Tuesday 21 February 2017

Kaiserschwarrn - Austrian pancakes

Let's face it; most people book a holiday somewhere to relax and see the sights, right? Well we book a holiday to eat - relaxing isn't so much on the cards, as the kids are with us, but a slower pace is always welcome!

We booked this holiday to Austria, predominantly to visit some friends, months ago. We thought staying a night in Vienna would be an added bonus. We had been there pre-kids for a few days and had done the sights. Well the sights important to us, mainly involving food (ie. Demel, Cafe Central, Gerstner and Hotel Sacher!). Okay, we did go to the opera as well and also went to the Museum of Art. 

The holiday crept up on us. What with Christmas, birthdays and work and daily routines, February came too fast. The only thing we managed to organise and look into before getting there last week was where to have our evening meal in Vienna...! The night before flying we still had no clue what we might do with the kids in the city.

Once there we did our usual routine of working out where to eat for lunch. We had a minor panic when passing past Cafe Central and reading it was shut, but thank goodness re-opening the next day (you can guess where we had lunch the next day).

That evening, after a freezing but lovely walk around town and ride in a horse-drawn carriage (yes, super-tourists!) we wound up at Figlmüller and enjoyed our oversized schnitzel! We were very happy. And then we ordered dessert. My sister-in-law had been raving about this since her last visit to Vienna, so we ordered the Kaiserschwarrn, not really knowing what to expect. It was delicious! Small crisp pieces of fluffy pancake, served with a plum compote. A perfect way to end a meal and our first day in Vienna.

Once home, I found some overripe plums in our fruit basket. I made a spiced plum sauce and then dreamt of the Kaiserschwarrn once more, so attempted to make them. It was surprisingly easy (first time lucky?!) Below is the recipe. 

For the plum compote

6-7 ripe plums
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Halve the plums and remove the stones. Put in a pan with the rest of the ingredients and add a splash of water. Put on a medium heat and once it has started to bubble, lower the heat and leave to simmer for around 30 minutes. Once it has thickened slightly, but also completely softened you can remove from the heat. Pull off the skin of the plums (it should fall apart easily) and place in a ramekin for serving. It should be served warm with the pancakes.  You can prepare in advance and reheat for when needed. 

For the Kaiserschwarrn

  • 4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 125ml milk
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 125g plain flour
  • 50g butter

Beat the egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form (not stiff peaks). Beat the egg yolks in a separate bowl until smooth, then mix in the milk, sugar and flour until just moistened. Add a pinch of salt. Fold in the egg whites.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Pour the whole batter into the pan and cook until  the bottom is golden brown. Flip (this can be tricky and I did this by using two fishslices and my ninja speed) and cook until set on the other side, about 1 minute. Tear the kaiserschmarrn into pieces using two forks while still in the pan and continue cooking until golden brown, about 2 minutes. 

Put in a serving dish and sprinkle with icing sugar to garnish and serve with the plum compote.

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