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Posts tagged ‘German cakes’

New Years Eliesenlebkuchen & a gift of Pottery

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Little slow of the mark with this one, lebkuchen would normally be baked pre Christmas and I would certainly have eaten my first one at the beginning of December the minute they arrived in the Frankfurt shops. I make a batch every year but have been a little busy baking Christmas cakes, trays of gingerbread, festive biscotti and panforte for the shop but no lebkuchen! In fact I had not even missed or thought about it until I read London Eats post about Eliesenlebkuchen. Christmas may have been and gone but I wasn’t going to wait a whole year to have lebkuchen, I blame you London Eats! A batch for a New Year celebration, perfect idea, the problem is we have almost finished them and I doubt they will make it into the New Year.

I had forgotten how truly special these biscuits are, the scent wafted through the house and I couldn’t even contain myself to wait for them to cool. Stuffing one in my mouth hot from the oven. Good? Yes, but much better if you wait for them to cool and glaze or dip them in chocolate. I haven’t written the recipe but offer you a link here, I did make a few changes due to available ingredients and how I remember them (see below).

Some of you may know that I am a bit of a vintage diva, owning a lot of 60s & 70s outfits. Well it doesn’t stop at clothes, I picked up the set of New Zealand Temuka pottery you see in the photo Christmas Eve at the Op Shop (Charity Shop) and wrapped them up and put them under the tree. A gift to me from me! The cups are the perfect flat white coffee size, just the right thing when you gift your hubby a coffee machine for Christmas ;o) The pot we can use for tea.

If you scroll below you will also see my latest vintage find that needs a little TLC , I’ll post pics of the chairs once pretty and complete.

Enjoy your New Year celebrations…. see you in 2014! xx

My changes to the Lebkuchen recipe

1. I had no bakers ammonia (hard to come by here) so I just skipped it. I was going to add a bit of baking soda instead but completely forgot and the results were still amazing. So don’t worry if you can’t get any.

2. I had lebkuchen spices which are better than mixed spice as they contain more spices (ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground allspice, ground nutmeg, ground coriander, ground cardamom, ground ginger, ground anise seed, ground star anise). Maybe make your own or add a few extra spices to the mixed spice. Here’s a link .

3. I also used ground hazelnut only which is how I remember having them.

4. I pipped mine onto bakers rice paper and glazed one side.

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Plum Cake – Pflaumen Kuchen

slice of plum cake

slice of plum cake

When living in Germany this used to be one of my favourite morning tea treats which I would pick up from the many bakeries on my way to work. It was only made in season and I would wait in anticipation every year for the stone fruit and this Pflaumenkuchen to arrive. I don’t have the luxury of popping to the shop to buy it here in NZ (although there is a great German Bakery in Wairau Park which makes it in season) so I now make at least one batch each year.

There are may variations of this cake since and each region in German has there own which might be made with a pastry or yeast bread base. My favourite was always with the yeast bread base and I have offered a recipe for the basic plum slice (as in photograph).

Ingredients

  • 1kg Plums (Pflaumen)
  • 500g plain flour
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 300 ml milk
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 8g dried yeast sachet (I use Edmonds)
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon cin

Method

  1. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
  2. Half the plumbs and remove the stones.
  3. In a bowl combine the melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Place flour and castor sugar in another large bowl.
  5. Warm the milk slightly and then add the dried yeast to the milk. Yeast will start to ferment and look frothy.
  6. Add milk to the flour and combine all the ingredients to form a dough.
  7. Knead the dough until it is smooth, glossy and elastic then leave covered with a damp cloth in a warm area until it has doubled in size.
  8. Knead the dough for a second time and then roll out to half an inch thick.
  9. Place dough on a floured baking tray.
  10. Arrange the halves of plums in rows on the dough, each half next to the other but not over lapping.
  11. Brush the plumbs with the sugar & cinnamon mix and leave the dough in a warm place for it to rise again.
  12. Once it has started to rise again place in the oven and bake for 30- 40 minutes.

Serve with whipped cream, custard or ice cream or just on it’s own.


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