Sunday, August 26, 2012

German Marble cake


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum


1.                    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 10 inch tube pan.

2.                    In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Beat in the eggs, then the milk and almond extract.

3.                    In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Beat the flour mixture into the creamed mixture. Turn half of the batter into another bowl and stir in the cocoa and rum.

4.                    Layer the light and dark batters by large spoonfuls and then swirl slightly with a knife.

5.                    Bake the cake in at 350 degree F (175 degree C) for about 70 minutes, or until it tests done with a toothpick. Transfer to a rack to cool. Makes about 14 to 16 servings.

Note:  it would be worth buying a tube pan if you don’t have one, since that provides the ideal presentation.

Potato Pancakes

Kartoffelpuffer (Potato Pancakes)


2 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 large onion, quartered
1/2 cup milk
1/2 - 1 cup flour (use 1/2 cup flour with drier
potatoes; up to 1 cup with more watery potatoes)
salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs
Vegetable oil


Grate potatoes and onion into a bowl. Add milk, then stir in flour, salt, and eggs. Mix well.

In a large, heavy skillet heat 1/2 inch frying oil until hot. Drop potato batter (1/4 cup per pancake) into skillet and fry until golden brown and crisp on both sides.

Drain on a paper towel.

Notes:  Batter must be fried immediately, or it will turn brown.   They could be made without onions.   Serve with applesauce or Pflaummuβ.   Of course, we kids liked them with ketchup.  Mom stood in the kitchen and fried pancakes while we ate.  This was always served in the evening as the only entrée.  When I was a student at IPFW, my German professor, Christiane Seiler, used to come for dinner at our house, and loved these potato pancakes.  She was from Bochum, and called them “Reibeplätzchen.”


Covered Apple Cake

Make crust:     3 cups flour
                        3 tsp. baking powder
                        3 T. sugar
                        ½ tsp. vanilla
                        1 egg
                        6 T. milk
                        1 stick margarine

Sift dry ingredients; make a “well” with spoon, and fill with egg, milk, and vanilla.  Mix gradually from the inside out until all flour is moistened.  Add the refrigerated margarine with pastry blender.  Knead until smooth.  Refrigerate for easier handling.


Filling:            3 lb. tart apples
                        2-5 T. sugar
                        1 cup raisins
                        1 T. butter
                        Few drops of rum or rum flavoring

Steam peeled apples in tightly covered skillet over very low heat.  Use 1 T. butter to keep from sticking.  Cook apples just until heated through, not soft and mushy; turn off heat, add raisins, and replace lid until raisins are plumped.  Then add rum flavoring.  Cool the filling while rolling out the crust.

Cut dough in half.  Roll out onto a 15 x 10” cookie sheet, making as for pizza, with a 1/2  to 1” rim all around to hold apple filling.  Roll out top crust and to “join” crusts, use an egg yolk with 1 T. milk.  The remainder can be used on the top crust for a glaze, after pricking with a fork (as for pie crust, to allow steam to escape).

Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes.  As an alternative glaze, use powdered sugar and lemon juice as soon as the cake is taken from the oven.

Note from Helga:  I don’t really remember this dish, but Mrs. Deimling gave me this recipe, which she got from Mom.  The ingredients are similar to Apple Strudel, but it is not shaped in to a roll.






Bratkartoffeln (German Fried Potatoes)

Also known as:
German Cottage Potatoes with Bacon
                     1 lb. potatoes, about 5 medium
          2 - 3 oz of bacon (2-3 strips) chopped. “Bauchspeck” or Shaller and Weber double smoked  bacon are recommended, but American bacon can be used
          1 T. butter
                 1/4 c. finely chopped onion
          1/4 tsp. marjoram (optional)
                      1/4 tsp caraway seed (optional)
                      Salt and pepper, to taste
                      Fresh parsley, to sprinkle on top before serving (optional)

Scrub whole potatoes of the same size and cook in salted water until easily pierced with a fork. Let cool and peel while still warm. Potatoes can be cooked several hours ahead. Chop bacon into small pieces and cook in a large frying pan (11 or 12 inches) until limp. Remove from pan but keep grease in pan.  Add the butter and melt, but don't brown.                        
Slice the cold potatoes into 1/4 inch slices (5 mm) and place a single layer in the hot fat. Place any extra potatoes on top of the first layer. Sprinkle the potatoes with the onions and bacon and let them cook over medium heat for 10 - 15 minutes. Flip them when they become golden brown on the underside, but don't stir them. Sprinkle with marjoram, caraway, salt and pepper and cook for 5 - 10 more minutes. Add more butter if necessary, to facilitate browning.
In Germany, these potatoes are traditionally served with fried eggs, pickles and green salad.
Notes: There are two main tricks to making great pan-fried potatoes. Start them in a single layer in the pan with plenty of fat and do not put a cover on the pan. These potatoes will take 20 - 30 minutes to cook a crispy, golden brown but the wait is worth it. Do not use baking potatoes, as they are too flaky.  You can use a non-stick pan, but the potatoes still need a lot of butter and grease to brown properly. This is an occasional treat for most people due to the high fat content, but they sure are good.
Note from Helga:  usually Mom just fried up the sliced potatoes without any bacon or onions, but I included this recipe because it is a German classic.


Cole Slaw

Annie’s Coleslaw (Weisskohlsalat)

1 cup vinegar
2 T. sugar
¾ cup Crisco oil
1 tsp. salt
1 large head of cabbage
1 small onion
1 cup sugar
½ tsp. celery salt
½ tsp. celery seed or use 1 T. of either one above

Bring the vinegar, 2 T. sugar, oil, and salt to a boil.  Shred the cabbage and slice or chop the onion.  Put 1 cup sugar, celery salt and seed over the top of the cabbage-onion mixture.  Do not stir!  Pour oil mixture over top.  Do not stir!  Let stand 4 hours,  then stir.  This keeps 3 to 4 weeks in the refrigerator.

Notes:  Mom made a coleslaw of her own, but I don’t have the recipe.  Frau Anna Picht was a close friend, and submitted this recipe to the Fort Wayne Sport Club Women’s Auxillary Cookbook (1995).




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2 packets active dry yeast
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup currants
1 1/2 cups milk, lukewarm
3/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup sugar
grated rind of 3 lemons
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1/2 cup butter, softened
7 to 7 1/2 cups sifted flour


Sprinkle yeast over the warm water; stir until dissolved. Set aside for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, scald the milk and allow it to cool.

Combine lukewarm milk, sugar, salt, butter and about half the flour. Beat for 2 minutes; add the yeast mixture.

Toss the nuts and fruit in a small amount of flour to coat. Add this and enough of the remaining flour to the batter to make a soft dough (more or less flour may be needed), along with lemon rind and cardamom. When you have a soft dough, knead on a floured work surface for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Place in a buttered bowl, brush top with melted butter, and let rise until doubled in size. Punch down and knead again, form into one long roll, tucking ends under neatly.

Place on a greased baking sheet, and let rise until doubled.

Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for about 1 hour. Top should be nicely brown. Brush with melted butter or dust with powdered sugar while still warm.

Notes:  The recipe for this northern German version of the famous Christmas Stollen dates back to the mid 16th century during the height of the Hanseatic League, when the League allowed the bakers access to the exotic ingredients traded by its member cities. A Bremer Klaben, like the Stollen, is made with sultanas or raisins, flour, butter, sugar, orange and lemon peel, rum, almonds, yeast and salt. Variations exist.  Many of these ingredients were only available through the trading activities of the League. This specialty is usually baked at the beginning of December and in such quantities as to last until Easter.