Sunday, August 24, 2008

Baking in Germany

So I thought I would attempt again at baking. My first attempt at brownies came out not so good. They ended uptasting like some weird flourless chococake.

Even though I am hausfrau jetzt, I enjoyed cooking and baking long before I had a child. However, I am not having such good luck in Germany. I have no idea what the ingredients are and some of the substitutes that are listed on other websites such as here and here I simply can not find in the gocery stores near me (there is no Aldi near me believe it or not and the LIDL is also kind of far away) The food stuff seems also to be named differently than the websites above.

Also, baking powder and baking soda is sold here but is different from the US so my US recipes are not working and I am having trouble finding German recipes besides from the fact that I can't read them very well anyways.

So what possessed me to even try again is that my 2 year old has decided to go on a non-napping rampage. He just takes a nap now every 3 days. I know that some children stop taking naps but he still needs a nap! HE IS MISERABLE!!! For example, I tried to put his shoes on yesterday and he just started crying on the ground for no apparent reason. Irrationality-thy name is 2 year old.

So when I get stressed out, I like to cook.

I decided to try to make a Sachertorte which I ate when I was in Austria many years ago. This is a famous Austrian chocolate cake filled with apricot jam. I am not even sure what recipe I used but I tried to follow this one as closely as possible.

First of all, finding the ingredients was an adventure in itself. I asked for whipping cream or Schlage Sahne and dark chocolate-which I don't even know what this is called -zartbitter, halbbitter, vollmilch???? I also needed vanilla which they don't sell here and I haven't been motivated to make some myself so I substituted vanilla sugar. Can you substitute vanilla for vanilla sugar? I really don't even know. I am not even sure what the substitute measurement is! I think I like cooking better than baking. In cooking, substitutions are allowed and usually work out for the better!

Historically, sachertorte is served with whipped cream because it is a dry cake. Here is what I bought expecting whipping cream.

When I opened it, I thought it was completely solid so I handled it kind of roughly only to find out....

It wasn't all solid!!!

My egg whites wouldn't whip up correctly. I think I got a little too much egg yolk or eigelb (egg yellow-isn't that so literal? I love the German language) in them.

However, mixing butter, sugar and chocolate together can't be all bad!

It can't be all bad! It didn't look appetizing but the scientist took 2 pieces so I guess that means it is a success.

I have decided while I am here, I will conquer this cake! But for now.

me - 1/2 point (he ate 2 pieces!)
Baking in Germany -1.


arturgreensward said...


Vanilla sugar can be substituted for vanilla but you have to experiment with amounts.

They don't sell vanilla in Belgium either so we made our own... it's way cheaper than buying it in the US and it tastes just as good. We bought beans for nothing on Ebay and then soaked them in vodka in a dark closet for 6 months.

Claire said...

Yes, you can substitute with Vanilla sugar. There is also a vanilla butter essence that was okay. Baking soda can be purchased at the pharmacy.

My solution: my mom sends me a box every few months with crisco, vanilla, baking soda, and chocolate chips.

Oh and Dark chocolate is "zartbitter."

Yelli said...

@arturgreensward - I think I will eventually make it but I have only been here for a short time and 6 months is a long time to wait for cookies... Thanks for the hint!

@ Claire - Gut Idee. My mom is sending a package next week. I don't know why I didn't think of doing that before!