How to make Flammkuchen (Tarte Flambée)

A thin crust German style pizza covered with a layer of fresh thick cream, crispy lardons (bacon), thinly sliced sweet onions and melted cheese. 

Flammkuchen is one of those recipes that is a familiar yet unfamiliar taste all at the same time. Although it is nicknamed “German pizza” it is not really what some would consider as traditionally pizza in the sense that it is made with crème fraîche (essentially sour cream) instead of marinara sauce.

For my version of this recipe, I make my own creamy combo of labne (kind of like a yogurt cheese) and a bit of strained yogurt. This combination makes for a delightfully subtly tangy taste that balances the rich bacon, sweet onions and salty cheese.

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Flammkuchen originates from the south of Germany and northeast France, thus why it is also known as Tarte Flambée. Traditionally it would have been prepared in a wood burning oven that makes the thin crust nice and crispy along the edges. I find that a really hot oven works just as well as long as you are cautious enough to not let it bake too long.

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Here’s my recipe:

Flammkuchen (Tarte Flambée)

  • 1 pizza dough (pre-prepared from scratch or storebought)
  • 1-2 TBSP all purpose flour (for dusting & rolling out the dough)
  • 1/3 c labne
  • 2 TBSP thick strained yogurt
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (not traditional to use cheese at all but I used mozzerella)
  • 3 heaping TBSP lardons or bacon pre-cut into small cubes
  • 1 small onion (thinly sliced)
  • salt (to taste)

Preparation:

Pre-heat the oven to 250C/482F (or as hot as your oven can get).

Place the lardons or cubed bacon into a small frying pan and allow them to cook for a fw minutes (stirring frequently) until they are browned and crispy. Drain and remove from the heat. (Tip: keep the bacon fat! It might sound crazy but it is good to have on hand. My mom always kept some in a mug in the fridge for whenever she needed it. She’s a genius, I know:)

Dust a clean countertop and a rolling pin with flour and roll out the dough into a large thin rectangular shape.

Then fold the dough like a package and carefully transfer it onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Alternatively, you could roll out the dough directly on the parchment paper.

Mix together the labne and the yogurt until smooth and then using a spatula, spread it over the dough in a nice and even layer.

Then sprinkle over the lardons (try not to eat them, lol!), onions and cheese.

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Season with salt to taste and place the Flammkuchen in the oven to bake for 7 minutes or so (depending on how hot your oven really goes).

Then remove from the oven, transfer onto a large cutting board, cut into generous squares and serve immediately.

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Guten Appetit!

*My tip: keep some extra ingredients handy because Flammkuchen tends to get eaten up pretty quickly. 

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Streuselkuchen German Crumb Cake

A light and fluffy vanilla cake topped with a thick layer of German style streusel! 

Streuselkuchen was one of the first cakes that I tried on my first trip to Germany. Although I had heard many wonderful things about the German cakes it wasn’t until I actually went to Germany that I truly experienced the beautiful myriad of cakes and tortes.

Streuselkuchen is traditionally prepared with a yeast dough and then covered with streusel (a German style crumb topping comprised of flour, sugar and butter). But for my version I make a light, fluffy and moist vanilla cake instead and cover it liberally with the streusel topping.

It is also a brilliant idea to add fruit, such as apples, apricots or cherries in between the streusel and cake. Also you could add a pudding layer for an even more rich cake. Regardless of how you choose to make it, I am sure you will love it. Or, if you feel so inclined, take a trip to Germany and try this cake and many others in a local bakery. If you love cake and coffee then the German “Kaffee und Kuchen” a special time of day normally in between lunch and dinner, more frequently enjoyed on weekends, when you enjoy a slice of cake and a cup of coffee with friends and family.

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Here’s the recipe:

Streuselkuchen German Crumb Cake

For the cake:

  • 1 cup vegetable oil (or butter)
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 TBSP corn starch
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cup thick plain yogurt (e.g. Greek yogurt or strained yogurt)

For the streusel topping:

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup butter (very cold & cut into small cubes)

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 375F/190C.

Line a baking dish with parchment paper and grease it liberally with butter (I used a 13inch x 7inch glass pan).

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar for a minute or two.

Then add the eggs one by one, whisking well with each addition, and then the vanilla extract.

Then in intervals, add the flour mixture and the yogurt until it is all thoroughly combined.

Pour the cake batter into the baking dish and bake for 20 minutes. In the meantime, make the streusel.

To make the streusel: Combine together the flour and sugar in a large bowl and stir well. Then add the very cold butter and using your fingertips or a pastry cutter or a fork, “cut” the butter into the flour and sugar. Basically, what you’re doing here is creating the streusel pieces which is formed from the butter clumping into the flour and sugar. Keep clumping into it forms a chunky streusel.

Then take the cake out of the oven and top it with the streusel in a thick layer.

Bake for another 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when stuck in the cake.

Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes and then carefully lift the cake out of the pan by the parchment paper.

Cut into slices and serve and enjoy!

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Guten Appetit!

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Käsebrötchen (German Cheese Bread Rolls Recipe)

Light, fluffy and cheesy bread rolls! Käsebrötchen are a special and irresistibly delicious German treat!

I’ll never forget on our first breakfast on our first trip to Germany with my husband. We were at his parent’s house and there were a plethora of fresh German bread rolls but a couple of my husband’s favorite — Käsebrötchen.

They looked absolutely delicious, covered with cheese and soft to the touch.  When I took a bite, Mmmm, I was not disappointed. They are irresistibly delicious! So, I was determined to learn how to make them myself. And after tasting many, here is my recipe creation! All I can say, is that these bread rolls did not last long. The recipe makes 6 large bread rolls but it can be doubled, tripled, quadrupled — well you get my point. Guten Appetit!

Here’s the recipe:

Käsebrötchen (German Cheese Bread Rolls)

  • 1 cup all purpose flour (plus more for dusting and kneading)
  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 1.5 – 2 cups shredded mozzerrella cheese*

*Or your favorite type of cheese

Preparation:

In a large bowl, stir together the yeast and the water until the yeast is dissolved.

Then add the flour and salt and stir well.

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Pour the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5-7 minutes. Then shape the dough into a ball.

Pour 1 TBSP of olive oil into a bowl and lightly grease it.

Place the ball of dough into the greased bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Put it in a warm place and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.

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Then divide the dough into 6 equal balls. Lightly grease a parchment lined baking sheet with the remaining 1 TBSP of olive oil and place the dough balls on the baking sheet. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and place in a warm place to rise for another 15 minutes.

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Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven for 180C/356F.

After the second rise, whisk together the egg yolk and 1 TBSP of water.

Using a pastry brush, coat the top of each bread roll with the egg yolk mixture.

Then take the shredded cheese and liberally, and I really mean liberally, top each bread roll with the cheese (let the cheese fall all around each bread roll).

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Then place the bread rolls in the pre-heated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.

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Serve & enjoy immediately or save for later.

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Guten Appetit!

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Donauwelle: A Traditional German Sheet Cake with Fresh Cherries, German Buttercream & a Chocolate Topping

A modern twist on the traditional German sheet cake, with layers of chocolate cake, vanilla cake, fresh cherries, German buttercream and topped off with a chocolate topping.

Although from the sounds of the ingredients, it may seem that you have heard of this cake before or it may seem similar to the Black Forest Cake. But in as many ways as it is similar it is also unique.

The cake batter is essential comprised of a chocolate cake layer and a vanilla cake layer but when the cherries are placed on top, they fall into the cake as it bakes thus creating a wavy cake on the inside.

Topped with a decadent German buttercream and a chocolate glaze (that gets better with time) it is a treat that is easy to serve to friends or enjoy for a special occasion.

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Here’s the recipe:

Donauwelle

For the cake:

  • 3/4 c white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 c sunflower oil (or an neutral oil)
  • 1 c all purpose flour
  • 1 c thick strained yogurt (Greek or Suzme)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 c cocoa powder
  • 1.5 – 2 c pitted fresh sweet cherries
  • 2 TBSP butter (for greasing the pan)

For the German Buttercream:

  • 2 c whole milk
  • 1/3 c corn starch
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 1 c softened butter

For the Chocolate Glaze:

  • 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 TBSP sunflower oil (or any neutral oil)

Preparation:

Pre-heat the oven to 375F/190C & grease a small cake pan with butter.

For the cake: whisk together the oil, sugar and eggs until well combined. Add the vanilla extract and then whisk again. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Alternating between the flour mixture and the strained yogurt, add them to the cake batter, while whisking well with each addition. Divide the cake batter in half and whisk in the cocoa powder into half of the cake. Starting with the chocolate cake batter, pour it into the cake pan. Then add the vanilla cake batter on top creating a nice even layer. Then layer the pitted cherries on top of the cake to completely cover the cake in neat rows. Bake the cake for approximately 40 minutes and allow to cool.

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To make the German buttercream: Heat the milk in a medium saucepan just until hot, but not boiling. In the meantime, whisk together the eggs, cornstarch and sugar until smooth and well incorporated. Temper the egg mixture by slowly adding the milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until completely combined. Pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan and stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until it thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Then pour the mixture onto a plate, and cover with a piece of plastic wrap pressed against the surface of the cream. Chill for a couple of hours to overnight.

Once cooled, whisk the softened butter in a large bowl and then whisk in the pastry cream mixture into the butter until completely combined.

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Top the cake with a thick layer of the German buttercream and spread it evenly over the cake (Note: you might have some left over).

To prepare the Chocolate glaze: melt the chocolate over a double boiler until it is melted. Stir in the oil and set aside for about 5 minutes.

Once the chocolate has slightly cooled, pour it over the German pastry cream.

Then using a fork or a butter knife, create the waves on top of the cake allowing some of the pastry cream to be shown through the chocolate.

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Serve immediately or pop it in the fridge for a special treat for later.

Guten Appetit!

Eier Frikasse (Eggs w/ Vegetables & Creamy White Sauce)

A simple, classic and traditional German recipe, Eier Frikasse is a great go-to meal with minimal ingredients and prep time.

Some of the best recipes are the simplest recipes. The ones that don’t even require you to leave your house and go to the market for additional ingredients. These recipes are some of my favorite. With non-complex ingredients, easy preparation and great taste, they are by far some of the best everyday recipes that every good cook should have in their recipe file.

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Here’s the recipe:

Eier Frikasse (Eggs w/ Vegetables & Creamy White Sauce)

  • 4 hard boiled eggs (sliced)
  • 1 c chopped carrots (cooked)
  • 1 c frozen green peas
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T flour
  • 2 c chicken stock (or veggie stock)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  • fresh parsley (optional garnish)

Preparation:

In a large sauce pot, melt the butter and then sprinkle over the flour and whisk until smooth.

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Keep whisking frequently until it turns light brown in color.

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Add the chicken stock and keep whisking until smooth.

Bring to a boil and then season with salt and pepper.

Add the vegetables and lemon juice and stir well.

Then add the eggs and stir gently

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Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

Garnish with parsley & enjoy!

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Guten Appetit!

 

Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel)

A flaky, thin, buttery crust filled with apples, cinnamon sugar and raisins! An Austrian delightful recipe!

I don’t know what there is not to love about apple strudel. It is so delicious and although the dough is an essential formula to this recipe, the dough does not steal the show away from the natural delciousness of the apples.

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Here’s the recipe:

Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel) 

For the dough:

  • 1 1/4 c all purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
  • 2 TBSP melted butter (or any neutral oil) + 1 tsp for oiling the bowl
  • 1/2 c warm water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • 2-2.5 c sliced apples (I used Golden Delicious)
  • 1/3 c raisins
  • 1/3 c white sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon’

For topping the strudel:

  • 2 TBSP melted butter

Preparation:

To prepare the dough: Mix together the egg, oil and vinegar in a large bowl. Then add the flour and the salt and stir well until the mixture forms a cohesive dough. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead the dough for about 5-6 minutes until the dough is smooth. Grease a bowl with butter or oil and then place the ball of dough in the bowl, cover with a damp dish towel and allow the dough to rise for 1-2 hours.

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To roll out the dough: Cover a large countertop or table with a clean tablecloth. Dust with flour and roll out the dough into a very thin rectangular piece. The dough should be thin enough for you to see your hand through it and it will be very, very delicate.

To make the filling: Mix together the apples, raisins, cinnamon and sugar.

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To assemble the strudel: Pile the filling in a line along one of the shorter sides of the dough leaving about 2-3 inches of space from the edge of the dough.

Lift up the edge of the dough to partially cover the filling and then using the tablecloth, lift it up so that the strudel naturally rolls up.

Once rolled, tuck the ends under each side and brush liberally with the melted butter.

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Carefully lift the strudel on to a baking sheet lined with parchment and lightly greased.

Bake the strudel in a pre-heated oven on 375F until the strudel is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and brush with a little extra butter (if you choose; I did).

Serve and Enjoy warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Absolutely divine!

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Guten Appetit!

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Bratkartoffeln (German-Style Home Fries)

      Literally translating as fried potatoes, these German fried potatoes are far from ordinary. Crispy potatoes and onions and topped fresh herbs and spices, they are delicious any time and any day.

     Their name says it all “Bratkartoffeln.” “Brat” is German for frying and “kartoffeln” means potatoes. This dish is literally translated means fried potatoes but the potatoes are not simply fried. They are enhanced with onions and herbs to make this a delicious side dish or main meal.

     Traditionally, Bratkartoffeln also includes bacon or speck. Although my recipe is the vegetarian version of this classic dish, they are still just as delicious.

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Here’s the recipe:

Bratkartoffeln

  • 1 potato (pre-boiled)
  • 2 TBSP sunflower oil (or any neutral oil)
  • 1 scallion (finely chopped)
  • 2 TBSP white onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 T fresh parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt (to taste)

Preparation:

Boil the potato until it is tender. Drain, pat dry and then cut into squares.

Heat a frying pan with oil and then add the potatoes and let them brown for 2-3 minutes.

Then add the white onion and scallion and continue to cook for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

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Season with the oregano and salt and cook for another couple of minutes or until the potatoes are lightly browned and crispy.

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Then plate up the potatoes on a dish, sprinkle with the remaining scallion and the chopped parsley.

Serve & Enjoy!

Guten Appetit!

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