My glorious Citizens! Your imperious Leader (yes, that’s a Battlestar Galactica OG reference) has spent the last several days at a trade show in the German city of Frankfurt, original home of the frankfurter and so much more, including one of my favorite herbal sauces.
Yet despite the pain and bone-breaking fatigue, I, the incandescent Phoenix of perpetuity, YOUR TFD!, rise from the ashes of my exhaustion to bring you a local dish of sweet repute – the glorious Frankfurt crown cake!
So, first things first – get the chuckles out of the way: anyone or anything originating in the city of Frankfurt is a ‘Frankfurter’. Just like a ‘Hamburger’ is anything or anyone originating in the city of Hamburg!
Now, before the sweet treat of crown cake, it is worth noting that Germans absolutely have a sweet tooth, as noted in this excerpt from an article on germanculture.com.ua:
Desserts in German cuisine are as diverse as the rest of the cuisine. Popular desserts include cakes, pastries, cookies, egg-based dishes, crepes, fruit (including fresh, baked, and cooked), creams, quark-based dishes, chocolate, and candies.
Ice cream is also a popular dessert of Germans. This love of ice cream began in the 1920’s when Italian immigrants in Germany began opening ice cream parlors. This tradition continues today throughout Germany with each small town having its own local Italian ice cream parlor, usually within walking distance.
Very often, a German dessert wine, such as Eiswein or Trockenbeerauslese, will be served after a meal. These wines are rich, as well as fruity and sweet. Likewise, a sweet liquor may also be served for those who don’t care for sweet wine. Another favorite beverage after a meal is a cup of coffee. The caffeine in the coffee helps alleviate the drowsy feeling after a heavy meal. Tea is another beverage enjoyed after a meal – its caffeine has the same effect.
The Frankfurter Kranz (or Frankfurt Crown Cake) is a famous cake specialty of Frankfurt, Germany. Preparation starts with the baking of a firm sponge cake in a ring shaped baking tin. The cake is then sliced horizontally to divide it into two or three rings, and thick layers of buttercream icing are placed between the rings, usually with a layer of red jam (typically strawberry, blackcurrant or cherry jam).
The outside of the cake is then thickly coated with more buttercream and topped with caramel-covered brittle nuts, called krokant, toasted almond flakes and/or ground hazelnuts. Krokant is a signature of this dish.
Frankfurter Kranz is considered a reminiscence of Frankfurt as the coronation city of the German emperors. Its round shape and the sheath of brittle are intended to represent a golden crown, the cherries should remind of rubies. The history of the cake is not known, but it is believed an unknown confectioner created the first Frankfurter kranz cake during the 18th century. It already existed in the 1800’s in Frankfurt, as the author Karl Julius Weber writes about his travels throughout Germany in 1828, during which he discovered a bakery in Frankfurt serving the Frankfurter Kranz.
After World War II, in the absence of butter, the surface of the cake was often coated with kogel mogel (sweetened egg yolk paste), and other types of decoration may involve dots made from (more) buttercream or cocktail cherries. It is worth noting that this cake tastes better if prepared the day before serving and it can also be frozen.
For this recipe (mostly adapted from omaway.com), you need a ring mold pan to achieve the proper shape – I recommend this one and you can buy the German vanilla pudding here. Make sure to decorate this cake as regally as possible, remember it is supposed to represent a golden crown set with rubies, worthy of a Germanic Emperor…or TFD!
With that, I must run to catch my train to the town of Ludwigshafen am Rhein, where I will remain until Tuesday before flying home for Thanksgiving to see my wife and beloved, recuperating Basset Hound!
Battle on – the GeneralissimoPrint
The Hirshon German Crown Cake – Frankfurter Kranz
- Total Time: 0 hours
- Ingredients for batter of Frankfurter Kranz Recipe:
- 200 g (7.05 oz) soft cultured butter
- 250 g (8.81 oz) sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 eggs, XL
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons rum
- 300 g (10.58 oz) all-purpose flour
- 100 g (3.52 oz) cornstarch
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- Ingredients for buttercream:
- 1 1/2 packages Dr. Oetker Vanilla Pudding OR Jello-O (3 oz – 85 g) vanilla cook & serve pudding & pie filling
- 150 g (5.29 oz) sugar
- 750 ml (25.36 oz) whole milk
- 300 g (10.58 oz) soft butter
- For the cake:
- 200 g – 300 g (7.05 oz – 10.58 oz) red current jam or strawberry jam
- 12–16 candied cherries
- 150 g-200 g (5.29 oz – 7.05 oz) very finely chopped hazelnut krokant
- Ingredients for hazelnut Krokant:
- 145 g skinned hazelnuts
- 50 g sugar
- 25 g unsalted butter
- Preparation of cake:
- Use an electric hand mixer and mix soft butter with sugar, vanilla flavoring, and salt. Add one egg at a time to mix. Then, add rum. In a separate container, add cornstarch and baking powder to the flour. Mix it and sift it over the butter mixture. Stir until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into a buttered baking pan for Frankfurter Kranz or in a coffee cake pan 10 inches or 11 inches in diameter with a center tube.
- Preheat the oven to 175°C – 185°C (350°F – 365°F). Place the cake on the middle rack and let it bake for about 35 – 45 minutes.
- Take the cake out of the oven and place it upside down on a cooling rack to let it cool down. Mark the center of the cake with toothpicks before cutting the cake twice horizontally.
- Preparation of buttercream for Traditional Frankfurter Kranz Recipe:
- Mix the pudding powder with some of the cold milk to dissolve it. Bring to boil with the rest of the milk and the sugar while stirring with a whisk. Take the pan off the heat and empty the pudding into a bowl right away, cover it with cellophane. (Wet one side of the cellophane wrap with water and cover the pudding with the wet side down. This will prevent a “skin” on top of the pudding from developing). Let the pudding cool down — but do not place it in the fridge.
- Beat the soft butter with an electric hand mixer. While beating, add one tablespoon of pudding at a time. Continue until all the pudding is mixed into the butter and the consistency of your buttercream is light and fluffy.
- Note: If the buttercream coagulates (which may happen if the butter and pudding are too cold or the pudding and butter have different temperatures) just put the buttercream in a bowl and place the bowl in the microwave for a few seconds and mix it again.
- Preparation of homemade krokant for Traditional Frankfurter Kranz Recipe:
- To make the krokant, finely chop the hazelnuts. Add sugar to a pan and let it caramelize. Add butter and chopped hazelnuts and stir to combine. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, let cool and reserve for later. When it has cooled down, break the krokant into small pieces.
- Finishing of the Traditional Frankfurter Kranz:
- Place the first layer of the cake on a rotating cake stand to decorate. Pass the jam through a sieve and spread the jam on top of the bottom layer. Spread a layer of butter cream on top of the jam using a spatula.
- Place the second cake layer on top of the buttercream and make sure it lines up with the toothpicks. Spread jam and buttercream onto the second layer. Place the third layer of cake onto the second layer of buttercream. Line up with the toothpicks. Remove the toothpicks.
- Spread the buttercream on the cake using the back of an angled icing spatula. Start with the sides of the inner ring and then do the sides of the outer ring.
- Sprinkle the krokant over the surface of the cake. Using a cake lifter, carefully move the cake to the serving plate. Put the remaining buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star tube and decorate the top with rosettes reflecting 12 or 16 pieces. Finally place the candied cherries on top of the buttercream rosettes.
- Prep Time: 0 hours
- Cook Time: 0 hours
- Category: Recipes
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