Just a little over a week ago I flew from Bali back to Austria.
The word “back” is something I always find hard to define.
Back to … where?
– The place where I originally started from (then it would be Melbourne)
– The place I always go back to (then it would be New York)
– The place I consider home (then I wouldn’t have a proper answer)
… or simply the place where I am NOW.
And I guess thats where I am.
I AM HERE NOW.
Not really important where that place is geographically but wherever you allow your heart to open, your wings to spread and the willingness to have faith that you can do and achieve anything you want – regardless of the location and circumstances.
This is true most of the time, unless you find yourself in the middle of the desert where there is no place to make dessert (I really did not plan on writing this! It just happened – I promise!)
But you get the point … I can make sweets pretty much anywhere in the world and I am confident enough to say that people all over the world like chocolate.
Prove me wrong and I am packing my bags right now, putting myself on a mission…
All I am trying to say is: There are simply NO excuses to NOT go after what you love and want (to do) in life.
You can always find a reason why it could be difficult, complicated or exhausting but you can never ever argue that its not possible.
So here I am…telling myself that I am at the perfect place at the perfect time (did I mention its getting really cold in Austria?!?) and that all I have to do is saying YES and jump into the unknown….Right?
There will always be my love and hunger for travel, adventure, new places and cultures which I am not planning on stopping anytime soon but thats not the point.
Right now its about arriving, building and taking that foundation, those roots with me wherever I go.
I am a gypsy by heart and it doesn’t have to be the one or the other, just making it work so both parts are equally stimulated and feed each other in order to grow economically, spiritually and ecologically.
Luckily my environment is not completely foreign to me but after travelling, living and working abroad for almost 12 years now I do feel like a stranger sometimes to the culture and mentality I am surrounded with.
And simply by observing and accepting this, I get calmer and more confident that we are always where we need to be at that given moment.
That being said…I AM ready to make things happen here in Austria & Germany (my Berlin people are some of the most creative, innovative and open-minded folks out there) and I am more than grateful to have such amazing people around me.
My friends, who welcomed me with open arms, an open heart and open doors to their kitchens and couches (Katrin!!!) … without you I would not have a reason to come back or stay and believe that I can create something at a place that feels as familiar as much as alien sometimes.
Thank you also to my friend Annika from nevermindjust.be who is currently living in Ibiza, guiding meditation & yoga classes as well as offering her coaching, acrobatic and shiatsu skills (this girl is rad!!!).
You have been with me all along the way (thank God for Skype and Facebook) and I am so happy to have you by my side even if we are geographically separated.
And of course my family … loving, caring, supporting and yes, difficult and demanding, too sometimes.
But everything in the spirit of LOOOOOOVE … obviously
I wanna finish off this post with an ode to my hometown in a form of a recipe.
A chocolate recipe, of course (you see, some things never change)…
It’s originally from one of my favourite baking/pastry books & one of the best chocolate brands out there GREEN & BLACK’S.
I changed it up so its gluten-, dairy- and soy-free but didn’t want to make it vegan so I kept the eggs for that fluffy and light texture.
Feel free to leave out the booze (the alcohol is going to evaporate, only the flavour is left so my little brother got to eat it, too) or better – substitute equal amounts with strong coffee if you wish.
Also, you can play around with the type of chocolate you are using.
A sweeter and “softer” dark version (50-65 %) or a really strong one (75-85%).
I prefer a mix of 70 & 85% from either Lindt or organic Vivani, G&B’s & Zotter (Austrian brand).
Chocolate Bourbon Cake
80 g coconut oil
50 ml almond-/oat- or light coconut milk
200 g dark chocolate (70 – 85%), broken into pieces
60 g xylitol or raw cane sugar
50 g coconut sugar
30 g coconut flour
2 tsp arrowroot powder
1 1/2 Tbsp bourbon (or strong coffee if you want it alcohol-free)
Pre-heat oven to 180°C
Line a baking dish with parchment paper (20 x 15 cm)
In a small pot heat up the coconut oil and milk
when melted, add xylitol and coconut sugar and stir until dissolved
let it bubble for 3 minutes but keep stirring to prevent burning
In a separate bowl add 150 g of the chocolate pieces and pour over the hot mixture. let it sit for a few minutes.
Add the bourbon and stir to combine.
Separately whisk the eggs until fluffy.
Fold into chocolate mixture and finally add the flour, arrowroot powder and salt
Pour the batter into baking dish and drop the rest of the chocolate pieces into the batter, making sure they are pushed down to prevent the chocolate from burning.
Bake for 18 – 20 minutes (the cake should be still moist inside)
Garnish with cacao nibs, chocolate sauce and (coconut) yoghurt.