The new baking
Flower-strewn, often vegan and made with ancient grains… Introducing Carolin Strothe’s on-trend sweet treats. By Amy Bryant. Photographs by Carolin Strothe and Sebastian Keitel
On-trend treats, with fresh petals and ancient grains
CAROLIN STROTHE is a baker with style. The German food writer and photographer has a love of vintage fashion and fresh flowers – the latter even more so when they adorn a cake. ‘I discovered spelt flour in my 20s,’ she tells me. ‘It has a nuttier taste than common wheat and makes your bakes really rich and lovely.’ Strothe began to experiment with other varieties such as einkorn and emmer, and with buckwheat – a grain grown in Celle in Lower Saxony, where she grew up, which stars in the region’s popular torte served with lingonberries. It was a delight, she says, ‘to discover these ancient grains were already around me’.
With her parents growing all manner of fruit and vegetables, Strothe learnt early on how everything from berries to beetroot can be transformed into something delicious. Edible blooms, too, which not only ‘lift the mood but contain no calories’, she says with a laugh. ‘A few years ago it was popular to decorate cakes with fondant flowers but they are just sugar.’ The current fashion for fresh petals (spurred on by a certain royal wedding cake) chimes with Strothe’s aesthetic, as delivered in the recipes she creates for her blog (frauherzblut.de, which translates as Mrs Passion), Instagram feed and third cookbook, Natural Baking, written with her husband, Sebastian Keitel. Many are suitable for vegans, and all feature the grains that add so much more flavour than white flour. ‘Even smaller quantities can make you feel full and content,’ she writes. In Germany, where the book is already on sale, she has tempted readers to try something new. ‘It’s fantastic to show people that there are other ways to bake.’ Natural Baking , by Carolin Strothe and Sebastian Keitel, is out on Thursday (DK, £12.99). Order now for £10.99 at books. telegraph.co.uk or call 0844-871 1514