Let´s bake together

Soul food for the Christmas season

Christmas season has started, snowflakes are falling, it’s time for us to get comfortable at home. Just for that, we went and visit four of Thuringia’s most amazing Coffee shops and baked, together with our hosts, the most delicious cakes. Now it is time for us to share those four secret recipes with you, while explaining step by step how you can bake them at home for you, your friends, and families. So, let’s start and have some fun!

Café Schwesterherz in Bad Langensalza

Chocolate-mascarpone cake with salted peanuts and caramel
 

 

Ingredients

dough: - 4 eggs - 150 g sugar - 80 g flour - 30 g cocoa powder for baking - 1 ts backing powder cream for the filling: - 750 g mascarpone - 100 g icing sugar - 300 ml cream caramel: - 150 g butter - 200 ml cream - 250 g sugar ganache: - 200 g salted peanuts - 100 g dark couverture - 80 ml cream

Instructions

1. First, you take the eggs and mix them together with the sugar in one big bowl. You can either use a kitchen aid, a hand mixer, or a whisk for that. Mix it until it becomes a foamy mass.  As soon as that’s accomplished, you sift your flour, cocoa powder and backing powder into the bowl - sifting avoids clumps. Now you gently fold in the dry ingredients and afterward you pour the dough into a springform pan, smooth it out and then put it in the oven at 180°C for about 25 minutes. 

2. While the cake is in the oven, you take care of the caramel. For that you put the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and let it liquidate but without stirring it much. As soon as the sugar is melted, turn down the heat and stir in the cream. As a result, the sugar will turn a bit hard again, but that’s not a problem – just let it simmer on low heat and stir until it’s all melted again. Then you add the butter and let the whole mixture simmer again, stirring occasionally. It can take a while before the caramel reaches the desired consistency but, in the meantime, let’s get started with the cream for the filling. 

3. For that, whip the cream until it is stiff. Then put the mascarpone together with the icing sugar in a separate bowl, mix it and fold in the whipped cream. And with that – the filling is prepared. 

4. By now, your sponge cake should be ready. Take it out of the oven and let it cool down while remaining in the springform pan. With a bit of luck – the caramel will be thick enough by now – if not, turn up the heat for a minute. As soon as the caramel is thick enough, take it off the stove and let it cool down as well. 

5. For the ganache, take a small saucepan, fill in the cream and get it to boil on low heat. When you see bubbles starting to form, put the dark couverture in, stir until everything has melted and take it off the stove.  While you start putting the cake together, the ganache has a chance to cool down. 

6. Start with taking the sponge cake out of the springform pan and cut it in the middle so that a base and a lid are created. Lift the lid and fill the base with 2/3 of the filling, sprinkle most of the peanuts over it (leave a few for decoration) and then dribble the caramel over it (also save some for decoration as well).

7. Now cover it with the lid and coat the cake, as well as its sides, with the leftover filling.  Before you start with the ganache, place the cake in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Then spread the ganache over the cake - let it dribble down the sides - decorate with the remaining peanuts and round the whole cake off with the remaining caramel. Let the ganache and decorations set for around 30 minutes and then you can enjoy your chocolate-mascarpone cake with salted peanuts and caramel. 

Find out more about Café Schwesterherz here.

Rosines Backwerkstatt in Weimar

Gluten free Chocolate-Christmas cake 
 

©Dominik Saure, Thüringer Tourismus GmbH

Ingredients

- 200 g soft butter - 120-150 g brown sugar - 5 egg yolk - 300 g ground almonds - 1 sachet gluten free baking powder - 1 sachet gingerbread spices, lemon zest, orange zest - 1 sachet bourbon vanilla sugar - 100 g melted chocolate - 100 g melted dark chocolate - 5 egg white - 1 pinch of salt

Instructions

1. Start with mixing the butter with the sugar. A tip for the butter: melt it in advance, let it cool down for a few minutes and voilà: you will get the perfect soft butter. For the next step, you separate the eggs. For that place the egg whites and yolks in different bowls. Refine the egg whites with a pinch of salt and whip them till there are stiff.  

2. Now you mix the dry ingredients together. First, mix the ground almonds with the gluten free baking powder, then put the gingerbread spice together with both the lemon- and orange zest in the bowl as well and stir all of it together. 

3. After this you take your melted chocolates and mix them as well. With that, all the ingredients for the cake are prepared. 

4. Now you can start with gradually putting all of them together. First you stir the egg yolks into the butter-sugar mix. When that’s mixed, you add the dry ingredients and stir everything properly with a whisk. Add the chocolate in between, while continue to whisk. When everything is mixed, stir in the whipped egg whites.  

5. When that’s done, take out your baking pan– size and form of it is up to you, but no matter what size, only fill it up to 2/3 of it. 

6. Depending on the size of your baking pan, the baking time variates between 25 and 45 minutes (160°C convection, top/bottom heat 180°C).

7. As soon as the dough finished baking, you can start with decorating – whether you like chocolate icing, marzipan hearts or jam with cranberry – there are no limits for what you can decorate with. 

Find out more about Rosines Backwerkstatt here.

Hof Sickenberg im Eichsfeld

Walnut cake the Sickenberger way
 

©Dominik Saure, Thüringer Tourismus GmbH

Ingredients

dough - 500 g flour - 150 g sugar - 2 eggs - 250 g butter - 2 ts backing powder filling - 300 g sugar - 1 Tb honey - 300 g walnut kernels - 200 ml cream

Instructions

1. For the dough you knead the flour, baking powder, butter (at room temperature & cut into small pieces) and the eggs together. If you own a kitchen aid, you can easily use the dough hook, if not knead by hand. When your done and the ingredients are evenly kneaded, leave the dough wrapped in foil in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. 

2. When the dough is done resting, take out your springform pan and grease it with a piece of butter (dough is calculated for a 28 cm springfrom pan). Knead the dough again and sprinkle some flour on a flat surface, now divide the dough into two pieces and roll both out with a rolling pin (about 0,5 cm thick). With the help of the springform pan, you cut out two circles, one of them with an extra 2 cm rim.  Then you place the bigger of them as a base inside your springfrom pan and press the rim on.  

3. Now it’s time to start with the filling. First you melt the honey in a saucepan and as soon as it turns liquid, add the sugar, wail until it dissolves (stir from time to time) and caramelizes. You’ve done that, you toss in the walnuts and add the cream. Briefly stir everything together, remove it from the stove and pour it into the springfrom pan while still hot. Now press the rim of the upper edge slightly inwards, press the other circle as a lid on top of it and coat the lid thinly with some cream. Place the cake in the oven and let it bake for about 30 minutes at 160°C convection or 180°C top/bottom heat.

4. Let the cake cool down after taking it out of the oven and then enjoy! 

Find out more about Hof Sickenberg here. 

Ländliche Kaffeestuben in Limlingerode

Gooseberry poppy seed cake
 

©Dominik Saure, Thüringer Tourismus GmbH

Ingredients

dough: - 6 eggs - 200 g sugar - 200 g flour - 1 ts backing powder - 40 g poppy seeds filling: - 5 Tb eggnog - 300 g gooseberry - juice from the gooseberries - 1 sachet of custard powder - 500 ml cream - 1 sachet cream stiffener - pinch of sugar coating: - 200 g marzipan paste - handful of icing sugar - whipped cream - some gooseberries

Instructions

1. First you start with whipping the eggs till they are fluffy. Then you add the sugar and mix both together. Put in the flour and backing powder, stir them in until everything is mixed evenly. Next, add the poppy seeds and fold them in. With that the dough is ready to be poured into the springfrom pan (28cm diameter). Turn the oven to 175°C convection and let the cake bake for about 35 minutes. After the time is up, take the cake out of the oven and let it cool down. After it’s cooled down, cut it twice, resulting in 3 layers. The bottom layer is now to be coated in eggnog. Now you put a cake ring around the base layer and let the eggnog steep in. 

2. Next, you start with thickening the gooseberries. For that you begin with squeezing the juice out of the berries, then mix the juice with the custard powder and a pinch of sugar. Let it boil in a saucepan, stir vigorously till it becomes jelly-like. Mix in the squeezed-out gooseberries and coat the bottom layer with it. No let it cool down for at least 30 minutes and get started on whipping up the cream together with a pinch of sugar till it is stiff. 

3. As soon as the bottom layer and the gooseberry layer are cooled down, distribute about half of the whipped cream on it and cover it with the middle layer. Again, only use half of what’s left of the whipped cream, coat the middle layer in it and press the top layer over it. Take of the cake ring and coat the cake with what’s left of the cream to make the marzipan cover stick to it later. 

4. For the marzipan cover, you take your marzipan paste, sprinkle a bit of icing sugar on a flat surface and use your rolling pin to evenly flatten the paste out. That’s done, you take the marzipan and lay it over the cake like a blanket. Smooth it out till your happy with the result and cut of any excess marzipan. 

5. If you want your cake to look like our picture, get some whipped cream and leftover gooseberries – done? Go and enjoy your delicious treat. 

Find out more about the Ländlichen Kaffestuben here.

Main picture ©Dominik Saure, Thüringer Tourismus GmbH


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