Saturday, April 5, 2008

Zwetschgenschnecken! (German plum rolls)

I added that exclamation mark because I feel a word like that must be yelled, not said.
I write this entry with trepidation - committing an almost-unthinkable act: adding a recipe before tasting the product.
Why would I do something like this, you may wonder; there are a number of reasons, actually:
1) this is the most technically difficult thing I've made, I reckon. I am proud and want to share my glory
2) I really fear this is going to suck. The recipe I got was weird, the fact that there are pretty much no other recipes for this thing is weird, and the name is weird.
3) I'm waiting while it's in the oven

It all started today with a bag of plums for 1 dollar. It's the end of the season and I was at the markets around closing time and so snagged it up. Some googling later pointed me to this recipe that caught my eye, though instilled worry given its lack of comments/reviews. I bought some cream cheese and commenced this wild ride. I made quite a few adjustments to the recipe, almost enough to call it Measchgenschnecken, I think, but they were based on availability of stuff in my kitchen/personal judgment.

-Dice about 8 plums. The riper the better, but not too soft
-Toast about 1/4 cup macadamia nuts (original recipe calls for almonds... I think any nice, not salty nut, would be good)-Prepare some "plum butter". This actually isn't butter; the recipe is here. I didn't have enough plums for that, so I used some pear jam/sauce that I made a couple weeks ago - about 1/2 cup
-Mix these first 3 and set aside
-In a large bowl, mix
-1/2 c olive oil
-1/2 c milk (I used soy)
-5/8 c white sugar
-1 1/2 c cream cheese (I just used a large packet, which is 250g and not enough and I think that may have contributed to some of the problems)
-1 pinch of salt
-1 tsp of cinnamon (I used cloves since I didn't have it)
-Then add 4 cups of flour and 1 tsp of baking powder (This was the craziest part... the recipe called for 1/4 cup of baking powder! Never have I heard of that - even "baking powder cookies" uses less than that. I assumed it was a typo and hope it turns out to be the case)
-Knead dough on floured surface
-Roll dough to a rough 20 inch by 20 inch square (I didn't measure this and was hopeless in this part)-Spread the plum mix in the middle
-Roll up tightly... somehow-Cut into 12 even slices
-Preheat oven to 350F/ 175C
-Grease a flat pan
-Arrange rolls on the pan and butter the tops-Bake for 50 minutes or until brown
Verdict! So these turned out to be damn tasty, I must say. I'm glad I did the modifications that I did to the recipe since it turned out pretty right. In the future if I use the little amount of cream cheese that I did, I would add an egg to the dough to make it stickier and more pliable. But I'm very happy, even though it was quite difficult to do.
-Rolling it up was pretty difficult... hard to evenly get it at once. I think maybe if you had put baking paper underneath originally it would be much easier. I also wonder if the dough was right - it felt like it was not connected enough... I suspect an egg should have been involved. Of course, this could be due to the fact that I didn't have enough cream cheese...

1 comment:

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