Sunday, August 4, 2013

Gooseberry Cake - Stachelbeerkuchen


Die Stachelbeeren oder „gooseberries“ (wörtlich übersetzt „Gänsebeeren“) haben die Größe von Trauben, aber sind etwas kugelförmiger. Sie gehören zu die Familie der schwarzen Johannisbeeren (die ich schon in meinem Post über die schwarzen Johannisbeer Kekse mit Zitronenverbene vorgestellt habe) und sind eine beliebte Sommerfrucht in vielen europäischen Ländern.
The gooseberries or “Stachelbeeren” (literally meaning “prickly berries”), are the size of large grapes, but with a more spherical shape. They are related to the black currants (that I featured in my recent post about Black Currant Cookies with Lemon Verbena) and are a popular summer fruit in many European countries.




Am Anfang der Saison eignen sie sich am besten zum Kochen, sie haben eine eher blass grüne oder sogar goldene Farbe, sind ziemlich hart und eher herb. Später in der Saison gibt es dann die weicheren, süßeren Sorten. Diese sind oft gelb oder rot gefärbt, manchmal herrlich tief burgunderfarbig und man kann sie auch wunderbar roh genießen. Aber auch wenn die Stachelbeeren nicht mehr ganz so fest und grün sind (oder besser gerade dann), backe ich mit ihnen am liebsten, weil sie dann zwar nicht so eine unglaubliche Farbe haben, dafür jedoch eine wundervolle würzige Süße. Am süßen Ende ihrer Erntezeit sind sie eben völlig reif und von der Sonne getränkt.
Early in the season they are best for cooking as they are rather pale green or even golden with a veined effect on the skin, and quite hard and tart. Later on in the season, the softer, sweeter varieties become available, often yellow or red colored, sometimes gorgeous deep burgundy colored, and then they are best they when eaten raw. But I still love baking with these beauties late in the season because they have such an incredible color and sweetness to them towards the end of their harvest time. At the end of the season they are fully ripe and sun-soaked, with a slight tang and lots of fragrant sweetness.




Juni und Juli ist die Hauptsaison der Stachelbeere. Aber man kann auch noch Anfang August Stachelbeeren auf den Märkten finden. Im Kühlschrank, halten sie für bis zu einer Woche. Wenn man nicht eigene Stachelbeeren im Garten hat oder sie nicht auf dem Markt oder beim Obst- und Gemüsehändler finden kann, können auch mal gefrorene Beeren verwendet werden, aber nur, wenn man beabsichtigt damit zu kochen, da die Beeren nach dem Auftauen sehr viel Flüssigkeit abgeben und nicht mehr wirklich zum Backen geeignet sind. Wenn man jedoch mit frischen Beeren kocht, braucht man nur ein wenig Wasser, gerade genug, um zu verhindern, dass die Beeren anbrennen. Man sollte die Beeren auch nur solange köcheln, bis sie leicht im Topf zusammenfallen, also nur recht kurz.
June and July is peak gooseberry season. But you can still find gooseberries in the markets now at the beginning of August. In the fridge, they will keep for up to a week. If you do not happen to grow your own and you are not lucky enough to find them fresh-picked locally, you could use frozen berries, but only if you intend to cook them as they will wilt quite a bit while defrosting. In fact, this fruit leaks out its juices so readily that you should not need to add water to the pan. But if you cook with fresh berries, add only the minimum of water, just enough to stop them burning before they release their own delicious, fragrant liquid. Cook until they collapse, but make sure not to boil them too hard.




Zum Vorbereiten der Stachelbeeren fürs Backen oder Kochen sind nur eine wenige Schritte nötig. Eine schnelle Wäsche, gefolgt vom Entfernen der Stiel- und Blütenreste und beiden Enden der Frucht. Das wird am besten mit einer kleinen Küchenschere oder einem scharfen kleinen Messer erledigt. Das Entfernen ist natürlich nicht nötig wenn die Früchte gekocht und anschließend durch ein Sieb passiert werden.
Getting the gooseberries ready for baking or cooking is quite simple. A quick wash followed by a so-called “top-and-tail”. You can either use those reliable kitchen scissors or a sharp little knife to nip off the tough stalk from the top of the berry and the dried remains of the flower from the other end (obviously, both are unnecessary if you are going to sieve the cooked berries).




Stachelbeerkuchen

Zutaten für den Kuchen

  • 225 Gramm feinster Zucker,
  • geriebene Zitronenschale und Saft von 1 Orange (Bio, bitte)
  • 225 Gramm weiche Butter (ungesalzen), plus extra für die Backform
  • 2 TL Bourbon Vanille Zucker,
  • eine Prise feines Meersalz
  • 1/2 TL gemahlener Zimt
  • 225 Gramm Weizenmehl, plus extra für die Backform
  • 2 TL Backpulver,
  • 4 Eier (L), Bio oder Freilandhaltung wenn möglich
  • 225 g frische Stachelbeeren, gesäubert
  • 140 Gramm Zucker


Zubereitung des Kuchens

  1. Eine 20 x 30cm Backenform mit Butter ausstreichen und mit Mehl ausstreuen oder mit Pergamentpapier auslegen.
  2. Den Ofen auf 180 Grad Celsius vorheizen.
  3. In einer mittleren Schüssel den Zucker und die Orangenschale mit den Fingerspitzen reiben damit die Öle aus der Orangenschale den Zucker besser aromatisieren..
  4. In einer weiteren Schüssel die Butter, den Orangenzucker und den Vanillezucker schaumig rühren.
  5. In einer anderen Schüssel das Salz, mit dem Zimt, Mehl und dem Backpulver mischen.
  6. Die Eier einzeln nacheinander zu dem Buttergemisch geben und solange rühren bis der Teig cremig und geschmeidig ist.
  7. Fügen Sie die Mehlmischung zu der Buttermischung hinzu und dann nur solange mischen, bis der Teig glatt ist.
  8. Vorsichtig die Stachelbeeren unterheben.
  9. Den Teig in die Backform füllen und ein wenig glatt streichen (so gut es geht).
  10. Den Kuchen zirka 35 Minuten backen – die Backzeit kann aber durchaus auch etwas länger sein wenn die Stachelbeeren schon sehr reif sind.
  11. Während der Kuchen backt, den Orangensaft und Zucker zusammen in einem kleinen Topf leicht erhitzen bis der Zucker geschmolzen ist.
  12. Den warmen Orangensirup über den noch warmen Kuchen löffeln.
  13. In Quadrate schneiden und servieren.
Gooseberry Cake

Ingredients for the Cake

  • 225 grams fine (caster) sugar
  • grated zest and juice of 1 orange (organic, please)
  • 225 grams softened butter (unsalted), plus extra for the cake pan
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla sugar 
  • a pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 225 grams wheat flour, plus extra for the pan
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs (L), organic or free range whenever possible
  • 225 grams fresh gooseberries, topped and tailed
  • 140 grams granulated sugar


Preparation of the Cake

  1. Butter and line a 20 x 30cm baking pan tin with baking parchment.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. 
  3. In a medium bowl rub together the sugar and the orange zest with your fingertips in order to release the oils from the orange zest into the sugar.
  4. In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter, orange sugar and vanilla sugar.
  5. In another bowl whisk together the salt, cinnamon, the flour and the baking powder
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter mixture and beat thoroughly until creamy and smooth. 
  7. Add the flour mixture to the butter mix and beat just until smooth.
  8. Stir in the gooseberries.
  9. Spoon the batter into the baking pan and level the surface with an offset spatula.
  10. Bake the cake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  11. While the cake is baking, stir the orange juice and granulated sugar together in a small saucepan and heat slightly until the sugar has melted.
  12. Spoon the warm orange syrup over the surface of the warm cake and leave to cool and set. 
  13. Cut into squares and serve.



Leider scheinen die Stachelbeeren heute nicht mehr ganz so beliebt zu sein. Aber es lohnt sicherlich lohnt sie einmal auszuprobieren. Wenn man die Beeren in seinem Garten oder einen Markt findet und dann sollte man vielleicht diesen Stachelbeerkuchen ausprobieren. Er ist nicht nur einfach ist zu backen, besonders mit köstlichen Stachelbeeren im Spätsommer, er ist auch sehr saftig, mit einem zarten Hauch von Orange, Vanille und Zimt – was mehr kann man sich von einem Sommerkuchen erwarten.
Unfortunately, these delicately bristled gooseberries seem to be somewhat under-appreciated these days. But it is certainly worth giving them a try when you find them in your garden or a market and this recipe for the Gooseberry Cake might surprise you – it is easy to bake, studded with delicious late summer gooseberries and it is very moist with delicate hints of orange, vanilla and cinnamon – what more could you want from a summer cake.



28 comments:

  1. I LOVE gooseberries but can't find them here :( your cakes looks super delicious!
    Mary x

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    1. Mary, I know that gooseberries (don´t you just love that name too) can be hard to find outside of EU but they are just totally irresistible and delicious and my grand-mother used to can them by the hundreds in glass Weck jars and I remember the rows of canned gooseberrie jars in her basement quite vividly.

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  2. What a fun cake, sadly I've never found gooseberries here, even our fancy markets don't carry them. I might need to plant my own!

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    1. Chris, gooseberries have become somewhat of a rarity around here as well - a little under-used these days I believe but just the perfect berries for baking and cooking.

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  3. Ach, du Lieber! DId I tell you that Stachelbeerkuchen is my one food memory from Heidelberg that I still dream of? I so wish we could get gooseberries here - would be making the Kuchen and jam and all sorts of things... This is a beautiful cake, and I love your thematically green linens! ~ David

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    1. David, ah, that Stachelbeerkuchen - qiute the rage around here at the Cafés and bakeries. There is a wonderful recipe for Gooseberry Meringue Cake that I have not baked in a while but I should get to it before all the gooseberries have disappeared for the season.

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  4. we heart the sweet-tart gooseberries and put them into everything we can when they r in season...this cake is our new favorite, thanks for the recipe :-)

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    1. Thank you for stopping by - glad that you like this recipe.

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  5. I've never had gooseberry cake. Looks like I'll be looking for some @ the market this week!
    You set such a pretty table, Andrea. xo

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    1. Colette, I am not sure you will find those lovely berries at your market - but it never hurts to try.

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  6. Beautiful cake Andrea!! I'm sure the base would work perfectly well with any other fruit too! Great recipe for every season :) A keeper!!
    xox Amy

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    1. Amy, yes, this is a basic and versatile recipe - although I have never made this recipe with any other fruit than gooseberries before - but there is no reason why this shold not work with blueberries for example - than maybe switch the orange for lemon or lime.

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  7. Andrea you are so lucky to be able to get all these lovely berries, I can't remember the last time I have seen gooseberries here - not even frozen ones in the supermarket :) I will just have to look at your pictures and imagine how great this cake would taste..

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    1. Karen, indeed we are lucky around here but I must say that I have to hunt for some of these lovely berries sometimes - not everyone sells them and they are rather "seasonal", only available for a few weeks.

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  8. I haven't tried Gooseberries but heard a lot about them through food blogs I visit. Hope to try them one day, but preferably in a cake like this! :)

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    1. Nami, gooseberries are a bit special and available mostly in the EU - although I am not sure whether part of the crop does not end up in the US or other markets - in any event, one can always plant a gooseberry bush, I suppose, or maybe find frozen ones (for cooking - not baking - because they exude so much liquid when defrosting).

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  9. Great sounding cake!
    Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com

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  10. ((B E A U T I F U L ))

    I want to be there. I want to eat that cake. I want it all...

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    1. Kim, you are such a wonderful "commentator" - thank you!

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  11. My family would devour these in a heartbeat. Thanks for the recipe!

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  12. I've never even seen a gooseberry! I wonder if we have them over here, and if so what their season is.

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    1. Ashley, as I mentioned in my text "June and July is peak gooseberry season. But you can still find gooseberries in the markets now at the beginning of August" - hope that helps.

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  13. I don´t think I ever had gooseberries. They don´t sell them here, like many other berries that grow in colder climates. Nice cake Andrea!

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    1. Paula - one the explicit goals of my blog has always been and will always be to feature products and recipes that have somehwta of a European feature to them...in my humble opinion thngs do not get quite as ho-hum that way. Just a personal opinion.

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  14. As a small child I went with my Grandma and picked Gooseberries--I remember them being very tart. Your recipe look wonderful. I will have to ask my 85 year old mother just where Grandma took me to pick these berries. Thanks for jogging my memory--it needs jarring on occasion!

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    1. Cindy, what a fun story - my beloved grand-mother used to grow gooseberries in her garden but these days they can be hard to find even in Germany (they used to be so very popular here) - and when I find them, there is no stopping me, I always buy too many and yes, they are tart but that´s what makes them just perfect for baking (or cooking) - a bit like rhubarb, tart on its own but wonderful when added to cakes or savory sauces.

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