Saturday, February 9, 2013

Carnival Celebrations Part III "Eiserkuchen" & "Quarbällchen" (Quark Doughnut Holes and Waffle Rolls)

For the third day of the Carnival Celebrations,  I chose to feature two different traditional Carnival pastries, the first are "Quarkbällchen". I will call them "Quark Doughnut Holes". "Quark", also called "farmers´cheese" or "fromage blanc" is a type of soft, white and unaged cheese that usually has a much lower fat content than cream cheese and has no salt added. It is commonly found throughout Europe.

Recipe for the "Quarkbällchen"
(Quark Doughnut Holes)

Ingredients for the Quark Doughnut Holes
  • 500 grams (17.6 ounces) AP (plain) flour
  • 130 grams (4.6 ounces) superfine (caster) sugar
  • 4 grams (0.14 ounces) fine sea salt
  • 25 grams (0.9 ounces) baking powder
  • 600 grams (21.2 ounces) quark
  • 25 grams (0.14 ounces) vegetable oil, such as sunflower oil
  • 5 large eggs plus 4 large egg yolks
  • 100 grams (3.5 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
  • some finely grated zest of an organic lemon
  • 2 tsps pure vanilla sugar

Ingredients for Frying

  • Vegetable Oil or fat with a high smoking point

Ingredients for the Cinnamon Sugar Coating

  • 200 grams (7 ounces) sugar
  • some cinnamon to taste
  • one large paper bag

Preparation of the Quark Doughnut Holes

1. In the bowl of your mixer combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, quark, oil, eggs, egg yolks, butter, lemon zest and vanilla.
2. Beat the ingredients on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes.
3. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest for about 45 minutes.
4. In a paper bag or a medium sized bowl, mix the sugar with the cinnamon.
5. In a deep-fryer, heat the oil or the fat until it reaches a temperature of 180 degrees Celsius (degrees Fahrenheit).
6. With an ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, proportion the dough, drop it into the heated oil.
7. Fry the doughnut holes until they have reached a golden color.
8. Using a large spoon with holes or a so-called "spider",  remove the doughnut holes from the oil and place on a baking sheet covered with paper towels ( to get rid of some of the oilfrom frying).
9. Then, while still warm, toss them in the sugar/cinnamon mix.
10. Serve while still lukewarm.

The Quarkbällchen (Quark Doughnut Holes) are delicious when eaten while still warm, on their own or with a homemade pear-apple compote.


The second Carnival pastries are "Eiserkuchen". I will call them "Waffle Rolls". They are rolled-up, crunchy waffles that you bake in a specialty waffle iron. What makes them special and extra crunchy, is the fact that the dough for these waffles contains dissolved rock candy, in addition to homemade vanilla sugar and cinnamon.

The batter for these delicious Eiserkuchen makes a crisp waffle that keeps for a long time if stored in a cookie tin with a cover that closes well to keep out any moisture which would turn the Waffle Rolls soft.

We enjoy eating them plain and sometimes with some whipped cream or even some really good vanilla ice cream on the side.

It takes a bit of practice rolling the piping hot cookies...

...and you will need a specialty waffle maker for these but they are certainly worth it.

Recipe for the "Eiserkuchen"
(Waffle Rolls)

Ingredients for the Waffle Rolls
  • 250 grams rock candy (white rock candy for a lighter colored waffle, brown rock candy for a darker colored waffle) or regular sugar
  • 1/4 l water
  • 200 grams unsalted butter 
  • 2 eggs (L) organic or free range whenever possible
  • 1 pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (from Ceylon if possible)
  • 1 package pure vanilla sugar (3 tsps) 
  • 250 grams AP (plain) flour
This recipe makes about 24 waffle rolls.

Preparation of the Waffle Rolls

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the water, sugar and butter until the butter has melted and ths sugar is dissolved.
2. Transfer to a bowl and cool.
3. Preheat your waffle maker.
4. To the melted and cooled butter mixture, add the eggs, salt, cinnamon, vanilla sugar, and flour and using a whisk stir the dough until it is well blended and all lumps are gone.
5. Spoon 2 tablespoons of batter in the center of the iron.
6. Bake for about a minute or two, then check for proper color.
7. Quickly remove the waffle from the waffle maker onto a rack. If the waffle is too hot to handle with your bare hands, use a cloth to help lift and roll the waffle
8. Hold the waffle roll a few seconds to set its shape then place on the wire rack to cool completely.

NOTE: For the specialty waffle maker you could get the "Eiserkuchen waffle maker" from "Cloer" ( or a similar waffle cone maker (available for example from "Chef´s Choice" through



  1. Both recipes are wonderful Andrea, but since I don´t have the waffle iron, I´d much rather make the doughnut holes. I love the idea of quark in the dough! You certainly eat well during carnival.

    1. Paula, thank you very much - yes, we eat a lot of different and wonderful pastries during the Carnival season - the traditional reason is that Lent and thus "giving up of sweets" for about six weeks starts from Ash Wednesday, the last day of Carnival, and one we all like to indulge a bit before we have to give up seet treats for a few weeks.

  2. What wonderful treats! They both look like a great way to celebrate Carnival. Are you giving up sweets for Lent?

    1. Beth, well, traditionally Lent is a time to give up sweets but I must say that these days it is rather difficult to give up sweets entirely, so no, we do not really give up sweets. We try to be as reasonable as possible though.

  3. Mmmm...both of these pastries look delightful, but I know that I would go for those donut holes in a heartbeat!

    1. Thank you, Elaine, you know what they say "variety is the spice of life" - everyone has a preference and that´s what makes baking so much fun.