Out of all movies which I have seen as a child, Alice in Wonderland is one of the few that still intrigues me. The rabbit always in a hurry, the hookah smoking caterpillar, the mad hatter and of course the horrifying queen of harts, all highly peculiar characters which stick to the mind of everyone who saw the movie. When shopping in Rotterdam over the weekend, I came across the cutest little tea room – Ten to Three Bakery. The entire shop breathes Alice in Wonderland’s atmosphere. The “Mat Hatter’s Tea Parties” which are the highlight of the menu of course help a lot.
Ten to Three Bakery is offering a selection – not very wide but surely a well considered mix of flavours – of classic and special cupcakes and other bakery goodies. The recently hyped Whoopie Pie is also on the menu. I tried a chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting and lemon cupcake with lemon frosting. The frosting is ridiculously sweet, you have to be a big fan of sugar, but it’s a perfect match with some lady-like afternoon tea. For those who usually have difficulties of making a choice, do not worry because all cupcakes come in mini shape, which is the perfect excuse to order two. Or three. Or more.
Ten to Three Bakery, Aert van Nesstraat 24, 3012 CA Rotterdam
– German cuisine –
In my kitchen vocabulary, baking usually means chocolate is somehow involved. A while ago I found a recipe for cake which didn’t include any chocolate, yet I fell in love immediately: Spiegeleierkuchen. Basically it’s a cake disguised as fried eggs on bread. The resemblance is so striking, I just couldn’t resist trying this one out.
The original recipe I have found is from Mowie, a German food photographer living in London. I did change some of the ingredients from his list to my personal likings. Instead of vanilla pudding, I used cheesecake for topping. In the bottom cake I replaced the almonds by cashew nuts and mixed with some pistache nuts.
Base cake – Check out Mowie’s instructions how to prepare the base cake.
Cheese cake topping
Cream cheese (like Kraft’s Philadelphia) – 250 grams
Gelatin – 4 sheets
Sugar – 8 tablespoons
Vanilla sugar – 2 packages
Lemon juice – 2 tablespoons. If you work with canned apricots, you can also use apricot juice.
Fresh cream – 200ml
Water – 100ml
Soak the gelatin sheets in water. Be sure not to squeeze them as you might usually do. Melt the soaked gelatin sheets in the water by heating it. Add the sugar, stir and wait till the gelatin and sugar are completely dissolved. Make sure it never gets to boiling point. Put aside for cooling down.
Whisk the cream cheese and mix with the lemon juice (or apricot juice) and vanilla sugar. Add the gelatine mix and stir well. Whip the fresh cream and carefully mix it under the cream cheese.
Smudge the cheese cake mix over the base cake and finish with the apricots. Put in the fridge for 12-24 hours.
Your fried eggs cake is now ready to be eaten, enjoy.
Although many people will think of New York when asked about the origin of bagels, the actual roots of this fine peace of bread lies in Eastern Europe. Legend has that a Jewish baker in Austria created the bagel to honor the Polish king who saved the country from a Turkish invasion. It were the Jewish immigrants arriving in North America who launched the Big Apple’s famous bagel industry early 20th century.
Brussels has its own little bagel-heaven called Au pays des merveilles. It’s a small shop located nearby the fashionable Antoine Dansaert street, owned by Alice Romaniuk. The menu is -seriously- never ending, so making up your mind on what to order is a challenge. The shop interior is almost as sweet as the brownie which is smiling at you as you walk into the shop.
I tried the Bagel Discovery, which allows you to choose 3 different bagels from the menu. They come to you in mini version, but even the small sized ones are stuffed with a huge amount of ingredients inside. I had goat cheese+pesto+sundried tomatoes+rucola, warm chicken breast+guacamole+cream cheese+lemon and finally italian ham+sundried tomaties+cream cheese+rucola. Yes, that all came on one plate and yes, I did finish it all. I gathered all my courage and even ordered a brownie and do-it-yourself chocolate milk for dessert.
A little fait-divers, APDM invites an artist every first Saturday of the month for an art exhibition. Cause the eyes need to be fed as well.
Au pays des merveilles, Avenue Jean Volders 42, 1060 St-Gilles.