Hugo, the refreshing Elderflower Drink

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A classic refreshing summer drink in Europe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cl    Elderflower Syrup**
  •    1    Wedge of Lime
  •    1    fresh Mint leaf
  •          Dry / Extra Dry Champagne or Prosecco
  •          Ice cubes

Directions:

In a large wine glass (10-12 ounces) pour in the elderflower syrup.
Squeeze in some lime juice and drop the remaining wedge into the glass.
Lightly squeeze the mint leaf to release it’s flavor and add to the glass.
Add ice cubes and fill up with Champagne.
Stir lightly and serve.

Note:
The Syrup used is from the Elderflowers, not the berries! If you are not that ambitious to make your own, don’t have a tree or missed the season (see recipe here), we found the syrup at our local IKEA store.

**2 cl is the size of a regular shot-glass about 3/4 full

Champagne can be subsidized with Sparkling Water for a non-alcoholic drink, the taste is not as full, but it is still as refreshing.

Carrot Cake

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Ingredients:

  •  2 cups    Flour
  •    1 tsp    Salt
  •    2 tsp    Cinnamon
  •    2 tsp    Baking Soda
  • 1½ cup    Sugar
  • 1½ cup    Vegetable Oil
  •          5    Eggs
  • 1½ cup    Walnuts, coarsely chopped
  •  3 cups    Carrots, grated (approx 1 lb)

Frosting

  •  1-8 oz    Cream Cheese, soft
  •     4 tbs    Unsalted Butter, soft
  •      1tsp    Vanilla Extract
  •   ½-1 lb    Confectioners Sugar

Directions:

Clean and grate (or chop in food processor) carrots, set aside. Mix together flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda.
In a mixing bowl beat together eggs, sugar and oil.
Gradually add flour mixture to egg and beat for two minutes.
Stir in grated carrots and chopped walnuts.
Divide into two or three nonstick cake pans (depends on how many layers are desired).
Bake at 350°F for 30-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Can be baked in a 10½ spring form at 325°F for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes until center is set and toothpick comes out clean. If it is getting too dark on top after the first 45 minutes cover with aluminum foil for the remaining baking time. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or frost before serving .

Frosting:
Cream together butter, cream cheese and vanilla, then gradually add powdered sugar. Beat until well blended, about 5 minutes.

Carrot cake without frosting

Sossenkuchen

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Ingredients:  

  •   250 g    Flour, sifted
  •    2 tsp    Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp    Ground Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp    Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp    Cinnamon
  •                Pinch Salt
  •   100 g    Brown Sugar
  •   100 g    Honey
  • 200 ml    Milk
  •    2 tbs    Oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9 x 9 cake pan.
Heat the milk to lukewarm.
First mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
Then add honey, milk and oil.
Stir until completely blended to form a smooth batter.
Pour into prepared baking pan and place into preheated oven.
Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

 

Franken Sauerbraten

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Sauerbraten with Bread Dumplings and Red Cabbage

 

Ingredients:

  •  2 – 3 lbs    Sirloin Tip Roast or Bottom Round Roast
  •                  Salt & Pepper
  •    1 large    Cooking Onion
  •    1 stalk    Celery
  •            1    Carrot
  •   6 slices    Bacon
  •    5 cups    Water
  •            1    Bay Leaf
  •          16    Juniper Berries
  •     ⅓ cup    Vinegar
  •       50 g    Sossenkuchen

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Clean and slice onion and cut celery and carrots into pieces.
Place 12 of the juniper berries in a pouch such as tea bag or cheese cloth and tie the top closed, throw the rest in with the vegetables.
In a Dutch Oven fry the bacon until enough grease is released to be able to brown the roast in.
Season roast with salt and pepper, add to the Dutch oven with the vegetables, leaving the bacon in with the roast. Brown the roast on all sides, stirring the vegetables frequently so they brown, but do not burn.

Once the roast is browned on all sides add the water, vinegar, bay leaf and juniper berries and bring to a boil on top of the stove.
Cover and place in the oven for 2-3 hours. Uncover after 1½ hours and finish cooking. Sauce should be reduced by about 1/3 in this time.

Remove roast and set aside keeping it warm while making the gravy. Remove the pouch with juniper berries and discard.
Strain the gravy through a sieve, pressing down  with a wooden spoon to force as much of the solids through as possible.
Return the gravy to the Dutch oven and bring to a boil.
Place the Sossenkuchen in a bowl and add some of the hot gravy, mix until it is dissolved and return to  the pot, simmer briefly. If needed add salt, pepper and Sossenkuchen to taste. Add a roux (butter & flour) if a thicker gravy is desired.

Slice the roast and arrange slices on a heated platter with some gravy drizzled over them. Serve the rest of the gravy in a separate bowl.
Generally served with Dumplings or Spätzle, Red Cabbage and Lingonberries.

lingonberries felix

Florentiner Cookies

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Ingredients:

  • 200 ml    Heavy Cream
  •     50 g    Unsalted Butter
  •   200 g    Sugar
  •   100 g    Sliced Almonds
  •   100 g    Ground Almonds
  •   100 g    Candied Lemon Peel
  •   100 g    Candied Orange Peel
  •     50 g    Flour
  •     8 oz    Semi-sweet Chocolate, for the glaze

Directions:

Coarsely chop the sliced almonds. The candied lemon and orange peel come diced but need to be chopped finer. Spraying your chopping knife with a little Pam will make this much easier. In a mixing bowl combine the nuts, flour and candied peels together. In a medium sauce pan heat the cream, butter and sugar, stirring frequently, until the mixture is hot and the sugar has dissolved.

Add the hot cream sauce to the almond mixture and stir together thoroughly.  Cool the batter for 10 -15 minutes.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Use one rounded teaspoon of batter per cookie, place on parchment paper, leaving about 4 inches between each cookie as they will spread.

Bake at 350°F until cookies are golden brown, for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
Spread bottoms of the cookies with chocolate and place on wax paper (chocolate side up) until the chocolate sets.
Store in an airtight container layer with wax paper.
Optional: after the chocolate has hardened on the bottom, chocolate can also be drizzled decoratively on the top.

Makes 3 dozen

 

 

Butterbrote

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Ingredients:

  • 250 g    Unsalted Butter, soft
  • 375 g    Flour
  •   90 g    Raw Sugar**
  •        3    Egg Yolks
  •   45 g    Cocoa, unsweetened
  •     8 g    Cinnamon

Glaze

  •   1 tsp    Lemon Juice
  •              Confectioners Sugar

Directions:

Cream butter, add sugar and egg yolks, beat until well blended.
Add flour, cocoa and cinnamon, then knead together until a smooth dough is formed.
Roll the dough into one inch round tube and shape to resemble a loaf of bread. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for one hour.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the dough from the plastic, with a sharp knife, cut 1 cm thick slices, flatten slightly and place on cookie sheet.
Bake at 325°F for 14 – 18 minutes.
Cool before glazing.

Glaze: In a small dish combine the juice with enough confectioners sugar to make a paste.
When cookies are cool spread some glaze onto the center area to resemble a slice of buttered bread. Make more glaze if needed.
Set aside until glaze has hardened before storing.

** Raw Sugar sold as Turbinado Sugar are light to medium brown sugar crystals (unbleached)

 

 

Hazelnut Makronen

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Ingredients:

  •   500 g    Bakers Sugar
  •          3    Eggs
  •   500 g    Ground Hazelnut
  •     1 tsp    Lemon Zest
  • 40 mm    Oblaten
  •        48    Whole Hazelnuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 330°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Beat the eggs until firm. Add the sugar and continue beating until the sugar is almost dissolved.
Fold in the ground hazelnuts and lemon.
Heap dough onto the center of each oblaten.
Press a whole hazelnut half way down into the center of each cookie.  Place on cookie sheet leaving ¾ of an inch between each cookie.
Bake until golden brown. Approx. 15 to 25 minutes.

Oblaten are thin wafers which are often used in the baking of German Christmas cookies to add support to the dough.

A Radler or Radlermaβ

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.

Ingredients:

  • Beer
  • clear Lemon flavored carbonated Soft Drink like 7up

Directions and History:

Any Lager or even light Beer will do.

Original Bavarian recipe calls for a 50/50 beer and soft drink mix.

Ratio can be changed to your taste preference.

Great long drink for the summertime.

 

Served in beer gardens in Bavaria for over 100 years.

Radler Maβ: Goes back to the bicycle clubs in the second half of the 19th Century, hence the first part of the name meaning bicycle rider.

A Maβ in Bavaria is a stein with the volume of 1 liter.

According to the German Historian Bauer: A Radler was enjoyed by the “bikers” once they reached their mid destination, a beer garden.  The “bikers” did not want to consume a soft drink, but if they would have had real beer, they would never have found their way home.

 

Elderflower Drink

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In our search for the ingredients for a drink which we liked in Germany we finally found the Elderflower syrup at our local IKEA and they also had a recipe card of their own, which we tried and liked.  It is an excellent summer drink.

Ingredients:

    •  1.5 oz    Vodka
    • 3/4 oz    Elderflower syrup
    •         1    Lime
    •    8 oz    Tonic water
    •               Ice

Directions:

Combine vodka, syrup and the juice of 1/2 a lime with ice in a highball glass and fill up with tonic water.
They recommend slicing the other half and adding it to the drink with one slice as decoration on the rim.
We only used 1/2 a lime and added the squeezed out part to the glass, the looks were probably not as great as adding more slices, but the drink was excellent.
Try adding a sprig of mint to it, you might like it.

The drink we had in Germany is called a Hugo.
The Syrup used is from the Elderflowers, not the berries! If you want to make your own, see the recipe here.