Saturday, July 4, 2015

Flammkuchen--Tarte Flambée--Flame Cake from Essen & Trinken Magazine

I've gotten into using this dough because it is just so incredible! The first time I made, we were in absolute ecstasies! The second time was a big disappointment. So... a word of warning--follow the directions exactly. You'll think the dough is too dry, but just keep working it. Do NOT add part of the flour and then add more till it seems like a normal dough.This crust is delectably thin--almost like a cracker. I also prefer this combination of faux-schmand and crème fraîche with cumin and salt and pepper mixed in, but I don't bother with red onions.

From the magazine Essen & Trinken (Eating and Drinking)
Serves 4
15 g fresh yeast (2 tsp active dry)
50 ml lukewarm water
375 g flour
150 ml buttermilk
1 ½ tsp salt
4 T olive oil

70 g red onion
70 g onion
120 g bacon, sliced in 3-5 mm “sticks”
150 g crème fraîche (cream, slightly warmed, mixed with a bit of buttermilk and left on the counter, loosely covered, till thickened)
200 g schmand (2 parts cottage cheese to 1 part cream cheese in food processor)
Salt, pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin

55 minutes topping prep, 25 minutes baking, and 2 hours rising

per portion
760 cal
18 g protein
43 g fat

1. If using fresh yeast, break it up before adding it to 50 ml lukewarm water. Put the flour in a bowl and make an indentation in the middle. When the yeast mixture has bubbled up, put it in the indentation in the flour and pull a bit of the flour from the edge over on top of it. Add the buttermilk, 1 1⁄2 tsp salt and the olive oil and mix and then knead on the work surface till the dough is smooth and of the correct consistency. Form dough to a ball. Put it in a bowl and let rise, covered with a damp cloth, in a warm place for 2 hours.

2. Put the oven rack in the lowest position and preheat the oven with the cookie sheet to 250C (500F).

3. Prepare 4 pieces of parchment paper and 1 piece of plastic wrap in the same size as the baking sheet (ca. 40 x 30 cm). Knead the risen dough and form it into a roll. Cut it into 4 equal portions. (Cover the portions which are not being rolled out so they don’t dry out.) Lay one portion of dough on one piece of parchment paper and roll out to ca. 2 mm thick. You may put the parchment paper on something to keep it from sliding away or hold onto one edge with your abdomen against the work surface or have someone hold it out for you, as it will want to slide away or roll up. (It’s a frustrating process but well worth the effort!) You may want to work each portion of dough, coming back to them for another round of rolling. Resting will help the gluten to relax and make the rolling easier. Keep them covered with the plastic wrap at all times when not being worked so that they don’t dry out. Don’t worry about the shape of your dough!

4. While the dough is resting, cut up the onions into very thin rings (or grate it). Cut the bacon into very thin strips. (I recommend frying the bacon till it is halfway done.) Mix the crème fraîche with the Schmand, some salt, pepper and cumin.

5. Spread ¼ of the crème fraîche mixture on each portion of dough (prepare one, put it in the oven, prepare the next, and so on), leaving about 1 cm around the edge free, and then sprinkle with ¼ of the onion and bacon. Put the dough on the parchment paper in the oven onto the hot cookie sheet and bake 7-8 minutes. 

Deep Dark Chocolate Cookie

Great for sandwich cookies but the dough is difficult to work with, so it requires a bit of patience. I love this recipe because they retain their straight edges, which I think has a very nice look. The cookies are somewhere between soft and hard,which is also nice.

1 egg, large
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cp (240 g) AP flour
1/2 cp (60 g) powdered sugar
1/2 cp (100g) brown sugar (or cut down to 60g for less sweet cookies)
1/2 cp (43g) Hershey's dark cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 cp (192g) Crisco

  • Sift dry ingredients.
  • Cream Crisco. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Add egg and vanilla and mix well.
  • Chill dough for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Roll half of dough out between two sheets of plastic wrap. Remove top layer and cut into shapes--2" or smaller is easier to handle. Use an offset spatula to remove bits of dough and to pick up the cookies. Lift the bottom layer of plastic wrap if necessary. You may have to mess up a few cookies before you get the feel of working with this dough. If it rips, you can always patch it on the cookie sheet.
  • Place cookies on parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for ca. 8 minutes. You'll just have to trust that they're done--don't overbake them. Remove cookie sheet from oven and set it on a cooling rack. Let the cookies sit on the sheet for at least 2 minutes (or even till they're cool) before transferring them to a cooling rack.