Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

The Christkindelsmärik in Strasbourg

Marché de Noel à Strasbourg

I send you a small view of the Strasbourg Christkindelsmärik hoping that you can smell the sweet odor of christmas trees, hot chestnuts, cinnamon and gingerbread. Choose what you will plop into your christmas cup – hot red or white wine with cinnamon or honey, tea with special christmas spices, hot chocolate with praline flavour, hot sweet cider, schnaps or…a café crem of course- and let’s have a toast to our beautiful rendez-vous here. Cheers! Santé! Salud! Auf Dein Wohl!
PS: For the anecdote, Strasbourg was declared the European Christmas Capital and following a report on CNN, the magical town has been invaded by a horde of gourmand americans! The Christmas spirit knows no frontier and the christmas market has less and less space and pretzels…



November 27, 2007 - Posted by | Art, CCCCompetition, Christmas, coffee, events, food, fun, life, photo, travel, writing | , , , , , , , ,


  1. Welcome to The Cafe Crem Christmas Competition. Contessine! What a beautiful first entry! I know Strasbourg, but I have never been there in the Christmas time, what a pity!
    When Uncle Kevin will see and read all that, I´m sure he will want to spend Christmas in Strasbourg!
    Merry Christmas!

    Comment by Miki | November 27, 2007

  2. I am so glad that you shared this with us Contessine and I so lucky to be here with so many talented and kind people.
    This is indeed a virtual Christmas and I hope the beginning of a tradition for years to come.
    Imagine growing old with memories of Cafe Crem and friends as well as our immediate families and friends. The immediacy of technology allows us to reach across the world to each other to share and what you did today is remarkable.
    Merry Christmas!!!

    Comment by Michael | November 27, 2007

  3. I’m beginning to feel like the Strasbourg market Contessine, and I suspect you are too – No space for pretzels! Mainly because you, Miki and me stuffed ourselves with English Pudding this afternoon! Our excuse was it was an early Christmas Treat, yum!

    Comment by kevmoore | November 27, 2007

  4. Yes, Kevin was so kind to prepare the pudding. In fact I was not myself so fascinated as Contessine about the idea of eating “English pudding”. I never ate it before, but it sounds too elastic and wobbly to me as to sound appetising. My doubts reached a climax as I entered the kitchen while Kevin was extricating the pudding out of the tin:
    “Oh God, it just looks like dog food!”
    “Go out of my kitchen!”
    he screamed.
    “What is happening there?”
    asked Contessine, already entering the kitchen. Kevin took a pan and chased us out of the kitchen.
    But well, to be honest, English pudding tastes better than it sounds and looks, at least to these two ungrateful girls…

    Comment by Miki | November 27, 2007

  5. This makes for good reading people. Love the way this is going.

    Comment by Michael | November 28, 2007

  6. So what is English pudding? I’d like the recipe so I can join you. I’ll admit though that my stomach is starting to ache with all these sweets. By Christmas day I will have a gigantic belly.

    Comment by Susan Cornelis | November 28, 2007

  7. I just want to say, one more time, THANK YOU Uncle Kevin for realize my culinary dream! The pudding you cooked was wonderful and I can say now: I liiiike English pudding. Yours had little taste of “revenez-y”… Why not cook a virtual one for everybody here?

    Comment by contessine | November 28, 2007

  8. Okay all, yesterday I used the old favourite Heinz Sticky Toffee pudding which is REAL easy to do, boiling the tin in a pan, and I wouls always use BIRDS custard powder for! Otherwise know as Sauce Anglaise in posh restaurants where they want to charge you loads! But, for the more adventurous amongst you, here’s a great recipe from James Martin, a famous TV chef whom I worked with on the cruise ship Ocean Village. He has a bistro on board, and sailed with us many times.

    Preparation time less than 30 mins

    Cooking time 10 to 30 mins

    55g/2oz butter
    170g/6oz demerara sugar
    2 tbsp black treacle
    1 tbsp golden syrup
    2 eggs
    200g/7oz self-raising flour
    200g/7oz pitted dates
    290ml/10fl oz boiling water
    1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
    ½ tsp vanilla extract
    For the sauce:
    110ml/4fl oz double cream
    55g/2oz butter, diced
    55g/2oz dark muscovado sugar
    2 tbsp black treacle
    1 tbsp golden syrup
    For the moulds:
    30g/1oz soft butter
    30g/1oz flour

    1. Butter the moulds and dust with flour and preheat oven 200C/400F/Gas 6.
    2. Using a food processor cream the butter and sugar together.
    Slowly add the golden syrup, treacle and eggs. Continue mixing until the mixture looks smooth, then turn down to a slow speed and add the flour. Mix until everything is well combined.
    3. Add the boiling water to the dates and tip into a blender. Secure the lid firmly and blend to a purée.
    4. Add the bicarbonate of soda and vanilla.
    5. Pour this into the batter while it is still hot and stir well.
    6. Pour into the moulds and bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are just firm to the touch.
    7. Make the sauce: simply place all the ingredients in a pan, bring to the boil, stirring a few times and then remove from the heat. Put to one side until ready to use.
    8. Remove the puddings from the moulds and place on plate. Coat with the warmed sauce and serve with good vanilla ice cream, or custard

    Comment by kevmoore | November 28, 2007

  9. In France we call it “Sauce anglaise” everywhere, even in the humblest houses!
    I understand now why you are so great in the kitchen: you worked with James Martin on the ship! And I thought you were there as a singing star!

    Contessine: you know now how it is done. Why don´t you ask your own males to cook one for you?

    Comment by Miki | November 28, 2007

  10. Miki, I know how you could think that I may have worked with him in the kitchen, given my culinary skills, but I can assure you I remained in my own sphere of influence, the stage! It was quite funny actually, there was a group of people, male and female who were so enamoured with James’ “T.V. Charisma” that they took to following him everywhere. We nicknamed them “The James Martin Posse”!

    Comment by kevmoore | November 28, 2007

  11. A warm Christmas picture, and Santa with his sleigh and cup are flying through the air.

    Comment by wrjones | November 28, 2007

  12. … and Bill on his Harley Davidson… flying through the air… what a great painting it would be! I wonder if Lisa would give it a go…

    Comment by Miki | November 28, 2007

  13. Awwww…teddy bears! Now all I need is for someone to make me some of that pudding, and I’ll do the Little Drummer Boy dance I did for my grandma when I was 6 years old. Special Christmas memories, indeed!

    Comment by shelleymhouse | November 29, 2007

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: