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
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