Sunday, January 17, 2010

What's a Scherben?

Through my recent foodgawking, not only have I found some great recipes, but I have learned that there are some really cool sites on the web where bakers and cooks come together and challenge themselves and each other to try new things. How did foodgawker teach me this? Several times a month, I noticed that many different food bloggers were sharing pictures of the same thing. At first I thought it was coincidence... then I started clicking through and reading the posts. While there are the occasional coincidences, I have found that for the most part, these were actually different food bloggers taking part in various food challenges and sharing their results. How fun!

The first one I found was the Daring Kitchen. With sections for both cooking and baking, this provides a once-a-month challenge, with the members taking turns "hosting" - ie: finding a fun, new recipe, determining the challenge guidelines and helping teach the other members about a new recipe, style of food, technique, or idea for presentation. Very cool. I signed up for this one. Stay tuned as I dare to be a Daring Cook and Daring Baker!

The other one that I have seen on a recurring basis is Tuesdays With Dorie. In a similar fashion, member food-bloggers take turns challenging the members to try new recipes, though this time all of the recipes are from a specific cookbook, Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan, and the challenge (as the title indicates) is weekly, rather than monthly. I didn't register for this one, not wanting to commit myself to too much all at once, but that doesn't mean that I am not totally inspired by the pictures I have seen of others' results, nor that I won't be looking for this book on my next trip to a bookstore!

So what does this have to do with today? Well, at the end of the week, both my husband and I were intrigued by pictures of a dessert that we were seeing several of. They looked like puffed, fried dough, covered in powdered sugar, very similar to a one-time favorite of my husband's sister. We decided that this would be what we would bring as dessert to Sunday's weekly family dinner. And it happened to have been last week's Tuesdays With Dorie challenge, called Mrs. Vogel's Scherben.

This is actually a pretty simple recipe, with very few ingredients and a very straightforward process. The kicker? Deep frying in a pot of canola oil can be a bit scary... burns, grease fires... none of these are things that I usually associate with fun. But they looked really good. And people fry things all the time. So we proceeded.

We made the dough last night, and then got down to the real fun today. First we rolled the dough:

Then we cut the dough:

Then we chilled the dough. Not an exciting picture.
Then came the really cool part.
Then we fried the dough:

It was really cool to watch these puff up and turn golden brown - I was pretty amazed! And to make it even better, you then sprinkle on cinnamon sugar. And what could be better than that? A dusting of powdered sugar, too! I have to tell you, these went over really well. Despite the double coating of sugar, these aren't overly sweet, and they are amazingly light. Which is not necessarily a good thing... I kind of lost count of how many I ate while drinking tea and enjoying fun times with the family. And I don't think I am the only one who kept reaching into the pan... Yum.

The next time I make these (oh yes, there will definitely be a next time!), I may try baking them instead of frying, as some of the participating food bloggers did. Just to see the difference.

But if you are looking for a really fun treat, definitely give these a try!


  1. Oh yum! They look like bacon in the picture, lol! I'm sure I could eat the whole pan of them and not think twice ;)

  2. awesome!! love it!!! love that you do such awesome activities with julia.
    lucky girl!!!!!!!!
    im seriously loosing at my blog.
    i hope to revie it someday.


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