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.
There are nearly no good sides of being ill. But the flu that put me out of order beginning of December let me discover this terrific recipe and that is definitively a good thing. As I was dozing on the sofa the TV show “hier und heute” was running on TV. And with amusement – and bit of envy – I saw how the moderator nibbled one after the other of the beautiful cinnamon stars. His delighted face told more than hundreds of words how delicious they were- And so I put the recipe directly on my mental “to bake” list for Christmas. The recipe from Marcel Seeger was already downloaded and saved.
This weekend I was finally fit enough for baking cookies. And this recipe was on position one for testing. And after I eat the first cookie I knew why the moderator was so delighted. They are gorgeous, a new keep for my favourite list!
For our Easter Brunch with the family I baked different goodies: a varity of roles, easter bunny buns, a cake with rice pudding and an Easter Bread. The Easter Bread is this year nearly a brioche as it contains a generous amount of butter. The amount of butter and the addition of fruits and nuts makes it necessary to knead the dough to full gluten development. This needs some patient but you will be rewarded with a tender and light crumb which can be torn into long pieces.
The subtle flavour of the sweet starter is accomplished by a mixture of vanila, orange zest and saffron. As an addition the dough contains raisin, almonds and pearl sugar which makes it one of the richer ones in my repertoire. It is a delicious bread which needs no spread, even butter is not necessary, it is able to shine all by its self! Continue reading
An ugly flu hit me and so my baking plans (Lusekatter, Kletzenbrot and rye flat bread) are nothing more then dreams at the moment. My stock of unposted bread recipes ran dry as well. Only a nice marzipan recipe – which fits well with Christmas – is left.
During the autumn holidays I was shopping in the “Stuttgarter Markthallen” and bought a small parcel of bitter apricot kernels. Bitter apricot kernels and bitter almonds contain hydrocyanic acid and just a few can endanger very small kids – so please store them out of children reach and not together with sweet almonds! The dangerous dosage are one bitter almond per kilogram body weight. So two for 200g Marzipan is no problem at all but if you feel unwell with using them you can use bitter almond extract instead, too.
The marzipan is easy to make with a food processor and so a good last minute Christmas present.
I tried this little Cookies some years ago when a colleague brought a bag of his moms christmas cookies when he came back from the Alsace. The bag was filled with beautiful and delicious cookies, like Linzer Ringe. And there was this rather plain, simple square cookies. But with the first bite I was in love. So plain they look so brilliant was their taste: a mixture of lemon and orange with a hint of almond was a great counterpoint to all the (delicious) vanilla and cinnamon Christmas flavours. And so I begged and begged and begged until the dear colleague brought a recipe when he came back from a family visit. I tested it and realized while making that it was for the second lemon cookie in the bag: Délices au citron – a good cookie, too but not the cookie I fell in love with…
And so I searched long and for some years. And finally I found a recipe that sounded similar: Orangenschnittli. I changed the recipe more and more, until it fits to the flavour I remembered. They need some days for ripening, as the flavour has to diffuse and melange for the perfect taste. But then this little cookies are a clear new favourite of my cookie plate: easy to make and so delicious!
Spelt is a favourite and so I was regulary asked if my Stollen can be baked with spelt flour, too. I answered “theoretically yes” and decided to bake a Stollen with spelt flour instead of wheat, too. I like to have a practical background for those answers.
The dough contains only minimal changes to the regular recipe: I used a mixture of sultanas and currants instead of raisins and I reduced the amount of yeast, too. And I replaced the wheat flour with spelt flour, of course.
After three long weeks of resting time we cut the spelt stollen for the first Advent. And it was as moist and mellow as a good stollen has to be. Maybe it is a bit more mellow then the normal recipe, but that was the only difference I recognize. The different spices are stronger then the slight spelt flavour and I doubt that I could tell the spelt and wheat stollen apart when blind testing. And so I can tell now with own experience: Yes, you can bake a spelt stollen!
Am I the only one who has a secret stock of berries of the last season which has to be used urgently before the berries of this season are ripe?
Beside a small package of blackberries I saved a pound of red currant all winter long. And as the currant bushes in my parents garden already promise a rich harvest I had to make room in the freezer. And so I baked my favourite “Ribiselkuchen”. It is a simple cake with shortcrust tarte shell and a filling made of meringue, almonds, bread crumps and berries. The bread crumbs keep the berry juice from soaking the tart shell. And as I used roasted crumbs – which were meant for bread originally – the filling has a deeper flavour as the more traditional way with unroasted crumbs.
For this I have to blame Eva. She was so enthusastic about the new Book of Pierre Hermè that even I – who never was tempted by macarons before – started to think about baking them. I made a suggestion in the city library of cologne to buy the book and they did it immediately. Maybe they were tempted by Hermés Macarons as well?
After baking Berliner for carnival, I had a lot of leftover egg white. And as Eva promised, the recipe is not hard to follow if you have already a bit pastry experience. And it works perfectly for me, even as Macaron Newbie I got macorns with “feets”.
For the filling, I decided to go astray from Hermès Recipe as I had some pomeranz juice sitting in the fridge and knew from experience that a curd made from this is incredible delicious. And the fruity tartness with the subtle bitter flavour harmonize very well with sweetness of the macaron.
Before we look back at the Blog year 2015 tomorrow, there is one last Christmas recipe I want to share with you. The little chocolate rounds are a delicious addition for the cookie plate and are a very nice little Present for everyone with a sweet tooth. And as they are easy to make they are a good last minute present as well!
For a good, shiny surface it is important to temper the chocolate. I do this by melting part of the chocolate, then adding the remaining part and then carefully heating it up to 30°C. This work best with a digital thermometer!
For the topping you can use what ever you like: dried fruits, nuts, candid fruits. I for myself prefer highly the variant with chopped (homemade) candid orange peel, as I like the contrast of sweet chocolate and the slightly bitter, fruity flavour of the Orange!
Upps, there was for a short time a blog post online which should be the last of the year. But there are still some recipes from my Christmas Cookie Plate waiting form which I want to tell you before the new year starts.
One of these are dark Nogat, Turrón de Chocolate. It is similar to the white nougat, but some additional chocolate is folded in before adding the nuts.
Turrón making is a exercise in multi tasking, and it makes sense to think about the process before starting. You need to have ready at the same time point melted chocolate, whipped egg white and the boiling sugar syrup at the right temperature. It helps to have kitchen machine for whipping the egg white or a second person who is willing to help. A sugar thermometer is a muss for this recipe as well, as getting the right temperature is essential for the consistence of the final product. To cold syrup will result in a not setting turròn while to hot syrup will starts to caramelize. It is a challanging recipe but the flavour is worth every trouble!