Did you know that your environment will influence you, for good or bad? If you happen to walk into a house where there is a lot of conflict – even if there is peace at that moment, that “conflict” energy will sooner or later get to you, one way or another. This is what Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim has taught me, and she went to explain further that we also associate different foods with different qualities. For example, Great Grandmaster Kim explains, if you were eating spaghetti when you got news that your sister just had that baby, you will most likely – consciously or subconsciously – associate spaghetti with “happy” and it will be a great time for you whenever you have it.
Well, in my case, the above. Punschkrapferl, as they are called in my native Austria. It could be translated into something like punch cupcakes. Growing up, when we were poor, being able to go to a pastry shop on a Sunday afternoon, and get one of those, was pure bliss. It was heaven with a pink frosting. It is, to this day, a reminder of happy, peaceful, childhood days.
I hadn’t had one in about 7 years, before I went gluten-free and was on a visit to Austria. But ever since I found that “Perfect Pound cake” from Shirley, it has been on my mind to re-create these Punschkrapfen. Last night was it!
First, either get some organic, apricot jam. Or, make your own on the spot, as I did, from home-frozen apricots, a touch of honey, and some brandy. Let it cook until nice and thick, and taste often :) Quantities? Well, maybe 3-4 cups fresh or frozen apricots, 1/4 cup water, and 1/4 cup brandy. Cook until thick, set aside.
For the cupcakes, I used a double quantity of Shirley’s pound cake, recipe here. It really is the perfect building block for this! Bake it in cupcake tins.
Take all the middle pieces, and mix them with the apricot jam until you have a consistency of cake pops, so, not too smushed up, still having some texture, but very very moist. Add some brandy according to your taste buds, and add some chopped up walnuts, or hazelnuts.
Now, take some of the filling, and put it nicely on the bottom layer of the cupcake. Be generous with the filling, make it at least 1 1/2 – 2 inches tall, then put the top on. Repeat with all the cupcakes. You may need to change the cupcake paper holders, to make it all look nice.
Then, the frosting is the easy part. If you are squeamish about regular powdered sugar and food coloring, feel free to use any substitute you can think of. Please let me know too – would love to try!
Mix gluten-free powdered sugar with a small amount of brandy (or just water) and tiny amount of red food coloring, just enough to make it look bright pink. Mix enough to get out any lumps, and then pour over the assembled Krapfen.
Don’t you just want to grab one and bite into it?
To make everyone happy, I covered some of these cupcakes in chocolate. Completely untraditional, but still very good, and a concession to those that can’t do without.
And here you have it!
Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim says that of course we cannot go back in time and re-live even so much as a minute, but we sure can go back in our memories and re-create things that made us happy!
Note: all the food styling was done by my dear friend and fellow Jung Suwon warrior, Master Holly Chamberlain!