Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Cinnamon Kissed Apple Goji Berry Strudel

Cinnamon Kissed Apple and Goji Berry Strudel 0012 by Meeta K. Wolff

When I moved to Europe 17 years ago, one of the first rituals I quickly adapted myself to, was the coffee-time culture. While much has been written and said about the European coffee culture, to get a real taste of it and feel its unique flair one has to experience it first hand. 

Each country on the European continent has its own specific coffee-time custom and each will nourish these rituals, which often have been established over the centuries and handed down from generation to generation.

Coffee-time in Europe is tradition and a means for family and friends to socialize with each other in a relaxed atmosphere. Visitors to Europe will immediately notice, if not feel, the difference. For one, Europe boasts of some of the oldest coffeehouses, what visitors will not see a lot of here are the modern chains á la Starbucks, which dominates the American continent. Order a cup of coffee and you will be treated to a rich, aromatic brew served in a porcelain coffee cup with sugar on the side and often a glass of water.

Paper cups? How uncivilized! Coffee-on-the-go? Unheard!

Cinnamon Kissed Apple and Goji Berry Strudel 0001 by Meeta K. Wolff

Walk through the streets of any European city and one will hardly see pedestrians clutching their on-the-go coffees in paper cups, as it is the case in many American urban areas. Europeans enjoy the experience of socializing, to simply take a break, to unwind and to savor the simple pleasures.

Cafés and coffeehouses in Europe tempt visitors with their cakes, pastries, exquisite sweet treats and light snacks. When the sun shines and the temperatures rise, tables and chairs are moved outside on the sidewalks and people flock to the cafés and coffeehouses to talk, to read or to write, to people watch or just to pass time. There is nothing on-the-go about this way of life!

Cinnamon Kissed Apple and Goji Berry Strudel _ APPLE_ 0005 by Meeta K. Wolff

It’s one of the things I quickly took to and over the years have enjoyed cultivating the coffee culture with the simple joy and pleasure it was meant for. I have travelled Europe widely, visiting sophisticated cities all over the continent from Madrid to Paris, Basel to Vienna, Oslo, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Berlin, Florence and the one thing I always truly enjoy is having the opportunity to sit in a small, cosy café and for just a tiny moment I feel like I am a part of the local atmosphere. The diverse coffeehouse ambience in each of the cities offers me a means to get closer to the locals and for an instant allows me to engage myself in their lives. Whether it is a temperamental discussion in Italian over espresso in Florence or just eavesdropping into sing-song notes of conversation in Norwegian over a thick cup of black in a Kaffehuset in Oslo, the scene is perfect for meeting new people or just satisfying the inner voyeur.

Enjoying this type of coffee culture however, is not only restricted to cafés and coffeehouses. On the contrary, in Germany Sunday afternoons are often reserved for family and friends, who are invited over for kaffee und kuchen – coffee and cake. Cakes are baked using fresh seasonal ingredients and the table is laid with fine porcelain coffee cups, plates and the silverware are brought out. It’s a bit of coffeehouse flair in the comfort of ones home.

Now as the weather warms up and the days are longer I enjoy entertaining my friends on our terrace. The table is dressed with a colorful tablecloth and decorated with wild spring flowers we gathered from our walk earlier. From the oven delicious aromas of buttery apples, sweet cinnamon and berries waft throughout the sunlit bottom floor of our house filling the appetites of my guests with pleasurable anticipation.

Cinnamon Kissed Apple and Goji Berry Strudel 0009 by Meeta K. Wolff

This strudel is a delectable sweet addition to any coffee-time tradition. Flaky strudel dough wrapped around cinnamon-kissed apples and goji berries make the strudel treat a heavenly experience. You can use puff pastry dough for this, but I prefer using strudel dough as it makes the strudel more delicate and wonderfully light and crisp. The strudel dough recipe comes courtesy of Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers and is very easy to put together. 

Recipe: Cinnamon Kissed Apple and Goji Berry Strudel

~ Strudel dough recipe adapted from Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers

Printable version of recipe here

AppleGojiBerryHazlnutStrudel_0009-250px

Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Ingredients:
For the strudel dough

  • 200 g unbleached flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 105 ml water, plus more if required
  • 30 ml vegetable oil, plus more for coating the dough
  • 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
For the cinnamon apple goji berry filling
  • 6 apples, cored, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 120 g goji berries, rehydrated in warm water for about 5-8 minutes
  • 160 g brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 150 g hazelnuts, very finely chopped
  • 50 g hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 100 g butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  1. To make the strudel dough, combine the flour and salt in a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the water, oil and vinegar in a measuring cup. Add the water-oil mixture to the flour with the mixer on low speed. You will get a soft dough. Make sure it is not too dry, add a little more water if necessary.

  2. Take the dough out of the mixer. Change to the dough hook. Put the dough ball back in the mixer. Let the dough knead on medium until you get a soft dough ball with a somewhat rough surface.

  3. Add Take the dough out of the mixer and continue kneading by hand on an unfloured work surface. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes. Pick up the dough and throw it down hard onto your working surface occasionally. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a plate. Oil the top of the dough ball lightly. Cover the ball tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to stand for 30-90 minutes - the longer the better.

  4. It would be best if you have a work area that you can walk around on all sides like a 36 inch (90 cm) round table or a work surface of 23 x 38 inches (60 x 100 cm). Cover your working area with table cloth, dust it with flour and rub it into the fabric. Put your dough ball in the middle and roll it out as much as you can. Pick the dough up by holding it by an edge. This way the weight of the dough and gravity can help stretching it as it hangs. Using the back of your hands to gently stretch and pull the dough. You can use your forearms to support it.

  5. The dough will become too large to hold. Put it on your work surface. Leave the thicker edge of the dough to hang over the edge of the table. Place your hands underneath the dough and stretch and pull the dough thinner using the backs of your hands.

  6. Stretch and pull the dough until it’s about 2 feet (60 cm) wide and 3 feet (90 cm) long, it will be tissue-thin by this time. Cut away the thick dough around the edges with scissors. The dough is now ready to be filled.

  7. To prepare the filling mix together apples, goji berries, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract together in a large bowl. Make sure everything is nicely coated.

  8. Brush the strudel dough with some melted butter. Sprinkle the 150 g finely chopped hazelnuts about 8 cm from the short edge of the dough in a 15cm wide strip. Spread the strudel with a layer of apple-goji berry filling.

  9. Fold the short end of the dough onto the filling. Lift the tablecloth at the short end of the dough so that the strudel rolls onto itself. Transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet by lifting it. Curve it into a horseshoe to fit. Tuck the ends under the strudel. Brush the top with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle with the 50g coarsely chopped hazelnuts.

  10. Bake the strudel for about 30 minutes or until it is deep golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Use a serrated knife and serve either warm or at room temperature. It is best on the day it is baked.

Note: Use plenty of flour to roll the dough. Knead the dough for the full 8 to 10 minutes. This will develop all the gluten strands necessary to make the dough stretch easily.

Verdict

AppleGojiBerryHazlnutStrudel_0014-WM 

Don’t be put off by the strudel dough recipe trust me it’s very easy to put together. Of course there is nothing against using good store-bought strudel dough to make this sublime strudel. It is the enticing intermingling of sweet cinnamon fruit with the nutty hazelnuts that make this so wonderfully desirable. Served with a drizzle of vanilla sauce it becomes the perfect dessert after a lovely dinner party.

Take a break from being on-the-go and reward yourself with a relaxing treat of coffee and a sweet treat. Kick off your shoes and do something good for yourself. Don’t you deserve it?

Monthly Mingle 

I am extremely excited to announce the next Monthly Mingle theme. My dear and cherished sister Jeanne is this month’s gracious hostess and we want your Topless Tarts. So, get them out and show them off if you dare! You have till 30th April to join the fun. For details on how you can show your stuff please head on over to Jeanne’s announcement page.

Plate to Page

We have exciting to news to share (especially with the participants of the Weimar Workshop): we have collaborated with a few pretty awesome partners and secured them as our fantastic sponsors. Come on over and see how they are partnering with us over on the Plate to Page blog.

It’s been a busy week here, with a trip to Berlin on Monday for a pretty cool assignment and a challenging shoot planned for Friday. I hope you all have a great week ahead and enjoy the weekend!

Before I sign off: Saveur is nominating the best food blogs for their 2011 Best Food Blog Awards. Please head on over, if you have a minute, and nominate your favorite blogs and of course I would appreciate your nominations for What’s For Lunch, Honey? in the category Best Photography.

Be well and be safe.

Scrumptious coffeehouse sweet treats from WFLH:

Cannoli with Gianduja Cream and Lemon Goat Cheese Cream Bakewell Tart with Thyme Infused Cherry Preserve and Cashew Frangipane Chocolate Éclairs

 


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2011 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

36 comments :

  1. Yum, I can almost taste this, it sounds so delicious!

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  2. What beautiful photos and yes, you do have my vote! Your post makes me long for a slower paced life. It seems we are so fast paced here and never is there enough time to get everything done. Coffee time sounds wonderful and to imagine no coffee chain just seems so nice....I'd love to have a real old fashioned coffee house around where you get amazing coffee. Not too many of those exist around here. I only know of 1 and it is 4 hours away from me!

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  3. You absolutely have my votes & i do love that you think like me @coffee-breaks ;-)

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  4. Hungary, especially Budapest has a strong coffeehouse culture. Wait until you see it! :)

    Yum dessert, great recipe Meeta!

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  5. That strudel looks wonderful! The filling is so original.

    Like you I adore the coffee-time culture. I would really love to go to Vienna or Budapest in order to visit the coffeehouses there...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  6. Gorgeous strudel that I would eat anyday with a cup of café au lait! I actually miss coffee time - mid morning and mid afternoon - in Italy! In France it is dying, I think, accept on weekends in people's homes where it is indeed alive and fabulous! We always have a coffee and cake time around 4 every Saturday and Sunday.

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  7. I so wish I had a plate of these right now to go with my coffee! It looks wonderful!

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  8. What a gorgeous streudel! I love the addition of goji berries. sounds totally delightful with a cup of coffee.

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  9. I read your recipes like I would a story.
    And to think I'm on a fruit diet today! *groan*

    This is kiiling me!

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  10. Gorgeous strudel. I wish I had some to drink with my tea right now. Headed over to vote for you.

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  11. What a great strudel! Being European myself, I completely understand and agree-there is no coffee to go culture here, we enjoy sitting in a caffee and drinking our cup of coffee :)

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  12. Looks delicious. Never tried goji berries. Surely we deserve this treat at the end of the day.Great Meeta.

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  13. Hmm, I totally agree with that type of coffee drinking - I never drink my coffee (or tea) on the go. Horrible!
    And your strudels look absolutely delicious!

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  14. Wish i were there and not in this Satrbucks!
    Just nominated you. You deserve a big win!

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  15. Strudel looks absolutely divine..

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  16. The European coffee time sounds extraordinary...and your strudel looks amazingly delicious. I've always dreamed of traveling to Europe. Ahh. If you had to choose 2 countries to visit for the first time, which would they be?

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  17. Gorgeous gorgeous pictures! And the recipe looks absolutely delicious!

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  18. The best coffees I've ever had have been in Europe (except for one brilliant exception in Vietnam!), and yes part of the magic is really taking time to stop and really appreciate the moment, and the coffee, with reverence. Having a gorgeously delicious strudel like this one with your coffee would definitely be the best!

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  19. This post has inspired me to do a Sunday brunch after church so I'm going to try and make these this weekend. The only dough I've ever made from scratch is pizza dough so I am anticipating a very messy kitchen :)

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  20. The last pic with the vanilla sauce on, perrrrrfect....The strudel looks like the meat puffs we get here in indian bakeries. I am so used to it that I am having difficulty convincing myself that this is a dessert and not a savory snack..... :)

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  21. Yumm....the strudel looks soooooo good!

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  22. I like the idea of relaxed living and coffee culture. Too often mine is on the go these days. I've never cooked with goji berries, sounds intriguing - very keen to try my hand at strudel dough. And the strudel looks wonderful with the custard dribbled over it.

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  23. I do no agree with you fully, but of course it depends where in Europe you are, since it's pretty diverse. But I do feel like the to-go coffee culture is coming here, and somehow taking over. At least in the north and western parts of Europa, modern coffee houses is all over and the milky coffee with a lot of syrup and whip cream is everywhere for high prices. Luckily, the smaller and more genuine ones where you can get a killer espresso is still there, and you are right when you say that many people cherish their coffee break.

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  24. I'll leave out the coffee, but wouldn't mind some of your beautiful strudel.

    haven't been here for some time now, hope the three of you are doing well.

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  25. The coffee-culture is something that I very much enjoy about European culture, and really it takes place world over... Vietnam, Japan, India, Morocco, etc. In each of these places I've been treated to the slow and ritualistic gathering of friends and family to share a moment and a cup of goodness, tea, coffee, wine, and otherwise. Thank you for this post, it was refreshing. I hope to visit Germany someday and experience it myself.

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  26. I absolutely LOVE that you did this from scratch Meeta...must try it soon before apples disappear. I think I read about goji berries on your blog ages ago {did I?}. Gorgeous pictures and pairing!

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  27. i never could enjoy coffee on the go. i like to enjoy it with a short bite :) these looks amazing and the dough recipe looks so easy.. i alwasy thought it's a pain to make these at home :)

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  28. I am a big coffee break kind a person.. in the late afternoons, I need my time and cuppa even if I do not have company. What bliss to have someone make this for me:-)I really wish I could move next door..

    love the relaxed mood and the shadows in the photographs.

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  29. Ah yes, the coffee culture! I have to say that that is one of the things I miss most when I am travelling to far away places! And the first thing we do when we come home is enjoy a 'real' cup of coffee, homestyle... And your strudel looks absolutely perfect to go with a nice cup!

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  30. My grandparents would always have their 4 o'clock coffee ritual with a few cookies everyday. It was something I always looked forward to. It's nice to have a time of day devoted to relaxing and having a little treat.

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  31. Ou Jösses! Its nice blog and better pictures!

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  32. Having lived in Europe and presently experiencing american culture.....this is something i totally identify with....cafes are such a big thing in europe....It is such a wonderful place to meet up with friends and just enjoy the day in summers.....I havent seen much here....lovely post meeta....it just took me back to europe...Even if one wants to experience this culture in US, u get to do it in little german or swiss villages they have here....so that is really somthing i look forward to in summers.

    have a great day!!!!

    veda

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  33. I feel lucky that in Southern California we have a lot of small independent coffee shops popping up all over the place providing a place to hang out, have some pastries, and indulge in well prepared high quality coffee. But I will admit that I am aching to experience the coffee culture in Europe, as I've never had the opportunity to explore off my own continent!

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  34. I'm with you on the proper coffee culture, sister - walking around with a paper cup of coffee spoils it completely! Give me the European way any time. I have never know what the hell to do with goji berries - now you have given me an idea!

    Nice book... nice postcards... ;o) You are the one!

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  35. Thank you so much everyone for all your fantastic thoughts, feedback and opinions. I am loving these comments. I like building little islands of relaxation throughout my day and a break for coffee the European way is really the way to go.
    Hugs!

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  36. Meeta, This is a wonderful post about the culture and ritual of coffee. The strudel is lovely, but for the life of me I cannot find goji berries anywhere. Whole Foods has them in every which way chocolate covered and such, but not simply plain. I will find them, promise, so I can make this fantastic dessert!

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta