A date with a German breakfast

Do you want to get a little fatter? Move to Germany. Seriously. I’ve never known a country for super-sized meals, at least one that’s not America. Last month I sat in a cafe in Koln and watched as a huge platter of spaghetti was served to a woman sitting with her partner and three children. ‘How nice,’ I thought to myself, ‘what a convivial way to eat’. Then I realised the pasta platter was just for her – the dad got a steak as big as a placemat and the kids gobbled a pizza each.

We are a reasonably greedy trio but we quickly learned that we needn’t order very much while eating out. Since my German is limited, to say the least, this certainly made things easy on the language front. But my it also meant that I had no hope of asking about the little dish of cream cheese and something that came with the enormous ‘Bio Breakfast’ at a cafe in Berlin, pictured above. (Not pictured: the accompanying basket of bread and tumbling pile of walnuts that were taken by a small hand.) I took this photo to help jog my taste memory when we got home and now, a month later, I think I’ve got it.

Spiced cream cheese and date spread
I am such a glutton when it comes to cream cheese I could eat this neat, but it’s also good on all manner of baked goods, from simple toast to slices of fruit loaf. Or you could use it as a dip for green apples, if you are an alternative eater (Catherine, are you reading this?). It’s not quite the same, eating it in my kitchen as it was sitting on a cafe terrace in Prenzlauer Berg, but it’s not a bad substitute.

125g good, full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
100g dates, roughly chopped

To make this the lazy way, put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it is a chunky mixture. To make by hand, chop the dates finely (scissors is easiest) and stir into the cream cheese, along with the spices and honey. Store, covered, in the fridge, for a week.

Have a good week, everyone.



  1. September 15, 2013 / 8:19 pm

    Wow that breakfast looks amazing! I wish I could be eating that right now, unfortunately right now all I have is a lame piece of toast. But I'll settle for trying the spread recipe…yum!

  2. September 16, 2013 / 2:20 am

    Lucy, this looks like a gorgeous wee treat – I would definitely love this for breakfast on some toasted homemade bread.

    It will have to wait another couple of weeks though – I'm doing a bit of cleanse at the moment, so no caffeine, no alcohol, no meat, no wheat, no dairy, and no refined sugar. I though I'd really miss the red wine and coffee, but turns out the thing I am missing most is cheese (any kind of cheese). There's a fairly good chance I'm going to murder a block of parmesan when this is finished!

    • September 19, 2013 / 7:10 am

      Oh Sue, that sounds very pure of you. I'm trying to work out what there is left for you to eat… I imagine you are cooking your way through Plenty!

  3. September 16, 2013 / 7:19 am

    Those Germans are an odd lot. Love the flavoured cream cheese though. That's a fab idea!

  4. September 17, 2013 / 10:34 am

    I'm with you… I also can eat cream cheese neat from the packet. OK, perhaps with some bread. The flavoured cream cheese is such a great idea.

  5. September 17, 2013 / 10:44 pm

    I, too, could eat cream cheese neat from the packet. It drives my wife crazy, but I just can't help it. This flavored cream cheese recipe of yours looks divine.

    • September 19, 2013 / 7:09 am

      I'm so happy to have found a tribe of cream cheese fans… extensive research in recent weeks has confirmed that in NZ, the best is made by Zany Zeus. I accidentally bought a packet of low fat Philly the other day and had to throw it away, it was so vile by comparison!

  6. September 18, 2013 / 5:13 pm

    Your breakfast looks lush 🙂 x

  7. September 25, 2013 / 8:38 am

    This sounds lovely, I haven't eaten cream cheese for ages and you have tempted me.

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