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Posts Tagged ‘Austrian food’

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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 Dr. Tae Yun Kim has taught me, and she went to explain further that we also associate different foods with different qualities.  For example, Dr.  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.

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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.

Once done, let them cool off, and then cut them into thirds, like this:
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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.

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Punschkrapfen filling

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.

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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.

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Don’t you just want to grab one and bite into it?

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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!

Dr. 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!

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2013-07-02 dumplings on plate

It’s still hot here – in the 90s.  But I was inspired to cook a favorite childhood comfort food after Dr.  Tae Yun Kim invited us to help pick and taste test her apricots and early plums.

2013-07-01 home grown apricots

While picking this most delicious and sweet fruit, Dr. Tae Yun Kim talked about patience – as in, when you want to harvest your own fruit, you have to be patient and wait for it.  There is no speeding up the process!  You cannot harvest the flowers, or the hard green fruit – you must wait!

I couldn’t get apricot dumplings out of my mind.  I hadn’t made them in a very long time ( such as, about 30 years or so) and now there was the added challenge of making them gluten-free.

Following the basic recipe, I boiled 5 medium potatoes, whole, skin and all, until they were soft, and let them cool off.

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After peeling them, I forced them through a strainer (mashing them doesn’t work well here), and added 2 medium/large eggs, a couple of tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 cup almond flour, and enough gluten-free flour to make a soft, pliable, but not sticky dough.

2013-07-02 apricot dumpling dough

I covered the dough and prepared the apricots, by cutting them just enough to get the pit out and putting in a half tsp of honey, more if you like it really sweet.

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Then, I wrapped each apricot into its own piece of dough.  Sorry about the fuzzy picture.

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The traditional recipe calls for boiling the dumplings in water.  However, I prefer to steam them.  Here they are all lined up in my steamer:

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I steamed them for about 20 minutes and sprinkled them with ground pistachios.  (Traditionally you would serve them with breadcrumbs, fried in butter, and liberal amounts of powdered sugar.)

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Now try this, and enjoy!  Let me know how you like them!

Note: I made this with Shirley’s gluten free flour mix, which you can see here, in her notes after the recipe.  I am pretty sure it would work with a lot of different combinations!

2013-07-02 split open dumpling

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Well, although I have a lot more to say on bread, I have to stop for a minute and write about just how hungry I get after a good Jung SuWon class.  Body, Mind, and Spirit all have to work together in perfect harmony, and that takes energy that must be replaced! 

Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim likes to challenge us and has us work hard!  I hear some people say the harder they work out, the less they feel like eating.  Not me!  The more I work out, the hungrier I get! 

So yesterday I remembered some good old rib-sticking Austrian food, comforting to body and soul, that my grandma used to make.  I can’t claim it came out as good as hers, but there sure werent’ any leftovers either! Here is an approximate recipe I received from a wonderful Austrian cook who also runs a restaurant there. 

This delicacy is called Schlipfkrapferl, and is basically the Austrian word for pirogi.  It seems like a whole lot of work, but it really isn’t, and you don’t need a detailed recipe either.  For a detailed recipe, let me see if I get permission to post it….

You can by some ready made won-ton skins if you want to do a short cut, but don’t expect that same taste.  Noodle dough is really easy to make.  I take some flour, maybe a couple of cups, make a well in the middle, and put in about 2 or so tablespoons of olive oil, some salt, and an egg or two, although it turns out just fine without the eggs too. 

Knead it all together into a soft, non-sticky dough, knead it well, and then cover it either with an upside down bowl, saran wrap, or whatever to keep it from getting dry on the surface.  Give that a break while you make the filling.  I usually have some cooked potatoes hanging out, just in case…..so I mashed those up, added salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, sauteed some garlic, onions and young spinach and added that to the potato mixture.  Season to taste. 

Put water into a pan – enough so that the Schlipfkrapferl have a lot of room to swim – add salt and a little olive oil, cover and bring to boiling.

Now put some flour on a work surface and roll out the noodle dough, fairly thin.  To cut out the dough, I usually take a mug upside down and cut out rounds like that.  But if you prefer triangles, or smaller or bigger rounds…whatever you like is just fine!

Put filling on the dough, and put a second round on the top, and with a fork, press around the edges and be careful not to let any filling ooze out.  Put these into the boiling water and boil (barely) for about 5 – 10 minutes. 

Lift them out of the water with a slotted spoon, and arrange on a platter.  If you want to be authentic, grate some cheese on them, and top with some onions that you have browned in butter.  Or, you can put any good spaghetti sauce over them, or simply eat plain as is.  Enjoy!

If this seems too complicated – tell yourself:  He Can Do, She Can Do, Why Not Me!

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