[Happy Advent season!] Baumkuchen

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Right on time for the first Advent Sunday! As you can see I am already completely in christimas mood. For me Advents season is the best time of the year, not only because of christmas! There are so many good parts just existing in the pre-christmas time, like the christmas markets, the presents shopping and of course the christmas baking!

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Seen from a culinary perspective the time before christmas is a paradise. There are so many different things to eat and drink! On one hand you can choose between mulled wine (Glühwein), hot chocolate or spiced café latte and on the other hand you can have food like gingerbread, christmas cookies, stollen or almond biscuits (Spekulatius).

Today I would like to show you one of our favourite family recipes for ‘Baumkuchen’. For our family this cake is traditional for christmas time, of course with a big shot of rum in it! Its hard to translate in english because I only found translations which do not really describe the cake in the right way (like pyramide or layered cake).

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The one-to-one translation of ‘Baumkuchen’ in english would be ‘tree cake’. Because just like a tree has annual tree rings this cake has different layers. These layers are the special thing of the cake. You create them by adding the layers while the cake is baking in the oven, one after another layer (mine has 25 layers). I know its a little laborious, but the rich rum taste is absolutely worth the time and effort!

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Baumkuchen

ingredients:
250 g ground almonds
250 g flour
150 g starch flour
500 g butter
500 g sugar
10 eggs
5-8 tbsp. rum
for decoration:
300 g dark chocolate
10 g coconut oil
sprinkles for decoration

directions:

  1. In a bowl whisk together flour, grounded almonds, starch flour.
  2. Divide eggs and beat the egg whites until stiff. In another bowl mix butter and sugar until well combined and creamy. Add the egg yorks one after another. Now sift the flour all over the mix and mix until there are are no more flour clusters, now add the rum. At last slowly add the egg whites.
  3. Preheat oven to top heat (very important that the heat comes only from above!) on 200-250°C. Oil a baking pan. Take 2 tablespoons of the dough and pour into the pan. Now bake for 2-4 minutes (until it slightly turns golden brown). Remove form oven and add the next layer, again by pouring 2 tablespoons on top of the already baked layer. Continue with this process with the rest of the dough. I got 25 layers.
  4. When you are all done with the batter remove from oven and let it cool. Remove from baking pan. Melt chocolate and coconut oil over a waterbath and decorate cake as you like with more chocolate or sprinkles.

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Have fun baking!

xxx

Caprice

[I love… Hamburg] Franzbrötchen

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For me the perfect city must be full of vibrancy on one side and there must be some calm places on the other side. Additionally I am a big fan of cities at the bay! Therefore I want to present you not only my favorite german city, but also my favorite pastry from there! The city, that I am talking about is Hamburg. It is the second largest city in germany and is located around the largest harbour of germany.

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When you get the chance to visit Hamburg, there are many great places to see. The city offers a variety of things to do, like a boat trip around the harbour, some shopping at Jungfernstieg, a trip to the local art gallery, a walk around the “Hafen City” or a coffee break in one of the little cafés which are located in the Osterstraße.

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The last couple of days I visited Hamburg with a good friend of mine. Of course I do not want to hold back our culinary experiences because there are tons of possibilities to enjoy some sweeties in the city. To make it short: among other wonderful meals, we had amazing pastries in Biokonditorei Eichel, ate a wonderful salmon Sandwich at Lieblingsplatz which is located in the Hafen City. and we tried the best Franzbrötchen in town at Die kleine Konditorei ! Franzbrötchen are typical for Hamburg and you an buy them at any local bakery. Funny to know is, that you can hardly buy them in the other parts of germany.

Now I would like to share my recipe for these sweet treats with you. Franzbrötchen are comparable to cinnamon rolls, but their dough is kind of a Danish pastry dough. They are a little tricky to bake because you need time and patience. But the effort is worth it!

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The secret of the recipe is to use good quality ingredients (it’s important to use butter! No butter substitutes like margarine or oil). In addition it is key to stick to the cooling times of the dough, there are important for a light and buttery result (just like when you make flaky pastry!).

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Franzbrötchen

ingredients:
for the butter plate:
150 g butter
25 g flour
for the yeast dough:
25 g active yeast
30 g butter
250 g flour
150 ml milk
50 g sugar
salt
for the filling:
60 g butter
50 g sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Prepare the butter plate. Mix 150 g butter and 25g flour. Then take a plastic wrap and put the mixed butter and flour between one layer of plastic wrap. With a rolling pin roll the dough into a 20 x 12 cm plate. Leave in the wrapping and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. For the yeast dough warm up the milk and solve the active yeast inside the milk. In another bowl mix flour, sugar, melted butter and the salt. Slowly add the yeast-milk mix and knead together until dough is smooth. Wrap in and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Now comes the tricky part! Take the yeast dough out of the fridge and roll it into a 40 x 25 cm rectangle. Take the butter plate and place it right in the middle of the yeast dough (this should be easy because of the plastic wrap). Remove wrapping. Then fold the yeast dough around the butter plate until it’s completely covered with it (just fold it lengthwise first and crosswise afterwards). Take your rolling pin again and carefully roll out the dough again until it’s the same size gain (40 x 25 cm). Fold it again like before. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes repeat the rolling and folding part again. Then put the dough into the fridge for 1 hour.
  4. For the filling. Heat the butter and mix with the sugar and cinnamon. Take the dough out of the fridge and for the last time roll out until ist about 0,5 cm thick. Spread the filling all over, then slowly roll up from the long side. With a very sharp knife cut the roll into 5 cm long parts.
  5. Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare baking sheets with baking paper. Place the cutted rolls on a baking sheet. Now we disclose the secret of how to create the typical form of the Franzbrötchen: Take a wooden spoon with a round end and place the round end in the middle of one roll and press. Now you can see how at the right and left sides the dough comes out in spiral form. Optional you can sprinkle more cinnamon, sugar and butter over the rolls.
  6. Depending on your oven and the size of the Franzbrötchen bake them for about 20 minutes. After baking remove from oven and let them cool for 10-15 minutes on the baking sheet before remove completely to a wire rack.

 

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Have fun baking!

xxx

Caprice