Zwetschgendatschi ala Oma

zwetschgendatschi

Zwetschgendatschi is the Bavarian word for plum cake. The dessert uses Damson plums, which are only in season for a few weeks each year.

Ingredients:

3+ pounds Damson plums, cut into quarters, pits removed
¾ to 1 cup warm milk (start with ¾ and add extra to the dough as needed
1½ tablespoons dry active yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick butter (1/2 cup) melted but not hot
2 eggs
1 teaspoon quality pure vanilla extract

For the Streusel:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup butter, at room temperature

Directions:

Dissolve the yeast into the ¾ cup warm milk and let is sit for 5-10 minutes until frothy.

Mix flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer, pour in the yeast mixture, melted warm (not hot) butter, eggs and vanilla extract. Give it an initial stir to combine the ingredients and then attach a dough hook and knead it on the bread setting (“2”) for 4-5 minutes, adding the remaining ¼ cup milk as necessary. (The dough will be sticky but should hold together fairly well. It will not be firm enough to knead into a ball, think of it more as a thick batter.) Cover it loosely with plastic wrap and set it in a warm, draft free place to rise for an hour or until about doubled in size.

Generously butter a German Backblech extended to full length or a large jelly roll pan (at least 18 inches in length and 1 inch sides but even then the crust will be thicker than with the Backblech).

Use your hands to spread the dough out across the full length of the pan, pressing it up against the sides. (It’s yeast dough so it will resist, but just keep pushing it back into position the best you can. Once you put the plums on it, those will help keep it in place.) Lay the plums close together in rows over the whole length of the dough on the sheet pan. (If you want your cake a bit sweeter you can sprinkle it *lightly* with sugar or cinnamon-sugar if you prefer more cinnamon. I emphasize “lightly” because the more sugar you add the more watery the cake will be as the sugar liquifies during baking and your streusel will also “melt” in contact with it.)

Set the pan in a warm place and let it rise for up to another hour.

To make the streusel: Place all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and use your fingers to bring it all together. Work with the mixture until it’s thoroughly combined and forms a rough sand and clumpy texture. Sprinkle the streusel over the top of the cake.

Bake the cake on the middle rack of the oven preheated to 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden.

Let the cake sit for at least 10 minutes before slicing to let some of the liquid set. Slice the cake into squares and serve.

Notes
*This cake holds up well for a day or two and is even more flavorful once the juices have absorbed into the dough.

Salvador Dalí’s Casanova Cocktail

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Salvador Dalí’s Casanova Cocktail

In a glass, combine a pinch of cayenne pepper and a teaspoon of ginger; pour in a tablespoon of Campari, 4 tablespoons of brandy, and 2 tablespoons of Vieille Cure (old brandy). Refrigerate or chill in freezer for 30 minutes, then mix in the juice of one orange and stir. “Let us stress another advantage of this particular pep-up concoction is that one doesn’t have to make the sour face that usually accompanies the absorption of the remedy,” writes Dalí. “Drink…and wait for the effect. It is rather speedy.”

Confit d’Oignons au Vin Rouge

confit d oignons

My recipe theme for August is recipes of famous artists.  I came up with this theme as I started research recipes for our cabaret night in August.  Since the Les Hydropathes, who later occupied the Le Chat Noir  in the bohemian Montmartre district of Paris, were not famous for their cooking; I had to resort to the recipes of famous artists and writers.  Although I do believe the Confit d’Oignons au Vin Rouge was a popular item back then.

INGREDIENTS (20 PEOPLE)

1kg Roscoff onions
37,5cl red wine (bordeaux)
4 tbsp of raspberry vinegar
25g of four spices [Quatre Epices]
4 tbsp honey
olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

Peel and finely slice the onions.
Heat a saucepan with the olive oil and sweat the onions.
Reduce to very low heat and add the other ingredients. Simmer and simmer for 45 minutes. Long cooking will reduce onions, wine and vinegar.
Salt before leaving to cool in a pot.

Ed Ruscha’s Cactus Omelette

Ed Ruscha’s Cactus Omelette

2 EGGS
2 TBSP. SMALL CURD COTTAGE CHEESE
2 TBSP. DICED CELERY
3 TBSP. DICED CACTUS (NOPALITOS, COMMONLY FOUND IN A GROCER’S INTERNATIONAL SECTION)
1 TBSP. SWEET BUTTER
SALT
PEPPER

For Ruscha’s cactus omelette, whisk eggs in a bowl, heat a pan with butter, and prepare an omelette as you normally would, lifting the edges when they harden and tilting the pan to let the runny layers slide underneath. While the top is still moist, add salt, pepper, and cottage cheese in the center, followed by celery and the nopalitos. Fold in half and let the omelette set for one minute over low heat. “For people who like shaggy dog stories, add little bits of the green cactus on the top of the omelette to make sad or funny faces,” Ruscha says.

Louise Bourgeois’s French Cucumber Salad

Louise Bourgeois’s French Cucumber Salad

6 CUCUMBERS, PEELED
6 TBSP. OLIVE OIL
2 ½ TBSP. TARRAGON VINEGAR
½ TSP. TARRAGON
SALT
PEPPER
CHOPPED CHIVES OR GREEN SCALLIONS

To make this elegant salad—prepared by the artist as a first dish for her hungry guests—layer slivers of cucumber in a small bowl, sprinkling with salt between each layer. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 12 hours. Remove the cucumbers and wash under cold running water, then dry on towels. To make the dressing, combine oil, vinegar, tarragon, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk. Drizzle the mixture over the cucumber slivers and toss. Add chives or scallions, then serve with hot French bread.

Salvador Dalí’s Avocado Toast

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I haven’t tried this recipe and if you look at the ingredients you will discover, why.  I’m not sure if I will ever have the courage to make this recipe.

Salvador Dalí’s Avocado Toast

Ingredients:

3 AVOCADOS
1 LAMB BRAIN
9 OZ. MINCED ALMONDS
12 SLICES OF RYE BREAD
3 TBSP. TEQUILA
⅓ CUP VINEGAR
½ CUBE OF BEEF BOUILLON
SALT
CAYENNE PEPPER

Directions:

Among the delicacies is a simple recipe for a rather decadent spin on avocado toast. The first step: Soak the lamb brains (a specialty of French cuisine) in cold water, remove their outer skin, and place back in the water. Meanwhile, boil a pint of water; add vinegar and beef bouillon. Remove the brains from the water, drain to remove excess water, and mix with avocado pulp. Then add minced almonds, salt, cayenne pepper, and tequila. Spread on toasted slices of rye.

Marcel Duchamp’s Steak Tartare

Marcel Duchamp’s Steak Tartare

Ingredients:

½ POUND CHOPPED RAW BEEF
2 EGGS
CHOPPED RAW WHITE ONION
BRIGHT GREEN CAPERS
CURLED SLIVERS OF ANCHOVY
FRESH PARSLEY, CHOPPED FINE
BLACK OLIVES MINUTELY CHOPPED IN COMPANY WITH YELLOW CELERY LEAVES

Directions:

With an eye for artistic arrangement, Duchamp specifically recommends that you prepare the dish on an ivory plate “so that no pattern will disturb the distribution of ingredients.” First, arrange beef “with artistry into a bird’s nest,” and place egg yolks in its hollow core. Surrounding the nest, in the shape of a wreath, place bouquets of onion, capers, anchovy, parsley, and chopped olives with celery leaves. “Each guest, with his plate before him, lifts his fork and blends the ingredients with the egg yolks and meat,” he concludes. “In center of table: Russian pumpernickel bread, sweet butter, and bottles of vin rosé.”