Indianerkrapfen. Not a pretty word in English, so we'll call them Indianer cakes. The recipe comes from The Cooking of Vienna's Empire (part of the Time-Life series) by Joseph Wechsberg, a revered food writer whose Blue Trout and Black Truffles I once read but remember nothing about. He offers an account of the invention of Indianer cakes that is so silly I almost don't want to waste the energy typing it. But will: A Hindu tightrope walker traveled to Vienna in 1850 and a woman was watching him traverse the tightrope between two towers when her husband told her to quit staring This pissed her off and she threw a lump of dough at him. The dough landed in a pan of hot fat and when she pulled it out she filled it with whipped cream, iced it with chocolate, and named the new cake in honor of the Hindu tightrope walker.
|This is the stage where you think you have failed.
To make Indianer cakes, you mix an airy batter of cornstarch, flour, sugar, and egg and bake in a muffin tin. Cool the muffin-cakes, which will be sunken and misshapen, scoop out the middle of each, and fill the hollow with whipped cream. Turn the cakes cream-side down and glaze the tops with chocolate. The cakes resemble profiteroles, but instead of firm, bland choux-paste shells, the Indianer shells are tender and sweet, like a French cruller. I loved them. Everyone did. They were gone in 24 hours.
The recipe had problems, principally, the glaze. You're supposed to melt unsweetened chocolate with water, sugar, corn syrup, and cream, then whisk in beaten egg at the end. I knew this was going to fail and fail it did, yielding a thin, oily fluid full of scrambled egg bits. I threw it out and made an easier glaze from Kaffeehaus by Rick Rodgers that worked beautifully. Rodgers offers a somewhat different technique for Indianer cakes that I want to try, as well as a more plausible story of their origin. I will print a recipe for Indianer cakes as soon as I've got it perfected because they are really, really special.
|like greasy quesadillas, but less tasty
On another subject, I had to go back to Monterey this past weekend and saw something in the backyard of a historic adobe that reminded me of a big project I have not yet completed:
|Oh, go away, not now.