Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Schmandkuchen. That's fun to say.

I don't remember how I found 'At Home With Kim Vallee', but I absolutely love her blog. Check it out, it is stylish, inspiring and fun. Kim wrote about Schmandkuchen that a friend of hers had made for Easter. I have made a pear kuchen so I knew that kuchen was German for cake and I learned that schmand is a custard/cream/cheese filling, sort of. That was all I needed to know. Fattening? I'm in. I have seen it done with berries, apricots or oranges. You can find Bettina's original recipe here.

I was home sick for over a week with the sore throat from hell.
This is my return to the world of the living.
People like people who bring cake.
Yes you can buy love.
Or at least bake it.

This is as close as I could get to Bettina's recipe. Go to the recipe link above to see the real version. I had to make do with what is available locally and adjust from metric and figure out what size pan was large and deep from the photo and also what I had in my cupboards. I ended up using a 10" spring form pan (wrong).
Vanilla custard powder? Nope. I had a choice of Dr Oetker flan or creme brulee. Creme brulee seemed closest to custard
Quark cheese? Never gonna happen. Mascarpone is a decent substitute. Available? Not today. Cream cheese will have to do.
It is an easy cake to make, just finding the ingredients can be a bit difficult in small towns. Make this early in the day and then chill. This is a rustic/family dessert. My favorite part is the creamy filling with the fruit.


Cake batter:

1 cube soft butter
1 c sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 c flour, rounded

Schmand filling
1 c milk
1 c heavy cream
Dr. Oetker creme brulee mix
1/2 c sugar (or to taste)
7 oz crème fraîche
8 oz mascarpone
or cream cheese, room temperature, and 1/2 cup sour cream
2 egg yolks

2 pints strawberries
2 pints raspberries
2 pints of blackberries
Danish Dessert fruit glaze

Pre-heat oven to 355 degrees

Cake batter

Mix the soft butter with the sugar until you get a creamy consistency.
Add the eggs one by one until well blended.
Add vanilla.
Fold the baking powder into the flour and sift into the mixture.
Grease a large, deep baking pan and spread the batter evenly until the entire bottom is covered (about the thickness of a thumb).
Pre-bake the base for 15 minutes.
Take the cake base out of the oven and let cool in the baking pan.

Prepare the Dr. Oetker creme brulee according to the instructions.
Let it cool a bit.
Mix the crème fraîche with the mascarpone, or with the cream cheese and sour cream.
Add the cooled creme brulee and the two egg yolks.
Add sugar to taste.
Leave the base in the baking pan and spread the Schmand evenly on the base.

Wash and drain the fruit,
Cut the strawberries in half lengthwise if they are big.
Cover the Schmand with the berries.
Put the baking tray back in the oven for another 15 minutes.
I forgot and baked the glaze also, and it turned out just fine.

Once the cake has completely cooled
make the fruit glaze with water or juice according to directions.
Pour the fruit glaze evenly across the cake.
If you use a spring form pan I think it would work better for a half recipe.
Also use a knife around the edge before you un-clamp the pan.

In conclusion, my pan was deep enough but not large enough, there were some adjustments I had to make which I will spare you the details. Let's just say that deciding to make a cake at 8pm on Sunday, in a messy (not dirty) kitchen, after a late Saturday night at a karaoke bar and having gone to work at 6am on 5 hours of sleep, is not the best idea. Oh, and I also baked the glaze with the fruit instead of pouring it on after. I obviously need some sleep.

Schmand is a dairy product, which is manufactured by fermentation of the cream by different Lactobazillus cultures, a variety of sour cream similar to creme fraiche. It usually contains at least 20% fat. http://en.petitchef.com/

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Easter already?
Who makes these decisions?
Because I am so not ready.

I guess it is true what they say, the older you get the faster time flies.
But OMG.
34 years ago I graduated high school.
22 years ago I gave birth to my last child.
3 years ago I still had good neck skin.
And now another holiday that I am totally unprepared for thinking that I still had 2 more weeks.
And my neck is falling down.

I will probably be working on Easter or in bed sick, sick and more sick. But I would like to ask my 2,314 followers (there is a big ha ha in my head right now) to boycott grocery stores on holidays. Just do without whatever it is that you forgot. Easter will still happen if you don't have whipped cream believe it or not. I remember when I was a kid, the only thing open was maybe one gas station and a 7-11. People went to church and families were together. Those were the days.

Easter is a very spiritual day for me.
So forgive my twisted sense of humor, but I do believe that life is far better with laughter.
And since I now am sick with either strep throat or the sore throat from hell, here is my total contribution for Easter....

If you know the source, let me know and I will give credit.