My mother grew up in
, so I also absorbed the coffee culture known as Jause. This is along the lines of an English Tea with sweets but with coffee instead of tea. And, the most important thing, at least for me, is the Schlagobers, whipped cream lighty sweetened and a touch of vanilla. Typically you would have some sort of strudel, kuchen, torte or other sweet. To offset the sweets you would have a steaming hot pot of strong Viennese coffee served in small cups. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’d be offered the local Zwetchen or Marillen Brand, plum or apricot brandy. I’ve put my own spin on this tradition with a variation of an apple strudel and a chocolate square with a big bowl of whipped cream. Vienna
¾ c freshly brewed coffee
1 tbs sugar
½ c prunes, pitted and diced
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 tea vanilla extract
1 tbs plus 2 tea instant expresso powder, divided
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tea baking powder
1/2 tea salt
½ c chopped hazelnuts, toasted
1 ½ c chocolate chips divided
16 chocolate covered espresso beans
1/2 c heavy cream
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 8-inch square baking pan. I line the pan with buttered, non-stick foil, works like a charm. Place the chopped hazelnuts in a ramekin and toast in the oven until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. You can toast the nuts as the oven heats.
Pour the freshly brewed coffee over the prune pieces, stir in 1 tbs sugar and set aside to plump about 15 minutes. Drain.
Combine butter, sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla in bowl. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture. Gently fold in the nuts, drained prunes, and ½ c chocolate chips. Spread the cake mixture evenly into prepared pan.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until the cake begins to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut evenly into 16 squares. Place squares on a wire rack that has a parchment lined tray underneath.
Heat the heavy cream to barely simmering. Put 1 c chocolate chips in a small bowl with the 2 tea espresso powder. Pour the hot cream over and stir to create a mocha ganache. Set aside to cool.
Gently spoon the cooled mocha ganache over each cake square. Place one chocolate covered espresso bean on top of each cake square. Set aside to let the ganache set.
Whip 1 c heavy cream with 1 tbs sugar and ½ tea vanilla extract until thick. Serve chilled with a steaming pot of Vienna roast coffee.
Apfel Strudel Schale
This is a deconstructed apple strudel, taking each element and rethinking it and making it bite-sized. You get all the elements of the classic strudel without having to make your own pulled dough, something I have yet to attempt. This may be made ahead up to the point of assembly. Once assembled, the Schale will only keep for about 30 minutes before becoming soggy.
½ c water
½ c sugar
6 cardamom pods
2 c thinly sliced peeled Gala apple
1 tea lemon juice
15 mini fillo shells
½ c bread crumbs
2 tbs unsalted butter
3 tbs slivered almonds
¼ tea cinnamon freshly grated
Bring the sugar, water, and cardamom pods to a simmer. Continue to cook for 5 minutes. Remove the cardamom and add in the sliced apple. Stir and continue to cook for about 10 minutes until softened. Set aside to cool. Stir in the lemon juice. Once cool, remove the apple slices to a small bowl using a slotted spoon to leave as much of the juices behind in the pan. Return the remaining juices to the stove. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook until the syrup is thick approx 10 minutes. Pour over the apple slices and stir. Set aside to cool.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the almonds, bread crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. Slowly toast for several minutes until fragrant, stirring often.
To assemble: fill each fillo shell with a spoonful of the apple slices being careful not to add too much syrup. Top with the breadcrumb mixture. Serve with whipped cream.