[my favourite christmas market treat] Hamburger Schmalzkuchen

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Finally it’s time again: This week the christmas markets in Germany have started! This is one of the best things about celebrating christmas in Germany. Christmas markets are held during the festive season (Adventszeit).  The markets are offering specific goods such as arts and crafts for christmas decoration and food. It’s not only a nice place to buy last minute christmas gifts, but also the paradise for amazing food!

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On one hand you can enjoy things like sausages (Bratwurst), Schupfnudeln (a type of thick noodles made of potatoes, flour and eggs) or fried Camembert (fried cheese). Then you have many drinks such as mulled wine, apple punch and Feuerzangenbowle (mulled wine with a rum-soaked sugarloaf lit above it).

And on the other hand you can eat so many sweet things such as Poffertjes (kind of mini pancakes!), candy apples, roasted almonds, fried baked goods and of course Schmalzkuchen (comparable to mini donuts!).

Depending on the local tradition of such markets, christmas markets have different names  all over germany. In some locations they are called Christkindlesmarkt and in Dresden the market is named Striezelmarkt. Sometimes the markets are also offering different food depending on the location.

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Nowadays the german christmas markets are known worldwide and are available in many other countries.

This year it’s the first time I am visiting the christmas market in Hamburg and I am really excited because I heard many great things about the different markets in the city. Therefore I would like to show you a recipe for a treat which has its roots originally in Hamburg: Schmalzkuchen.

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Hamburger Schmalzkuchen

ingredients:

500 g flour
30 g fresh active yeast
250 ml milk
100 g sugar
100 g butter (room temperature)
2 eggs
pinch of salt
oil for frying

200 g confectioner’s sugar
optional: cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Prepare the dough: In a bowl mix together flour and salt. Press a little whole in the middle.
  2. Warm up the milk in a saucepan (but not too hot!)
  3. In another bowl crumble the active yeast and mix with one tbsp. sugar and 6 tbsp of the warm milk. Mix until yeast solved completely. Then pour it in the hole of the flour. Add the rest of the milk, the eggs and the butter and knead until a dough comes out.
  4. Let the dough stand for 1 hour. Then roll out the dough. Cut into lines (lenghtwise) and cut into smaller pieces (you can decide the size of your Schmalzkuchen).
  5. Heat up the oil for frying. You can test if the oil is ready by putting a wooden toothpick into the oil, when it is bubbling its ready.
  6. Pour dough pieces into the oil (not more then 10 pieces at one time). Mine took about 25-35 seconds and then I had to turn them around.
  7. Then remove from oil and put on a kitchen paper to remove spare oil. Then sprinkle with lots of confectioner’s sugar!

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Happy first advent everyone!

xxx

Caprice

[the ultimative not-dry cake] Dark chocolate hazelnut cake refined with Rum

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It’s nearly time to start christmas baking of this year! So stay tuned for many delicious recipes. But before I start to show you my favorite christmas treats of this year…

Here it is: The ultimative not-dry chocolate cake! When I am baking birthday cakes or cakes for any other occassions I am asking people for their favorite cake. There are many answers like cheesecake, cupcakes with frosting, chocolate cake, Baumkuchen or lemon cake and so on… But there is one thing all people agree with. Nobody wants a dry cake! There ist nothing worse than a perfectly looking cake which tastes as dry as sand. I absolutely agree with this point! Therefore I would like to show you my favorite cake which is the opposite of dry and is a perfect option for your next birthday party!

This cake is one of the reasons many of my friends ask me to bake their wedding cake.  But thats another story! 😉

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First this cake contains  hazelnuts which are as well influencing the consistence and dryness of the cake. But the secret comes after baking. Then you have to drizzle the cake with Rum! It will not only prevent your cake from drying out, it will as well give it a nice aroma which matches nicely with the dark chocolate glazing. This cake can be stored a few days and won’t dry out as quickly as other cakes do! So its very suitable when you need to bake ahead!

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Dark chocolate hazelnut cake refined with Rum

ingredients:

300 g butter
300 g white sugar
7 eggs
pinch of salt
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
150 g chocolate chunks
75 g grounded hazelnuts
200 g flour
2 tbsp. baking powder

10 tbsp. Rum
400 g chocolate glazing (dark or milk chocolate)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and oil a baking pan (preferably a loaf pan).
  2. Separate eggs and beat egg whites, with a pinch of salt, until stiff. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl mix together butter and white sugar until very creamy (the longer you mix the better the batter will be). Add egg yolks one after another and vanilla extract until nicely incorporated.
  4. Add flour,  baking powder, chocolate chunks and hazelnuts – Do not overmix! At last add stiff egg whites. Pour batter into the baking pan.
  5. Bake for about one hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Now, take a tablespoon and drizzle Rum over the cake. Then let it cool completely in the baking pan.
  7. Then remove form baking pan and cover with chocolate glazing.

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Have fun baking!

xxx

Caprice

 

[…Hurry down the chimney tonight…] ‘Honigkuchen Herz’ alias Gingerbread heart

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“…Been an angel all year; Santa baby,
So hurry down the chimney tonight…”

Do you remeber these lyrics somewhere? In there a girl sings about all the things she want for christmas including expensive luxuary presents… It’s the famous song ‘ Santa Baby’ from 1953 from Eartha Kitt. Although these things are not on my christmas list I really love the song and its traditional part of our christmas music. When I thought about something to write on my Honigkuchen Herz (translated: gingerbread heart) these song crossed my mind and I thought its a better choice than the typical “Merry x-mas” or “I love you” which you can find on all the christmas markets.

 

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German christmas markets are really nice not only because of the food, also you can buy many memories there. One of these souveniers are the Gingerbread Hearts decorated with white royal icing. But I do not want to spend money on something you can easily make and bake by yourself. This recipe is a simple and basic one to bake gingerbread. The special thing when baking these ones your own: You can decorate them as you whish and of course you can choose your own slogan on the Gingerbread Cookie.

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… And by the way these cookies are perfect little presents for friends, family or doing very well as personalized last minute christmas presents!

 

Honigkuchen Herz

ingredients:
500 g honey
50 g brown sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla sugar
100 g butter
2 tbsp. milk
2 eggs
pinch of salt
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. gingerbread spice
1 tbsp. instant coffee
2 drops bitter almond extract
1 package baking powder (2 tbsp.)
500 g flour
100 g ground hazelnut
for the icing:
1 egg white
280 g confectioner’s sugar
5 drops of lemon juice

Directions:

  1. In a pot stir and melt together honey, vanilla sugar, brown sugar, butter and milk on medium heat. After let it cool completely.
  2. In another bowl whisk together spices, salt, baking powder, flour and ground hazelnuts. Take the cooled honey mix and mix with the eggs. At last add the flour mixture to the fluid ingredients.
  3. Preheat oven to 175-200°C and prepare a baking tray with baking paper. Next pour dough on the baking tray (about 1 cm thick). Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately cut out your heart (of course you can cut out one big heart like I did or you can cut out more smaller hearts!).
  4. for the icing: Beat egg white with drops of lemon juice until stiff while adding the confectioner’s sugar. Let it rest for 30 minutes until pouring into an icing bag. Now decorate the gingerbread heart as you wish.
  5. Store at a cool place, beste before 3 weeks.

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I gonna take the chance to make a small announcement: In January something big is gonna happen on my blog, so stay tuned!

Have a merry merry christmas!

xxx

Caprice