Tuesday, December 4, 2007

German style cooking + baking

Living abroad is fantastic, although it occasionally has it's challenges. Living in Germany has taught me a lot about cooking things from scratch as well as other 'issues' regarding baking.

I always love pumpkin dishes and it is a blessing and a curse. Rather than opening a can of pumpkin, I have to cook a hokkaido pumpkin. If there aren't small ones available we have pumpkin in every shape and form imaginable- with pasta, cookies, bread... you get the drift. I assume it's probably more nutritious not coming from a can as well. Fortunately, I have plenty of time to perfect my cooking skills and to bake my pumpkins down.

We have some of the most spectacular chocolate shops, however cakes and cookies are entirely different - they are much more dry and hard. I'd love if we could get Vosges Naga cookies here -- if you have not tried them I highly recommend it. They are a mixture of Sweet Indian curry + fresh coconut + pumpkin purée + woolloomooloo milk chocolate chip. I should also state that I absolutely love indian food. These aren't overpowering though. Once you try them they are rather addicting.

Last year when my sister was visiting we were having issues with baking Christmas cookies. It turns out Germany doesn't have the same flour or brown sugar. I think our oven wasn't the best either. I've since figured out where to get some similar brown sugar, which recipes to use with which flour (405 is like American pastry flour) and 550 is similar to all purpose flour (thanks to King Arthur). We also got a new oven shortly after.

I'm going to try to figure out a decent replication of the Vosges cookie since they aren't available in Germany. Hopefully I come up with something that's a success. Till (one of Stefan's coworkers) even brought us back some chocolate chips from Barcelona that I will try out.

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