Baking fritters is something very typical for this season. And while I have still not much love for celebrating carnival, I like to bake fritters once in a while. These apple fritters were inspired by some left over miniature apples, we used as decoaration for our christmas. After christmas I kept this cute little apples in my open kitchen shelf for because they were to beautiful to eat. But now the started to shrivel and so apple fritter were my new idea for them.
When baking apple fritters you can find two kinds of recipes in Germany: Some are baked with a yeasted dough only, while others use a additional layer of Pâte à Choux to keep the apple piceses fixed in the fritters. I opted for the second variant and choose my favourite Pâte à Choux recipe and a standard yeast dough. From there it was only a short way to a delicious afternoon treat…
It is already middle of January, but I still have two Recipes from christmas waiting. The first one is the recipe for a spelt panettone. Baking panettone or pandoro on the 23. December is already a kind of tradtion here at “Hefe und mehr”. In the weeks before, I take intensivly care of my sweet starter to make it especially fit for the task.
As baking Panettone is already nearly a no brainer. And so I was looking for a new challange. Switching from wheat to spelt is definitly more challenging, as kneading the sensitive spelt to full gluten development needs experience. And it is a good idea to check which sort of spelt you use. Different spelt sorts behave differently as their gluten composition differs. For Example if you use Oberkulmer Rotkorn you need to shorten the kneading time compare to Franckenkorn, which I used here. But with these in mind, baking panettone with spelt works very well. Just keep a close eye on the gluten development.
Sometimes recipes are just created to use leftovers. This recipe is one of them. I created it spontaneously, when my mother-in-law and me started to sort her baking supply’s last week and found different nuts and poppy seeds a bit past the “best before” date. We checked them and they tasted still fine, so we decided to bake something with them. And while the thermometer outside slowly reached 35°C we kneaded a dough and prepared a filling following a well proven formula.
The rolls turned out very delicious : the moist filling is wrapped inside the fluffy crumb. We enjoyed them at a nice shadowy spot in the garden. A fast and delicious treat on hot day!
Goldknödel, the Transylvanian variant of monkey bread, is a all-time family favourite in the extended family. But as we have a genetic deposition for fructose intolerance some family members have to have a close look on their fructose intake. And as my favourite cousin asked for a low fructose Goldknödel for her birthday a work-over was necessary.
The main point was exchanging sugar (saccharose) with glucose. And as I made the experience before that to much glucose will dry the dough, I added a water roux to keep the dough fluffy soft and moist. As my cousin can eat some nuts, I halved the normal amount. Adding some tonka bean helps to replace the missing nut flavour.
And with this few changes on the recipe it results in a cake that tastes nearly indistinguishable with the “normal” variant. If you can not tolerate nuts at all, I would replace it with a teaspoon of cinnamon. That gives the cake a different flavour, but tastes good too.
I love the Italian Christmas cakes Pandoro and Panettone. And as my sweet Starter is happily active it was no question that I would bake one of this cakes for Christmas eve. And when i found the lovely mini panettone forms for little cakes of 50g each the decision was quickly made. Panettone it would be this year.
My recipe for panettone yields an amount that fits for 3 normal sized cakes or for 30 mini ones. But forming so many minis was a bit to much, even for me and so I went for 2 big and 10 mini Panettone.
I tweaked the recipe a bit, too. I increased the liquid and butter amount but reduced the raisins a bit. The resulting cake was incredible light with a crumb that can easily be shredded into long strands and so tender that it seems to melt in the mouth.
My plans for the first of advent were somehow different, but as I caught a mean cold I have to spent the day on the sofa instead of baking something delicious for Christmas. The only good thing is that I had enough time to browse through the unpublished recipes. I rediscovered the chocolate panettone I bake last Christmas but never published the recipe.
And so I used the time to publish it now, nearly a year later. It is a delicious twist on the classic recipe which combines the flavours of chocolate and citrus fruits. And just like the “normal” panettone this chocolate version is baked with sweet starter only which adds a delicious deepness to its flavour.
And with this last year’s delicious treat in my mind I begin to dream about what to bake for Christmas this year….
You can scold me for coming up with this recipe now, add the end of plum season. But the cake is too good to vanish for another year in the draft folder and I had to wait to try this idea for to long time. Problem was the freeze during spring that left us nearly no good plums. And so I had to wait for the late plums until baking this cake.
The special twist I longed to try was baking the streusel separately. This helps do avoid soaked streusel and adds a nice crunch to the cake. The cake itself and the streusel recipe as well are old friends you know already. But combined they make a great team. Save the recipe for next year in case you get no plums any more!
I posted our family favourite cake already some years ago here in the blog. When we have to choose between torte and goldknödel on a birthday celebration, all of us will take a piece of the goldknödel. It is THIS kind of favourite of extended family!
The cake stems from the Transylvanian and Hungarian part of family heritage and is all by it self a rather simple pastry. It is made from a sweet yeast dough which is formed into small balls and coated with warm butter and a mixture of grounded nuts and sugar. While baking in a kugelhopf pan the sugar caramelize and adds another delicious flavour to the aroma of nuts and butter.
A Kugelhopf pan is mandatory for this cake. Wen the Teflon coat of my – rather cheep – pan started to fall apart after ten years of using I decided that I need something longer lasting. And so I bought an ancient brass kugelhopf pan. It has very good baking qualities, is rather everlasting and looks beautiful on my kitchen wall when not in use.
The Ausgezogne is a south german deep fried cake which is similar to a doughnut but instead of a hole there is a very thin dough layer in the middle. Sometime this cake is called Knieküchlein (literally knee cake), too as the thin dough layer can be archived by stretching the dough over the knee. But it can be stretched by hand, too, and is very similar to forming pizza dough.
To get a good stretchable dough it is important to develop the gluten network fully. To support the gluten development a pâte fermentée is added to the rather soft dough. This makes it easy to form the Ausgezogne dircetly before frying. The thin part gets crisp while the outer rim is soft and fluffy. And this contrast is typical for the little cake and makes it so delicious!
Sometimes, we have some crazy ideas! And when a friend and I tested different Macaron recipes last march we got such a crazy idea: baking macarons as give away for her wedding. We just found the perfect recipe (from the faboulous Pierre Hermé) and already had an idea how the Macarons should look like. And the filling should be flavoured with rosewater to fit to the rose bud on top the macaron.
In the next month, we test baked several rounds. The shells worked perfectly with the first try, adding rose buds on top of a shell prior to baking works like a charm. But the filling caused more problems.