Glühwein – German Spiced Wine Recipe

Christmas is upon us! For anyone closely linked to German culture, that means many things, but one of the top of that list is Glühwein. If you visit Germany around the holidays, everyone knows that you MUST go to at least one Weihnachtsmarkt, and have at least one hot, beautiful, soulful cup of Glühwein. Here in the states it is very hard to find premade. If you are lucky enough to have an Aldi’s that sells liquor near by, you can usually find it there. However, some of us are not that lucky. For us, there is this recipe. I hope it warms your holidays, the way it always warms mine. Enjoy!

Difficulty: Easy.
Preparation Time: 45 minutes.
Portions: 6.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle red wine
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 orange
  • 10 whole cloves
  • Optional – 1/2 cup rum

Read more Glühwein – German Spiced Wine Recipe

Make Your Own Flavored Coffee Creamer

Aside from being very expensive, flavored coffee creamers tend to have a lot of unpronounceable ingredients. For Coffeesome, this time of year is a fine time to flavor one’s coffee. It can be comforting on a cold day, or festive with friends and family over a holiday celebration. So what to do? Make your own! It is very easy, and one batch will last about two weeks in the refrigerator.

You will need:

  • 1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cold skim milk

Now, to make your flavoring. These are suggestions, but feel free to experiment with your own flavor combinations, or adjust the amounts to suit your taste.

  • Chocolate Almond: 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Pumpkin Spice: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • Vanilla: 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Amaretto: 3 teaspoons almond extract, 1 teaspoon cherry extract
  • Cappuccino: 1 teaspoon almond extract, 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • Strudel: 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon almond extract.
  • Chocolate Raspberry: 2 teaspoons cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons raspberry syrup

Place all of your ingredients in a container with a tight lid and shake vigorously. If you prefer, you can put everything into a blender and pulse to blend it. Then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Be sure to give it a shake every time you use it, in case anything has settled. Last but not least, enjoy your coffee!

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Erdbeertorte – German Strawberry Tart Cake Recipe

This is a very common cake served at coffee time in Germany. You can be sure that you will always find this type of cake at any bakery, especially in the Spring or Summer, and it’s perfect for even the most laissez faire cake eater. Not too sweet, not too creamy or rich – just the perfect blend of light and sweet.

This is a very easy shortcut version.  If you would like a more authentic torte, try the Himbeertorte – German Raspberry Cake Recipe and replace the raspberries with strawberries. You will require a special flan pan to make your own cake shell.

Difficulty: Easy.
Preparation Time: 1 – 3 hours.
Portions: 8.

Ingredients:

  • Prepared sponge cake shell (can often be found in the produce section of the grocer)
  • 1 container, ripe strawberries
  • sugar

Glaze

  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 1 (3 oz) pkg Strawberry Gelatin (sugar free if you want less sweet)

Read more Erdbeertorte – German Strawberry Tart Cake Recipe

Rumtopf – Preserving Seasonal Fruits Pt. 3

This is the final installation of our Rumtopf series. The recipe is very easy, it’s the wait that is difficult!

Difficulty: Easy.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes.
Total Time: 42 days
Portions: 10.

Ingredients:Rumtopf

  • 2 lbs fruit (strawberries, plums, cherries, peaches, pears, raspberries, currants, blueberries, gooseberries, …)
  • 1 lb sugar
  • 3 cups rum

Read more Rumtopf – Preserving Seasonal Fruits Pt. 3

Schwäbische Maultaschen – Swabian Ravioli Recipe

A savory Maultaschen that is a meat lovers dream. Great hearty meal for the cold winter months, and based on the Swabian version of minced meat Maultaschen.

Difficulty: Moderate.
Preparation Time: 1 hour.
Portions: 4.

Ingredients:Schwäbische Maultaschen

Dough

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 4 eggs
  • salt to taste

Filling

Rumtopf – Preserving Seasonal Fruits Pt.2

So today we are going to discuss exactly what you can place in your Rumtopf. This is a very easy lesson.  You can place many fruits in there.

These are the best candidates for a good Rumtopf (make sure fruits are pitted, cored, and with stems/leaves removed, if applicable):

  • Pineapple (cut into large chunks)Rumtopf
  • Cherries (any variety)
  • Peaches (cut in halves, quarters, or slices)
  • Apricots (halves)
  • Nectarines (halves)
  • Plums (half or quarter)
  • Pears (peeled and sliced)
  • Grapes (sweet seedless red or green grapes are ideal)
  • Strawberries (don’t wash, just remove stem & leaves).
  • Raspberries (don’t wash).
  • Red currants
  • Gooseberries

Read more Rumtopf – Preserving Seasonal Fruits Pt.2

Apfel-Maultaschen – Apple Filled Ravioli Recipe

Maultaschen are loosely equivalent to ravioli in Germany, and can contain any number of fillings, sweet and savory.  In Bavaria, it is common to have a sweet filling such as apple. There are also several ways of creating the dough. Some recipes call for a potato dough (which is the traditional way) or a typical flour dough.

This recipe is an adaptation of a Bavarian recipe I came across online which uses a potato dough. Enjoy!

Difficulty: Moderate.
Preparation Time: 1 hour 20 minutes.
Portions: 4.

Ingredients:Apfel-Maultaschen

  • 2 pounds potatoes (slightly ‘stale’ works well)
  • 150 grams flour (approximately 5 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbs ghee (melted butter)
  • 5 apples
  • butter
  • sugar
  • 10 ounces milk
  • 150 grams sugar (approximately 5 ounces)

Read more Apfel-Maultaschen – Apple Filled Ravioli Recipe

Kohlrouladen – Stuffed Cabbage Recipe

This is a German staple food, and can be found at most restaurants.  The cabbage leaves are carefully parboiled and then stuffed with a seasoned ground meat mixture.  Serve with boiled potatoes for a hearty meal. (Adapted from In-Berlin-Brandenburg.com.)

Difficulty: Moderate.
Preparation Time: 2 hours.
Portions: 4.

Ingredients:

  • 1 white cabbage
  • 1 stale bread roll
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pint chicken or beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

Read more Kohlrouladen – Stuffed Cabbage Recipe

Rumtopf – Preserving Seasonal Fruits Pt.1

Rumtopf is a longstanding German tradition in which various fruits are collected and preserved in rum for months. As is the case with wines, this gets better with age if done properly. There are special pots that one can purchase to preserve and maintain the necessary conditions. Imagine my giddiness when I saw that one of my favorite “go to” German shops began carrying them.

The Rumtopf at the German Deli is not only visually appealing, but also the perfect size to make a batch big enough to share over the holidays with friends and family. This is an item that can be passed down to your kids to keep your German traditions alive. That’s why I have already ordered mine.

In Pt. 2, we will look into how to prepare our Rumtopf.

See also:

Rumtopf – Preserving Seasonal Fruits Pt.2

Rumtopf – Preserving Seasonal Fruits Pt. 3

German Traditions

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What IS that stuff?? German Cake & Gelatin?

I’ve seen some people inquire as to what the gelatin mixture is that is placed over fruit on German tortes.  It really isn’t that mysterious, and there are two ways you can achieve this at home.

Your first option is to make it from scratch.  The most difficult part is to continually mix and not overheat the mixture.  Here is the recipe.

Fruit Torte Jelly/Gelatin

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp. gelatin (plain, unflavored gelatin – can be found in the baking aisle of any grocer)
  • 1 cup water OR apple juice (be aware this will add some extra flavor)
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • Optional: 1 tsp. red food coloring

Preparation:

  1. Soak gelatin in 2 tbsp. cold water for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat over low heat until it becomes liquid.
  3. Add 2 tbsp. sugar and the remainder of water and heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Remove from heat and cool until it is just pourable (20 – 30 minutes).
  5. Spoon over finished cake shell with fruit already arranged over the top.
  6. Allow whole cake to set for at least one hour before serving.  For extended life, refrigerate to prevent fruit from molding.

Okay, so you say this sounds too tedious, and you want a quick and dirty solution? Try Tortenguss.  You can purchase a dry mix, which still needs to be heated, but is a little less finicky. My personal favorite can be bought from German Deli: Dr. Oetker Tortenguss Klar (Clear Cake Glaze). It is sold in a 3-pack, and I will stock up on a few at a time.

See? Isn’t it great when one of life’s little mysteries can be solved so simply? 🙂

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