Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Schneckennudeln with Nut Filling

As you might remember from my post on my Mum's Crusty Potato Bread I was on Easter break in Germany. I was enjoying cooking and baking with my Mum and re-creating some traditional German dishes. There are dishes I remember having as a child, which sometimes also my grandma made for Sunday lunch and some I've just never made myself... and any recipe I find on the internet wouldn't be the same as my Mum or may grandma used to do it.

One of these is Kohlrouladen (that's Cabbage Rolls in English), with a vegetarian filling, though ... But okay, maybe that was the main traditional dish we made. It was my Easter wish, as sometimes food memories just don't want to leave my head anymore until I've had that dish. The recipe for the Cabbage Rolls still needs some tweaking so I have something different for you first!

Last week my Mum and I made the original version of Schneckennudeln, which I told you about when I made my version with Orange, Almond and Raisin Filling. Traditionally Schneckennudeln are filled with either a nut filling or a poppy seed filling, as you will see when you look for Schneckennudeln on Google.

Since probably the nut filling is the most popular - and since that's the one my Mum wanted to do ;-) -  I am posting this one today.

Nut Filling for Schneckennudeln

Time for making the filling: 10-15 minutes

filling for Schneckennudel dough made of 500 g flour
200 g hazelnuts, ground
60 g honey
1 tbsp carob powder (you can substitute cocoa)
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch salt
150 g raisins, soaked in water and drained
about ⅓ cup orange juice
½ cup cashew cream for brushing (use a bit more cashew nuts
(1:7) than when making cashew milk (1:10))

  • Grind the hazelnuts if you haven't bought them ground and drain the raisins. You can reserve the water from the raisins and use it if you haven't got any oranges or orange juice.
  • Place all ingredients except for the orange juice in a bowl and mix well. Then add as much orange juice as needed to turn the mixture into a sticky paste.
  • Use for filling your Schneckennudeln. You can find the recipe for the dough here.
  • If you want, brush the Schneckennudeln with cashew cream after letting them rise the last time before baking. That way they will be a bit more moist even though the filling is not as moist as a jam filling.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Coconut Balls

I am sharing an easy recipe with you today since - at least here in Germany - the sun is shining and it is amazingly warm! So, if by any chance you have some of the same luck, then maybe you won't fancy being in the kitchen for ages ... Even though that's a very nice way to spend an evening! ... But you wouldn't have expected to hear anything else from me I guess ;)

These coconut balls are an easy to make dessert or snack. They are sweet and any visitors we ever had who've tried them have always loved them. My Mum found the recipe a long time ago and since then the recipe has become a staple in hers and my kitchen.

You can make them ahead and keep them in the fridge or put into a jar and give away as a present.

Coconut Balls

Inspired by this recipe for Kokoskugeln by georgia.

Time: 10 minutes preparation, min. 1 hour cooling, 15-20 minutes forming

150 g desiccated coconut
80 g honey, preferrably acacia honey*
2 tbsp cashew milk/cream/coconut milk
about 50 g desiccated coconut for decoration

  • Finely grind the 150 g of desiccated coconut in a blender or food processor until it has an almost flour-like consistency. Don't over-blend, as at some point the mixture will start to get too oily when the coconut begins to release its oils.
  • Pour into a large mixing bowl. Add the honey and the cashew milk (or whatever you choose to use). With a spoon mix very well until you have a uniform mixture. Place into the fridge for at least an hour.
  • Have some storage box at hand. Pour your coconut for decorating into a soup plate. If you think it is too coarse give it a short (!) blend as well. Then, using your hands, form the coconut mixture into bite-sized balls. If the mixture is hard use a spoon to break it up and if it still is too hard wait 10 minutes.
  • Drop the balls in the soup plate with the coconut and every once in a while, when some balls have accumulated, give the plate a good shake so the coconut balls get coated in desiccated coconut. You might need to roll them again by hand if the coconut doesn't stick on right away.
  • Store in a box in the fridge.

*Acacia honey: acacia honey is the honey that has the least own, characteristic taste. Other honey can be used, but the more neutral it tastes, the better it is to bring out the coconut flavour. I'm sure some of the honey blends you get in the stores are also fairly neutral. Just give it a try!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Ines' Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate! This is after my breakfast what I definitely make the most!

As a kid I used to love cold chocolate. Ordinary one. The one where you stir kaba powder into cold milk.
I remember I sometimes took it to school. Besides, on Sundays we used to have typical German Abendbrot for dinner. That means you have sliced bread or different kinds of rolls (pretzel rolls, poppy-seed rolls, ...) and you put butter, cheese and cut sausage (such as ham or salami) and possible pickled cucumbers on them. With that my Dad and I used to share a big jug of cold kaba. The jug was brown stoneware and we used to have two special glasses we always used. We perfected that over time by mixing the drink with a handheld milk frother and later a stick blender. No that's not over the top ... ;)
Well, at some point, when my Mum introduced more healthy eating store-bought kaba powder was banned - I'm not blaming you Mum, that's just a statement ;)

These days I usually make hot chocolate, but my love for that drink hasn't ceased a bit. Maybe my degree of love for hot chocolate is slightly worrying, but since it makes me happy and doesn't have any largely unhealthy ingredients in it I guess the positive happiness effect weighs up for any overconsumption.
The only issue is that I need my Vitamix blender for this ... which is really loud. My housemates always joke about it, but I hope they forgive me for the daily noise ;)

With a high-speed blender you will get a completely smooth liquid in any case. Otherwise I suggest trying different methods as to what works best with what you have.

The recipe can be adapted in terms of spices and sweetness to your liking.

Ines' Hot Chocolate

(my Mum makes a different version)

1 cup
11 g cashew nuts
17 g dates
2 tsp cocoa
1/4 tsp honey
270 g water (boiling)
one of the following
1/4 tsp maca powder
1/2 smidgen vanilla powder
1/4 smidgen cookie spice/gingerbread spice
1 smidgen cinnamon

  • If you don't have a high speed blender.
    • Soak the nuts in water for a few hours before using, since then your blender will be able to break them up more easily. Drain before use because you want hot water in your hot chocolate. You could also use bought nut milk or milk and heat it up before using. In a high speed blender you don't need to bother with soaking anything.
    • Cut up the dates and soak them as well. Only add water until just covered. Use that water, because it will add lots of sweetness.

  • Do not use a blender that is totally closed (airtight) because mixing hot water in it will probably cause a problem due to pressure. Check if your blender is able to blend hot liquid and only do this if you are sure that you won't get soaked in boiling water because your blender is leaking.

  • The hot chocolate will be much more smooth if a good blender is used, but we also used to make it when we didn't have a high speed blender. So it definitely does work, only tastes a bit different.
  • Put all ingredients in your blender and blend until very, very smooth.

Nut Varieties

You could also use hazelnuts or almonds instead of cashew nuts. If using hazelnuts you might need a bit more sweetener, since they do not have a naturally sweet taste compared to cashew nuts and almonds. Their taste matches the cocoa very well, though!

Cold Chocolate

If you do have a high speed blender you can also make cold chocolate by using half ice cubes and half very cold water instead of the boiling water.

  • In that case you can add a 5 cm piece of frozen banana to give it a hit of banana taste.

Coconut Cold Chocolate

When you have fresh coconut water and flesh at hand (or maybe one of these packages of coconut water) then add half the water (usually one coconut has enough water for two cups) to the cold water part in the cold chocolate and add some small pieces of coconut meat to the blender as well.
This is really, really good as well!

If you have left over coconut water freeze it in an ice cube tray and do not keep it in the fridge. It goes bad really fast without you noticing until you end up feeling like maybe you shouldn't have used that anymore.