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Sweet (N)ostaligia

The Collection Culinaire is a monthly changing, five-course tasting menu at the Brasserie Le Faubourg. As you know, at the beginning of every month, I take it upon myself to go along and try the new menu out – all in the name of journalistic research – before reporting back on what sumptuous dishes Steffen Sinzinger and team have dreamt up. It’s fantastic getting to discover a brand new menu every month, but what happens to the dishes once their month is up? This week I persuaded Steffen to give me the top secret recipe for September’s dessert; café au lait, pear, “Milchmädchen” and spiced coffee ice cream.

Milchmädchen and coffee ice cream dessert from the September Collection Culinaire at Hotel Concorde Berlin

Well, I say ‘top secret’… the recipe can also be found on Steffen’s website, Berliner Speisemeisterei, along with mouthwatering food photography and interviews with other culinary experts. The inspiration behind this particular dessert recipe was, in the run up to the Day of German Unity on the 3rd of October, to remember some of the good things about growing up in the GDR. During our chat we discovered that we both had connections to Thüringen, a sleepy county in the former East. Steffen spent his childhood in Thürungen, I spent two hazy years there rambling through the countryside with pensioners and getting to grips with the German language.


Thüringen, the "green heart of Germany"

Steffen admitted that he has kept one or two secrets to himself about the dessert, but I tried the recipe out and it tasted almost as good as I remembered. So without further ado, here it is for you to try at home:

For the Spiced Coffee ice cream:

1 litre cream
30g instant coffee
70g coffee beans
2 cloves
2 vanilla pods
2 bay leaves
20 coriander seeds
8 egg yolks
4 eggs
200g sugar
150g white couverture
10ml cognac
20ml whisky

1) Heat up the cream together with the instant coffee, the coffee beans and cloves. Leave it all to stand for a bit before passing the mixture through a sieve.
2) Bring the mixture to the boil once more.
3) In the meantime beat the egg yolks, the eggs and sugar together in a bowl until they are creamy.
4) Add the coffee mixture to the eggs mixture.
5) Remove from the stove and add the alcohol and couverture.
6) Put it in the fridge to cool down before transferring it to the freezer.


For the Milchmädchencreme (the heavenly white blobs around the edge!)

50g Milchmädchen condense milk
100g cream cheese

1) whisk the cream cheese until smooth and add the condense milk bit by bit.
2) transfer into a piping bag with a nozzle.


All that’s left to do now is arrange on a plate with some sweet cress for decoration, and enjoy!

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