Sunday, October 2, 2011

Oktoberfest Time!

Ah October.  What kinds of things do you think of when you think of October?  Hot cider? Colored leaves?  Short cool days?  Halloween?

How about Oktoberfest?

Yes, this weekend my theater group held a dinner dance fundraiser with an Oktoberfest theme.  We had all kinds of tradtional/stereotypical foods like chicken schnitzel, sauerkraut, spaetzle, cabbage, and bratwurst.  I got to be the girl who tapped the beer keg.  I even dressed for the occasion.  Later on that evening I entertained everyone (a very loose definition of "entertained") by belting out "Mein Herr".  A fun evening overall.

In addition to making a fool of myself with my singing and my clothes, I also helped out on the food end by providing some German-ish desserts. 

I made German Chocolate cake squares.  I found the recipe online and stuck to it. I also made these "Black Forest" bars.

I wasn't sure how to go about turning a black forest cake into a dessert that would be good finger food at a dessert buffet (a whole cake is kind of awkward and messy at these kinds of parties).  A traditional black forest cake is cherries, cream, and chocolate cake.

I decided to make it into a black forest style brownie.  I adapted a cream cheese brownie recipe (in this case one from Martha Stewart) with cherry jam and cherries.

I had orginally considered using plain canned or jarred cherries and putting the cherries themselves in the cream cheese part and using the liquid in the brownie part.  I used to be able to get jarred cherries at Whole Foods.  Unfortunately, they don't carry them anymore.  I had to come up with something else.

I mixed cherry jam into the cream cheese part and then spiked the cake part with frozen whole cherries that had been soaking in kirsch. 

I think I really need to keep sharp and making good desserts.  You seen, when other folks think of things that make them think of fall, they think "pumpkin".  That means every fall I am assaulted with pumpkin recipes on all of my favorite blogs.  I hate pumpkin.  I must do battle against the onslaught of pumpkin desserts with as much chocolate and apple (my nod to the season) as possible.  I will continue to recite my annual Fall Dessert Mantra: SQUASH IS NOT DESSERT!

Ah, that's better.  Here's the Black Forest recipe.  This may be the last post I make for a week or two since I'm leaving for Italy on Friday.  Have I mentioned I'm leaving for Italy on Friday?  BTW, I'm leaving for Italy on Friday.  And another thing, I'm leaving for Italy on Friday. Have I mentioned I'm leaving for Italy on Friday? (Can you tell I'm a little excited?)

Cherry-Cream-Cheese Brownies (Black Forest-y Type Brownies)

  • 1 pound frozen pitted cherries
  • ½ cup Kirsch
  • 1 stick plus 2 Tbl unsalted butter
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 5 ounces cream cheese, room-temperature
  • 1 cup cherry preserves
  • 1 1/2 plus cups 2 Tbl sugar
  • 4 large eggs
Place cherries in a bowl. Toss with the kirsch and the 2 Tbl sugar. Allow to sit for an hour. Drain and reserve the liquid.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter a 9-inch square baking pan. Line bottom of the pan with parchment paper, making an overhang on two sides and then grease the paper.

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Place 1 stick butter and chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Heat until melted and smooth. Mix in 1 ¼ cups sugar. Add 3 of the eggs. Add flour mixture. You want to mix the ingredients until they are just moistened, but about halfway to that stage, gently stir in the cherries.

In another bowl whisk cream cheese with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Whisk in 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg, and 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Add in 2 Tbl of the cherry soaking liquid and the cherry preserves.

Drop spoonfuls of the brownie batter and the cream cheese mixture alternately into the prepared pan. Swirl with the tip of a sharp knife to marble.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 55-65 minutes. Cool in pan for 30 minutes on a rack. Carefully lift brownies out of the pan using the paper overhang and then allow to cool further on the rack on the paper. Cut into squares when completely cool.


bellini said...

I grew up in the Kitchener Waterloo area where Oktoberfest was a big deal!!!

The Blonde Duck said...

You look so cute! I'm definitely making those for my FIL for Christmas--he loves that cake!

Emily said...

You look hot in that costume!! I bet Kevin liked it. Teehee.

The brownies look incredible. I feel bad for posting so many pumpkin recipes. :( I love it so much.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Bellini - I'm sure it was a blast! It's only been recently that people observe Oktoberfest around here. Not a very German area I guess, but people will find any excuse to party!

Em - Never feel bad. Be true to yourself and post what you love! Just like I'm going to post my anti-pumpkin! ;-) Our blogs gotta be what our blogs are!

Tia said...

omg that sounds so good! i love the photos and your costume too.