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How to make Schupfnudeln

As mentioned in an earlier post the Oktoberfest at the Concordia Club inspired me to a true blue German food month.
 To kick it off I made Schupfnudeln and even got help from my daughter. I think she thought we were making Vanille Kipferln, another German recipe but a biscuit and therefore sweet.
It was hard to keep her away from the flour as she didn't believe me it wasn't icing sugar but then I thought let her find out for herself.
She really enjoyed rolling the dough into little crescent but most often they rather resembled worms which she didn't mind at all :-).
I still had silverbeet in the fridge so instead of the traditional accompaniment I sauteed silverbeet and mushroom added a little bit of cream and nutmeg and dinner was ready!

Schupfnudeln are typical of Baden-Baden and the Baden-Wuerttemberg state in southwestern Germany. It is a kind of homemade dumpling that gets its name from the Upper German word 'Schupfen,' meaning 'to shove, push, throw or chuck.' They are traditionally handmade by rolling out potato dough on a board and forming them into crescents. They are as easy as and so delicious.
You can pair them with nearly anything: Roast pork, racks of lamb, bits of bacon, sauerkraut, braised red cabbage or even silverbeet and mushrooms.

I borrowed a cookbook from a friend from the Munich Hofbraeuhaus and started cooking.
This recipe is from that book and it's very easy and the outcome very tasty:

Serves 4
350 g potatoes (I used brushed ones) cooked in their skin, then peeled
150 g plain flour
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 large egg yolk
freshly ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
freshly cracked black pepper

1. Mash potatoes until smooth. Mix together potato, flour, melted butter, egg yolk and a pinch of salt and nutmeg with your hands to get a firm but pliable dough. Lightly flour working bench and roll dough into a 3 cm thick sausage. Cut sausage into even portions about 1.5 cm thick. Roll and form into crescents.

Watch those little hands:-)

2. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Turn down heat to a simmer and cook Schupfnudeln in batches until they rise to the surface. Using a slotted spoon take out and drain.

The water should only be at a simmer.

3. Heat oil and butter in a frying pan and fry Schupfnudeln in batches until golden brown. Sprinkle with chopped chive and cracked black pepper.

Oktoberfest in Sydney

Welcome in national colours.

I am getting thirsty!

O'zapft is! Not only in Germany we know how to celebrate the Oktoberfest. The Concordia Club in Sydney is doing it too and with every "drum und dran" and a lot of folklore and typical German fare and beer - eins, zwei, g'suffa...  and everyone is having fun. The Oktoberfest is also next weekend so if you missed it you'll still got a chance, otherwise you have to wait another year. 

I really enjoyed the afternoon, it was raining outside and cosy in the tent. The kids loved it as there is so much space and fun. There was a jumping castle and face painting (okay that is probably not very traditional, but as long as the kids are happy the parents are happy too) and of course music and dancing. Quite a few people dressed up in their traditional costumes that is a Dirndl for the women and Lederhosen for the men. The band played a lot of Gassenhauer music (which somehow translate into popular melody) and there were live performances as well. I especially enjoyed the new interpretation of the old time classic Schuhplattler. It shows who really is wearing the pants :-)
You can watch that movie on you tube or at the end of this post.

On the menu: Pork knuckle with Sauerkraut and Spaetzle, Leberkaes with potato mash and Sauerkraut, German Bratwurst and of course lots of German beer. There are four German beers on tab: Erdinger, Spate, Warsteiner and DAB. Especially for the Oktoberfest there is also a dark beer available that I can highly recommend.  I had Leberkaes with Sauerkraut and a few beers to wash it all down. My friend who isn't German couldn't resist the pork knuckle and I am still in awe how she managed to eat it all, it's quite a portion. Anyway, inspired by the Oktoberfest I decided to celebrate our Germaness and only cook German dishes, especially Oktoberfest fare for the whole month of Oktober. Gosh, thank God I don't own a scale ;-).

Pork knuckle German-style with Sauerkraut and Spaetzle (homemade German pasta).
That gets the thumbs up!

Pretzels from Germany - so good! You should try with Obatza.

German Bratwurst anyone?

Bierkrug. Prost!
Hefeweizen-Bier and Slushie - that's a tad unusual.

No Oktoberfest without Lebkuchenherzen (gingerbread hearts).
Tunes and Sauerkraut.
Ein Prosit, ein Prosit auf die Gemuetlichkeit, oompah!
For kids, oompah light.
And now some real dancing...


Beautiful Cookies

This is for Mo-vember! By Sugar Belle.
Since I came across pinterest I am addicted, and I mean it. I am not watching TV any more I am scrolling through the pins of all the creative people worldwide, what a great idea to come up with.

There are post for food, gifts, DIY, craft, photography... the list is endless, and that's why I spend so much time here, there is always something new to discover or to re-discover.
One of my favourite bloggers and cookie creative is sugar belle from the US. Her cookies are beautiful, amazing and whimsy, I absolutely adore her style. Here is a short compilation of my favourites, although it's hard to really narrow them down as they're all wonderful. Look for yourself, they all come with a tutorial:

By Sugar Belle.

Ombre cookies by Sugar Belle.

Bunting cookie by Sugar Belle.

Subway cookies by Sugar Belle.


Crave Food Festival in Sydney

The October is one of my favourite months in the year and not only because of my daughter's birthday and the Jacaranda tree starting to blossom. It is also the month of the annual Crave Food festival and this year it's going to be huge. South America and Mexico bringing us the new food trends and the festival organisers have invited a broad array of interesting chefs and cookbook authors from that area. I can't wait to see and meet them all in action. Hurray Sydney!

Just to mention a few there will be Diana Kennedy from Mexico, Francis Mallmann from Argentinia, Gaston Acurio from Peru and Alex Atala from Brazil.

This is what the festival site writes about them:

Diana Kennedy

No one has done more to introduce the world to the authentic cuisines of Mexico than Diana Kennedy. Acclaimed as the Julia Child of Mexican cooking, Kennedy has been an intrepid, indefatigable student of Mexican foodways for more than 50 years and has published several classics on the subject, including The Essential Cuisines of Mexico, a compilation of her first three books, The Art of Mexican Cooking and the latest, James Beard Cookbook of the Year winner, Oaxaca al Gusto. Her uncompromising insistence on proper local ingredients and preparation techniques has taught generations of cooks to appreciate the richness of Mexican cooking.

Here is what a fellow blogger "The Wednesday Chef" wrote about one of her recipes:
Last night, I triumphantly held aloft a long-clipped recipe from the LA Times for Diana Kennedy's meatballs that I'd been hoarding all by its lonesome, since it's one of the only Mexican recipes I've clipped over the years. The meatballs are made from a flavorful mix of pork and beef and stuffed to the gills with chopped zucchini and onion more

I've done a bit of research myself and was surprised I hadn't heard of Diana Kennedy before. Her cookbook "The art of Mexican cooking" are amongst the 50 best cookbook of all times, compiled by the Guardian. Her latest cookbook "Oaxaca al Gusto" gets mentioned by the NY Times and she talks about the book which took her 18 years to put together and her busy life in Mexico. Watch it here.

Francis Mallmann

Francis Mallmann is a Argentinian culinary superstar who started as a home cook in Bariloche, Patagonia, Francis worked in eight three-Michelin starred restaurants in France in the 1980s, including stints with nouvelle cuisine godfathers Alain Senderens and Roger Vergé. He has since rediscovered traditional food and cooking - at the centre of his high-heat and short cooking time approach is fire. A recipient of the French Grand Prixe de l’Art de la Cuisine, Francis has owned restaurants in South America, Spain and New York, appeared on TV since the early 80s and has played host to presidents and world leaders. Has written four books, the most recent being Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way.

Gaston Acurio

South America’s most celebrated chef/restaurateur shakes, rattles and rolls out 500 years of food fusion in his 28 restaurants around the world. Gaston’s plan is to seat Peru at the international culinary table — with his signature, warm Amazonian ceviche as the entree. His fellow countrymen want him for president. His haute cuisine restaurant Astrid Y Gaston in Lima, debuted at No. 42 on the S. Pellegrino list this year.

Alex Atala

Brazilian food was turned on its head when Alex Atala opened D.O.M. in 1999. Using indigenous and Amazonian produce, such as açaí, pupunha and cupuaçu, Alex set out to create food that captured the essence of Brazil. His daring creations have seen him awarded every contemporary culinary award in Brazil and ranked at No. 7 on the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list; the first Brazilian restaurant to break into the top 10 since 2002.


Pineapple and lemon upsidedown cake

Last week my daughter asked me to buy her a pineapple because she loves it so much. At first I was a bit surprised as I can't recall her ever eating pineapple but thought it's great that she is asking for fruit and also interested in different flavours. I showed her how you can tell a pineapple actually is ripe, that a good sign is the sweet smell and also that the leaves should come off easily when you pull them. She even insisted on carrying that pineapple to the cashier and to put it in the shopping bag.
And... that was that! As soon as the pineapple arrived safely at out our house it just got ignored by her. I must admit I am not a big fan of raw pineapple neither is my husband and so had the idea to bake an upsidedown cake. Surprise, surprise, the pineapple cake found much more fans in our house and didn't last very long.

 Recipe for pineapple and lemon upsidedown cake:

520 g pineapple, peeled and cut into 6 slices
200 g butter, at room temperature
130 g brown sugar
170 g caster sugar
2 large eggs
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
200 g self-raising flour
cream, to serve (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 180 degree. Grease and line a 20 cm round tin.

2. Cut core from each pineapple slice. Melt 90 g butter in a frying pan on medium heat. Add brown sugar and stir until dissolves. Add pineapple rings and cook, turning often for 5 minutes, or until softened. Arrange pineapple rings over base of tin and top with syrup.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat caster sugar and remaining butter until pale and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add lemon zest and fold in flour.

4. Spoon batter into prepared tin and carefully smooth over the top of pineapple. Bake for approx.
40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Invert onto a serving plate, sit for 5 minutes before removing tin. Serve with cream if you like.


Barbie dolly varden party cake

I've made this cake today for a little girl's 4th birthday party and while making it had a very interesting conversation with my daughter who is five.

I asked her if she also wants such a princess cake and she replied this is not a princess, it's a Barbie - which of course is so right! She then went on to say that she doesn't want a Barbie cake as she fears
I will take her Barbie's legs off and it means she can't play with them anymore - point made.
I guess I'll be making a princess castle instead for her birthday. :-)

That's how I made it: You'll need a Dolly Varden or similar shaped tin to bake the cake. In this instance I didn't bake the cake but here are some tips on how to best bake the cake).
You then need approx. 1.2 kg of white ready-to-roll fondant icing and approx. 500 g vanilla butter icing, silver and pink cachous and pink food colouring.

Invert the cake and trim the base to ensure it sits flat. Brush away crumbs. Use a palette knife to spread the cake with a thin layer of vanilla butter icing (crumb coating) and let set in the fridge.

Meanwhile colour 1/3 of the white fondant icing pink. I prefer to use gel colouring from Wilson and always use a skewer to only start with a small amount as the colour is very strong. Knead in the colour until even. Roll out the pink on a piece of baking paper until 2 mm thick and cover the cake board (if you use a very large board you might need more pink fondant icing) with it. Cut along the edges with a knife and keep the leftover for the dress layer (wrap tightly in cling wrap until needed). Set board aside.

Apply a second thick layer of butter icing to the cake and smooth then put back into fridge. Use 1/4 of the white fondant icing and colour light pink, wrap in cling wrap until needed. Roll out the remaining white fondant icing until 3 mm think and cover the cake smoothing the top and letting it crease towards the bottom so it looks like a ball gown.

Wrap leftover icing in cling wrap. Now is the time which for me is always a bit nerve wrecking. You have to move the cake from the working board to the covered board and to place the cake in the right spot. I use a big and sturdy palette knife to lift the cake up and over to the main board. Smooth and trim icing if necessary.

Roll out dark pink icing to 2mm and cut an approx. 24 cm circle (I used a plate or cake tin) and drape over the first layer, allowing the icing to create ruffles.

Roll white icing to 2 mm and cut approx. 15 cm circle and drape over the pink layer. Roll out the light pink to 2mm and cut to 10-12 cm circle and drape onto white layer.

Insert the doll into the centre of the cake and make the bodice dress part. If you don't have the half-doll topper you can use any barbie without legs. You then have to cut a wider hole to fit the torso into the cake (it's a bit of an operation really- but don't tell anyone).

Cut 3 strips from the light pink icing and wrap around two around the bodice and secure at the back. Cut a leaf shape with a cutter to make the front part of the dress. Roll up the long sides of the third strip to make it look like a belt and wrap around waist, secure ends at the back. For the neck use a tiny narrow strip and secure at the back. Cut out little flowers and use silver and /or pink cachous to decorate the doll.


How to make Germknoedel

I don't know exactly why but a few days ago I felt like making Germknoedel for some friends who came over for a late breakfast. I only know Germknoedel from skiing holidays in Austria so it's a bit of a mystery to me why now I craved Germknoedel, it's not even cold enough in Sydney for it, but well.
I used a recipe from about.com and they came out very nicely and are also nice without snow :-). Because they are quite filling we only ate 4 and so I put the other ones in the freezer before steaming them. When I made the frozen ones I noticed that they aren't as fluffy as the fresh ones after steaming so I would probably rather make them from scratch.