Archive for the ‘German Classics’ Category

In one of my recent What I Ate Wednesday posts I showed you a picture of semolina pudding, known as Grießbrei here in Germany. This is a traditional dessert or snack that is very easy to prepare. You could even enjoy it as breakfast!


Sweet semolina pudding

To prepare this wholesome treat you only need a handful of ingredients and a few minutes, so it’s a great option to satisfy a spontaneous dessert craving. Or you could enjoy it as an alternative breakfast item.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2-3 servings



  • 2 cups milk, e.g almond milk, rice milk, full-fat cow’s milk
  • 1/4 cup semolina (Weichweizengrieß)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • a dash of salt


Pour milk of choice into a pot and carefully bring it to a gentle boil. Add all remaining ingredients and thoroughly stir with a whisk. Reduce heat to low and keep whisking. The mixture will look very thin but it will firm up within a few minutes. Don’t stop whisking or the pudding will burn!

After about five minutes the pudding should be firm and creamy. If not, keep cooking on low temperature and whisk regularly until it has reached the desired consistency.

Serve either warm or chilled, topped with your favorite fruit. Cherry compote or apple sauce are great options to start.

Note that this pudding will firm up even more after cooling.

I’ve decided to link up this recipe in Laura’s Strange but good round-up, as I assume that semolina is a rather strange ingredient to my non-German readers.



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It’s no secret that my favorite holiday beverage of all is Mulled Wine. It’s sweet, warm, and full of my favorite spices. In Germany, you can buy Mulled Wine at every Christmas market and even at most grocery stores, but it’s surprisingly easy to make it at home. Plus, you can totally control the ingredients, taste, and sugar content.

This drink pairs exceptionally well with some cookies. Just saying. 😉

Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine

There are many different versions of this seasonal beverage. Some recipes use red wine, others use white wine, some add fruit juices, brandy, or rum. My version is rather basic, but feel free to add your favorite (non-)alcoholic drinks. I recommend using a good quality wine, but not necessarily a top-notch one. The spices will mask the wine’s flavor a little, but not completely. You could probably use a slow cooker for this recipe, too, but as I don’t have one, I can’t verify if it really works.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Yield: Makes about 1 quart

*Vegetarian*Vegan*Gluten free* (check labels!)


  • 1 bottle of dry red wine
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup sugar
  • skin of one vanilla bean (optional, eg. leftover from making Vanilla Cookies)
  • brandy, rum, or fruit juices to taste (optional)


Peel oranges and lemon. Squeeze out the juice from the oranges. Pour the wine into a large pot. Add spices, sugar, juice, and peels, and heat slowly over low heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Make sure that the mixture doesn’t boil!

Let everything simmer for about 30 minutes. Taste and add more sugar if needed. If you like your drink stronger, add some brandy or rum. To reduce the alcohol content, add some more fruit juice.

Strain and serve hot.



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Finally, here’s another recipe of the German Classics series I’ve wanted to share with you, the legendary Toast Hawaii. This used to be one of my absolute favourite dishes when I was a kid, and my mom loved it, too, as these toasts are an incredibly quick and easy lunch or dinner option. Just perfect for time-pressed working moms with hungry children. 😉

This recipe was invented, or at least made popular, by the German TV cook Clemens Wilmenrod and is considered typical for West Germany in the 1950s. (Source: Wikipedia)

Toast Hawaii

Classic Toast Hawaii

A quick and easy lunch or dinner option, that is also highly customizable. The original recipe uses ham, but if you’re a vegetarian like me, you can replace it with Tofurky slices, smoked tofu, or extra cheese.  I normally use Emmental cheese, but you can of course choose any kind of cheese you like. Vegan cheese substitutes, like Daiya, should work, too.  

To make this a slightly healthier meal, serve the toasts with a side salad.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10-15 minutes

Serves: 4


8 slices of sandwich bread (white or whole wheat)

4 tsp butter

8 slices of pineapple (fresh or canned)

8 large slices of ham (or Tofurky slices or smoked tofu)

8 slices of cheese (Emmental/swiss cheese or whichever you prefer)


Pre-heat your oven to 400 °F (200 °C). Slightly toast the bread and spread with butter. If you are using canned pineapple slices, drain them thoroughly.

Place the toasts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Layer on ham, pineapple, and finally cheese.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the edges are slightly browned. Serve hot.

Drown the toasts in a cup of tomato ketchup and dig in! Oh wait, that’s just me. 😉


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Here’s the next recipe in my German Classics series. It’s one of my all time favorite soups, hearty and comforting on a chilly day.

In my previous post of the series I talked about Pancakes, and also mentioned that if you have some leftovers you should cut them into thin stripes and store them in the fridge in an airtight container. They also freeze quite well! Now here’s a great way to use those leftover pancakes.


Pancake Soup


Pancake Soup

Serves 1

  • 1 to 1.5 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of chopped vegetables (e.g. carrots, broccoli, peas, etc.)
  • 1 cup of pancake stripes, loosely packed
  • salt and pepper

Pour the broth into a small pot, add veggies and bring to a boil. Cook until the vegetables are done, that depends on what you use and how small you chop them. Finally add pancake stripes, season to taste, and serve.

Now this is what I call comfort food! I topped my bowl with some garden cress. Fresh parsley or chives are great, too.


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I’ve been thinking about starting a new recipe series for a while, including my favorite childhood food, traditional German dishes that my grandmother used to make for me. I’ll call this series the German Classics. Cheesy? Maybe, but this is my blog after all!

The first recipe is for German Pancakes. They’re quite different from US-style pancakes, thinner, bigger, and more like French crepes. The dough for the pancakes is rather simple, just like a blank canvas for the various fillings.

Pancake with strawberry jam

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups flour (I used 1 cup white and 1 cup whole spelt flour)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • canola oil for the pan

Put the flour into a big mixing bowl. Add eggs, milk, sugar, and salt. Whisk for a few minutes until all the clumps are gone. You will need some elbow grease for that part! The resulting dough will be very thin. Set aside for a few minutes.

Pour a little bit of oil into a large frying pan and heat it up on high. When the pan is hot, reduce to medium high heat. Pour a ladle of pancake dough into the pan and quickly spread around. Fry for a few minutes until the surface of the pancake looks dry and set. Then flip the pancake and fry for a few minutes more, until the whole pancake is slightly browned.

Place the pancake on a plate and keep warm, e.g. in the oven set to the lowest temperature. Continue until the dough is used up.

Now the pancakes are ready to be filled and served. You can use anything you like! One of my favorites is good old strawberry jam. Nutella and sliced banana? Yes, please! Brie cheese and cranberry sauce? Yummy! Apple sauce and cinnamon? Oh my! Just get creative, anything goes!

As the pancakes are not very sweet, you can also try a savory filling, like cheese or sautéed vegetables.


Pancake filled with Emmental cheese


The recipe above makes quite a big batch. If you have some leftovers, cut the pancakes into thin stripes and store them in the fridge in an airtight container. Next time I’ll tell you what to do with those stripes, so stay tuned!

See you!

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