Creamy Peach Cake

Germany is well known for its cakes (Kuchen) and Tarts (Torte). And the German ladies are also well known for their fabulous home made cakes which are the best. It is a tradition to meet Sunday afternoon for coffee and cake – Kaffe und Kuchen – either with family or friends, either at home or in a Cafe – it is always enjoyable because there will be cake served. You must know that all stores in Germany are closed on Sundays, and now guess, which stores are open? Cafes and bakeries (aside gas stations of course). Every village has its bakery and Sunday afternoon it is extra open for the traditional coffe ceremony. Enjoy the Creamy Peach  Cake and let me know how it tasted…

Ingredients
200 g soft unsalted butter (or margarine)
150 g sugar
1 egg
peel of 1 (organic, all natural) lemon
1 tbsp rum (or rum flavor)
300 g flour
50 g starch flour
50 g ground almonds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
salt, butter to grease the baking form

For the filling
2 cans peaches (preferably unsugared)
50 g sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
50 g ground almonds
For the Frosting
2 egg white
2 tbsp cold water
100 g sugar
half vanilla bean
2 egg yolk
2 tbsp hot water
40 g flour and 40 g starch
1/2 tsp baking powder
powdered sugar

How you make it
– Mix butter, sugar, egg, lemon peel and rum in a bowl and whisk it until foamy
– Add flour and starch, almonds, cinnamon and a bit salt
– Knead the dough until it is smooth
– Keep it covered in the fridge for 1 hour
– Now grease with butter a 24cm diameter spring form and fill in the dough. Make an 1 inch high edge all around.
– Bake it in the preheated oven by 200 degrees or 390 F for about 20 minutes in the middle.
– Put peach halves into a sieve and allow the juice to drip off. Place them on the cake, one after the other
– Mix sugar with cinnamon and together with almonds sprinkle it over the peaches
– Whisk egg white with water firmly; add slowly vanilla and sugar
– In another bowl whisk egg yolk with hot water until creamy – then mix it with the egg white.
– Mix flour, starch and baking powder and fold in the egg mix.
– Paste it onto the peaches
– Bake cake for another 15 minutes on same temperature
– when done get the cake out of the form and sprinkle it with powdered sugar

Voila – the cake is ready to be served.

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Raspberry Cream Dessert

I found this recipe in an old cooking booklett with the title “Slim with eggs” (Schlank mit Ei).
The booklett is featuring a lot of recipes with eggs, and one might think, that’s pretty boring, but no, they are very interesting! I decided to take them up for the blog because they are unique and so German! Let’s start with something sweet. A creamy dessert which is delicious but also colorful. There is a German saying ” the eyes are eating too”. Let’s make the red dessert!

Ingredients (for 4 portions)
4 eggs (organic)
4 tbsp sugar
1-2 tbsp raspberry juice (pure and organic)
almonds, thin slices

How to make it– Separate the eggs (divide yolk from egg white)
– Put yolks and half of the sugar into a bowl and whisk the mix until foamy
– Add raspberry juice and whisk it again
– Whisk egg white until it is very firm (so you can cut it) and mix in the remaining sugar
– Mix caraefully the firm eggwhite to the red egg mix
– Fill it in cocktail or dessert glasses and decorate it with sliced almonds

Tip
Instead of raspberry juice try an exotic juice or any fruit juice.
Add a bit of vanilla sugar or vanilla extract for a nice vanilla taste.

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Spaetzle – Southern Germany Noodles

I am sure you have heard about the popular pasta of the South, to be precise from Swabia: Spaetzle. They are a Must for a Sunday lunch or an event. Served with Rindsbraten or Gulasch, Rouladen or any meat that comes with a gravy, it’s the best side dish I know..
But do you know what the word means? It literally means “little sparrows”. Spaetzle are originally from where I grew up, the Baden-W├╝rttemberg area of Germany. Some call Spaetzle little dumplings, but I prefer to refer to them as noodles. Spaetzle and salad is considered to be a whole meal – yes. I like them with cheese, vegetable or with lentils. There are many variations possible.

If you really want to be an authentic German cook you make the Spaetzle without a Spaetzle maker. My mother never used a colander, she used a “Spaetzle Schaber” (the metall board) as shown in the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zquGPPIoR-g&feature=related
picture from: http://www.europeancuisines.com/images/plain_spaetzli.jpg
Ingredients for 4 cups
3 cups flour (wheat, all purpose)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
4 eggs
1 cup milk

How to make it (with a colander)
– Mix the flour, half od the salt and the nutmeg
– Add eggs, mix them in with a fork
– Pour in milk, stiring constantly with a large spoon until dough is smooth
– Bring water to a boil in a big pot, add remaining salt
– Set a large colander with large holes ove rthe pot and with a spoon press the dough, a few tablespoons at a time, through the colander directly into thr boiling water.
– Stir the Spaetzle gently to prevent them sticking together
– Boil them briskly for 5-8 minutes
– Drain them through a sieve

That’s all, easy to do, even kids can do it.

 

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Apple filled Pancakes – Apfelpfannekuchen

These apple pancakes are great for a sweet supper or as part of a Sunday brunch. The German pancakes are normally bigger and thiner than the American ones. I guess, we don’t use baking powder, just eggs, milk and flour. This recipe makes me hungry – I think I go down to my kitchen…
Ingredients (for 6 pancakes)
For the filling:
6 tbsp butter
3 pounds tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced as wedges
2 tbsp sugar mixed with cinnamon
– In a heavy skillet melt 6 tbsp butter on medium heat
– When foam subsides add apple slices and sprinkle them with the sugar-cinnamon mix
– Gently let them cook until they are soft and begin to color
– Set them aside
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For the pan cakes:
8 eggs
2,5 cups milk
1 cup flour
4 tsp sugar
6 tbsp butter
powdered sugar

How to make the batter
– Preheat the broiler to its highest temperature
– Mix eggs with milk in a large mixing bowl and whisk it with  a fork until they are blending
– Mix the flour with 4 tsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt; add the mix to the eggs-milk mix and stir it constantly while adding the flour
– In a 10-inch skillet melt 1 tbsp butter over medium heat
– When the foam has subsided pour 1/2 cup of batter and tip the pan from side to side so that the batter spreads evenly the whole bottom
– Strew 3/4 cup of apples evenly over the batter and let the pancake cook for 3 minutes
– Regulate the heat, it should not get too hot
– Pour another 1/2 cup of batter over the apples
– Slide the skillet under the broiler 6-7 inches away from the heat
– Let the pancake cook for another 2-3 minutes until the top is golden brown  and firm
– When the pancake is done loosen the sides and bottom with a metal spatula and slide it onto a warm serving plate – keep it warm until all pancakes are down.
– Add for each pancake 1 tbsp butter
– Sprinkle powdered sugar over the pancakes before serving

If you are an experienced cook you can make the pancakes entirely on thr stove BUT you need to turn them without dislodging the apple filling.
Tips
To avoid that the butter gets brown, add a splash of olive oil to the melting butter.
Serve the apple pancakes with vanilla sauce or whipped cream.
Use a non-stickable skillet

If you want to turn the pancake use a fitting lid and by holding it tightly onto the pan, turn the pan so that the pancake will be on the lid; put pan back, melt some butter and let the unbaked side of the pancake slide back into the skillet. Hope this works.

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Prune Dumplings – Zwetschgenknoedel

Sweet dish from my child hood with sweet memories! When my grandma was alive she would make the prune dumplings and man, they were really good. You need to eat them warm, with melted butter and a cinnamon-sugar mix on top. It’s a divine combination!
As far as I know prune dumplings are actually from Austria (the Austrian recipe contains potatoes; I will post this one later), and is a typical “sweet Mehlspeise”, a sweet flour dish (sounds funny but that’s the translation). Austria has a lot of these sweet Mehlspeisen, they serve them as an alternative for a supper. So I really dont know which recipe my grandma used but on the site chefkoch.de I found a lot of positive feedback. Happy Dumpling Cooking!

Picture from http://www.chefkoch.de/rezepte/365021121979777/Zwetschgenknoedel.html
Ingredients

500 g Quark (low fat quark)
50 g soft unsalted butter
1 egg
150 g flour
grated lemon peel
15 prunes (they dont need to be pitted)
some salt and sugar
butter
cinnamon and sugar (mix)

How to make it
– Make a dough out of quark, butter, egg, flour, hint of salt and sugar – use the mixer with a dough hook – the dough should not be liquid, you need to form dumplings out of it.
– Wash prunes, dry them, and cut them in half, but not completely, remove pits;
– Take a walnut sized piece of dough (1-2 tbsp) and surround the prune with it (form a dumpling); the prune needs to be completely wrapped in dough
– In a big pot bring enough water with salt to a boil and add the dumplings, one after the other
– Let them cook on low heat for up to 15 minutes, leave the lid a bit open
– Meanwhile melt some butter and prepoare the cinnamon-sugar mix in a bowl
– Take dumplings out and serve them right away
– Pour melted butter over them and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mix

Tips: Depending on the size you can make more or less dumplings. If you use other fruit like sour cherriesa, apricot or apple, you will get more dumplings as they would be smaller
You also can use prunes from the jar; the juice can be heated up and served with the dumplings.
The dough should not be sticky; put some drops of cooling oil on your hands, if the dough is  abit sticky.
Try it out with Vanilla sauce! Delightful indeed!
If you cannot get quark in your supermarket, check out  this one: http://www.germandeli.com/apfaffrqurla.html and http://www.germandeli.com/lowfatquark.html – some say it is not as good as German quark, some say it is fine. I have not tried it. I found quark in the organic store Wholefoods, here in California, and it was good.

http://www.germandeli.com/drknqu.html – you can buy a ready made mix and just add quark, for the busy cooks a great alternative
I found  2 websites where you find recipes of how to make your own quark: http://www.germancorner.com/recipes/hints/quark.html
http://www.discusscooking.com/forums/f21/homemade-quark-german-quark-14449.html

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Bavarian Dumplings – Bayerische Semmelknoedel

German dumplings especially from Bavaria are a real specialty. You would eat dumplings always with a meat dish and gravy, like Rindsbraten (Roast beef), Gulasch or Rouladen (see my recipes). The Bavarian version has older buns (Semmeln) in it – that’s why it is also called “Semmelknoedel”. In the West and North of Germany we call them “Kloesse” but they all are round and look like little tennis balls, and are boiled in hot water. We have practically different dumplings for every meal – they can be the side dish of a main meal, or be in a soup, or a sweet dessert. The dessert dumplings would have pruns or apricots inside and are served with melted butter, sugar and cinnamon. You also can make them with potatoes, semolina or with meat.
Later on I will post the recipe of my childhood, the “Zwetschgenknoedel” (prune dumplings) – my grandma used to make them. Sweet outside and fruity inside – oh, sweet, good ol’ times! And I will also post some recipe for a soup, my other favorite: Semolina dumplings.  But let’s focus now on the Semmelknoedel.


Ingredients
3 older german buns (Br├Âtchen, if you dont have german ones, use french baguette)
1/8 Liter milk
2 medium sized eggs
fresh parsley (1 bundle)
salt

1 tbsp salt for the cooking water

How to make it
– cut the buns in thin slices or cubes;
– add salt and the eggs
– Pour milk in a pot with salt and bring it to a boil
– While the milk is on the stove chop parsley
– Now add as much milk is needed (milk must be hot), depending on size of the buns; mix it and add parsley
– cover it with a damp kitchen cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes (the bread will soak all the milk and become a dough); should the dough be too liquid add some more bread crumbs
– In  a big pot bring water with salt to a boil
– Form dumplings – if you have wet hands (cold or luke warm water) it is easier to form them
– do a test: make small dumpling and cook it in the water; should the dumpling fall apart while cooking add more bread crumbs into the mix; should the dumpling be too solid add another egg.
– Every time you form a dumpling make your hand wet

– Put the dumplings into the boiling water; they will be under the water but will come up to the surface
– Reduce heat right away so they can be cooked in slightly boiling water which becomes lesser boiling
– the dumplings would “soak” in the water for 20-25 minutes
– depending on the size of the dumplings cooking time can reduce to 15 minutes


Take the dumplings out of the water and serve them right away
Serve them with Gulasch, or some meat with a juicy gravy; without gravy they might be too dry.

Tips
If you like add other herbs into the dumpling mix, but consider that strong herbs might be dominating too much
Guten Appetit!

Source:

http://www.brauchtumsseiten.de/a-z/s/semmelknoedel/home.html
from the kitchen of Josef Dirschl – thanks Josef!

I found a link where you can buy dunmplings in a package, it’s easy and a fast alternative for the busy folks:
http://www.edelweissimports.com/dumplings-c-30.html

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Rinderbraten – How to make German Roast Beef

Sweet Sunday memories are back! Weekend is coming up and I want to give you a great Sunday lunch compostions of: Rinderbraten, Brussels sprouts and Spaetzle. How does this sound? Delicious, I know. Well, if you go to a German Gasthaus where you get the home made cooking they will serve a Rinderbraten in a home made sauce and if it is a good restaurant, they even will serve you home made Spaetzle. And if you lik to read more about how the roast beef came to America click here to read more…
Let’s see the recipe now which I found here – Thanks for recipe and picture!
Ingredients

600 g joint of beef

3 TL mustard, Pepper, salt, red pepper powder (paprika)
20 g foie gras or cooking oil
1 onion
1 leek stem
celery leaves and root
1 garlic clove
100 g mushrooms (white or brown)
1/8 L red wine
1/8 L broth
3 EL heavy cream
3 TL corn starch

Side Dishes
150 g pasta (preferably Spaetzle)
500 g brussels sprouts
20 g butter
How to make it
The meast will be specially tender if you spread a thin layer of mustard over the meat before you fry it. The best meat for this recipe is beef shoulder.
– Dry the meat with kitchen paper
– Add mustard into a bowl and mix it with salt, pepper, and paprika.
– Spread mustard evenly over the meat and massage it into the meat.
– Heat lard in a skillet and fry the meat from all sides
– Take meat out of the pot, wrap it in aluminium foil and keep it warm
– Peel onion, cut it in rough pieces; clean leek and slice it; chop celery root and stem into cubes; peel garlic and cut it in pieces; clean mushrooms and cut them in pieces
– in using the same pot which you used for the meat (in the same fat) fry all the vegetable and deglaze it with red wine
– Let it cook for a little bit (some minutes on low heat); you will get the important meat juice (gravy, jus)
– Put meat togetehr with the jus back into the stewing pan and let it cook on low heat (jus should not boil) so it is braising
– Put a lid on and let it braise for at least 90 minutes
 – Take meat out of the pan, wrap it in aluminium foil and keep it warm
How to make the GravyPuree the vegetable and the jus
– Add the broth (I would use vegetable broth, organic, home made)
– Put cream into a bowl and stir in starch flour, mix it
 – Bring jus to a boil and mix in the starch  (you should get a creamy gravy, not too thick and not too thin)
– Put back the meat into the gravy
How to make side dishes
– Cook Spaetzle per instructions
– Clean Brussels Sprouts and cook them in water until they are soft; melt some butter and toss them in the butter; add salt and pepper
– Take meat out of the gravy and cut slices horizontal (thick as a finger)
Serve it – Guten Appetit!

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