Wednesday, 3 December 2008

German Delights

Falko Konditormeister, although only established in 2006, is already a bit of a Edinburgh (well, Bruntsfield at least) institution. While his stall at the weekly farmers' market always has long queues, those of us luckily enough to live nearby can savour freshly baked bread, incredible cakes and authentic brezel all week. One of the first bonding activities with my new flatmates earlier this year was a trip to Falko's, where we bought a variety of calorific cakes and took them home to savour with a cup of tea.

I was mildly excited to see Falko's bread paper in the window of another shop in Bruntsfield, although slightly baffled as to why he should be opening another branch so close to his original shop. All was revealed last week, when the paper came down and the shop was revealed. While the (now closed) old shop was "cosy" this one had a large seating area, thus removing the need to go home before tucking in! Bruntsfield is perhaps a little lacking in coffee shops, so a bakery with drinks and comfy seats is a welcome addition in itself.

T and I went this weekend to sample the wares. Usually I go for the breads as I find the cakes a bit too creamy. However, after reading Heston Blumenthal's recipe for the perfect Black Forest Gateau, I thought I should try one made to the original German recipe, which apparently stipulates that the cream should be 10% Kirsch.

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte

(Apologies for the rubbish photo, I forgot my camera and had to use my phone)

Individually, the components were delicious, although I found the cream to be overwhelming. I generally find most European patisserie too heavy on the whipped cream, although the contrast of the sweet cream with the bitter chocolate and sour cherries reminded me quite a lot of the cakes my Polish next-door-neighbour would bake when I was child. I am also not fond of whipped cream, as I don't really like the texture. I think if I was making this myself I would use a thin layer of clotted cream, or thickened double cream to create a similar effect without the mouthfeel of whipped cream.

I was particularly intrigued by the base of the cake, which was a thin layer of sponge. I wasn't sure if this was to add to the taste, or merely to help support the cake when it was being moved from the tins to the serving plate, and then on to the dining plate.

T had a chocolate mousse cake, which was very lekker as well as featuring the spongey base layer. I also enjoyed that the cakes were served on small dinner plates with dessert forks, it made the whole experience feel much more of a treat than normal!

I am torn over whether to invest in a Falko cake for my birthday next week. If not I think I will bake a coffee and walnut sponge, layered with kahlua buttercream and a dark chocolate glaze.


Heidi H said...

I had never heard of clotted cream until reading this blog. I looked it up and it sounds wonderful! I have access to unpasteurized cream and I can't wait to try make it...

Student Epicure said...

I am slightly in love with clotted cream although it is probably the least healthy thing ever. I've only really seen it in Southern England although you can sometimes get it up here in Scotland.

Try it on scones with jam, the ultimate afternoon tea!