Satisfy your sweet tooth with German desserts, doughnuts

Pastry chef Gesine Bullock-Prado is the creator of Gesine Confectionary — and sister of actress Sandra Bullock. Here, she makes German-themed recipes inspired by her childhood in Germany, including "helgasteine" cake (a jelly-filled confection), almond wreaths and krapfen (jam doughnuts).

Mandelkranchen (almond wreaths)
Servings:

Makes 14 wreaths

Ingredients

    • 1 pound (455 g) almond paste
    • 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar, divided
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 4 egg whites, divided, plus 1 egg white set aside for finishing
    • 1/2 cup (70 g) all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups (180 g) sliced almonds, with skins on

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Helgasteine

Ingredients

  • For the cake:

    • 2 (7-ounce / 200 g) packages almond paste (see note)
    • 1 cup (230 g) unsalted butter, softened
    • 1/4 cup (60 ml) honey
    • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
    • 6 eggs, at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon ginger
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    • Pinch ground cloves
    • Pinch white pepper
    • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 tablespoon black currant purée (see below)
    • 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • For the chocolate glaze:

    • 8 ounces (225 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I use Callebaut 60/40)
    • ⅓ cup (80 ml) heavy cream
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • For the puree:

    • 4 cups currants
    • 1/4 cup sugar, more to taste
  • For the simple syrup:

    • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • For the assembly:

    • 1 (15-ounce / 430-g) jar seedless currant (or raspberry) preserves
    • 2 (7-ounce / 200-g) packages almond paste, rolled into a thin sheet about 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick (approximately the size of the finished stacked layers)
    • 1/2 batch chocolate glaze (see below), warm

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Tips:

Krapfen
Servings:

Makes 20 krapfen

Ingredients

  • For the sponge:

    • 3/4 cup (180 ml) warm whole milk
    • 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
    • Pinch granulated sugar
    • 1 1/4 cups (175 g) bread flour
  • For the dough:

    • 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
    • 1/4 cup (60 ml) warm whole milk
    • 3 egg yolks
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • ⅓ cup (65 g) granulated sugar
    • 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, very soft
    • 2 cups (280 g) bread flour
  • For the assembly:

    • Vegetable oil (enough to fill a stockpot 4 inches / 10 cm deep for frying)
    • 1 cup (240 ml) apricot jam (or the jam or filling of your choice)
    • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preparation

Baking Directions:

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