I discovered this week that my local morning pit stop on the way to work for coffee and scones has been sold and taken over by new owners. That can always be a bit of a worry when your favourites places change hands, particularly when you have just done a review in the local about it…are they going change all your favourite dishes…will it be the same……will they keep the same coffee brand. After two weeks of running the place, to my relief everything seemed to be ticking along as normal, my scones are still fresh first thing in the morning and the coffee and team are still the same. Until that is on Friday when I turned to walk out the door and noticed something new on the counter top. It looked very much like a cake I used to buy when living in Germany, a sweet bread twisted with poppy seeds. I already had my scone in hand so didn’t want to be a pig and buy a slice of that too, there is always next week I thought, to try it out. Well, I’m the impatient type, particularly when it comes to cakes and can’t wait till Monday so I embarked on making my own this weekend. I couldn’t remember what it was called or find the exact recipe so I opted for creating my own and will see next week how mine fares next to the real thing. As it turns out, one of the owners is German so I could be in for some more nostalgic treats! All that worry for nothing hey?
Ingredients – makes 12
- 400g high grade flour
- 40g sugar
- 80g butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp dry yeast
- 1 cup warm milk
- 100g walnuts
- 100g poppy seeds
- 1 large egg
- 60g sugar
- Heat oven to 180C and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Add the yeast to the warm milk to allow it to dissolve.
- Place the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the middle.
- Add the yeast and milk, sugar (40g), vanilla and melted butter to the well and bring together to form a tacky bread like dough.
- Knead dough for 10 minutes and then allow to rest in a warm place till double in size.
- Blend the second lot of sugar (60g) and walnuts together into a fine powder.
- Add the egg and poppy seeds and beat together.
- Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 2/3 inch thick, 14 inches by 12 inches.
- Spread the poppy seed mixture over the dough to completely cover and then roll the across the narrowest width.
- With seam side down slice the dough into 2 inch thick buns and place 1/2 apart on the baking tray.
- Lightly spray with oil and cover with a plastic bag.
- Allow to prove till double in size and the buns are now touching each other.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown
- Mix some icing sugar with some lemon juice to make a runny icing and glaze buns while still warm.
Even if the weather is warm outside in New Zealand I still hanker for the winter comforts I associate with Christmas in England and Germany. I would rather have big slabs of chocolate covered marzipan, gingerbread and stollen than pavlova, cream and berries which is typical for a Christmas on this side of the world. Each year I also like to make gingerbread tree decorations which look fabulous for a day or two, then I can’t resist eating them and think what a shame it would be to let them go stale on the tree. So quick, out with the camera before they are all consumed!
This recipe produces a spicy and crisp gingerbread which is perfect for decorations and gingerbread houses. It is easy and quick to make and the baking time is very short. I hope you get a chance to make and enjoy them yourself.
- 450g self raising flour
- 110g butter
- 1 tblsp ground cinnamon
- 1tsp ground cardamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 200g honey
- 200g castor sugar
- 1 large egg (beaten)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
- Place flour and spice into a bowl.
- Melt butter, sugar & honey in a pan over a how heat until sugar has dissolved.
- Add the honey mixture to the flour and spices, combine and leave to cool. Dough should come away from sides of bowl and form a ball.
- Allow mixture to cool for 10 minutes.
- Add the egg and kneed into dough.
- If the dough is too sticky then add some more flour.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest in fridge for at least 20 minutes (you can leave it over night). If you use the dough immediately it will swell more when baking and loose it’s cookie shape.
- Roll out on a floured surface to 1/2 cm thick and cut out with Christmas cookie cutter shapes.
- Make a whole at the top of each cookie dough with a skewer or straw so you can thread ribbon once cooked.
- Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and place cookies with space around them as they will expand when cooking.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from tray once cooled.
- Decorate as desired with icing.
Deutsche Rezept unten
This recipe was given to me by a friend at our book club, Pat, loves to bake and she always seems to have a new recipe for us to try each month. When she made these shortbread biscuits with the apricot fool I told her she just had to share it with me so I could share it with all of you. The recipe is not one of her own but from one of our well know Kiwi chefs Ray McVinnie. I asked her to say a few words and tell us a bit about the recipe and why she chose this particular recipe to share with us.
In Pat’s words: “Why did I try them?” “I constantly read recipes & these sounded interesting…a cinnamon shortbread slavered with Apricot Cream! My view of heaven! Also, easy, & quick, what more could I want! Using Otago dried apricots is also a hit for me…I eat them like lollies….and their tart flavour makes the Fool delicious. Both can be made in advance of eating. I even tried freezing the Fool, it survived quite well”.
Ingredients – shortbread
- 300g SR Flour
- 100g icing sugar
- 200g butter
- zest of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
Ingredients – Fool
- 300g apricots, diced
- 1 cup water
- 300ml cream
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 100g castor sugar
- Place apricots, sugar, cinnamon and water into a pan and bring to the boil.
- Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove cinnamon stick and allow to cool.
- Whip cream and put aside.
- Preheat oven on bake (not fan bake) to 160 degrees centigrade and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
- Sift flour into bowl.
- Add butter and rub into flour.
- Add sugar, lemon zest and cinnamon and kneed ingredients together to form a dough.Do not over kneed otherwise dough will become tough and biscuits will have a pastry texture instead of a shortbread texture..
- Wrap dough and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes before you roll it out.
- Roll dough out to 1 centimetre thick and cut out biscuit shapes with cookie cutter or glass.
- Place shortbread on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until a very light golden on edges.
- Cool on a wire rack.
Stir apricot mix into the cream and serve on top of the shortbread.
Zutaten – Shortbread
- 300g Mehl
- 100g puder zucker
- 200g butter
- 1 EL zimt
- Die zeste von 1 zitrone
- Den Backofen auf 160 °C vorheize
- Mehl in eine Schüssel sieben.
- Zucker, zimt, zitrone und Butter zufügen und alles zu einem glatten Teig verkneten.
- Lassen sie das teig 15 minuten im Kuelschrank kalt stellen.
- Das Backblech mit Backpapier belegen.
- Teig auf leicht bemehlter Arbeitsfläche etwa 1 cm dick ausrollen.
- Mit einem Glas oder runden Cookiefoermchen (c. 6cm Durchmesser) ausstechen.
- Die Oberfläche mehrfach mit einer Gabel einstechen.
- Foermchen auf ein Backblech geben und 20 Minuten goldbraun backen.
- Die Plätzchen mit dem Backpapier vom Backblech nehmen und erkalten lassen.
Zutaten – Fool
- 300ml Schlagsahne
- 300g Aprikosen
- 100g Zucker
- 1 Zimtstange
- 100ml Wasser
- Die Aprikosen klein schneiden.
- Dann die Aprikosen, Zucker, Wasser und Zimtstange in einen Topf geben.
- Alles zum Kochen bringen dann 15 minuten sprudeln kochen.
- Alles abkuellen lassen und die Zimtstangen dabei entfernen.
- Sahne in eine Schüssel geben und mit dem Handrührgerät aufschlagen.
- Die Schlagsahne und Aprikosen zuzammen rumruhen und auf den Plätzchen geben.