Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Recipe for Faschingskrapfen, Berliner aka German-Austrian Donuts

Austrian Donut
Austrian Donut
Fasching is the time for Krapfen. In Germany and Austria you can find them in bakeries and pastry shops long before Faschingsdienstag. Almost for the whole time of Carnival bake shops through out Germany and Austria offer them.

The classic "Carnival Donut" as we would maybe describe our Faschingskrapfen comes with apricot jam. So at least in Austria.
In Germany all different kinds of fillings for "Berliner" are popular as well. Like vanilla cream, in the US also widely referred to as "Bavarian cream", raspberry jam or other jams.

In our Faschingskrapfen recipe we use apricot jam, because we think the Austrian Donut tastes best with it.

  • 425 grams all purpose flour
  • 200 grams apricot jam
  • 140 grams milk
  • 45 grams granulated sugar
  • 40 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 21 grams fresh yeast
  • 5 grams rum
  • 3 grams fresh lemon zest, freshly grated
  • the core from a half vanilla bean

all purpose flour, lard and powdered sugar for baking and finishing


  • in a saucepan make milk luke warm and dissolve yeast in it
  • take 150 grams of the flour and stir into the milk until you have a thick batter
  • let this starter dough rest for about 30 minutes until it rises
  • in a standmixer combine remaining flour, lemon zest, butter, rum, eggs and egg yolks and granulated sugar
  • when starter dough is ready, add it to the remaining ingredients in the stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until dough is smooth comes off the mixing bowl
  • cover bowl with clear wrap and let rest in a warm area until dough rises
  • on a slightly with flour covered surface roll dough into a 1.5 inch thick string and cut off 0.75-1 inch thick slices
  • with your hands roll the slices into balls
  • put balls on a cloth that is covered with flour, press them flat with gentle pressure, cover with flour and another fresh cloth and let rise for about 50 minutes or until the volume has almost doubled
  • in a wide pan bring lard to about 335 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • put the austrian donuts into the hot fat with the nice side down and fry for about 3 minutes or until golden brown
  • turn the donuts with spoons or forks to fry them on the other side for about 3 minutes or until golden brown
  • when golden brown on both sides, remove from the hot fat and put on kitchen towels
  • while still warm take a pastry bag that is filled with the apricot jam and fill donuts with the jam by injecting the pastry bag's tip into the bright side of the donut
  • when cooled down dust donuts with powdered sugar

Pictures of most of the steps:
Austrian Donut Recipe

German Donut Recipe

Faschingskrapfen Recipe

Dough for home made Faschingskrapfen
Dough for home made Faschingskrapfen

Slice dough into pieces
Slice dough into pieces

Bring the German Donuts in shape
Bring the German Donuts in shape

Let the donuts rise for about 50 minutes
Let the donuts rise for about 50 minutes

fry donuts with the nice side down first
fry donuts with the nice side down first

Fill Krapfen with apricot jam
Fill Krapfen with apricot jam

Home made Austrian/German Donut with powdered sugar
Home made Austrian/German Donut with powdered sugar

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Rumtopf Recipe

Start Rumtopf in Spring
When Frank, a friend from Hamburg, Germany, was visiting us in New York City, we were chatting about recipes and food. As always. When Frank mentioned Rumtopf - an oldfashioned dessert or dessert topping - I didn't even know how to make it. Because I cannot remember we would have made it in Austria. And since spring is the perfect time to start it, we decided to start the Rumtopf project. I asked him for a recipe and how to make it and we went to our local farmers market here on Staten Island to get the ingredients we would need. Strawberries and Blackberries. To get the rum we needed, we actually had to go to Brooklyn. Well I guess it's ok to go to Brooklyn to get such a rare find as "Stroh Rum" of Austria. Once we collected the ingrecients we started right away.

Here are the ingredients we needed to start:
  • Fresh, local strawberries
  • Fresh, local blackberries
  • Granulated sugar
  • Captain Morgan Rum
  • Stroh Rum 80
How to make it:
Start the rum pot in spring. Take a clay pot or if you don't have a clay pot, take any other non-transparent pot. When it comes to the fruits, it doesn't matter how much you take of each ingredient. It is all about the ratio. If you put in 2 lbs of fruits into your rum pot, add 1 lb of granulated sugar. So it is a 2:1 ratio of fruits and sugar. 
Then add rum. Captain Morgan rum comes with 35 % alcohol, Stroh Rum comes with 80 % alcohol. To receive the perfect alcohol quantity, add 2 parts Captain Morgan Rum and 1 part Stroh Rum to the rum pot. Add so much rum, that all fruits are covered by rum. 

Wait for the next local seasonal fruits that come to your local farmers market and add them the same way you added the first fruits. Fruits and sugar in a 2:1 ratio and fill up with rum until they are fully covered. Repeat until thanksgiving.

IMPORTANT: try to keep track of the progress by tasting it almost daily :)

Then you will have a fabulous dessert by using it as topping for ice cream for example.

This is how we exactly started on May 23rd:
We've put in
- 650 grams of strawberries and blackberries
- 325 grams granulated sugar
- 500 grams Captain Morgan rum
- 250 grams Stroh Rum

on June 6th we added
- 280 grams of cherries (including stones! so be careful when you enjoy the Rumtopf)
- 140 grams of granulated sugar

on June 18th we added
- 300 grams peaches (peeled and cut into pieces)
- 320 grams blueberries
- 400 grams cherries (yes, again cherries. with stones)
- 520 grams granulated sugar

UPDATE 3 (we had to make the 3rd update because tasing the progress is just tooo tempting):
on July 23rd we added
- 150 grams pineapple
- 150 grams cantaloupe
- 150 grams Gelierzucker (a special type of granulated sugar that makes liquids jellied)

If you want to follow the progress of our Rumtopf project, follow this blog or follow the Keksies Facebook page.
Start with fresh local fruits and rum

rumtopf rezept
put fruits into the pot

rum pot recipe
add granulated sugar (2:1 fruits:sugar)

rum pot
top up with rum so that all fruits are fully covered
blueberries, cherries, peaches
we are adding cherries, blueberries and peaches
peel peaches
peel the peaches and remove the stone

cut peaches
cut the peeled peaches into pieces

finished rum pot
finished rum pot - let it ripen and enjoy the Rumtopf in fall

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Oktoberfest Lebkuchen Hearts Recipe

Oktoberfest Lebkuchen Heart
German Oktoberfest Lebkuchen Heart
September is always the time when you should be prepared for Oktoberfest. Even though it may sound weird, Oktoberfest actually begins in September. So make sure you have everything you need for your private Oktoberfest. Brezen, Bier and the famous traditional Oktoberfest Lebkuchen Hearts. Also known as Gingerbread hearts or just Lebkuchenherzen, as we call them in Germany.

If you do not have a good German bakery in your neighborhood, we encourage you to bake your own home made Lebkuchenherzen. Which is much easier than you might think and also allows you to make them from scratch with the best available ingredients. And so we would like to share our favorite Lebkuchen heart recipe with you. This German gingerbread recipe can of course also be used for other traditional German and Austrian baked goods such as Weihnachtslebkuchen.

Here is what you need to make i little more than 4 lbs of gingerbread dough:


  • Honey 26.5 oz
  • All purpose flour 18 oz
  • Almond meal 11.6 oz
  • Bread crumbs 8 oz
  • Candied fruit mix 5.6 oz
  • Cocoa powder (unsweetened) 0.8 oz
  • Ammonium carbonate 0.2 oz
  • Pottasche 0.17 oz
  • Fresh orange zest 0.066 oz
  • Cinnamon powder 0.066 oz
  • Fresh lemon zest 0.035 oz
  • Clove powder 0.035 oz


  • Bring honey in a casserole to 120 degree farenheit
  • Chop candied fruits until they are finely chopped. Best way to do this is by using a food processor.
  • Mix cocoa powder with bread crumbs.
  • Put warm honey into the bowl of a stand mixer
  • With the dough hook lowly stir in flour, almond meal and breadcumb/cocoa mix by increasing the speed as the dought becomes thicker and heavier.
  • While mixing add cloves powder, orange zest, lemon zest, cinnamon powder, ammonium carbonate and Pottasche.
  • When mixed everything evenly, remove dough from bowl and let rest on a non-stick liner on the counter top until it cools down.
  • When cooled down, with the rolling pin roll out the dough 2/8 inch thick
  • Take the heart shaped cookie cutter and put the hearts on a baking sheet that is covered with a non-stick liner.
  • Bake Lebkuchen hearts in a convection oven at 370 farenheit until they get a nice brown - but not too dark - color.

When gingerbread hearts completely cooled down, you can start with the decoration. Either use your favorite icing or make your own icing too! Which is also easier than you might think. And the best of all: you exactly know what's in it! Only confectioners sugar, egg whites and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

What you need for the home made icing

Confectioners sugar 16 oz (= 1 lb)
Whites of egg 3 pcs
Freshly squeezed lemon juice 3 tbsp
Water (if too thick)
Food color

In a mixing bowl add sieved confectioners sugar, egg whites and lemon juice.
Mix until it becomes thick and foamy.
Split incing among as many different small bowls as you would like to have different colors.
Stir in food colors and put into pastry bags.