Krapfen or Berliner – A Sugar Ball for Carnival

Krapfen are a typical Carnival treat. In Germany they are also very often served for the last day of the year, at New Year’s Eve. In Italy, we call them bomboloni and the Italian graffe are very similar, just the form changes.

I always liked them plain, without anything inside. Though I think the Berliner, how they are called in Germany and many other countries, are most of the times filled with jam, cream or chocolate.

Researching them I found out, that there are many variations around the globe. The Jewish version is called Sufganiyah. In Australia, they call them Kitchener bun, filled with whipped cream. In Belgium, the name stays, but they are cut in half and filled with cream or plum jam. In Brazil, they are Sonhos and in Bulgaria they are Ponitschiki. In Greece, you would buy Loukoumades. In the US they are simply donuts. In Sicily, they have a similar one called Iris which is also P.A.T. (Prodotto Agroalimentare Tradizionale, an official approval for traditional Italian regional food products). In Germany, I found a similar version to the Berliner, but much smaller and they are called Förtchen. You can even buy a special pan for them.

I found a recipe on YouTube in Italian. I changed some ingredients like the flour which is my own mix. Instead of milk I used unsweetened cashew milk. As sugar, I prefer Xylitol and instead of the oil, I used ghee. I used the potato starch though there was already some in my flour mix. In the original recipe there is orange zest, I prefer lemon zest. For frying I used coconut oil.

I used the same quantities, let the dough rise two times for an hour in the oven at 50°C (it would not move at all with only the light on). And then instead of circles I formed balls the seize of two bites.

I tried one and confess, I had a second. From the twelve balls 8 have gone the very same day to a friend. The remaining two I had the next morning for breakfast. And the trick to eat them the next day still fresh and soft: to put them back into the oven and heat them for maybe ten minutes at the most. Don’t let them change color, just heat them. If you are comfortable with a microwave, you can use that one.

I just love these little Berliner, and I am thinking to buy a Förtchen pan, as that seems to me much easier and without oil. The remaining coconut oil I will use for a second round of mini bomboloni.





krapfen
Krapfen
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 Krapfen 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 2 hours
Servings Prep Time
12 Krapfen 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 2 hours
krapfen
Krapfen
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 Krapfen 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 2 hours
Servings Prep Time
12 Krapfen 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 2 hours
Ingredients
Servings: Krapfen
Instructions
  1. In a bowl (big enough for all ingredients) add the luke-warm milk and the yeast. With a fork dissolve the yeast.
  2. Now start to add the ingredients one by one and mix well with the fork after every new addition. End with the flour which is best to add gradually.
  3. The dough now should be soft but already workable. Now transfer the batter on the table and knead it until it is still soft but clean on your hands. Transfer the dough in a bowl, put a saran wrap and a kitchen towel on the top of the bowl and place it in the oven at 40°C/100°F for 1 hour.
  4. After the hour the dough should be double. Take it out of the bowl, roll the pastry to a flat disk of about half an inch of thickness. Now with a glass or any other round dough cutter cut out 12 disks.
  5. You can leave them as disks or form balls (as I did). lace them on a baking sheet with parchment paper, cover again with the saran wrap and a towel and put back into the oven at 40°C/100°F. Leave them for an hour or even two.
  6. 5 minutes before the end of the warm up for the dough switch on the stove and put a deep pot with the coconut oil in to heat it up. The oil should be hot enough for frying (check it with a toothpick holding in, the oil makes bubbles around it).
  7. Now put the Krapfen into the hot oil and let them brown on each side. Place them on a kitchen paper towel and then into granulated Xylitol or sprinkle icing sugar on them.
  8. Serve them warm!
Recipe Notes

You can give them any shape you want, they don't need to be balls or round.

If you make them a little bigger, let's say double, than you can easily fill them with jam after frying. Use a frosting bag.

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Potato Pizza – An Alternative

In Italy not only the traditional pizza is called pizza but also alternatives like eggplant pizza, rice pizza, polenta pizza, pizza muffins and much more. Pizza in Italy means a soft base with tomato sauce and other ingredients on the top. Even the frittata di spaghetti is called spaghetti pizza in some parts of the country.

I stumbled the other day over a recipe of a potato pizza. I thought that is a great alternative maybe even my man would like, as he is deeply in love with all potatoes. So I gave it a try and what can I say? Really good stuff!

Essentially the pizza base is made of smashed potatoes, an egg, salt and pepper and some flour. I used a self-made mix. I made the potato pizza twice, one without and one with some baking powder. Both turned out the same. Better to omit it though.

The pizza is cooked twice. First without any toppings and around 20 minutes on high temperature, just to get it a crispy and brown base. Then you take the pizza out of the oven, put all your toppings – in my case tomato sauce, onions, mushrooms and cheese, sprinkled with some olive oil – put the pizza back an additional 10 minutes just to get all cooked and the cheese melted. When I got out the pizza I put some prosciutto on the top as well.

The base is crisp and the potato taste is not really recognizable. What I really like: it’s not that ‘gooey’ like a wheat pizza.

I used 4-5 medium sized potatoes, cooked, peeled and mashed them before adding the other ingredients. When I put the dough on the baking sheet I press the potato dough pretty thin in the middle and let a little rim around. I like a thin pizza, not a high one. It’s a pretty fast way to have pizza and totally gluten-free. Though it has a good amount of carbs and you easily will get tired after this yummy lunch. But who cares on a rainy, dark winter day? So:

Let’s rock the potatoes!

Potato Pizza with mushrooms and prosciutto
Potato Pizza
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 pizza 30 minutes
Cook Time
35
Servings Prep Time
1 pizza 30 minutes
Cook Time
35
Potato Pizza with mushrooms and prosciutto
Potato Pizza
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 pizza 30 minutes
Cook Time
35
Servings Prep Time
1 pizza 30 minutes
Cook Time
35
Ingredients
Servings: pizza
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
  2. Add to the mashed potatoes all the other ingredients, and mix very well.
  3. On a baking sheet with parchment paper spread the potato dough in a thin round layer. Leave some higher frame.
  4. Place in the oven on the lower rack and let it golden and get crispy.
  5. Take the pizza base out of the oven and place all the toppings you like on the top. Sprinkle some additional olive oil on the top of all and place the pizza again in the oven.
  6. Reduce slightly the temperature and let the pizza in the oven until the cheese is melted or it looks ready. Around 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. Serve hot and steamy!
Recipe Notes

You can use whatever flour you like. Store-bought paleo or gluten-free flour works as well. I would not recommend a very nutty or sweet flour like almond or chestnut flour. Pay attention with coconut flour which absorbs all the moisture, and you should reduce the quantity in that case.

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A Cake with Beet Root Juice – Red Velvet Cake

This red layer cake has its origin in the Southern cooking of the USA. I have seen cup cakes and cakes on the Internet and think it is one of the most photogenic cakes. And a very appropriate one for Saint Valentine’s Day of course.

The velvet cake is an invention from the Victorian era (mid to end 19th century). It was so called because of the smooth texture of the cake. The same time appeared the Devil’s cake. They are very similar and the only difference is that they used chocolate for the Devil’s cake instead of the cocoa like in the velvet cake.

The New York Waldorf Astoria Hotel served the cake in the Twenties of the last century as a specialty of the house. And still today it is the most sold cake in the hotel.

During WW II beet juices were used for the coloring. Today it is red food coloring is mainly used. Originally the red color came from the cocoa reacting chemically with the acid in the buttermilk and the vinegar, which is a key ingredient.

A friend of mine sent me a video of an Italian cooking site where the red velvet cake was shown. She wanted to prepare the cake for Saint Valentine’s Day and asked me if we want to do that together. I agreed and prepared a more paleo/keto version with all-purpose paleo flour, ghee and coconut cream instead of wheat flour, vegetable oil and whipped cream.

I like how the cake came out. Tasty, really ‘velvet’ and very easy to prepare. The ingredients are just mixed together, then baked and composed in layers with cream cheese in between. The decoration with red fruit makes the cake fresh and very ‘love’-ly.

The recipe I got on this page (in Italian). My friend sent me the video.





♥ Happy Saint Valentine’s Day ♥

Red Velvet Cake
Red Velvet Cake
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 pieces 20+10 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 pieces 20+10 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Red Velvet Cake
Red Velvet Cake
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 pieces 20+10 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 pieces 20+10 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Ingredients
For the cake batter:
For the creme:
  • 100 gr red fruit (strawberries, raspberries, cherries, red currant...)
Servings: pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F
  2. Mix all the ingredients one after the other until you have a smooth cream.
  3. Transfer the sponge cake batter into a baking form, previously lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool.
  5. Meanwhile prepare the filling: put all the three ingredients into a bowl and mix well with a hand mixer.
  6. Now cut the sponge cake into four equal pieces. Place the first one on a cake dish, put some of the cream on it equalizing, put another layer on the top, spread cream, do the same with the third and fourth layer. In the end top and the sides the cake with the cream. Decorate with some fruit or marzipan hearts or what ever you like.
Recipe Notes

If you don't find or want to use buttermilk, you can make some acid milk by yourself: 125 gr dairy free yogurt + 135 ml nut milk + 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Mix all well.

Beetroot powder gives a nice dark red color, nearly purple. If you want to have a nice red use a few drops of food coloring.

You can give the cake batter any form you like. Square or round doesn't matter. Put the batter thin enough to have 4 equal slices in the end. Or bake already the size and shape you want the cake and just cut the sponge cake horizontally in 4.

You can decorate the cake with all kinds of red fruit or other. A nice decoration with beetroot powder is also a good idea.

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The Color of Grey (A Valentine Story)

Helia sat at her desk and looked out of the window. Snowflakes slowly fell into the gray of the day, covering houses, cars and pedestrians. She was playing with the pencil in her hand, thoughtfully. She sighed and looked again at the large sheet of paper in front of her. There was an old couple sitting on a park bench facing a pond, holding each other by the hand. She was supposed to draw an advertising poster for an insurance company, it was about future-thinking. But she didn’t really know what to do out of it.

Again she looked out the window. It had stopped snowing. Light came slowly into the gray, a few rays of sun making their way through the thick clouds, causing the snow to glitter. Something flashed somewhere and hit her in the face. She was so surprised that she cried out startled and dropped the pen. ‘Oh, that’s enough, I’m leaving!’ She pushed the chair back, got up, grabbing her bag.

As she went out, she reached for her coat and scarf and slipped into both while storming out of the building, all angry. She didn’t know why she was in a bad mood today. Maybe a nice hot coffee would cheer her up. She went to her favorite café on the street corner, sat at a table by the window, and looked out again. People ran past the windows, cars honked, slush sprinkled on pedestrians who cursed and jumped to the side. When the coffee was brought to her, she looked up and paid immediately. She sipped the steaming beverage carefully. Above the rim of the mug she saw a young couple at the next table, who looked in love, held hands. Her gaze swept on. A young family was sitting at the table by the other window of the small café. The young woman had a baby in her arms and looked ecstatically at the small hands that were stretched out towards her.

‘Not a good idea with the coffee!’ she thought grumpily, put the half-empty mug on the table, took her bag and left the coffee shop.

She walked a few blocks and into the park. Here she could always relax and collect ideas. At the park entrance was a young man, probably a student, who wanted to earn some money. He sold heart balloons. He handed one to her as she was about to walk past him. ‘Here, for your loved one on Valentine’s Day.’ She shook her head in annoyance, what should she do with such nonsense? She went into the park, which was lightly snowed and quite gray in front of her.

She sat down on a park bench near the pond, which was set back somewhat and was not snowy but dry. Further ahead, more towards the water, an older couple sat close together on two pillows they had brought with them. They stuck their heads together, she could hear them laughing. Helia became pensive. A little boy and a little girl, both around the age of ten, passed her, their two mothers chatting and walking behind them. The little girl said to the little boy: ‘If you marry me, I’ll cook for you like my mom and you will make money for me like your dad.’

What a statement! Was that what people wanted? Planning for the future, following an old scheme, and just not alone? She sighed. Today was Valentine’s Day. And again she was alone. And again the world was full of happy couples who demonstrated their happiness, celebrating. Except her. No one would give her roses. Nobody thinks of her. She was alone, the world was gray in gray.

Depressed, she got up, avoided the park entrance on the way back to the office, and chose another one to exit. Two blocks before her office, she passed a house that had a small, well-kept front yard. Pretty curtains in the windows, colorful flowers in a vase, an inviting house. An old woman was standing near a rose bush by the garden fence. She had a hand-knitted scarf wrapped around her neck, a dressing gown and house slippers on. In her hand she held a pair of scissors and a red rose that she was cutting off. The only one in the garden. When Helia was to walk past her, the old lady held out the rose and said: ‘Even if everything seems gray in gray, there is always something nice to discover.’ Helia, perplexed, took the rose in her hand, murmured a soft “Thank you!” and went on.

A small colorful bird flew past her and sat on a fire hydrant as she turned the corner to the office. And when she wanted to go up the stairs, the young trainee smiled at her. Has he ever been greeting her?

Helia sat down at the table in her office and drew another hour, adding color to the gray pencil drawing. When she was done, she looked skeptically at the result. No, that looks childish. She left the drawing on the table to make a new one tomorrow. Then she took the red rose that had been next to her all the time and made her way home. When she arrived on the street, a taxi stopped and the driver asked, ‘Beautiful woman, do you need a taxi?’ She smiled and said no. She wanted to walk home.

Among the many people all hurrying somewhere, a little girl at her mother’s hand looked up and waved to her. Helia waved back and smiled. She decided to have another look at the garden where the old lady had given her the rose.

When she turned the corner and went to the house, she stopped all puzzled. The house looked abandoned, the garden was completely overgrown and the house was with the windows broken. ‘The house has been shuttered for a long time, the old Miss Luckison is said to be haunting it.’ said a voice behind her. It was an old man who looked just as old and neglected as the house. He shuffled away. Helia glanced over to the rose bush. She could still see the fresh cut where Miss Luckison cut off the rose for Helia.

Her smartphone rang, a message from her boss. ‘I saw your drawing. Wonderful job, best ever! The insurance company will be very satisfied!’

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Best Bread Ever in a Clay Pot

Bread will be always a trigger in the gluten-free lifestyle. It is the perfect carrier for butter and jam, cheese, sandwich or chicken salad. But only a few have a real good consistency and taste when they are made with alternative flours to wheat flour.

It is many years I am thinking to buy a clay pot for meals and bread in the oven. And I finally got one (I decided this one).

I had this in the box for months now and a couple of weeks ago I decided it’s time to try a bread in the clay pot. I found a very promising recipe on Rezepte Glutenfrei, I tried white bread for a soup, which came out really great and tasted like ‘normal’ bread.

But as I like more the bread with a good crispy crust and a soft, dark inside I opted the next time for a darker bread with seeds. We were ‘flashed’ by the goodness of the bread. I think there is no gluten-free bread that is more like a store-bought wheat or rye bread.

For my purpose I just altered the original white bread recipe with my own combinations of flours.

I think the key of the goodness of the bread is definitely the clay pot. There are some points to pay attention before putting the clay pot into the oven. For example, you need to ‘bathe’ the clay pot in water (I use hand warm water) for at least 10 minutes. I leave it submerged in the water for the time the bread dough needs to raise. Then never put the pot into a pre-heated oven but always in a cold one.

This means you put the bread dough in the pot, the pot into the oven and only then you switch on to the temperature the bread should be baked. This way I needed to alter the time as well about the time the oven needs to heat to the right temperature. In my case it is about 10 minutes. In the recipe I found – which is already for a clay pot bread – it is about 80 to 90 minutes. That’s the time I do it, too. 240°C/460°F is also pretty high.

If you want a real crispy crust you can take the lid off the pot and leave the bread for an additional 5 minutes in the oven.

After you took out the pot (it is super hot! Pay attention!), get the bread out of the clay pot and knock on the bottom with your knuckles, it should make a hollow sound. Then the bread is ready to cool out on a cooling rack. Please let it cool out completely, so best overnight. If you cut it open before it is completely cooled, the bread gets soggy inside. And that is nothing you really want, I guess. This by the way is the hardest part in the bread baking story!

The day after indulge in this amazing bread and let friends come over for breakfast. With homemade jam, soft-boiled eggs, nut cream cheese or just some salt and olive oil on a slice – you will just love it! And don’t forget: it is a Sunday brunch treat, not a daily meal!



Bread in Clay Pot
Clay Pot Bread
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
20 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
80-90 minutes 40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
20 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
80-90 minutes 40 minutes
Bread in Clay Pot
Clay Pot Bread
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
20 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
80-90 minutes 40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
20 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
80-90 minutes 40 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: slices
Instructions
  1. Fill 450 ml lukewarm water into a jar and add the yeast. Stir briefly to dissolve the yeast in the water. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl add all the dry ingredients. Then add the oil, the vinegar and yeast-water-mixture. Now stir all with a wooden spoon or if you prefer with a kitchen machine. All ingredients should be very well combined.
  3. Place a towel over the bowl and leave it for 40 minutes in a warm place, so the dough can rise.
  4. Meanwhile fill the kitchen sink with lukewarm water and immerge the two pieces of the clay pot into the water. Let it soak for the time the bread dough rises.
  5. After the 40 minutes get the bread dough out of the bowl on the kitchen counter and with enough additional flour of your choice knead the dough again for a minute or two. Don't get a plain surface, just let enough folds on the top. The bread looks much better this way as they will open during the baking.
  6. Place the bread loaf in the clay pot, lit on the top, and in the COLD oven. Now switch on 240°C/460°F and let the bread bake for around 80 to 90 minutes.
  7. Take the clay pot out of the oven, place the lid back in the open oven and take the bread out of the pot. Be careful, pot and bread are super hot. Knock on bread's bottom (not on heaven's door). If the sound is hollow the bread can be placed on a cooling rack for at least 5-6 hours.
Recipe Notes

Instead of millet flour I tried also Teff flour. Comes out great as well.

You can slice the bread and freeze the slices. They are great right away or toasted.

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This is the clay pot I got:

Posted in bread, CRUMBS, recipes | Tagged | 1 Comment