Wednesday, October 04, 2006

you asked for it

A couple of days ago an anonymous commenter (I'm very sorry to hear about your mother, BTW) requested the recipe for the plum cake I made last week. If you can read German, the original recipe is from the Dr. Oetker site and here's the English translation I sent to Carol way over in Washington State. If you don't do metric, there are tons of converters out there on the web that can help you with the amounts.

Zwetschgenkuchen - Plum Cake
yeast dough:
375 g all purpose flour
1 package dry yeast
50 g sugar (I think I would add a bit more next time because the plums were very tart)
1 package vanilla sugar or 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
1 medium egg
200 ml lukewarm milk
50 g butter or margerine, melted

plum topping:
about 2 1/2 kg Damson plums
granulated sugar and cinnamon to sprinkle on after baking

Now, I just threw the dough ingredients into my bread machine on the dough cycle and let it go to work. You can also do this by hand following the traditional yeast dough method.

When the dough has doubled in size, roll it out on a rimmed baking sheet. Mine is about 15" by 15" and the dough spread out fairly thinly. You could also do this in two springform pans, I suppose.

Halve and pit the plums, making a small cut in the narrow end of each plum half to keep them from bursting while they are baking. Then lay the plums out on the dough in an overlapping fashion.

Bake at about 400°F (200°C) for 20 - 30 minutes until dough is golden and plums seem coooked. Remove cake from oven and sprinkle with sugar (mixed with a bit of cinnamon if you like) after it has cooled down a bit. Nice served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

And then...the lovely Maribeth asked for the Schweinshaxe recipe and I thought I'd share it with all of you.

I found the recipe here at Marions Kochbuch which has tons of other great German recipes. Here's a translation so everyone can get in on the fun.

Schweinshaxe - Pork Hocks
1 kg (about 2 lbs) pork hocks
20 g (4 tsps) pork lard (I used olive oil!)

1 onion
1 bay leaf
1 tsp juniper berries
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp whole mustard seeds
1/4 L (1 cup) water
1/8 L (1/2 cup) beer

2 tsp cornstarch

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Slash fat and skin on pork hock in a diamond pattern and season with salt, pepper and paprika. Heat fat in a large dutch oven and brown hocks well on all sides for about 10 minutes. Peel and quarter onion and add to pot along with spices. Pour 1/8 L boiling water over all and place uncovered in oven. Roast for about one hour, turning hocks occasionally and basting with some of the beer. Add a bit more water if necessary. When done, remove hocks from dutch oven and deglaze pot with remaining water and beer. Bring to a boil and add cornstarch, stirring until thickened. Season with pepper and salt to taste.

Et voilà! (or viola, as some people on the internet have been known to say) Your guests will think you just came back from Bavaria.


At October 04, 2006 3:30 p.m., Blogger Maribeth said...

Yay!!!!!!!! Thanks so much!!!!!! I just told Hubby to get ready for some wild German food this weekend!!!! Yippee!!

At October 04, 2006 5:07 p.m., Blogger In Actual Fact said...

Thanks for the Quetschgenkuchen idea. I've picked just over 100kg so far and don't know what to do with them all (don't say 40 cakes).

At October 04, 2006 5:24 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Maribeth - Wow, that's the first time I've even heard anyone refer to German food as "wild"
:-) :-) I'm sure everything will be delicious.

Neil - You mean along with all your other talents you also cook? Amazing. 100kg of plums would stop me right in my tracks. Could you possibly sell them to someone and make a few quid?

At October 04, 2006 5:37 p.m., Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Now that looks amazing! Geeze I need to start printing this stuff out and putting it in my cookbook receipe book (a bday present last year).

At October 04, 2006 10:27 p.m., Blogger Claire said...

So I haven't made the cake yet, and the German is grumbling. But I did make chocolate chip cookies yesterday! The receipe came off the back of the nestle bag. Does that count?

At October 05, 2006 4:52 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

I'll have you know that I'm impressed with all of you who have any inclination to cook/bake anything! I'm over it but I sure appreciate those of you who aren't, especially if I get to eat it :)

At October 06, 2006 2:43 p.m., Blogger In Actual Fact said...

Many talents, Pfft. Following a recipe is the same as following experimental procedure in the lab; Take 1ml of double-distilled water, add 5 microlitres plasmid sample and 25 microlitres RNAase. Mix well. Bake at 37°C for 2hours. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

At October 06, 2006 4:07 p.m., Blogger christina said...

ET - Yep, get them in your book right now or you'll end up like me with hundreds of recipes scribbled on tiny pieces of papar flying all around the house. Really.

Claire - That counts double because YOU HAVE CHOCOLATE CHIPS. You know how much those are worth on the German black market, don't you?

Ginnie - You also have your special creative talents so it all evens out. :-)

actualfactual - Mmm, that sounds delicious. I'd try it but I'm fresh out of RNAase.

At October 07, 2006 2:35 a.m., Blogger The Big Finn said...

I saw the Dr. Oetker "pretzel van" in St. Louis, France this morning. Imagine that!!!


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