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authentic German recipes

German Christmas Stollen | JavaCupcake.com

German Christmas Stollen

Celebrate the holiday season with this traditional German Christmas Stollen filled with rum soaked raisins and topped with melted butter and sugar.  It’s the perfect accompaniment to morning coffee or afternoon tea!

German Christmas Stollen | JavaCupcake.com

Every Christmas season in Germany, the local bakeries produce the most magnificent bread that I eat dozens of loaves of.  This Weihnachtsstollen (Christmas Bread) dates back to the 1500’s in Germany when it was first made with oil because during the Advent season butter was prohibited.  This oil based dough was hard and tough and not as good as when made with butter.  Over time, the people were allowed to use butter in the Stollen and it evolved into a sweeter, fruit-filled dough versus the flavorless dough of the 1500’s.

Today, the most popular and historic Stollen comes from Dresden and is baked and sold at the Dresden Christmas Market.   This tradition has been taking place since the 1500’s and draws thousands of people to the market every Advent.

German Christmas Stollen | JavaCupcake.com

The traditional Stollen is baked in a long bell-shaped pan, but bakers all across Germany also bake it free form in an oval-shaped loaf like I made here.

Typically, I am not a fan of making yeasted dough, but I really wanted to learn to make my favorite German bread before I left Germany.  This dough begins by mixing the flour and yeast together then adding warmed butter and milk.  The technique works perfectly for me because I always seem to ruin the dough when I have to mix the yeast with sugar and warm milk first.  This method of adding everything at once to the mixer makes it practically impossible to mess up.

German Christmas Stollen | JavaCupcake.com

This recipe comes from a baking Facebook group that I’m a part of.  An older gentleman that’s in the group has been making hundreds of loaves of this German Christmas Stollen for decades and was kind enough to share his family recipe.

I tried his recipe exactly as he wrote it and I ended up burning the bottoms of the bread.  It still tasted amazing, just a little too brown on the underside with an aftertaste that was less than to be desired.

So, I tried the recipe again making a few adjustments.  I added more rum, raisins and candied orange to the dough as well as doubling up on the baking sheet, lowering the temperature and raising the rack in the oven.   All of these changes helped to make the perfect Weihnachtsstollen you see here!

German Christmas Stollen | JavaCupcake.com

I love how beautiful the Stollen looks on the platter with my Christmas decorations on my dining table.  Serve the Stollen with butter and a hot cup of coffee and you’ve got the perfect treat for friends and family.

German Christmas Stollen | JavaCupcake.com

I even got out my beautiful Bavarian porcelain and antique gold silverware to enjoy a cup of coffee and Stollen when my German friend Mariele came for a visit.  We sipped on coffee and ate as our children played.  It was perfect.

Do you have a favorite Christmas bread?  Have you ever made this Weihnachtsstollen before?  I’d love to hear about it!

Merry Christmas and Happy Baking!

German Christmas Stollen

German Christmas Stollen

Yield: 8 loaves
Prep Time: 6 hours
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 35 minutes

Ingredients

Stollen

  • 3 cups raisins
  • 250g (one heaping cup) candied oranges
  • 3/4 cup white rum
  • 9 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 4 packages active dry yeast
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 grated & dried peels of an orange
  • 1 grated & dried peels of a lemon

Topping

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2-3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Suggested Supplies

  • Oven size/large heavy/thick baking sheet (I used two large dark non-stick jelly-roll pans stacked on top of each other)
  • Parchment paper
  • Oven thermometer
  • Kitchen scale

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the raisins, candied orange and rum. Soak for several hours or overnight.
  2. Grate the orange & lemon. Place the grated peels on a baking sheet and dry in at 225F oven for 5 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together 3 cups of the flour and the yeast.
  4. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, butter, sugar and salt the butter has melted and the mixture is warm stirring constantly to melt the butter. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Once cooled, but still warm, add this mixture to the flour & yeast and mix on low until combined.
  5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the beaten eggs, almond extract, and grated peels and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds.
  6. Scrape the sides again and mix on high for 3 minutes.
  7. By hand, stir in the raisins and oranges soaked in rum.
  8. Replace the paddle with the dough hook on the mixer. Add 5 cups of flour and turn the mixer on medium for 3-4 minutes.
  9. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a counter covered in 1 cup of flour. Knead the flour into the dough for 4 minutes. Pat the dough into a large ball.
  10. Oil a large bowl and place the dough ball into the bowl, turning to coat the outside in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm, moist place for 90 minutes or until doubled in size.
  11. Punch down dough 3-4 times.
  12. Remove the dough from the bowl divide into 8 even pieces. I weighed the dough in grams then divided by 8. I weighed each dough ball to the same size to ensure consistency among my loaves.
  13. Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
  14. Form each piece of weighed dough into an oval shaped loaf the place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
  15. Once all the dough is on the baking sheet, cover with a cloth and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  16. Preheat oven to 375F degrees if using a light baking sheet. Preheat oven to 350F degrees if using a non-stick/dark baking sheet.
  17. Bake the dough for 30 minutes on the top rack in your oven. Rotate the pan 180 degrees then bake 5 more minutes. Check the bottom of the loaves to ensure they are not burning. Bake 5 more minutes if necessary but do not over bake! The loaves will be perfect when the bottoms are golden and the tops are firm and a light brown.
  18. Remove the baked loaves from the sheet and allow them to cool on racks until completely cool.
  19. Place the 2-3 cups of sugar into a rectangle baking dish.
  20. Brush melted butter over the entire top surface of each loaf the place in the baking dish with the sugar. Scoop the sugar over the entire loaf so it's covered completely. Tap off any extra and then place back on the cooling rack. Repeat with all the loaves.
  21. Dust a generous amount of powdered sugar over the top of each loaf.
  22. Wrap in plastic wrap or place in a gift bag for storage. Do not place in a plastic box, the sugar will melt into the bread.
  23. The Stollen will stay fresh for 2-3 days but after that will begin to dry out. It's best if enjoyed immediately!

Check out these other German recipes I have made since living here!

Lebkuchen - a traditional German holiday cookie made with almonds, spices and honey | JavaCupcake.com

Lebkuchen – Traditional German Christmas Cookies

Schokokipferl | JavaCupcake.com #OXOGoodCookies

Schokokipferl – A twist on a German classic

Apfeltasche - German Apple Turnover | JavaCupcake.com

Apfeltasche – A German apple turnover

Apfeltasche - German Apple Turnover | JavaCupcake.com

Apfeltasche – German Apple Turnover

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of KitchenAid. All opinions and text are mine.

Apfeltasche - German Apple Turnover | JavaCupcake.com

I am inspired by the world around me every day to create and try new things in the kitchen.  Recently, I’ve been seeing pastries pop up in the local German bakeries filled will delicious apples.  The Apfeltasche or the Apple Turnover is one of my husband’s absolute favorite goodie from the bakery so I knew I had to try and recreate it at home!

I absolutely love my KitchenAid Stand Mixer and use it any chance I get.  This Apfeltasche recipe is the perfect opportunity to use my KitchenAid Stand Mixer because it requires the use of both the paddle and and dough hook to make the dough.

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Apfeltasche - German Apple Turnover | JavaCupcake.com

I was especially inspired by this recipe because the dough calls for the use of Quark.  If you aren’t farmiliar with Quark is a warmed soured milk that is strained until you have a thick creamy cheese left.  It is similar to cottage cheese, ricotta or mascarpone.  Since quark is hard to find in the USA, I used mascarpone in this recipe.  The quark is mixed with oil and eggs before flour is added.

One of the best things about German baking is that their pastries are not overly sweet.  This recipe is no exception.

Apfeltasche - German Apple Turnover | JavaCupcake.com

The apples are really the star of this apple turnover.  Tart Granny Smith apples are used to fill the turnover and are simply spiced with sugar and cinnamon.  Each bite of this turnover is a bit sweet but a lot tart, delicious apple.  Serving this Apfeltasche with a cup of coffee would be the perfect Sunday morning treat for you and your loved one.

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Apfeltasche

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 kg (6 medium) Granny Smith Apples
  • 1 Vanilla bean, seeded
  • 50 g (¼ cup) Sugar
  • 6 EL (½ cup + 2 Tbsp) Water
  • 4 Tbsp Apple juice
  • 1 Tbsp Corn starch
  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon

Dough

  • 600 g (5 cups, not packed) Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 300 g (1 ¼ cup) Quark or Mascarpone
  • 200 g (1 cup) Sugar
  • 10 EL (½ cup + 2 Tbsp) Milk
  • 10 EL (½ cup + 2 Tbsp) Vegetable oil

Assembly

  • 1 Egg, separated
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C or 390 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Filling

  1. Peel, core and small cube apples and place them in a medium pan. Mix corn starch with the apple juice then pour it over the apples. Add water, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla bean seeds and mix until combined. Heat to high then reduce to low and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the apples are just soft, but still firm to the touch and the liquid has begun to thicken. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Dough

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle, combine the mascarpone, oil, milk and sugar and mix until combined. In another bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Gently add the flour to the wet ingredients and mix with the dough hook until just combined.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 2-3 times. DO NOT overwork the dough. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, very thin rectangle. Cut 16 rectangles from the dough.
  3. On 8 of the dough pieces, cut 4-5 slits across the middle of the dough to create vents. Arrange the remaining pieces of cut dough on the prepared baking sheet. Brush egg whites on the outside edges of each piece then spoon apple filling in the center. Spoon as much of the apple filling as you can on to the dough. The apples will cook down so you want to use up all of the apple in the filling.
  4. Place a vented piece of dough on top of the apple filling with the floured side down. Pinch the sides of the dough together until sealed. Brush the top of the turnover with egg yolk mixed with 1 Tbsp of water. Repeat this process with the remaining pieces.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Once cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of KitchenAid. The opinions and text are all mine.

Bavarian Potato Salad | JavaCupcake.com

German Potato Salad

Looking for a way to reinvigorate your potato salad?  Try this generations old German Potato Salad recipe made with yellow potatoes, hard boiled eggs and pickles.

Bavarian Potato Salad | JavaCupcake.com

I’ve been pretty lucky with the friends I’ve made while living in Germany.  In particular, my friend Mareile and I not only share a love of coffee and our children (who are only 2 weeks apart) but we also love good food.  Mareile has dual citizenship in both Germany and the USA and has a love for the food from both cultures.

Mareile was nice enough to share her families recipe for potato salad with me.  She told me the recipe comes from her Mom’s grandma… which means it’s 4 generations old!

The biggest difference between German and American potato salad is that German potato salad is usually served warm, not chilled.  Mareile’s recipe doesn’t call for it to be served warm, but I found it was best when it wasn’t chilled.  Meaning the salad was best when served at room temperature.  Another difference is that American potato salad uses a lot of mayonnaise, but you’ll find none of that in this recipe.

Bavarian Potato Salad - Summer Sides for your Next BBQ | JavaCupcake.com

Let’s talk about a few of the ingredients…

First, the potatoes.  The key to this potato salad is to use a firm, yellow potato and to generously season it with salt while it cooks.  I know a third cup of salt seems like a lot to cook with, but trust me you’ll never boil potatoes without it ever again.  The salt brings and adds so much flavor to the potatoes that you’ll want to eat them by the spoonful as soon as they get out of the boiling water.  Also, make sure not to over cook the potatoes.  You want them soft, yet firm still.  We don’t want a mashed potato salad here.

Fleischwurst.  You may be wondering what the heck it is.  Basically, it’s the German version of bologna.  It’s a mild pork sausage that you can easily buy at any deli in Germany.  If you’re making this salad in the USA, you could sub your favorite bologna, mild sausage or even bacon.  There’s no wrong choice here.

Bavarian Potato Salad - Summer Sides for your Next BBQ | JavaCupcake.com #greatergrilling #HebrewNational

Since there’s no mayo in this salad dressing, Schmand is used to tie it all together.  Schmand is basically German sour cream and any sour cream, greek yogurt or white creamy sauce could be subbed. Just don’t use mayo. You don’t need much of it in this recipe, so I suggest starting with a couple tablespoons and going from there.

I shared this recipe with my neighbor who is also German and she loved it, ate the entire bowl I gave her to sample then asked for the recipe.  I’d say that’s a winning recipe!

Enjoy!

German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad

Yield: 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1kg firm yellow potatoes
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • 330g jar of dill pickles (185g of actual pickles)
  • 50ml of pickle juice
  • 200g Fleischwurst, 5mm slices (or a mild sausage or bologna)
  • 4 Tbsp Schmand (sour cream)
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut the potatoes into 1 inch pieces and put them into a large pot with the 1/3 cup of salt.
  2. Cook the potatoes over high heat until they are al dente or not completely cooked and still a bit firm. Strain the water from the potatoes and let them cool completely.
  3. While the potatoes are cooling, dice 4 of the eggs and the pickles into small cubes. Slice the fleischwurst into bite size pieces or strips. There is no wrong or right way to cut these ingredients, you just don't want them so small you can't taste or see them or so big they are too large to eat in a bite.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the al dente potatoes, diced eggs, pickles and sliced fleischwurst. Add 50ml of pickle juice from the pickle jar, the schmand and salt/pepper to taste. Gently fold together to combine until coated completely.
  5. Spoon salad into your serving bowl. Slice the remaining hard boiled eggs and garnish the top with them.

 

Black Forest Cupcakes

Made with an authentic recipe & German ingredients, these Black Forest Cupcakes are a delicious alternative to the traditional Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte or Black Forest Cake of Germany!

Authentic Black Forest Cupcakes - made with a traditional recipe & German ingredients | JavaCupcake.com

You can’t be in Germany without eating Black Forest Cake at least once, if not dozens of times. For almost 100 years, this cake has been a favorite of Germans and chocolate & cherry lovers around the world.

The cake gets it’s name from the region it was created in, the Black Forest and features one of the areas biggest crops. Cherries! The Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte or Black Forest Cake is made with layers of chocolate cake filled with cherries soaked in a cherry brandy (Kirschwasser) and fresh whipped cream topped with cherries and chocolate shavings.

Authentic Black Forest Cupcakes - made with a traditional recipe & German ingredients | JavaCupcake.com

There is a mandate in Germany that states that if Kirschwasser is not used in this cake, it can not be called a Black Forest Cake. In fact, most people who make Black Forest Cakes or cupcakes in the United States aren’t actually making an authentic BFC. In the USA, a basic chocolate cake, canned cherry filling and whipped cream or buttercream frosting are typically used but are a poor substitute for what should really be in a Black Forest Cake.

Authentic Black Forest Cupcakes - made with a traditional recipe & German ingredients | JavaCupcake.com

The chocolate cake in an authentic Black Forest Cake is made with egg whites, very little chocolate and no butter.   It’s not overly sweet, yet still rich, moist and full of flavor.  The filling begins with sour cherries from the Black Forest region of Germany that have been soaked in a clear cherry brandy called Kirschwasser.  And finally, the whipped cream is light, not too sweet and is garnished with chocolate shavings and a cherry.

Authentic Black Forest Cupcakes - made with a traditional recipe & German ingredients | JavaCupcake.com

A traditional cake is made in layers, but since I was transforming this recipe into a cupcake, I decided layers might not be so easy.  To assemble these cupcakes, I cored the center of each cupcake with a small serrated knife (1).  I then filled each hole in the cupcakes with the Kirschwasser soaked cherries until they were overflowing (2).  Fresh whipped cream was piped onto the top of each cupcake then then rimmed with chocolate shavings (3).  Finally, a fresh, locally grown cherry was placed on top of the whipped cream (4).

How to assemble authentic Black Forest Cupcakes | JavaCupcake.com #blackforest #germanbaking #cupcakes #recipe

I shared these cupcakes with my next door neighbor is who German and she said they were her favorite dessert I’ve shared with her so far.  And I’ve shared a lot of things!  She said the flavor and texture were exactly how they were supposed to be… not overly sweet, full of that authentic Kirshwasser and cherry flavor.  Yay! If I could impress my German friend with these, I know they’re a winner!

Authentic Black Forest Cupcakes - made with a traditional recipe & German ingredients | JavaCupcake.com  Authentic Black Forest Cupcakes - made with a traditional recipe & German ingredients | JavaCupcake.com

A note about the ingredients:  The only ingredients that may be hard to find are the sour cherries and Kirshwasser.  If you can’t find any of the clear liquor at your local store, try substituting a clear cherry brandy instead.  They key here is to use a clear, cherry flavored liquor to soak the cherries in.  As for the cherries themselves, DO NOT use cherry pie filling.  Try finding sour cherries that are sold in a jar in cherry juice.  You don’t want filling or any of the canned cherry pie goup on your cherries.  These are two of the biggest mistakes made when Americans replicate this recipe.

With that being said, these cupcakes are OUT OF THIS WORLD amazing and I really hope you try them!

Happy Baking!

Black Forest Cupcakes

Black Forest Cupcakes

Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 8 medium egg whites
  • 200g super fine sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 200g all-purpose flour (minus 3 Tbsp)
  • 3 Tbsp dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 8 medium egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp Kirschwasser

Filling

  • 680g jar of sour cherries in juice, divided
  • 1/3 cup cherry juice from the jar
  • 3 Tbsp corn starch
  • 45g super fine sugar
  • 1/4 cup Kirschwasser

Topping

  • 800ml heavy whipping cream, very cold
  • 1 packet powder gelatin
  • 3 Tbsp cold water
  • 40g powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Kirschwasser
  • 1 cup chocolate shavings
  • 24 fresh cherries
  • Disposable piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip

Instructions

Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line 2 cupcake pans with liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, measure out 200g of flour. Remove 3 Tablespoons of flour and replace with 3 Tablespoons of the cocoa powder. Add the baking powder. Sift all three ingredients together two times. Set aside.
  3. In another medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with the Kirschwasser. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until it begins to foam. Add the cream of tartar and continue whipping.
  5. One Tablespoon at a time, add the sugar, mixing for 10-15 seconds between each addition.
  6. Continue to whip the eggs until glossy and stiff peaks have formed.
  7. Gently add the egg yolks and flour mixture to the whipped egg whites. Fold until combined but do not overmix and deflate the batter.
  8. Fill cupcake liners at least 3/4 full. The cupcakes will puff up nicely, but will slightly deflate with cooled, so you want to make sure you get them pretty full with batter.
  9. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for at least 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Cupcakes will feel very light and be fragile... handle with care!

Filling

  1. Drain the juice from the cherries into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Whisk together 1/3 cup of the cherry juice from the jar and the sugar in a large pan and bring to a gentle simmer.
  3. Add the corn starch and whisk until combined.
  4. Add the cherries and bring to a boil, gently stirring. Remove from the heat as soon as it begins to boil and thicken.
  5. Stir gently a few times to coat all the cherries. Pour in the Kirschwasser and stir to combine. Allow the mixture to come to room temperature and thicken.

Topping

  1. In a small sauce pan, whisk together the gelatin packet and cold water and let sit for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, heat pan on low and whisk until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the cold heavy cream. Begin to whip the cream on medium high speed. NOTE: You may need a splash guard because the cream will get EVERYWHERE if you whip too fast!
  3. Once the cream begins to get fluffy, slowly add powdered sugar. Mix in the kirschwasser and gelatin.
  4. Whip the cream until stiff then fill the piping bag with the whipped cream.

Assembly

  1. Core the center of each cupcake using a knife with a serrated edge.
  2. Fill the hole generously with the cherry filling. It's okay if it comes out the top!
  3. Pipe a single swirl onto the cupcake. Sprinkle chocolate shavings onto the edges of the swirl. Pipe one large, round dollop of frosting on top of that first swirl.
  4. Garnish with a fresh cherry.
  5. Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve! They will stay fresh for 2 days!

Notes

Recipe slightly adapted from Bavarian Kitchen .

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