A slice of German apple and rhubarb marzipan cake

German apple cake or rhubarb coffeecake with marzipan

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The German apple cake or rhubarb cake ((Apfelkuchen or rhabarbakuchen) is a classic teatime treat, or Kaffe und Kuchen o’clock as it’s called there.

This recipe I’m sharing is a keeper as you may find out. It calls for basic ingredients and yet the result is a decent classic Apfelkuchen (German apple cake), with rhubarb if affinities, which shows how versatile it is.

A slice of German apple and rhubarb cake

German apple and rhubarb cake @Credit: Nada Kiffa

German’s baking tradition

I realised that Germans have a thing for streusel toppings in cakes and tarts. In fact, there is a myriad of baked goods having this crumbly mix as a topping but also the same dough will be the base of the tart.

I usually enjoy any fruit tart topped with streusel topping. When fresh berries are in season. All bakeries would have different tarts-pies or trays to be sold cut into bars.

In a spring day, I keep this cake over the counter for a couple of days. In a summer day, I’d suggest you put it in the fridge and take it out 30 min before serving.

Let’s get baking!

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German apfelkuchen (or rhabarbakuchen)

The German coffeecake with a layer of crumble is a very versatile cake. While the classic apple version is very common accross Germany, the seasonal fruits are easily used as a substitute. My other favourite version has to be the rhubarb cake with a marzipan-enriched crumble. Heaven!

Cake mix

  • 115 gram caster sugar
  • 115 gram butter (soft, at room temperature)
  • 160 gram flour (sifted)
  • 2 eggs (standard size)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp ground ginger (or cinnamon)

Fruit mix

  • 3 apples (or 3 stalks of rhubarb)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar (1 extra tbsp if using rhubarb)

Crumble

  • 160 gram flour (substitute ¼ with marzipan 50/50)
  • 85 gram butter (in cubes)
  • 85 gram brown sugar (demerara will do)
  • ½ TSP mixed spices (or vanilla sugar for flavour)
  1. Watch me make the cake on my YouTube channel:

 


German Amerikaner cookies

German Amerikaners or black and white cookies

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When I lived in Germany, I got so addicted to Amerikaners or black and white cakey cookies  that I had to buy them from the bakery every other day.

So every time I miss my time there, these are one of the recipes I bake.

I understood that Amerikaners were brought by Americans (hence the name) at the end of WWII. They’re known as black and white cookies in their original country.

Amerikaners are so easy to bake, which is a bonus. However, they’re best consumed within 48 hrs at max. They’re are their very best the same day you bake them.

Giant Amerikaners I used to buy in Germany

Ingredients 
Makes about 15 medium Amerikaners
Prep: 10 min. Baking: 15 min

For the cookie 

  • 100g butter at room temperature
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla sugar or 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of lemon zest (optional)
  • 2 eggs, standard size
  • 4 tbspsmilk
  • 200 g of flour
  • 50 g cornflour
  • 2 tsps of baking powder

For the white icing

  • 40g icing sugar
  • About 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (icing should have a thick consistency)

For the black icing

  • 40g icing sugar, sifted
  • About 3 leveled tablespoons of 100% cocoa powder, sifted
  • About 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (icing should have a thick consistency)
 
Preparation

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla sugar until creamy. I do add lemon zest but it’s optional.

Add the eggs one at a time then the milk while whisking.

In another bowl mix the flour, cornstarch and baking powder, add the powder mixture to the liquid batter, whisk until you have a nice smooth and homogeneous paste. The texture is somewhere like Victoria sponge or bundt cake batter.

Preheat oven to 180 ° C and line up a large baking sheet with baking paper.

Either scoop some of the mix with an icing scoop and place on the baking sheet or use two spoons to do the job. Leave some space between each one as they slightly spread.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until just nicely golden from the edges and just about from the center.

You should expect the dough to slightly spread in the beginning then inflate from the center as it reaches the end of baking time.

Set aside on the bumpy side to cool.

Icing

Prepare each icing separately by gradually adding the lemon juice to the dry ingredients while stirring to a thick consistency. Cover them both until you need them.

Smear the white icing on half of the flat side and try to keep the edges neat. Do the same for the black icing.

You can also have an all white iced cookie or an all black version. Also, you may make patterns as shown here on Dr. Oetker’s site.

Enjoy!

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German cream cake with rhubarb and strawberries

I definitely miss my days in Germany! my daily routine, meeting my friends for kaffee und kuchen (coffee and cake) breaks with my husband after his work, the beautiful landscape, the juicy fruits, the language..everything.

When it comes to baking, Germans have a large repertoire of breads, cakes and biscuits. Nested between great baking nations (France, Netherlands, Austria….), they also share many common recipes with them.

So today, I’ll be sharing with you a German treat. If you follow the logic of how this cake is made, you can virtually replace the rhubarb with any juicy fruit you have.

It’s not complicated at all, you need a homemade shortcrust dough with the particularity of having baking powder in it, a fruit filling and a custard topping which will be mixed with a whipped cream and gelatin. Then you need time, yes, you need to wait for it to cool and ideally let the natural juice coming from the fruit moisten the base..Give it 12 hours and see how amazing this cake will turn out.

And if you like cheesecakes, although technically this isn’t one, I feel you’ll adopt it just like we did.

If you compare with the original recipe posted in German, you will notice that I have added lemon (juice and zest) and vanilla seeds in the dough as well as the custard. The cake turned out much better that way.

Ingredients
Make 26 diameter cake (12 slices)
Prep: 20 min-  cooling time: 1/2 h + 4 hrs – baking: 45-55 min
Recipe adapted from Lecker.de

The dough

  • 250g flour (I mixed 200 g flour + 30 g ground almond + 15 g corn starch)
  • 125g butter, cold but malleable
  • A good pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 100 g of sugar (I added 80g)
  • 1/2 vanilla pod, use the seeds only (optional)
  • Zest of one lemon or orange (optional)
  • 1 egg (I prefer 2 egg yolks and 1 tbps of cold milk)

The fruits

  • 750g of rhubarb stalks, you will be left with almost 600 g net to use.
  • Or: 500g rhubarb (net) and 200 g of fresh strawberries.
  • 100 – 150 g of caster sugar (adjust to your liking)
  • The zest and juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)

Instand custard (or replace with a homemade crème pâtissière but omit the butter)

  • 1 packet of Dr. Oetker vanilla pudding powder (equivalent to 37 g of custard powder)
  • 1/2 l of cold milk
  • 40-50g of sugar

Final custard

  • Instant custard mix (see above)
  • 4 small leaves of gelatin leaves (about 8 gr of gelatin)
  • 150 ml of whipping cream (original recipe calls for 250 ml)
  • 30 g of icing/fine sugar (original recipe calls for 50 g)
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice (optiona)
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla paste or seeds (optional)

Garnishing 
2 tbsp of hazelnut, torrefied and crushed (I used pecans)

 

Preparation

Make the custard (can also be done when the cake is baking)

Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water. Set aside.

Make the instand custard by mixing the custard powder with sugar, whisk. Add 5 to 6 tablespoons of milk and mix.

Add the rest of the milk and transfer to a pan. Whisk this mix over medium heat until the custard thickens.

Squeeze the gelatin leaves with your hand and fold them into the hot custard, whisk, making sure all the gelatin has melted. Pass through a sieve to make sure the custard will have a silky texture.

Cover with a cling film in contact with the surface and set aside to cool.

Make the whipped cream (can be done later as well)

Beat all the ingredients together until the cream is stiff. Cover and place in the fridge. You may as well use it without this waiting time if you are making it just before assembling the cake.

Make the dough

Just like any shortcrust dough, work the butter with the dry ingredients with your fingers to get a sandy crumbly texture. Add the egg (or egg yolk and milk) and work the dough using the fraisage technique and making sure you do not overwork the dough.

Form an “abaisse” by rolling the dough into a ball then flattening it about 1 cm thick. Cover with a cling film and transfer to a fridge for 1 hour or to the freezer for 20 min.

Fruit filling

Cut the fruits into roughly 1 cm cubes and mix with the sugar and lemon juice. Set aside

Baking

Preheat the oven at 200 degrees C (180 fan-assisted). Cover the bottom of a 26 cm diameter springform.

1st baking time:  Roll 2/3 of the dough to cover the bottom and use the rest to make the borders. The original recipe asks for at least 4 cm hight.

Prick the dough with a fork several times and bake blind for about 18 min.

2nd baking time: Spread the fruits (without their juice which you will find in the bowl) and put the cake back in the oven for a further 30 min baking.

Set aside to cool.

Assembling the cake

Spread the custard evenly over the cooled baked cake. Sprinkle the crushed nuts (you may do that just before serving).

Cover and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

Serve cold with nice fresh strawberries, a fruit coulis but the cake is just as nice on its own.


Notes:

 

  • I did like the cake the next day, I think the textures and flavours are improved with time..
  • The cake was still holding the 3rd day but I think that’s the maximum to enjoy it at its best.

Marzipan Stollen and a recap. I saved the best for last

I hope you’ve been following me for the past couple of weeks in this German baking session over here as well as on my facebook page. In the case you’ve been doing so you must have noticed the number of stollen varieties I’ve baked recently.

It’s the fourth Stollen recipe that I’ve just tried. I can feel a softer texture in comparison with the previous recipes. I think this one has character and I’ll definitely keep the recipe.

I have sent a message to the owner of the blog asking for permission to post her recipe in my blog but I never got an answer, which is why I’ll just refer you to the blog post. The blog is called Hefe und mehr  (yeast and more). It’s bilingual (German and English) but nowadays I does not matter because google Chrome does the automatic translation (I’m sure you knew that).

I thought I didn’t like marzipan Stollen but it turned out that I don’t like the store-bought stuff one might find it Lidl and co..The other thing I don’t like is the store-bought marzipan because of the strong taste of almond essence that hits the palate and kills my taste buds. So I made my own marzipan.

Having a homemade marzipan, a homemade citrus peels mix and a homemade spice mix…You can’t go wrong with that can you?

For more stollen recipes please visit these previous posts as well as the 2 external links I’m referring to (I tried their Stollen recipes):

  • Today’s post is about this marzipan stollen which you HAVE to try out. However, I spiced it up differently, I used 1/2 tsp of cardamom powder, 1 tsp of cinnamon, a good pinch of nutmeg, a small pinch of ground cloves.
  • Quark stollen: easy and quick, no yeast and no hard kneading required.
  • Marzipan stollen (posted in French a while ago) which is pretty much similar to this one posted in the German food guide here (in English)

 

A previous version of stollen I made with less sultanas

I didn’t insist on the shape of the stollen but if you definitely want to have it here is roughly how it’s done (there are other ways as well)..These pictures were taking while I was making a simple stollen without marzipan in.

Bring the 2 opposite edges inside

 

Bring one side towards the middle but stop just before that

 

Bring the opposite long end to the top to wrap the previous edge 

 

Make sure you seal while forming the heaped middle part

 

The stollen needs to rest before baking

 I hope you do make the effort to try one of these stollen..They make a nice present as well..Just remember that stollens needs at least a week to age before they’re consumed. You don’t have to put them in an airtight container. You may actually need to loosen the grip of the container a bit.