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Reporting back on my German Catering Experiment. Thank you all for your help and suggestions.

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Joined: Dec 14, 2005


Posted to Thread #20608 at 4:42 am on Oct 3, 2011

First off, I don't mean to pre-empt any of the new things I learned on this project, but the first hit of the evening was Sourdough Rye Bread:

I've been making it for a while, but this was the first time I added the optional caraway seeds. What a difference! Jacques was all gaga over it and wondered why I had been depriving him of this delicacy for so long. I had a hard time convincing him it's the same sourdough bread I always make. I usually make two loaves at a time, so now I will always put the caraway seeds in one of them. (without them you have a reasonable facsimile of French <i>pain levain</i>.)

It was wonderful with the Hungarian Liptauer Spread:

which we also spread on endive and celery.

Steve's Wild Mushroom Strudel was the bomb!

But here's the thing. It was probably not meant to be cut into tiny slices. At least not right out of the oven. We had a mess on our hands, but everyone gobbled it up nonetheless. Here's the other thing: with the double recipe I still had twice as much filling as I could fit in two pastries. I also only used half a package of filo. So I now plan to perfect Wild Mushroom Filo Triangles with the leftovers.

Richard's Sauerbraten was a huge hit. I braised it on Friday, removed the meat to chill, and finished the sauce using lots more gingersnaps than on my first attempt. The sauce was thick and delicious. I sliced the meat the next day, added it to the sauce, and reheated it slowly today--delicious. Almost everyone came back for seconds.

Red Cabbage was Julia Child, and so was the sauerkraut. I FINALLY went to Alpine Village in Torrance, my hometown, and bought their sauerkraut and sausages. It was the best sauerkraut I have ever made, thanks to the freshness of the ingredients. Julia's recipe for <i>Choucroute</i> is more Alsatian than German (well soaked to rid it of some of the sourness and nothing sweet added) but I got no complaints.

Potato pancakes were from my friend Julie: Grate four largish russet potatoes on the FINE side of a grater. Add half a large onion, grated (coarse holes will do) and drain off any extra liquid. Add two beaten eggs, 2 Tbs. flour, salt and pepper. Line two baking sheets with paper towels. Portion out the pancakes on one of them, using about 2 Tbs. to form pancakes about 2 inches across and 1/2 and inch thick. There will be liquid left in the bowl. Fry in oil (I USED DUCK FAT!) and keep warm on the other paper-lined sheet in a 200*F oven. The fine texture of the grated potato was sublime. When pressed for the secret to my potato cakes, I finally admitted to the duck fat.

German Potato Salad was from rhoward2, very simple and very tasty:

Sacher Torte was from Steve2, but I used ganache (1 cup hot cream with 7 oz. dark chocolate stirred in until smooth) instead of the glaze indicated:

FINALLY, for the Frankfurter Kranz, I googled, found this recipe, copied it, then lost the source. I almost lost the recipe but in a panicky search of my hard drive I found it under "Recovered Files." It was the only recipe I found that called for a hardcore buttercream, made from scratch. And not too much of it--the outside was glazed with apricot and dusted with pralin. It's topped with little dabs of buttercream topped with cherries. I wish I had gotten a picture! To me the cake was a tiny bit dry but that could be corrected with a rum syrup instead of just rum sprinkled on the layers. Also, when making the pralin the candy thermometer got in the way. Next time I will just make caramel and throw in the almonds. Anyway, here goes:

Frankfurter Kranz Frankfurt Crown Cake

Serving Size : 10
Amount Measure Ingredient - Preparation Method
1 cup butter*
8 tablespoons rum
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
6 eggs - large, separated**
3 1/2 cups flour, unbleached - sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon rind - grated

1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon rum
3/4 cup water
1 cup unsalted butter*
6 egg yolks - large

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup almonds, blanched - sliced

1/2 cup apricot jam

* do not use margarine in place of butter ** egg yolks must be beaten into the cake one at a time so keep the yolks separated from each other

CAKE: To prepare cake, cream butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Mix in lemon rind and 2 tbs rum. Sift baking powder and flour together. Gently mix into the butter mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Pour into a well-greased 10-inch tube pan. Bake in a preheated 325F oven for about 60 minutes or until the cake tests done. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out on wire rack to cool completely. Slice cake crosswise into 3 layers. Pour about 2 tbs of rum over each layer.

Butter-Cream Filling: For butter-cream filling, boil sugar and water to 238F. (soft ball stage). Beat egg yolks until very light and fluffy, 5 to 10 minutes. While still beating the egg yolks, add the sugar syrup in a thin stream. Beat 5 minutes more, until very thick and doubled in bulk. Slowly beat in the rum. Beat the butter in a small bowl until soft and light. Beat butter into the egg mixture a little at a time. Continue beating until thick. Chill until mixture can be spread. If mixture is too soft, beat in additional butter.

PRALINE TOPPING: While butter-cream is cooking, spread 2 tbs butter thickly in a 9 X 13-inch baking pan for praline topping. Then in a 1-quart saucepan, boil sugar an water to 238F. (soft ball stage). Stir in almonds; cook until mixture reaches 310F. or until syrup caramelizes. Pour syrup into prepared baking pan. When cool, break up praline and grind it in a blender for a few seconds.

APRICOT GLAZE: Finally heat jam and press through a strainer or sieve to make apricot glaze.

CAKE ASSEMBLY: To assemble cake, place bottom layer of cake on cake plate and spread with half of the butter cream. Repeat with second layer. Place third layer on top. Spread top and sides of cake with apricot glaze. Press praline powder onto glaze. Any remaining butter cream can be used to decorate the top of the cake.

(Following other recipes' photos, I put dabs of buttercream around the top and topped each with a well-drained maraschino cherry to give a jeweled crown effect.)

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