Everybody has them though nobody wants to admit: Secrets! While secrets are widely outlawed to be a bad thing, I would like to stress the bright side of them which is the mystery. Be it secret friends, guilty pleasures, loves or recipes, some things are just too good to share. Like your favourite cafe that you don’t want to be too crowded or that cool friend whose attention you don’t want to share. And there are those secret recipes that you have brought to perfection over time, that earned you so many ahs and ohs, the one thing you are really proud of and you want to keep a mystery until you pass it on to your descendants on your deathbed, sealed with a blood pact that they keep it til their own dying day. Well that’s how I feel about my recipe for vanilla buttercream. I have tasted myself through a lot of recipes, measures and directions, tried, combined, tweaked and adjusted them to come to this one in my own eyes perfect recipe.
The first buttercream I ever made was an American Buttercream, which is mainly a mix of butter and confectioner’s sugar. I don’t like this kind of buttercream because it is way too sweet for me, it gnashes between my teeth and the texture is powdery. I played around with custard-mix buttercreams as you can find them in almost every baking book you get here, but I didn’t like the yellow colour, the artificial taste, it was simply not worth all the hassle with handling the warm custard. When I made my first Frankfurt Crown Cake for my Grandpa (his absolute favourite), my Mum recommended to get a little help from the Doctor (Dr. Oetker -housewives helper since forever) and try out their buttercream mix. It’s easy to handle and tastewise much better than any custard-packet-mix-buttercream… I have been using this for a while since it was convenient but over time ambition arouse, I didn’t want to be the foodblogger that relies on a packet mix. After I tried out a few recipes I stumbled over “The battle of buttercreams” on the Tough Cookie Blog, which gave a great overview on different kinds of buttercreams including recipes and directions. Reading through the series gave me the right impulse to give my already balanced recipe the final twist. There is a “battle of buttercream 2.0” series definately worth a read on The Tough Cookie, but I won’t keep you much longer and finally share the result of all this with you. Continue reading »
The official start of the fifth season for us Germans was last thursday at 11:11 o’clock. It is the time of the year half of the German residents dress up and go crazy while the other half is rather annoyed or completely ignores it. Working with someone living in Rhineland or originating from there is borderline impossible until Ash Wednesday. I assume there must be something in the water there, as one of my colleagues who moved there 2 weeks ago changed his attitude towards carnival rather quickly. Whether you call it Karneval, Fasching or Fastnacht, whether they yell Alaaf or Helau, you either love it or hate it. I belong to the latter group and don’t care much about it any more. But there is one thing I absolutely love and could’t do without: Kreppel (or Krapfen or Berliner as the rest of the nation calls them). Kreppel are similar to donuts, small yeast buns that are fried, rolled in sugar and filled with marmelade. My Grandma used to make a ton for us when we visited her to see the carnival parade in town together. I really loved them but this year I wanted to try out something new. While brainstorming what to pair with a Kreppel I asked myself why not go crazy myself and dress up some swedish cinnamon rolls as Kreppels. Sounds weird but the taste is particullarly awesome! Continue reading »
Those of you who follow my instagram know already that I paid my annual visit to the Apfelweinfestival (aka Cider Festival) in Frankfurt some weeks ago. I love applewine and thus the festival. It takes place in the center of Frankfurt city and always comes with the most hilarious stage acts that you can imagine and lots of different cider makers from around Frankfurt. We went during the day but that did not keep us from trying out various variations of cider and enjoying the stage highlights. On my way home, I was craving my Mum’s Applewine Cake so much that I had to make some. When I fiddled out the recipe lightning struck me. Funny how a hyphen can shatter your entire world. I always thought it was applewine (as in cider) and not apple-wine (just apples and real wine) cake for all my life. No I know better and transformed it into Apple Cider Cake.
I live in the state of Hesse and the Frankfurt Crown Cake is besides Applewine (some sort of Cider) one of the things that the region is famous for. There are many different recipes for the cake but something they all have in common is the shape and the cover with butter cream, golden brittle and cherries to make it look like a crown. I like the version of the cake that comes with a base of sponge cake, cherry jam and a light butter cream. As I promised to bring a cake to work the other day I was looking for the appropriate tin to make the cake at home. But I couldn’t find it and decided that I could also go for cupcakes. Continue reading »