This year’s Carnival pastries are like a spiced version of traditional doughnuts paired with a freshly made Apple Compote. I like to serve a little bit of pleasantly tart winter fruit compote alongside these sweet treats, as these two, the doughnuts and the compote, complement each other in a delicious way - the tartness of the fruit balances out the sweetness of the doughnuts. If you do make a fruit compote make an easy Apple Compote or go with pears or quince or other seasonal fruits - as the pastries are made with lots of warm spices, I would recommend a simple fruit compote, flavored only with some lemon juice and a wee bit of sugar.
As it has become tradition , I try to feature a different recipe for seasonal and traditional German carnival pastries every year. In 2015 I blogged about Carnival Doughnuts (Karnevalskrapfen), a lovely round type of doughnut made with fresh cheese (Quark), a traditional pastry, fried in hot oil until deep golden-colored and served with a cinnamon-sugar coating. Also in 2015 I featured Fried Almond Cookies (Mutzemandeln), a typical recipe from the Rhineland region, almond shaped and with lots of ground almonds in the dough. And in 2014, I tried my hand at making Quark Doughnut Strips (Quarknudeln), also made with fresh cheese (Quark) and also with fresh yeast. Back in 2013, I baked a Doughnut Cake (Krapfenkuchen) using a sweet yeast dough.
Spiced Carnival Doughnuts - Gewürzkrapfen
(Inspired by a recipe from Johann Lafer)
- 250ml lukewarm milk (I like to use 3.5%)
- 42g (1.5 oz) fresh yeast, crumbled
- 600g (21.2 oz) strong baking flour (around here it’s called 'Type 550')
- 60g (2.1 oz) superfine baking (caster) sugar
- 4 egg yolks (M), free range or organic
- 1 tbsp rum
- grated zest from each ½ organic lemon and ½ organic orange
- 1/8 tsp gingerbread spice mix - Note: if you cannot find Gingerbread Spice Mix at the store or online, you can mix it yourself, link is at the bottom of this post
- 1/8 tsp allspice
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon (from Ceylon if possible)
- 1/8 tsp cardamom
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 100g (3.5 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
- flour for the work surface
- 1l vegetable oil for frying
- 100g (3.5 oz) cinnamon sugar (sugar mixed with Cinnamon)
- Make the yeast mixture: in a medium bowl whisk together the milk with the yeast, 50g (1.7 oz) of the flour and the sugar. Cover and let stand 20 minutes in a warm spot.
- To the bowl of your stand mixer, add the remaining flour, the egg yolks, rum, lemon- and orange zest, gingerbread spice and all the other spices. Using the dough hook, beat at low speed, add the soft butter at the very end and beat until a sticky dough forms.
- Transfer to a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rest in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume (about one hour).
- Roll and cut: turn the risen dough out onto a floured surface and roll to 1cm (0.40in) thickness.
- Using a pastry wheel, cut into (3cm x 5cm) (1.2in x 2in) diamond shapes. Mark the top of each dough piece with a cross.
- Cover and let rise another 15 minutes.
- Fry until golden: pour oil into a Dutch oven and heat to 180° C (360°F).
- Fry dough, in batches, 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until they puff up and are golden brown – make sure to slide dough slowly into the oil to avoid splattering.
- Carefully remove onto a rack with kitchen roll underneath and allow to cool until you can handle them.
- Dust with cinnamon sugar.
Apple Compote - Apfelkompott
- 225g (8oz) cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- ½ organic lemon, zest and juice
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp superfine (caster) sugar
- Put the apples in a saucepan with the lemon juice, zest and water.
- Cover and cook over a low heat until they are soft and mushy.
- Take off the heat and stir in the sugar.
- Cool and serve.
For more of my Carnival recipes, please go here:
- Carnival Doughnuts (Karnevals-Krapfen) can be found here
- Fried Almond Cookies (Mutzemandeln) are here
- Quark Doughnut Strips (Quarknudeln) here
- Doughnut Cake (Krapfenkuchen) is here
- Gingerbread Spice Mix (Lebkuchengewürzmischung) can be found here