Hörnchen Little German Crescent Rolls

Soft, fluffy and a simple bread to prepare at home today.

There are truly a plethora of different types of German breads. If you have the opportunity to visit Germany, do yourself a favor and don’t pay for a hotel breakfast. Instead, do what the locals are doing and head to a Bäckeri (German for bakery).

For the recipe video, click the image below! 

Inside the bakery you’ll find plenty of bread rolls, loaves and sweet pastries for an affordable price. Even in big cities like Köln and Berlin, you can buy 4 or 5 Brötchen for only 1 Euro! Amazing!

However, the hörnchen is a little bit more expensive, but definitely worth giving a try, because it’s not that much more expensive. The texture is quite soft and fluffy. The taste is buttery with a hint of sweetness. With a bit of honey, marmalade, or nutella — it is a wonderful treat!

Not in Germany? No problem! This recipe is quite simple to prepare just about anywhere in the world. In fact, you probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry now. So what are you waiting for, let’s make some hörnchen!

Erica’s Hörnchen Recipe

  • 2.5 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm milk
  • 3 TBSP sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 TBSP melted butter
  • 1.5 to 2 cups all purpose flour (plus more for dusting)

For the egg wash:

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 TBSP milk

Preparation:

In a large bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, warm milk, salt and melted butter. Stir well.

Continue to stir and gradually add in the flour, little by little. Keep stirring until the dough no longer sticks to sides of the bowl.

Then turn the dough over onto a floured surface and knead the dough for 7-10 minutes, only adding flour if the dough is sticky.

Shape the dough into a ball and using a mezzaluna or a knife, cut the dough (like a pizza) into 8 equal portions.

One by one, roll out each portion into a long triangle, about 6 to 7 inches (15-17cm) long.

Then starting with the widest end of the triangle, roll the dough up until you meet the smallest end.

Then fold the dough to create the horn-shape or the shape of the letter “U.”

Continue until all of the hörnchen are shaped (grab some little helping hands if you have them:).

Then place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover them with a dish towel and allow them to rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until they have doubled in size.

Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 375F/190C.

Once the hörnchen have risen, remove the towel and prepare the egg wash by mixing the egg and milk in a small bowl.

Using a pastry brush, brush each of the hörnchen generously with the egg wash.

Then place them into the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve and enjoy while they are still warm or save some for later.

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Guten Appetit!

P.S. Hörnchen literally translates to mean “little horns.” This of course is in reference to their size and shape.

P.P.S If you google Hörnchen from an English speaking country, Google might show you a picture of a squirrel. It’s because the word actually has more than one meaning. Go figure, lol! But not to worry, no squirrels were harmed in the production of these bread rolls. 

Sending you lots of love for reading this far 🙂 You’re amazing!♥

 

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How to Make Turkish Coffee

There’s a saying that says, “One cup of Turkish coffee means 40 years of friendship…”

A robust, strong & flavorful coffee, Turkish coffee is must try drink!

The first time I tried Turkish coffee was in New York City at a Turkish restaurant. They served it in a beautiful manner with traditional cups and a traditional cezve (a Turkish coffee pot) but truth be told, it was nothing compared to trying Turkish coffee in Turkey.

Not only does Turkish coffee have a beautiful preparation, it has an exquisite taste, especially if you like a strong cup of coffee. Like espresso, it is served in a small cup but it serves a powerful punch of flavor. I love to drink it in the mornings or afternoons but most days, I drink it at both times of the day.

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How to Make Turkish Coffee

Ingredients/Materials Needed:

  • Turkish coffee
  • cold water
  • cezve
  • 1 small wooden spoon
  • 1 teaspoon

Preparation:

Measure out 2 TBSP of Turkish coffee per cup and place it in the cezve*.

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Then take your coffee cup and use it as a measuring cup to measure out enough cold water to fill the cup. Then add the cold water to the cezve.

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Stir it together for a few seconds and then move the cezve to a low flame.

Stirring frequently and watching it carefully, wait for the Turkish coffee to develop a layer of foam on top.

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Once the foam develops, take a tea spoon and gently scrape the foam off the top and place it into your coffee cup. (Note: repeat this step if you are making a second, third or fourth cup of coffee.)

Then place the coffee back on the flame and stirring occasionally, wait for the coffee to come up to a rolling boil and then quickly remove from the heat.

Gently and slowly pour the coffee into the cup being careful not to lose the foam (the foam should come to the top of the cup.

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Serve with a couple of pieces of Turkish delight or chocolate and enjoy!

Afiyet Olsun!

*Substitute a very small sauce pot if needed.

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German Plum Cake (Pflaumenkuchen)

The plums are the star of this recipe! There’s nothing better than a recipe with the simplest, natural ingredients!

A sweet, yeast dough, layered with ripe plums and sprinkled with a pinch of cinnamon! 

Pflaumenkuchen is one of the first cakes I tried on my first trip to Germany. It was the first of many delicious cakes that I got to try all made by my Schwiegermutter (mother-in-love).

What I love about this cake is that is indeed quite simple to prepare, but it looks so elegant especially when you are serving it and you can see the beautiful ruby red plums layered on top of the dough.

The dough is a simple, sweet yeast dough but the plums are definitely the star of this show, so it is best to make this cake during plum season for optimal quality.

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Here’s my recipe:

Pflaumenkuchen (German Plum Cake)

  • 1.5 -2 kilos plums (3-4lbs)
  • pinch of ground cinnamon to sprinkle on top after baking
  • 1 TBSP vegetable oil (or any neutral oil)
  • 2 TBSP softened butter (for greasing the pan)

For the dough:

  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 2/3 c warm milk
  • 2 TBSP melted butter
  • 1 whole egg (large)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 2/3-3 cups white flour (plus a bit more for kneading)

For the streusel:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar

Preparation:

To prepare the dough: In a large bowl, combine the yeast, warm milk, melted butter and 1 whole egg, stirring well with each addition. Then continue stirring and gradually add in the sugar and then the flour. Keep stirring until the dough comes off the sides of the bowl and forms a ball, adding more flour as needed. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 3 to 5 minutes and then shape into a ball.

Lightly grease a bowl with 1 TBSP of vegetable oil (or any neutral oil) and place the dough in the bowl, flipping over to ensure that both sides are coated with the oil. Then cover with a damp kitchen towel and place it in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, until it has doubled in size.

While the dough rises, line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and grease with 2 TBSP of softened butter.

After the dough has risen, remove from the bowl and gently stretch the dough out onto the greased parchment paper.

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Cover the dough again and allow it to rest again for 25-30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven on 375F/190C.

Meanwhile, de-pit the plums and cut them into quarters of leave them as halves if you prefer.

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Then layer the plums, flesh side up on top of the dough and set aside.

To make the streusel: combine the flour, sugar and softened butter in a large bowl and with your clean hands, crumble everything together to form the streusel crumbs.

Immediately, layer the streusel on top of the plums and then place the Pflaumenkuchen in the oven to bake for about 30-45 minutes or until the dough is lightly browned.

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The plums are the star of the show! 

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with just a pinch of ground cinnamon.

Allow the Pflaumenkuchen to cool for 30-45 minutes and then cut into squares and enjoy!

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Can you see the sprinkle of cinnamon on top?
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The beauty of the slice of Pflaumenkuchen! 

 

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Guten Appetit!

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Fresh Fig Tart Recipe

Ripe & sweet fresh figs, layered on a butter-crust and drizzled with a cinnamon-honey butter!

Figs are one of the oldest fruits recorded in human history and I think one of the most underrated. They are sweet and satisfying to eat a couple but I also love creating recipes around them.

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For this recipe, it is important to have fresh figs so if you cannot find them, try substituting another fruit like apples, peaches or plums.

Here’s the recipe:

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Fresh Fig Tart

  • 15-20 fresh figs (cut into quarters)
  • 1 pre-prepared pie crust
  • 4 TBSP melted butter
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • flour (for dusting & rolling out the dough)

Preparation:

Pre-heat the oven to 375F/190C.

Cut the figs into quarters.

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Dust a large countertop with a bit of flour and proceed to roll out your pie crust until it forms a nice circular shape (approx. 14 inches in diameter).

Then brush 1 TBSP of butter onto a parchment lined baking sheet and transfer the dough onto the parchment paper.

Brush the center of the dough with 1 TBSP of melter butter.

Then arrange the fig quarters to create a beautiful design. Note: I like to go in a circular shape with the figs facing flesh side upward.

Then in a small bowl, whisk together the honey, butter and cinnamon. Using a pastry brush, brush the figs with the cinnamon-honey butter.

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Then fold up the sides of the tart, piece by piece towards the figs. Note: there’s no science to this but I love to overlap of the dough as I fold. I think this creates a really rustic but beautiful end product.

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Then bake until the dough is lightly browned and the figs are bubbly and delicious (approximately 20-30 minutes)

Allow the tart to cool for about 10-15 minutes and then cut slices (like a pizza), enjoy with a dollop of whipped cream (if you wish) and enjoy!DSC09286IMG_5260

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Fresh & Simple Creamed Corn

Tender, sweet, fresh corn with just a touch a milk and cream. A delightfully simple & delicious dish!

 

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Here’s the recipe:

Fresh Creamed Corn

  • 2 ears of fresh corn (approx. 2.5 cups if using frozen corn)
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1 TBSP flour
  • 1.5 cups of milk (slightly warmed)
  • 1-2 TBSP cream
  • salt & pepper (if desired, to taste)

Preparation:

Shuck the husks from the fresh corn and rinse thoroughly to remove the stringy pieces. Pat them dry gently.

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Then place the corn in a large bowl and carefully with a knife, cut off the corn kernels from the cob. (Note: it is good to do this in a large bowl or else the corn kernels will fly everywhere, lol!)

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Once all of the corn kernels are removed, use the back of the knife (the dull side) and scrape it against the cob to remove some of the natural “milk” from the corn. Set aside.

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In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat. Sprinkle over the flour and whisk quickly to form a roux. Then gradually add about 1/2 cup of warm milk, while continually whisking. Remove from the heat and add in the corn. Pour over the remaining milk and stir thoroughly.

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Place back on the stove and cook over medium heat for just 10-15 minutes or until the corn is tender. Then add the cream, salt & pepper (if desired) and enjoy immediately.

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It is simply splendid.

Enjoy!
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Baklava: How to Make it at Home (Simple & Delicious)

Layers and layers of flaky crispy dough filled with pistachios and walnuts and covered with a perfectly sweet glaze. 

Baklava making is indeed an art. In the large businesses you will find huge, cold rooms reserved for rolling out he dough (called yufka, also known as phyllo) and preparing this delicious dessert.

Although baklava is found throughout the world especially in the Middle East and Mediterranean regions, it is almost always prepared differently. No matter who I ask, they always tell me that the baklava from their country is the best and proceed to explain to me why.

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As for me, I find it a beautiful thing to simply appreciate the differences. Yes I have my favorites but at the end of the day, how it is prepared is a beautiful reflection of collective cultures and societies.

Making baklava at home is actually quite simple especially if you buy the pre-prepared dough like I did. Essentially, it just takes time and patience to carefully and steadily build layer upon layer of this dessert.

Here’s the recipe:

Baklava

  • 200 g melted butter
  • 400 g yufka or phyllo dough
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 c chopped pistachios
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 lemon

Preparation:

Pre-heat the oven on 200C/392F.

Grease your baking dish with butter using a pastry brush. (I used a glass 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish; this is not the traditional type of pan but it works well)

Then keeping the yufka covered with a damp kitchen towel, peel layer by layer and carefully place it in the dish, brushing the dough gently with butter after each addition.

After about 15 layers, it’s time to add the nuts.

On one side I added the pistachios and on the other side I added the walnuts.

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Then I continued layering about 18 more sheets of the dough, adding butter after each addition.

Once the final layer is added, gently cut the baklava into diamond or square shapes, being careful not to tear the dough.

Cover with the remaining melted butter and place the baklava in the oven.

Meanwhile, to make the simple syrup combine the sugar with 2 cups of water and the the lemon wedge and simmer on low heat, stirring frequently for about 8-10 minutes.

Once the baklava is golden, remove it from the oven and pour over the simple syrup on top. The baklava will rise and sizzle and it will look and smell absolutely delicious.

Allow to cool and then serve and enjoy warm or at room temperature.

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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!