Monday, 7 December 2015

Flade Kager by Ilse König and Inge Prader

I bought this recipe book some time ago now. It was heavily marked down, so cost next to nothing. The title, Flade Kager, translates to 'flat cakes', as in cakes that just aren't meant to be very tall. It's translated from German as I believe it's originally an Austrian book.

As the title suggests, the book concentrates on flat cakes, tarts and the like. Many of them are cakes made with some sort of fruit, and with some fruits there are several different recipes to choose from. Many of them are fruits I've never seen in a cake before, such as for example a grapefruit tart. There are a couple with chestnuts as well, which I'm very curious to try if not for the fact that chestnut mousse is rather expensive to buy in this country.

The recipes also generally use very little in the way of leavening agents, simply relying on eggs to give them a bit of body. I expect this is where the concept of 'flat cakes' comes into play. All of the recipes that I've tried so far have used a lot of egg, so it's not a very good book if you're allergic to that. Several, however, use little or no flour, so if you can't have flour there should be plenty of cakes to choose from. In those that do use a little flour, I imagine it could easily be substituted for some kind of glutenfree alternative, although admittedly I haven't actually tried to do this myself.

I've had the book for some time now and I've tried several of the recipes. So far all of the cakes I've tried have turned out really well, but the quality of the book itself seems to be rather a rush job.

I don't know if it's the book itself or if it's due to the translation, but several of the recipes have involved a bit of guesswork. In one, a cake with plums, the ingredients list doesn't list any plums at all, in another a baking time is missing and in a third it's a step in mixing the batter. None of these things have been worse than I could make an educated guess at what to do, but obviously ideally a recipe should have all the necessary steps and list all the required ingredients.

All in all, I've generally very pleased with this book. The somewhat unpredictable nature of the actual recipes require that one reads it extra-carefully before beginning, but honestly that's something I can live with, because all the things I've tried from it have turned out so well. My favourite that I've made so far was a walnut cake which wasn't actually all that flat at all, and which I'm thinking could probably be turned into some sort of rather smashing gateau-like creation with a little imagination.

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