) unsalted butter, cut in cubes, plus extra to grease
100gr (3 1/2oz) ground almonds
Handful of whole hazelnuts, blanched to decorate
75gr (3oz) caster sugar
125gr (4oz) good quality plain chocolate, broken into pieces
10ml/ 2 teaspoons rum, optional
3 medium eggs, separated
75gr (3oz) prunes, chopped

Icing sugar to dust

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Mark 4

Grease and line a 20.5cm (8in) round tin with baking parchment. Mix the ground almonds with 1 tablespoon of the caster sugar. Set aside.

Next, put the chocolate, butter and rum (if using) into a small pan and melt gently over low heat. Set aside to cool slightly.

Put the egg yolks and the remaining caster sugar into a large bowl and the egg whites into a separate large bowl. Using a handheld electric whisk beat the whites until they hold soft peaks. Next, beat together the yolks and sugar mixture until thick and moussey, about 3 minutes.

Using a large metal spoon, fold the chocolate mixture into the yolk bowl, followed by the ground almonds mixture. Stir a spoonful of whites into the chocolate mixture, and then carefully fold in the rest. Empty mixture into the prepared tin, level the surface, then sprinkle over prunes and the whole hazelnuts.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cake is risen and feels springy to the touch. Take out of the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin. Take out of the tin, peel off the paper and transfer to a serving plate. Dust with icing sugar and serve in slices with cream or ice cream, if you like.


Hope you have a sweet start of the week, Afiyet Olsun!

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