Happy Friday!

tukskitchen.comHello! How are you doing? How is your week? Here autumn has arrived and things have turned rainy. Like soaked-on-your-cycle-to-work-rainy. Reason more to be happy that it is weekend so there is boundless time to curl up on the couch and to turn on the oven. So by all means I am happy it is Friday. 🙂
These are the things that made me smile this week 🙂

I couldn’t help but laugh out loud when seeing the summary of these jokes: ‘Donald looks at the Statue of Liberty and sees a 4, maybe a 5 if she loses the torch and tablet and changes her hair.’

I am planning to take it slow this weekend and to wind down while spending some time in the kitchen. I hope to make this Chocolate Pavlova to bring to friends, and I would love to try my hands at making this Cheese Ball.

Has anyone ever made Onion Rings? I am tempted to go for this recipe that is using chickpea flour, but am simultaneously scared to deep-fry…

In case the rain stops, I would love to go mushroom-hunting, and make this recipe with brown-butter sage.

A superb cocktail bar we visited last week served a bacon-apple concoction (!). Considering how delicious it was, I am considering to make this Bacon Infused Bourbon to give as holiday presents, and am looking for a cocktail-recipe to write on the label.

With a winter-appropriate need for hibernation, this is a good time to take a little more care of ourselves. Celebrating your strengths is a good thing and this article makes a really good point.

And along those lines it is this series of articles on Beauty Uniforms that gives us a real honest insight in women’s lives and approaches to care. I like this quote: ‘We’re supposed to pretend that we aren’t high maintenance, because that’s looked down upon or somehow thought of as anti-intellectual.’

And just because I can’t eat all of it, doesn’t mean that I can’t have a look, awesome cakes: here and here! Oh, and in case you missed it: here some tips & tricks on making a Geode Cake at home.

Have a wonderful weekend!  

Making a Geode Cake – at home!

photo-08-09-2016-19-19-09On a daily basis (and mostly around a time that I should be sleeping) I drool over pretty pictures on Instagram, mostly coming from Tortik Annushka, Whipped Cake Co or Coco Cakeland. And who can blame me, I mean these cakes are so, so beautiful! Now to make something in that category is off course a complete different ballgame in terms of added life quality.

The good news is that I think this Geode Cake came together relatively easy, especially if you have baked standard layered cakes before (if not, this guide and these tips might come in handy). I would lie if I tell you that it is quick, because it is not, but if you are looking for a fun project, then I would say, roll up your sleeves and get going. And to add an argument in the mix: mono-tasking and relearning the art of patience are totally cool these days.
Rather than giving you a recipe, I am giving you a list of tips and required ingredients / tools below. It took me quite some time to figure out what would be the best / easiest way to do this and am happy to share my experience so that you can save yourself some doubts and time.
Have fun (and please don’t hesitate to comment in case you have questions)!

A short summary of my main tips & tricks:

  1. Make sure that you hand-color your sugar crystals, it will make your cake 1000 times more elegant.
  2. Be careful with cutting out too much cake for your geode, less is more – plus the cake made into ‘geode’ is inedible due to the rock-hard sugar, you will have to slice around it.
  3. Try to avoid heavily colored cake-filling and rather opt for something that is a little more sturdy, non-drippy, like white-chocolate ganache or fudge. (I used strawberry marmelade and really had to work around the red bleeding into the geode).
  4. Try to work as precise as you can, and whenever you seem to get frustrated, place the cake in the fridge and make yourself a nice cup of tea – it will get easier.
Making a Geode Cake – at home!


  • 1 finished (white) smooth-frosted (layer-)cake (I made this Italian Buttercream layer cake)
  • 1 cup of extra frosting
  • 1 sharp knife and a spoon
  • Rock Sugar - uncolored (I bought something called 'Kandis' in German or 'kandijsuiker' in Dutch - which is way cheaper than buying rock-sugar sticks)
  • Food coloring - I used Wilton's gel colors (from the basic collection 'Violet' and 'Black')
  • A small brush
  • 1 tablespoon of clear alcohol, such as vodka
  • Pestle and Mortar (to smash the rock sugar in to smaller pieces)
  • 1 tweezer (either brand new and super-clean or one bought from a pastry shop)
  • Gold Leave, around 8-10 leaves
  • A larger brush (wider) to apply to gold leaves
  • (If you want to transport the cake: a sturdy cakeboard that is larger than the diameter of your cake)


  1. To start off: my main aim was to make a cake that is elegant. When I was looking around online, it seemed like a lot of home-made geode cakes on Pinterest lacked a certain finesse, due to the fact that the rock sugar was monotone in color and left in too big pieces. Another mistake is - from my point of view - is to cover too much of the cake in 'geode' construction.
  2. And by all means - I tried to avoid the lady-parts look at this geode (and I don't even know how to say this differently but once you start to look at the Pinterest pictures from that perspective it is hard not to laugh out loud).
  3. So, to achieve all of this: start with coloring your rock sugar. You might want to get a head-start on this and do this the day before you build up your cake to make sure the pieces are dried (and thus easier to handle).
  4. Use three small bowls (I used egg cups for this), and place vodka in one, and the purple and black food coloring gel each in one as well.
  5. Get a piece of baking paper and place the rock sugar on it.
  6. The amount pictured was (to my surprise) way too much for one cake, I would estimate I used 20% of that.
  7. Take the small brush and dip this in the vodka and then in the foodcoloring. I added more vodka to the coloring between coloring some crystals to create different shades of black and purple.
  8. In any case, be sure to not color around 30% of your crystals, to keep the appearance of your geode natural.
  9. After the sugar crystals are dried (for me it took around 24 hours), place them in a pestle and smash carefully with a mortar. I can imagine that this would also work between two wooden boards or with a dough roller. Be careful to leave enough bigger pieces to work with.
  10. Now get a cold, frosted cake (I made a layer cake with italian buttercream and carefully mark the surroundings of your geode.
  11. I marked the outer linings with a little wooden pick, to make sure I would make too big of a hole in the nice cake.
  12. Then, carefully cut into the cake where you drew the line and use a spoon to deepen the space. Be careful as you don't want the pieces of cake to drop against the rest of the smooth outside of your cake.
  13. Also keep in the back of your mind: all the cake you are making into a geode, is cake lost, as nobody wants to chew on rock-hard pieces of sugar.
  14. Then, use the extra frosting that you have on hand to line the inside of the gap you made in the cake. You will need this to stick the pieces of sugar in.
  15. After you have carefully covered the inside of the cavity with buttercream, you can shortly place the cake in the fridge (for about 15 minutes). This will make everything more firm and easier to work with. Having said that, it might also make it more difficult to get the sugar crystals to stick.
  16. Try to find out what works for you.
  17. Now place yourself on a chair in front of the cake (to avoid your hand from shaking - unless you are wayyyy cooler than I am that is;)) and start placing the pieces of sugar in the cavity, placing the darker ones on the inside, brighter ones to the outside.
  18. This is all a matter of taste and you can spend as much (or as little) time as you like.
  19. Then, when you have applied sugar crystals in all of the cavity and can't fit in anymore, have a look at the color. Do you like it? If not, you can still amend it a little by using the same paint as you used to color the rock sugar and carefully put it in there. I thought this was really scary, but this way I was able to fine-tune the looks of the geode.
  20. Let your cake firm up in the fridge before you continue with the last step, applying the gold leave. Then, when the cake has sat in the fridge for around 2 hours, take out a larger brush and the gold leave. With help of the brush, carefully place the gold leave around the geode. This is a messy process and the leaves will often tear up - I'm afraid there is not much to do about that and my advice is to let it go and roll with it. It seems like it always ends up being truly beautiful.
  21. After you have added gold leave to your liking - your geode cake is ready!

photo-05-09-2016-16-47-03-1 photo-08-09-2016-19-22-22

Happy Friday!

img_6006Hello! How are you doing? How is your week? I am plotting to curl up inside under a warm blanket and keep things low this weekend, with maybe a mushroom-hunting trip as a little escape.

Here are a few links that made me smile this week:

Whenever I look at this blog, I keep thinking ‘oh god, how come I suck so badly at this?’ Because I keep reading all these really well-written articles, those witty recipes accompanied by smooth marketing moves, I should know how to pull it off, right?
Watching Ira Glas (yes, from This American Life) talk about the Gap (the distance between what you know is good, and your own work) makes me realise that continuing (and possibly creating pages full of mediocre work) might get me there eventually.

This recipe for infused bourbon, 3 ways is brilliant and a good way to start making homemade gifts for this holiday season (I know it is still October, but I can’t help it :)). For more inspiration for homemade gifts & holiday presents look here.

The search for a Russian Honey Cake recipe has screeched to a halt here. Smitten Kitchen (!) has done all the heavy lifting of researching and testing. I couldn’t be more excited and can’t wait to try this out!

The same goes with this Coffee & Walnut Cake, this 8-Layer Orange Chocolate Cake and these Mini Funfetti Squares (seeing this wishlist makes me really laugh out loud, as it might really be that my efforts to not eat that much snacks these days is showing).

Considering all things beautiful, how cool is this (literal) sound-cloud? Or how cute are these awkward wildlife photos?
Or these magnifyingly beautiful tiny creatures? And talking about the beauty of Mother Earth, I couldn’t be more excited about Planet Earth II coming to the BBC ‘soon’.

Have a wonderful weekend!  

Preserving the last herbs of summer or those that are wilting in your fridge


This year is the first summer that I have grown herbs myself. I had imagined wild-growing pots full of herbs all season long. Rookie mistake, obviously. It took some (organic) repellant, loads of patience and watering before it all set off to grow.
It wasn’t until end of August before my efforts and wishful thinking really started to pay off. All of a sudden there was an abundance of mint, chives, thyme and sage on our balcony (as well as tomatoes (!)), and surprisingly enough – it all kept growing.
Considering my grown attachment to these plants, I am super happy to safe whatever is still green before the fall-cold will dry them out.
I have tried different techniques to preserve herbs (such as drying and flavoring oil), but have found this method of freezing these small ‘disks’ the easiest, as the portions are already measured out and it is super easy to throw into a pan as basis for some fried onions or bolognese sauce for example.

This is not as much as a recipe but more a handy guideline (there are loads of variations online, including the ‘ice cube’ method which I found a little messy and too small portioned – plus, who wants their ice-cube-molds to inherently smell and taste like herbed olive oil?)

To a super-tasty autumn! 🙂

Preserving herbs – for winter – or in case you have some wilting in your fridge


  • two big handfuls of herbs, I used a mixture of chives, mint (!), oregano, thyme and sage, but you can use any kind of herb you like
  • 300 milliliters of olive oil


  1. Clean and dry the herbs thoroughly before chopping them finely.
  2. Place around 1 to 2 tablespoons of the chopped herbs into muffin forms. At this stage I have place the muffin papers into a muffin tray to make sure that nothing would collapse or overflow, but you could also place your muffin forms on a tray to place into the freezer.
  3. Pour olive oil over the herbs until they are fully covered.
  4. Let the herbs-olive oil form in the freezer until firm (this took around 3 hours in my case) and then transfer into a bag to protect them in the freezer). You can use these olive oil-herb nuggets as a basis for fried mushrooms, bolognese sauce or fried chicken (to name a few).

Happy Friday!

fullsizerenderHello! How are you doing? How is your week? Autumn has truly set in here in Frankfurt, and not only did temperatures drop, it also seems to be pretty dark and rainy. Reason more to curl up inside and read alllll the things online and put a simmering pot of bolognese sauce on the stove. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, here are a few links that made me smile this week:

Cycle paths that glow up during the night and use sustainable energy (!)

These winning action photos are absolutely breathtaking, my favorite being the first shot of the hands of a professional climber.

I love this illustration, and it is a good thing to question yourself everyday: who do I want to impress? My 5 year-old self that is.
Part of that would be to color and paint more, for which this trick would be an awesome way to get into.

This succulent wreath looks amazing, and I’m wondering whether I can get away with trying to make one for the holidays this year (without making it seem like I’m picking up yet another hobby for which I need to raid the DIY store).

Oprah’s 12 business lessons was really what I needed to read this week: ‘keeping marching and don’t look behind you’. I’m not sure whether it is social media but from time to time I feel so intimidated by how other people seem to achieve so much while I seem to be slugging behind somewhere, that I was happy to see this fresh statement.

I think this is the prettiest possible apple pie and I wish I would have had the patience to make it. Instead I made my favorite recipe another time and am looking forward to eat it over the weekend.

This recipe sounds so indulgent and so, so perfectly fit for autumn, that I’d sign up for it anyday, I mean slow cooked beef, bread, caramelized onions and a juicy dip!

Talking cheese, how cool is this idea to crisp-fry pieces of Swiss cheese and put it on top of a plate of creamy pasta?!

This cake recipe seems to be both so simple and intriguing (one part yeasted butter dough?!).

There is something about raisins in dishes that really attract me, and this seems to be such a clever and tasty way to use up all of your broccoli.