Christmas bakery - The fifteenth door
I bet you have already been waiting for this post. Cat in the kitchen baking and making a big mess without guarantee to succeed. Always good for a laugh.
Sorry, but not this year, I think. This time I invited a guest baker, my friend Silvia who actually knows what she is doing and who was willing to take on the task of taking photos when making her annual Christmas Linzer Torte. There was a time way back when I made that a few times myself, but it has been so long that I don't think it would have been a good idea. I already had a sample of Silvia's Linzer this year, though, and therefore I know that it's good.
What is Linzer Torte? Obviously (well, I didn't know it until now) it's a cake made from "Linzer dough" and "Linzer mass". The so-called brown Linzer dough is similar to shortcrust and is made with raw almonds, cloves and cinnamon. There is a also a light version without cinnamon, but with lemon and blanched almonds instead of raw ones, but we will talk about the brown one.
"Linzer mass" is a pipeable mass resembling that of macaroons and it is used to pipe the lattice pattern on top. However recipes vary a lot which isn't unusual for such an old kind of cake and often the same dough is used for both the bottom and the lattice.
In Austria the traditional choice of jam is red currant, elsewhere raspberry jam is used.
Now why did I call it an old kind of cake? In fact a Veronese countess wrote a cookbook in 1653 and mentioned the recipe for the first time which even makes it the oldest known cake recipe.
Back to my guest baker. Silvia makes several smaller tortes, but you can make a bigger one on a baking tray and cut it into pieces afterwards.
These are the ingredients for a batch of 3 to 4 smaller ones:
1 lb flour
5 tsp. baking powder
1 lb hazelnuts
1 lb butter
3/4 lb sugar
4 tbsp. schnapps (in this case Himbeergeist)
4 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 pinch of ground cloves
1 tbsp. ground coffee
yolk mixed with a little milk
Mix the ingredients (except for the jam and yolk/milk mix) to make a kind of shortcrust dough and put the dough in the fridge for a few hours or overnight (depending on how sticky it is).
Roll out part of the dough until it's thin and put it into the baking tray(s) of your choice. Leave enough for the lattice pattern.
Cover it with the jam. Roll out the rest of the dough and cut strips to put onto the cake. Brush the dough strips with the yolk/milk mix.
Bake at 340° F for 30 to 40 minutes.