Tag Archives: schnapps

Recipe: Herman the German Peach and Apricot Cake

I have a Herman the German sourdough cake starter!  Does anyone want one?  (No, seriously, I mean it – Herman is a delightful fellow, but I think he was a Tribble in a past life, and as a result, one must constantly find new Herman acolytes who want a Friendship Cake bubbling away on their benchtop during the week…)

Anyway, he’s a lovely, healthy, vibrant Herman – I think he really likes brown sugar, because he froths and bubbles with enthusiasm at the slightest provocation – and he made me a lovely apple cake with the original recipe a couple of weeks back, but one cannot live on apple cake alone, and also, I found his apple cake rather sweet, so I decided to have a bit of a play with what was in the pantry, and see what happened.

The first thing in my pantry was an awful lot of almond meal left over from last week’s baking extravaganza, as well as a couple of spoonfuls of chocolate-coated coriander seeds, which I had forgotten to add to one of my recipes.  An interesting start.  Apricots and almonds are a natural fit, and I felt that apricot and coriander also gets along fairly well – and I also had somehow acquired no fewer than three half-empty packets of dried apricots, so that seemed to be an obvious choice already.  I still needed some ‘wet’ fruit, and I’ve got a surprising number of tins and bottles of peaches lurking around the place, so they seemed like the best idea for that.  At this point, I gleefully remembered my peach schnapps, and got that out, too.

Does this combination work?  You know, I can’t decide.  I love, love, love the zings of coriander with the dried apricots, but the peach is perhaps a little wet for my taste.  And the whole thing tastes so very alcoholic, far past what I would expect for that amount of schnapps.  On the other hand, all the Germans in my lab absolutely adored this, and said it tasted like a proper German cake (“Like Stollen, only not dry”), so evidently it works for some tastes, if not for mine.  I think next time, I’d use fresh peaches, however.  And maybe a bit of cardamom in the batter.  See what you think.

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Your Shopping List

250 – 300ml Herman starter (i.e., about a quarter of your Herman on day 10 after his second feed on day 9)
2/3 cups sugar – any kind, but I used half castor and half coconut sugar
1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
160 ml canola oil
2 tablespoons peach schnapps, + 2 more tablespoons for the glaze
400 ml tinned or bottled sliced peaches, which you probably should chop, but I didn’t
1 cup dried apricots, ditto
10 g coriander seeds in milk chocolate.  Or just a teaspoon of coriander seeds, just for fun.
115 g icing sugar

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Recipe: Apricot and Peach Schnapps Shortbread from Annette’s Subconscious Mind

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.  I mean, for starters, there’s John Lennon, though I don’t believe that imaginary biscuits were ever on his agenda in a big way.  Perhaps they should have been, but I can already feel this post tugging at the reins, trying to head off into La-La Land (sounds like a Eurovision song, I’m only waiting for it), and it would probably behoove me to get this recipe out there before things get too crazy around here *.

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Anyway, speaking of dreamers, my friend Annette accused me on Thursday of corrupting her subconscious.  She had apparently dreamed about me making biscuits with peach schnapps and dried apricots in them, and she blamed this entirely on me, because she doesn’t bake and there was no good reason she should be dreaming up recipes. 

Personally, I don’t really mind who dreams up the recipes if they come together like this one, so I’m happy to subcontract the job out to Annette’s subconscious any time.  It’s nicer than mine anyway.  The last really vivid dream I had that involved cooking of any kind – well, suffice it to say you don’t want to know what went into that blender, but it definitely wasn’t vegetarian.  It did come out very, very red, though.  So yes, let’s go with Annette’s subconscious for now.

My first thought when considering Annette’s recipe was that one would start by soaking the apricots in the peach schnapps, but Annette was very definite that the schnapps should be added as a separate liquid ingredient.  This is not exactly common to biscuits, so I chose to compromise by doing both (this is always the best way to compromise, don’t you think?).  I based the recipe on a shortbread biscuit, because Annette doesn’t get on well with eggs, but I think this would have been a good move regardless – a more solid, chewy biscuit would have drowned the subtle peach flavour.  And speaking of subtle peach flavour, do make sure you get a peach schnapps that actually tastes like peaches, not like peach flavouring.  This is going to be the main flavour in your biscuit, so you want it to be a good one.  (I used De Kuyper, which turned out to be a good choice.)

These biscuits have quite a short texture, and taste subtly of peach, with lovely chewy bits of apricot through them.  They aren’t all that sweet, so I so I decided to ice them with an evil mixture of pure icing sugar and more peach schnapps.  Yum.  They really are quite delicious.  Good call, Nette!

Your Shopping List

135 g dried apricots
30 ml peach schnapps for soaking, 15 ml for the biscuit, 55 ml for the icing
300 g unsalted butter, cubed and softened
50 g icing sugar, plus 245 icing sugar for the icing
350 g plain flour
40 g rice flour
silver cachous to decorate, if you like
 

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