recipe for zwiebelkuchen
A flavourful journey of discovery
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A gourmet tour of
German culinary culture
Apfelkuchen | Apple cake
Baumkuchen | Treecake
Bayerische Brotzeit | Bavarian snack
Bayerische Creme | Bavarian crème
Biervielfalt | Beer diversity
Currywurst | Curried sausage
Christstollen Dresdner Art | Dresden-style fruit cake
Gänsebraten | Roast goose
Grüne Soße | Green sauce
Käsekuchen | Cheesecake
Käsespätzle | Cheese noodles
Kartoffelpuffer | Potato fritters
Kartoffelsalat | Potato salad
Knödel & Pilze | Dumplings & mushrooms
Königsberger Klopse | Königsberg-style dumplings
Labskaus | Lobscouse
Leipziger Allerlei | Leipzig-style mixed vegetables
Marmorkuchen | Marble cake
Matjes | Pickled herring
Maultaschen | Pasta pockets
Pellkartoffeln | Boiled potatoes
Rheinischer Sauerbraten | Rhenish marinated roast
Rote Grütze | Red fruit jelly
Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte | Black Forest cake
Spargel | Asparagus
Spreewaldsoße | Spreewald sauce
Thüringer Bratwurst | Sausage
Waffeln | Waffles
Weihnachtsgebäck | Christmas biscuits
Zwiebelkuchen | Onion flan
Region The “old country” region along the North Sea coast has a famous, centuries-old
fruit growing tradition. Even today, the pulsating metropolis of Hamburg on the River Elbe
is affectionately called the “fruit garden”. The region’s nutrient-filled marshland soil produces
the very best fruit for a juicy apple cake.
Origin Apple cake is popular
throughout Germany, though pre
paration methods do vary from
region to region. Sometimes, the
cook will add raisins or almonds
to the apple filling.
Instructions Cream the butter in a blender. Gradually add the sugar and
eggs and continue mixing until the mixture is light and fluffy. Combine the
flour and baking powder and add it to the butter and sugar mixture. Put the
cake mixture into a spring-release baking tin that has been greased with
butter and smooth it flat. Peel, core and quarter the apples. Cut several slits
on the back of the apple quarters and place them on the mixture with the
slits pointing up. Bake the cake at 180 °C for around 40 minutes.
Dust with icing sugar and serve with whipped cream.
Ingredients 120 g soft butter, 140 g sugar, 1 pack of vanilla sugar (8 g),
3 eggs, 200 g flour, 1 level tsp. baking powder, 4-5 sour apples.
Region Mainfranken, the
region between Bamberg
and Aschaffenburg, is a fam
ous wine producing region.
Romantic Christmas markets
in medieval towns attract
tourists from all over the
world during Advent.
Origin Treecake was the tradi
tional wedding cake of the 15th
century aristocracy. It is made of
many different layers which give
the cake slices a pattern that
looks like the growth rings on a
Instructions Preheat oven to 240 °C top heat. Line a spring-release baking tin with baking paper and brush butter around the edges. Cake mixture:
Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Separate the eggs. Stir
the egg yolks into the butter mixture one by one, then sieve the flour and
cornflour on top. Add the lemon rind, vanilla pod pith, almonds and rum.
Combine into a smooth mixture. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and stir into
the mixture. Put 2-3 tbsp. of mixture on the base of the cake tin and smooth
even. Bake on the top rack for 3-4 minutes until golden brown, then smooth
another 2-3 tbsp. of mixture on top and put the tin back in the oven. Continue
until you have used up all the mixture, reducing the baking temperature if
necessary. Leave the cake to cool in the tin, loosen it from the sides and turn
out onto a wire cake rack. Glaze: Make holes in the cake with wooden skewers
when it has cooled and pour orange liqueur over it. Warm up the apricot jam
and spread it on the cake. Break the chocolate into pieces, melt it over a
water bath and leave to cool slightly. Brush the melted chocolate on the cake
and leave to set.
Confectioners make treecakes in a special cylindrical
shape. You can use a spring-release baking tin to make
the cake at home.
Ingredients Cake mixture: 250 g butter, 250 g sugar, 6 eggs, 125 g flour,
125 g cornflour, 1 knife tip of lemon rind, the pith of a vanilla pod, 75 g peeled,
ground almonds, 2 cl rum. Glaze: 75 ml orange liqueur, 75 g apricot jam, 250 g
plain chocolate (60 % cocoa content).
Region Modern art at the Neue Pinakothek or a peek inside the famous Frauenkirche? A
visit to the Hofbräuhaus or a relaxing sojourn in the English Garden? Munich, the lively state
capital of Bavaria, has a wide range of attractions and provides any visitor with an unforgettable experience.
Origin In the 19th century, King Ludwig I granted the Munich breweries
the privilege of serving
food in beer gardens. Vis
itors from breweries in the
surrounding area had to
bring their own food with
them – and they are still
permitted to do this today.
It marked the beginning
of the traditional Bavarian
snack, or Brotzeit as it is
called in Bavaria.
03 Bayerische Brotzeit
Ingredients 8 Bavarian veal sausages, 4 large pretzels, sweet mustard.
Instructions Put the veal sausages in a pan of cold water. Heat up the
water. It should be hot but not boiling, otherwise the sausages will burst. Let
the white sausages simmer for a few minutes, then put them on plates.
Bavarian veal sausages taste best with fresh pretzels
and sweet mustard.
Region Bavaria is the largest state in Germany. It is famous for its Oktoberfest, lederhosen
and panoramic Alpine setting. Until 1918 Bavaria was ruled by kings. The most famous of these,
Ludwig II, built numerous palaces such as Neuschwanstein Castle near Füssen and Linderhof
Origin According to legend, the
first Bavarian crème was created
by Isabeau the Beautiful. Daugh
ter of Bavarian Duke Stephan, she
lived in the 15th century.
04 Bayerische Creme
Instructions Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water. Separate the eggs.
Beat the egg yolk with half of the icing sugar and vanilla pith until pale yellow
in colour. Heat up the orange liqueur in a pan, squeeze the water out the gel
atine, dissolve it in the orange liqueur and stir in the egg-yolk mixture. Whisk
the cream until semi-stiff. Whisk the egg white with a pinch of salt and the rest
of the icing sugar until foamy and quickly stir it into the cream. Carefully fold
the cream and egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Put the Bavarian
crème in dessert bowls and chill for 4 hours in the refrigerator. Turn upside
down onto dessert plates and serve.
Bavarian crème tastes wonderful with a fruit sauce.
Ingredients 6 egg yolks, 70 g icing sugar, 1 knife tip of vanilla pith, 6 sheets
of gelatine, 1 tbsp. orange liqueur, 400 ml cream, 1 egg white, 1 pinch of salt.
Region Germany has the most diverse selection of beers in the world. Over 1,300 breweries produce a total of around 5,000 German beers. The German Beer Purity Law applies in the
entire country. Introduced in 1516, it is the oldest and strictest food law in the world.
Origin Beer is an ancient traditional beverage in Germany. Even
the Teutons appreciated this bar
ley brew, as is evident by the many
beer amphoras dating back to
800 B.C. which have been found.
Typical beer varieties Helles, Pils, Weissbier, dark Weissbier, malt beer,
wheat beer, black beer, Kölsch, Altbier, Lager. According to the German Beer
Purity Law, beer can only be brewed using barley, malt, hops and water.
Region In the Ruhr region,
a densely populated industrial
region in western Germany,
coal and steel no longer do
minate the economy. As a re
sult of a successful process of
structural change, more and
more artists are now taking up
residence there. In 2010 Essen
was named European Capital
of Culture as representative of
the entire region.
Origin The curried sausage, or
in German Currywurst, rose to fame
after the Second World War. Saus
age chefs from several German
regions all claim to have invented
it. Uwe Timm wrote a novel called
“The Invention of Curried Saus
age” about its uncertain origin.
Ingredients 4 bratwursts, 2 tsp. ghee, 200 ml ketchup, curry powder.
Instructions Melt the ghee in a pan and fry the sausages for approx. 5-7
minutes until golden brown on all sides. Then cut them into bite-sized pieces.
Cover with 4-5 tbsp. of ketchup and sprinkle plenty of curry powder on top.
Serve with a fresh bread roll.
Region Dresden’s picturesque setting on the banks of the River Elbe is world famous. It has
all kinds of attractions, from the Grünes Gewölbe (Green Dome) to the Semper Opera and
the Frauenkirche. Over the centuries, the Saxon kings collected valuable treasures and built
significant monuments in this beautiful city.
Origin The Christstollen, a special fruit cake, was first mentioned
in historical documents in 1329. It
evolved into a Christmas cake that is
popular the world over when somebody came up with the idea of adding dried fruit to it. Its loaf-like shape
was originally designed to look like
the baby Jesus in swaddling clothes.
07 Christstollen Dresdner art
Instructions Cake mixture: Put the flour in a bowl, make a well at the
centre and put the crumbled yeast into it. Mix with a little milk and 1 tbsp.
sugar, cover and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes to rest. Filling: Mix the
candied lemon peel, candied orange peel, washed sultanas and raisins with
the almonds, pour over the rum and leave to marinate. In the meantime,
add the other ingredients to the cake mixture and knead thoroughly for 10
minutes, then cover the mixture and leave it to rest for 40 minutes. Knead
the fruit into the cake mixture and cut into four pieces. Form the dough into
thick sticks, roll them out slightly (so that they are thinner at the centre than at
the edges) and then fold the ovals together lengthways. Place the cakes on
a greased baking tray and leave to rise for 30 minutes. Bake at the centre of
a pre-heated oven at 200 °C for approx. 15 minutes, then reduce the tempe
rature to 180 °C and continue baking for another 55 minutes. Brush butter on
the hot cakes and dust with a thick layer of icing sugar.
Serve with tea or mulled wine.
Ingredients Cake mixture: 800 g plain flour, 42 g yeast, 1/4 l lukewarm milk,
100 g sugar, 2 packets of vanilla sugar (16 g), 250 g soft butter, 1 pinch of salt,
1 knife tip of ground cardamom, 2 eggs, grated lemon rind. Filling: 100 g candied lemon peel, 100 g candied orange peel, 150 g sultanas, 150 g raisins,
200 g chopped almonds, 2 tbsp. rum. Topping: 100 g butter, 40 g icing sugar.
Region The historical districts of Stralsund and Wismar were added to the list of UNESCO
World Cultural Heritage Sites in 2002. These Baltic Sea towns’ magnificent gabled houses and
impressive brick churches are fascinating examples of Hanseatic architecture.
Origin The Pomeranian goose,
a special breed of goose, was
famous in what is today Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania back in
1300. It is traditionally eaten at
instructions Preheat oven to 200 °C. Peel and dice the carrot, celery root
and onion. Wash the goose inside and out and dab it dry. Pluck the leaves off
one stem of mugwort. Mix them with salt and pepper and season the inside
and outside of the goose with it. Prick the goose skin surface with a toothpick,
bind the legs and wings together, place it breast down in a roasting tin with
the vegetables, add approx. 500 ml water and roast in the oven for approx.
60 minutes. Then turn it over and roast for another 60 minutes. Keep basting
it with the roasting juices. Take the goose out of the roasting tin and put it on
a metal rack (with a baking tray underneath), then brown under a hot grill for
another 15 minutes or so. Remove the goose, carve it and keep it warm. Skim
the fat off the roasting juices and bring to the boil with a little orange juice to
make the gravy.
Red cabbage and potato dumplings are traditionally
served with goose.
Ingredients 1 carrot, 100 g celery root, 1 onion, 1 goose (approx. 3 kg),
mugwort, salt, pepper, 100 ml orange juice (freshly squeezed).
Region Frankfurt on the rivers Rhine-Main is located right at the heart of Europe. Its historic
Römerberg castle is a romantic attraction, while the modern high-rise skyline stands for busi
ness. Frankfurt hosts the world’s biggest book and automobile exhibitions.
Origin It was probable the Huguenot immigrants who made
green sauce popular in 17th
century Frankfurt. Goethe,
Frankfurt’s most famous son,
arranged for the delicacy to
be delivered to his home 200
kilometres away in Weimar.
09 Grüne SoSSe
Instructions Peel the hard-boiled eggs. Separate the yolk and the white.
Sieve the egg yolk through a sieve and stir into a smooth paste with oil, vine
gar and mustard. Wash the herbs, dry on paper towel and chop finely. Mix
the herbs with the egg-yolk paste and sour cream. Season with salt, pepper
and sugar. Chop the egg whites finely and stir them into the sauce.
Green sauce is perfect as an accompaniment to boiled
beef fillet with vegetables.
Ingredients 4 hard-boiled eggs, 125 ml oil, 3-4 tbsp. wine vinegar, 2 tsp.
hot mustard, 150 g mixed herbs (chives, parsley, dill, chervil, borage, lovage,
sorrel, pimpinella), freshly ground white pepper, salt, a pinch of sugar, 3 tbsp.
Region Saarland is a bridge between Germany and its south-western neighbours, France
and Luxembourg. They are divided by the River Saar. A river bend near Mettlach is one of the
most beautiful river landscapes in Germany.
Origin Cheesecake used to be
made predominantly at Easter and
Whitsuntide. Today, it is one of
the most popular types of cake in
Germany. The methods of prepara
tion vary from region to region –
sometimes it has a crumble topping or contains fruit.
Instructions Pastry: Combine flour, cocoa powder, salt and sugar in a bowl.
Cut the cold butter into pieces and add it to the bowl with 1 egg. Knead into
a dough by hand, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Roll
out the pastry (between two layers of plastic wrap) and use it to line a greas
ed spring-release baking tin. Make a thin edge of around 1-2 cm in height.
Filling: Separate the eggs and whisk the egg whites until stiff. Mix together
the cream cheese, sugar, cornflour, egg yolk and lemon rind. Stir in the egg
white and cream. Spread the filling in the pastry case, smooth flat and bake
in a preheated oven (180 °C) for approx. 1 hour. After half an hour, cover with
aluminium foil. After the baking time, switch off the oven and leave the cake
inside with door open a crack for 10 minutes. Then remove and leave to cool.
Germans love to invite friends and family round to
their homes for coffee and cake in the afternoons.
i ngredients Shortcrust pastry: 200 g flour, 100 g cold butter, 2 tbsp. sugar,
a pinch of salt, 1 egg, 1 tbsp. cocoa powder. Filling: 500 g cream cheese, 150
g sugar, 50 g cornflour, 6 eggs, 2 tsp. grated lemon rind, 150 g dairy cream.
Region Ludwigsburg in Swabia is an impressive place. Its palace is one of the biggest
baroque palaces in Europe. The Ludwigsburg Film Academy is one of the most famous
film academies in the world. In 2004 the academy’s students received an Oscar for the
movie “Independence Day”.
Origin Cheese noodles are a
traditional Swabian dish. They
have been served at lunchtime
in the region since 1200.
Instructions Knead the flour, eggs, nutmeg, milk and a little salt into a
smooth mixture in a bowl. Add just enough water so that the mixture runs off
a spoon. Leave to stand for 30 minutes. In the meantime, grate the cheese
finely and bring salted water to the boil in a pan. Scrape a few spoonfuls of
the mixture from a wooden board into the boiling salted water. Leave it in the
water to cook for a few minutes. Repeat this procedure until you have used
up all the mixture. You know when the noodles are cooked because they rise
to the surface of the water. Remove the noodles from the water with a slotted
spoon, drain and sauté in butter. Then put alternate layers of noodles and
grated cheese in a soufflé dish, cover and bake in an oven at approx. 100 °C
to melt the cheese. Cut the onions into rings, sauté in the ghee until golden
brown and serve with the noodles.
Serve with a green salad.
Ingredients 400 g flour, salt, 5 eggs, nutmeg, 100 ml milk, approx. 50 ml
water, 2 tbsp. melted butter, 200 g Emmental cheese, 2 onions, 2 tbsp. ghee.
Region Potsdam, the capital city of Brandenburg, is famous for its culture and scientific
achievements. The main attractions are the large palace gardens and parks around Sanssouci
Castle, one of the most famous rococo buildings in the world.
Origin Prussian King Frederick
the Great issued a decree in the
18th century making the potato
a staple food. Even today, the
potato is one of the most popular
ingredients in German cuisine and
it forms the basis for many dishes.
Instructions Peel and grate the onions. Peel the potatoes, wash them
and grate them raw. Pour off any liquid and carefully mix the egg, flour and
onion with the potato gratings. Season with plenty of salt and pepper. Heat
up a generous amount of oil in a frying pan. To make a fritter, put 2 tbsp. of
the mixture in the pan, press it flat and fry on each side until golden brown.
Potato fritters taste delicious with apple
compote or treacle.
Ingredients 1 kg floury potatoes, 1 egg, 100 g flour, oil for frying, 1 onion,
Region The historical ca
thedral in the Palatinate city
of Speyer is one of the most
impressive Roman churches
in the world. The cathedral
bowl or Domnapf, a stone
bowl which can hold 1,580
litres of liquid, is filled with
premium Palatinate wine on
Origin Potato salad is popular
throughout Germany. The main
regional difference is the type
of dressing used. Potato salad
can have a mayonnaise, stock or
vinegar and oil dressing.
Instructions Wash the potatoes and cook them for approx. 20-30 minutes. Cut the gherkins into strips. Peel the onions and chop them finely. Bring
the stock to the boil with the mustard seeds, add the onions and place aside.
Peel the potatoes, leave to cool and cut into slices. Add the gherkins and
pour warm vegetable stock over them. Add the oil, season with salt and leave
to stand for 30 minutes. Sprinkle parsley on top.
Potato salad is a delicious side dish for meat dishes.
Ingredients 800 g firm-cooking potatoes, 400 g pickled gherkins, 1 red
onion, 200 ml vegetable stock, 1 tbsp. mustard seeds, 4 tbsp. grape seed oil,
salt, chopped parsley.
Region Regensburg and
Passau are popular university
cities in Bavaria. Regensburg
has an almost entirely intact
medieval city centre which
is the perfect place to walk
around and absorb almost
2,000 years of history. The ba
roque city of Passau not only
has the biggest cathedral
organ in the world, it is also
the place where the Danube,
Inn and Ilz rivers meet.
Origin Dumplings have always
been a popular food in Germany.
There are all kinds of dumplings
and many different ways to make
them. For example, there are po
tato dumplings, bread dumplings
and yeast dough dumplings.
14 Knödel & Pilze
Instructions Dumplings: Peel the shallots, dice them finely and sauté
them in butter. Cut the bread rolls into small cubes and pour the milk over
them. Add the eggs, parsley, shallots, salt and pepper and mix well. Leave to
soak for approx. 20 minutes, then season with salt, nutmeg and pepper. With
your hands, form round dumplings and place them in simmering salted water
for approx. 20 minutes. Do not boil! Mushrooms: Wash the mushrooms thor
oughly and halve the large ones. Peel the shallot and garlic and chop finely.
Sauté the mushrooms in hot butter and then remove from the pan. Then sau
té the shallot and garlic and pour the white wine over them. Reduce slightly,
then add the dairy cream, crème fraîche and mushrooms. Simmer for 5 min
utes until cooked, add the parsley and season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle fresh parsley on top of the dumplings
Ingredients Dumplings: 1 shallot, 1 tbsp. butter, approx. 10 slightly stale
bread rolls, approx. 250 ml lukewarm milk, 2 eggs, 2 tbsp. chopped fresh
parsley, salt, ground nutmeg, pepper. Mushrooms: 800 g mixed mushrooms,
1 shallot, 1 clove of garlic, butter for frying, 150 ml dry white wine, 250 ml dairy
cream, 2 tbsp. crème fraîche, 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, salt, pepper.
Region Divided for 28 years by a wall, Berlin was unified again in 1990 as the German capital
city and has been a magnet for designers, artists and filmmakers ever since. If you travel on
bus number 100, you can take in all the city‘s important sights, such as the Brandenburg Gate,
Bellevue Castle and the Reichstag (parliament).
Origin Originally made in
dumplings are today an item
of “classic German cuisine”.
15 Königsberger klopse
Instructions Dumplings: Soak the bread roll in warm water. Heat up the
stock. Peel the onions, quarter one of them and dice the others. Sauté the
diced onion in half of the butter. Grate the lemon rind and mix 1 tsp. of it with
the meat, egg white, diced onions, squeezed bread roll, salt, pepper and
marjoram. Form into little dumplings. Cook the dumplings in the hot stock
with the quartered onion, the bay leaf and pimento for approx. 15 minutes,
then remove and save the stock. Sauce: Heat up the rest of the butter in a
pan, cook the flour briefly in it and then pour over 500 ml of the cooking
stock. Add the capers, mustard and cream and simmer for 10 minutes at low
heat. Squeeze the lemon and season the sauce with lemon juice, salt and
pepper, stir in the egg yolk (do not bring back to the boil!). Serve the finished
Königsberg-style dumplings with the sauce and a parsley garnish.
This dish is traditionally served with boiled potatoes.
Ingredients Dumplings: 1 l of meat stock, 1 slightly stale bread roll, 2 oni
ons, 40 g butter, 1 untreated lemon, 500 g minced veal, 2 egg whites, salt,
pepper, 1/2 tsp. dried marjoram, 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp. ground pimento. Sauce:
30 g flour, 3 tbsp. capers, 1 tbsp. mustard, 200 ml cream, salt, freshly ground
pepper, 1 egg yolk, parsley.
Region Schleswig-Holstein is the “Land between the seas”. It has both North Sea and Baltic
Sea coastlines. The historic centre of the Hanseatic city of Lübeck is a UNESCO World Cultural
Heritage Site. Its main attraction is the old Holstentor city gate. German author, Thomas Mann,
immortalised the city in his novel Buddenbrooks.
Origin Lobscouse is
a centuries-old sailor’s
dish. It is a stew contain
ing corned beef and
beetroot, and it can be
kept unrefrigerated for
long periods of time
without going off. It’s
the perfect dish for
hungry sailors on board
Instructions Peel the potatoes, quarter them and cook in boiling salted
water for 20 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, cut 600 g beetroot into
large pieces and puree with the gherkins, the gherkin brine and the corned
beef. Cut the rest of the beetroot into thin slices. Drain the potatoes and mash
them. Mix the mashed potato with the beetroot puree and heat gently. Season
with salt and pepper. Heat up the butter in a pan. Fry the eggs whole for 3-4
minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the Labskaus with the drained
herrings, a few slices of beetroot and gherkin.
This dish tastes even better reheated on the next day.
Ingredients 800 g floury potatoes, salt, 800 g beetroot (cooked and peel
ed), 400 g pickled gherkins, 200 ml gherkin brine, 2 tins of corned beef (à
340 g), pepper, salt, 1 tbsp. butter, 4 eggs, 8 Bismarck herrings.
Region Leipzig‘s “Monday
Demonstrations” played an
important role in the fall of
the Berlin Wall in 1989. But
the city also has an artistic
side; in the past, the composers Johann Sebastian Bach
and Felix Mendelssohn Bart
holdy worked there. Today,
artists of the New Leipzig
School such as Neo Rauch
are making headlines.
Origin Although Leipzig-style
mixed vegetables was originally
a dish for the poorer members
of the population, it is popular
across all social classes today. The
dish was first documented in a
Leipzig cookery book in 1745.
17 Leipziger Allerlei
Instructions Vegetables: Wash all the vegetables. Cut up the cauliflower. Peel the kohlrabi, carrots and asparagus and cut into pieces. Blanch the
vegetables separately: cauliflower 5-6 minutes, kohlrabi 3-4 minutes, carrots
3-4 minutes, snap peas 5-6 minutes and asparagus 8-10 minutes. Drain them
and keep warm. Sauce: Melt the butter slowly in a pan, sprinkle the flour on
top and cook briefly. Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil, stirring
continuously. Boil briefly, then remove from the heat. Season with salt and
pepper. Put the vegetables in a bowl and serve with the pale sauce and a
dash of parsley.
Leipzig-style mixed vegetables taste delicious with
king prawns fried in butter.
Ingredients Vegetables: 1 cauliflower, 300 g snap peas, 10 carrots, 1 kohlra
bi, 250 g white asparagus. Sauce: 250 ml vegetable stock, 1 tbsp. butter, 1 tbsp.
flour, 1/2 bunch of chopped parsley, salt, pepper.
Region The Bremen Town
Musicians are one of the hall
marks of this Free Hanseatic
City of Bremen in northern
Germany. The story of the
four animal musicians is included in the world-famous
book of fairytales by the
Origin Bremen’s free port is
a major transhipment point for
cocoa, an important ingredient
of marble cake.
Instructions Preheat oven to 160 °C. Beat the butter and the sugar until
frothy. Add the eggs and salt and mix with an electric whisk for approx. 3-4
minutes. Mix together the flour and baking powder. Then gradually stir in
the egg mixture. Add a little milk if the mixture is too thick. Place half of the
mixture in a second bowl and add cocoa and 4-5 tbsp. milk. Grease a baking
tin and dust with a little flour. Add the two mixtures alternately and swirl a fork
through it (to create a marble effect). Bake for 60 minutes until golden brown.
Turn out onto a wire cake rack and leave to cool.
Dust with icing sugar before serving.
Ingredients 500 g flour, 250 g butter (room temperature), 200 g sugar, 3 tsp.
baking powder, a pinch of salt, 5 eggs, 4 tbsp. cocoa powder, milk.
Region The Hanseatic city of Hamburg, with its major international port, is German’s “Gateway to the World” . Whether you visit the historic warehouse area, the modern HafenCity or a
philharmonic orchestra concert, this northern German metropolis has cosmopolitan flair.
Origin Matjes, the German name
for pickled herring, is derived from
the Dutch word Meisjes (girls).
In the 18th century, merchants
bought the speciality to Germany.
Frederick the Great put the fish on
his soldiers’ menu and made pickled herring popular in Germany.
Instructions Wash the radishes and chop them finely. Peel the cucumber,
halve it lengthways, remove the core with a small spoon and dice finely. Mix
the crème fraîche and dairy cream into a smooth paste with the lemon juice
and season with salt, pepper and horseradish. Stir in the radish, cucumber,
dill and chives and adjust the seasoning. Arrange the herrings and sauce on
plates and top with onion rings.
Fried potatoes are a great side dish for pickled herrings.
Ingredients 1 bunch of radishes, 1 piece of cucumber, 2 tbsp. chopped
chives, 1 tbsp. freshly chopped dill, onions, 300 g crème fraîche, 100 g dairy
cream, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, salt, pepper, 1 tsp. freshly grated horseradish,
4 double herring fillets.
Region This classic literary
dish comes from the Neckarland region at the heart of
Swabia. The Modern Litera
ture Museum is located in
Schiller’s birthplace of Mar
bach. The exhibits include
original manuscripts and
mementos of famous authors
such as Franz Kafka and Her
Origin According to legend, pasta
pockets or Maultaschen as they are
called in Germany were invented in
1147 by monks at the Swabian monastery in Maulbronn. They concealed
a meat filling, which was forbidden
during Lent, in the pasta pockets.
Instructions Pasta dough: Sieve the flour onto a worktop and make a well
at the centre. Add the eggs, salt and oil. Mix with a fork, working in the flour
from the edge to the centre. Knead the mixture into a dough. Add a little wa
ter if necessary. Form into a ball, wrap in foil and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
Filling: Peel the onions and chop them finely. Wash the spring onions and cut
into rings. Wash the spinach, blanch it, plunge it into cold water, squeeze well
and chop the leaves. Cut the bread roll into cubes and soak in lukewarm milk.
Cut the bacon into cubes. Melt the butter and sauté the onions and spring
onions in it. Roll out the pasta on a lightly floured surface and cut into two
parts. Mix the spinach with the onions, the squeezed out bread roll, bacon,
sausage stock, eggs and seasoning. Put 1 tbsp. of filling at intervals on one
half of the pasta, leaving a space around the edge and put the second piece
on top. Press the edges together firmly and cut into squares around the filling.
Broth: Bring approx. 500 ml of water to the boil and stir in the granulated
stock. Put the pasta pockets in the stock and cook for approx. 15 minutes at
low heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the pasta pockets in a meat or vegetable stock.
Ingredients Pasta dough: 250 g flour, 2 eggs, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tbsp. oil. Filling:
1 small onion, 2 spring onions, 200 g spinach, 1 slightly stale bread roll, 60 ml
lukewarm milk, 50 g smoked bacon, 1 tbsp. butter, 150 g fried sausage stock,
1 egg, salt, pepper, 1 tbsp. dried marjoram, 1 tbsp. chopped parsley. Broth:
500 ml granulated stock.
Region One of the three potato museums in Germany is located in Stremlow, Western
Pomerania. The region’s unfertile soil meant that the robust tuber soon became its most
important “stomach filler” after it was introduced in the 18th century.
Origin Potatoes were originally
imported from Latin America to
Europe. Today over 100 different
varieties of potatoes are grown in
Ingredients 8 large floury potatoes, salt.
Instructions Wash the potatoes, brush them and cook them in plenty of
water for 30-40 minutes. Place the hot potatoes on 4 plates, cut them length
ways, peel entirely or partly and season with salt. Serve the potatoes warm.
Boiled potatoes taste delicious with herb cream cheese.
Region Churches and carnival – the Rhineland region is commonly referred to as the northernmost region of Italy. The Cologne cathedral is the most famous landmark of this fun-loving
area in western Germany. The biggest carnival celebrations take place in the Cologne area.
a special marinated
roast, was popular in
medieval times. Emper
or Charlemagne and
the Cologne-born schol
ar, Albertus Magnus,
are said to have contrib
uted to its popularity.
22 Rheinischer Sauerbraten
Instructions Meat: Rinse the braised beef and dab dry. Tie up with kit
chen string and put in a bowl with a lid. Marinade: Peel the onions and stick
cloves into them. Wash the soup vegetables and chop into large pieces. Put
all the ingredients into a pan with 1.5 litres of water, red wine, vinegar and
seasonings, bring to the boil and pour over the meat. Cover and place in the
refrigerator for 3 days to marinate, turning occasionally. Remove the meat
from the marinade, dab dry and fry on all sides in hot fat. Add stock and braise for 2 hours at medium heat. Remove the meat, wrap in aluminium foil and
leave to rest for 10 minutes. Sauce: Sieve 1/8 litre marinade through a sieve
into the braising jus. Add the raisins. Season with salt, pepper and bind with
dark sauce binder if preferred.
The roast tastes delicious with potato dumplings.
Ingredients Roast: 1.5 kg braised beef. Marinade: 2 onions, 1 bunch of
soup vegetables, 4 cloves, 300 ml dry red wine, 150 ml white wine vinegar,
1 tsp. peppercorns, 1 tsp. juniper berries, 1 bay leaf, 40 g ghee, 250 ml beef
stock, 4 tbsp. raisins, salt, pepper, sugar, dark sauce binder.
Region The Halligen Islands
are absolutely unique. These
tiny islands without protective
dykes are located in a national
park in the beautiful Wadden
Sea region of Schleswig-Holstein. The famous poet, Theo
dor Storm, called them “float
Origin The name, Rote Grütze,
probably comes from the region
of Silesia, which is today part of
Poland. Nineteenth-century cook
ery books describe this dessert
for the first time as being a north
ern German speciality.
23 Rote Grütze
Instructions Wash the berries and dab them dry. Pluck the blackcurrants
from their stems, remove the pits from cherries and cut the strawberries into
bite-sized pieces. Bring 1/3 of the fruits to the boil in blackcurrant juice with
the vanilla pith and lemon rind and simmer for 5 minutes. Then press through
a sieve. Stir the cornflower and 2 tbsp. cold water into a smooth paste, heat
up the berry mixture again and stir in the cornflour. Add the rest of the fruit
and simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Add sugar and lemon juice to flavour.
Place aside and leave to cool. Put the jelly into bowls and serve.
Rote Grütze is often served with vanilla sauce.
Ingredients 600 g mixed berries (cherries, strawberries, blackcurrants,
blackberries), possibly also frozen berries, 400 ml blackcurrant juice, 1 piece
of untreated lemon rind, 5-7 tbsp. sugar, lemon juice, the pith of one vanilla
pod, 3 tsp. cornflour.
Region The Black Forest is Germany’s largest single low mountain range. The historic minster
in the popular university city of Freiburg is visible for miles around. Picturesque alleyways and
little city streams give it Mediterranean flair.
Origin The Black Forest cake
is one of the most famous cakes
in the world. It is viewed as the
German cake and was first men
tioned in 1934.
24 schwarzwälder kirschtorte
Instructions Base: Separate the eggs. Cream the 5 egg yolks and sugar in
a bowl. Whisk the 5 egg whites with the salt until stiff in a high bowl. Carefully
stir the yolk mixture into the egg white mixture. Mix remaining ingredients
(flour, cornflour, cocoa powder, baking powder), sieve and fold them into the
egg mixture. Put the cake mixture into a greased or lined spring-release bak
ing tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 175 °C for 25-30 minutes. Leave to
cool, then cut through it twice horizontally. Pour 4 tbsp. cherry schnapps onto
each of the three tiers. Filling: Drain the cherries and save the juice. Mix the
juice and cornflower until smooth, stir in the vanilla sugar and bring to the boil
until it thickens. Remove from the heat, stir in the cherries and leave to cool.
Whisk the cream until stiff. Fill 1/4 of the cream into an icing bag. Spread the
cherry mixture on the bottom tier and then spread 1/4 of the cream on top of
it. Place the second tier on top and spread 1/4 of the cream onto it. Place the
top tier on the other two tiers and cover the entire cake with the rest of the
cream. Use the cream in the icing bag to make 12 little cream whirls around
the edge. Garnish them with cocktail cherries. Then sprinkle chocolate flakes
on the cake and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Black Forest cake is typically served on
Ingredients Base: 1100 g flour, 100 g cornflour, 150 g sugar, 5 eggs, 50 g
cocoa powder, 2 tsp. baking powder, 12 tbsp. cherry schnapps, a pinch of salt.
Filling: 1 glass of cherries, 1 litre of dairy cream, 50 g cornflour, 1 pack of vanil
la sugar, 12 cocktail cherries, chocolate flakes.
Region Germany’s biggest
asparagus growing region is
Lower Saxony. This stem ve
getable is grown on an area
of around 4,000 hectares. It is
said that the purest high Ger
man is spoken in the region
Origin Asparagus probably
originated in the Middle East,
arriving in Central Europe via
Italy. White asparagus is parti
cularly popular in Germany.
Instructions Snap off the woody bottom and generously peel the asparagus and cut off the woody section at the bottom. Bring the water, salt, a
pinch of sugar and a little butter and lemon juice to the boil in a pan. Put
the asparagus in the pan and cook for approx. 15-20 minutes, depending
on stem thickness.
Serve with cooked sliced ham.
Ingredients 1 kg white asparagus, sugar, salt, 1 tsp. butter, 2-3 tbsp. lemon
Region The famous poet from Brandenburg, Theodor Fontane, was a big fan of Spree
Forest sauce. He said, “It wouldn’t be a Spree Forest meal with no pike on the table and
it wouldn‘t be a pike without the famous Spree Forest sauce...”
Origin Spree Forest sauce was
probably invented in the Spree
Forest region and has become an
essential aspect of Brandenburg
and Berlin cuisine.
Instructions Combine the egg yolk, oil, sugar, salt, horseradish and lemon
juice. Add the stock and heat up until almost boiling, stirring continuously. Do
not allow to boil. Continue stirring until the sauce thickens. Chop the parsley
and dill finely and stir into the sauce.
This sauce is often served with fish specialities
such as pike or eel.
Ingredients 350 g grated horseradish, 2-3 tbsp. fresh parsley and dill, 2 tbsp.
vegetable oil, 2 tbsp. sugar, lemon juice, 6 egg yolks, salt, 200 ml fish stock.
Region Thuringian cities
such as Weimar, Gotha, Erfurt
and Eisenach were home
to numerous famous artists,
composers and church men
(e.g. Schiller, Goethe, Bach
and Luther). Germany has
these people to thank for its
reputation as a land of poets
Origin Thuringian bratwurst was
first mentioned in official records
in 1404. Today, it is so famous that
Germany‘s first bratwurst museum
opened in Holzhausen near Arn
stadt in 2006.
27 Thüringer Bratwurst
Instructions Heat up 1 tbsp. of ghee in a pan and sauté the finely chop
ped onions in it. Add the sauerkraut and sauté at high heat, turning continu
ously. Season with 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds, pepper and salt. Gradually add the
white wine. Continue to cook at medium heat for approx. 30 minutes without
a lid until the liquid has almost evaporated. Heat up 1 tsp. of ghee in a frying
pan. Fry the bratwursts in it at medium heat for 5-7 minutes until golden brown
on both sides. Arrange the sausages on plates with sauerkraut.
Serve with medium-hot mustard.
Ingredients 750 g sauerkraut, 250 ml white wine, 2 onions, salt, pepper,
ghee, caraway seeds, 8 Thuringian bratwursts.
Region The Bergische Land between Cologne and Düsseldorf is a popular recreation area.
Not only does it boast beautiful natural landscapes, it also has a pioneering example of en
gineering – the suspension railway in Wuppertal. The railway was put into operation in 1901.
Today, it transports an average of 82,000 passengers on every workday.
Origin Waffle bakers probab
ly learned their craft from the
monks who made the church
wafers. In the Bergische Land
region, waffles are heart shaped and a traditional Bergische
coffee time speciality.
Instructions Separate the eggs. Cream the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy, then stir in the egg yolks. Mix the flour, baking powder
and a pinch of salt. Gradually stir in the milk. If the mixture is too thick, add a
little milk. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and stir into the mixture. Brush butter
onto a hot waffle iron. Cook 10 waffles until golden brown. Serve immediately.
Waffles taste delicious with cherries and
Ingredients 250 g flour, 125 g butter, 75 g sugar, 3 eggs, approx. 225 ml
milk, 1 tsp. baking powder, salt.
Region Nuremberg is famous for its Christkindlesmarkt. This Christmas mar
ket has been held in the
city since the 17th century.
The specialities sold there
include fresh gingerbread,
nut rounds and cinnamon
Origin Biscuit baking at Christ
mas is a very old tradition. The fid
dly biscuit-making procedure and
expensive ingredients meant that
biscuits were only made by the
aristocracy in the old days. Today
biscuits are eaten by every family.
29 Weihnachtsgebäck: Zimtsterne
Instructions Preheat the oven to 160 °C. Separate the eggs. Whisk the
egg whites until stiff and stir in the icing sugar. You don’t need the egg yolks.
Set aside 1 cup of the egg white mixture for the glaze. Add the almonds, cin
namon and cherry schnapps to the egg white mixture, knead it all together
quickly, cover and leave to chill in the refrigerator for approx. 1 hour. Roll out
the biscuit dough to approx. 4 mm thickness, cut out star shaped biscuits (of
various sizes) and cover with the glaze. Place on a baking tray covered in bak
ing paper and leave to dry overnight. Bake the cinnamon stars in a pre-heated
oven for 8 minutes. They should stay soft inside and white on top.
Enjoy the biscuits with a glass of mulled wine.
Ingredients 500 g ground almonds, 5 egg whites, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 2 cl.
cherry schnapps, 450 g icing sugar.
Region The Mosel region
between the ancient Roman
cities of Trier and Koblenz is
famous for its wines. On the
steep hillside vineyards grow
the grapes of the famous Ries
ling white wines that are pop
ular the whole world over.
Origin Each year, when the grapes are harvested, many German
wine producing regions hold wine
festivals. Onion flan is served as
a savoury accompaniment to the
Instructions Pastry: Stir the yeast with the lukewarm milk until smooth.
Add the flour and salt and knead with the kneading hooks of an electric mixer
until you have a smooth dough. Cover and leave in a warm place to rise for
approx. 45 minutes. Topping: Peel the onions and cut into thin rings. Dice the
bacon and fry in a large pan. Add the onions and sauté. Stir together the sour
cream, eggs, salt and pepper and combine with the onion and bacon mixture.
Knead the dough on a floured surface. Put it straight into a greased spring-re
lease baking tin, creating an edge to make the flan case. Put the onion mix
ture in the flan case. Bake at the centre of a pre-heated oven (200 °C) for ap
prox. 35-45 minutes. Serve hot.
The onion flan tastes great with “Federweisser”,
a very young, barely fermented wine.
Ingredients Pastry: 1/2 cube of yeast (21 g), 150 ml lukewarm milk, a pinch
of sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 300 g flour. Topping: 1 kg onions, 125 g streaky bacon,
400 g sour cream, 3 eggs, 1/2 tsp. salt, freshly ground pepper.
DAAD – German Academic Exchange Service
Kennedyallee 50, 53175 Bonn, Germany
Dr. Ursula Egyptien Gad, Cornelia Hauswald, Andreas Mai
Concept, design and editing
Ketchum Pleon GmbH, Bonn
Photos / Illustrations
axeptDESIGN Berlin, Fotolia, Getty Images, istockphoto, Panther Media GmbH,
Shotshop GmbH, StockFood GmbH, Bildagentur Waldhäusl
Broermann Offset-Druck GmbH, Troisdorf