For a month I have been thinking about what I will be making for my family members and friends for Christmas. Last year (on Christmas Eve) I prepared ham rolls stuffed with horse radish cream, devilled eggs (starters) and kohlrabi cream soup, then for the main course the Hungarian “gamy” from beef with “doughboy” and with homemade cranberry jam. The dessert table sensation was the last year discovery the Pinocchio biscuit with pine nut seeds what I also gave as a welcome gift in handy boxes. This year regarding the dessert- inspired by a recent trip at lake Constance -I decided to give a try for a delicious German wine apple cake.
The planned menu
Starter: Champagne, white crudités, creamy winter soup, with herbed crostini, smoked salmon platter with fennel salad.
Crudités chosen for their white and pale green hues, celery, white asparagus, romaine (with yoghurt and garlic dip), cucumbers, and endives accompanied by a tangy buttermilk dip.
Main course: beefsteak with quark croquette and endive salad
On the dessert buffet there will be the classic eggnog (egg milk punch-it is called Advocat in Belgium) for the women, and porto wine for the men, scallop-edged sugar and espresso, flavored cookies such as almond-orange cookies, cranberry and pistachio rochers, three tiers of fruits such as passion fruit, black currant, citrus fruits, among the many shapes and varieties of cookies: almond cookies fragrant with orange zest and vanilla bean that have been rolled in confectioners’ sugar, walnut shaped treats with chocolate-walnut filling and traditional European spice cookies that have been pressed into springerle (see on the picture) molds with intricate designs before being baked. And of course it will not miss from the table the very best Belgian chocolate!!
German apple cake
Ingredients: 1 3/4 cup sugar, divided, 1/2 cup stick butter, softened 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 6 ounces block style, low fat, cream cheese, softened 2 large eggs, 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, separated 3 cups chopped, peeled Granny Smith apples
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9 inch square cake pan with cooking spray. Beat 1 1/2 cups of sugar, butter, vanilla, and cream cheese until it is well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour, baking powder, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and salt, beat until well combined. Add 1/4 cup sugar. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the sugar, cinnamon mixture with the apples and toss. Add apple’s to cake batter. Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Sprinkle remaining sugar, cinnamon mixture on top. Bake at 350 for one hour or until the cake puffs up in the middle and the edges pull away from the sides of the pan. Would be great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!