Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Prost! A little Oktoberfest

Since attending Oktoberfest in Munich last year while on our Honeymoon, my Husband and I have wanted to throw our own Oktoberfest party at home. Unfortunately time got away from us this year, so we didn't manage to organise a big party, but we did cook a few things from our time at Oktoberfest and had my little brother and his fiance' over to share in our feasting and beer drinking.

Naturally, we had to have some big soft pretzels.
I used Papa Drexler's Bavarian Pretzel recipe, which while it was fiddly and time consuming, created a tasty pretzel. Not exactly like the ones we had over there, but that could just be person who made them.....

Interestingly, this recipe call for the pretzels to be dipped in a water/bicarb mix for about 45 seconds, which isn't something I have done in baking before. I guess it does something to the outside crust of the pretzel or something.

My first few probably weren't rolled out quite long enough, giving a puffy little pretzel as a result, but I got better as I went. I divided the dough into 8 instead of 6, as there would be 4 of us. But then I made a second batch anyway.

I also made some basic little gingerbread hearts using the Gingerbread recipe from the Women's Weekly Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits, and iced them with royal icing in white, green and blue. Despite mine being a lot smaller than the ones at Oktoberfest in Munich, I attempted to ice them with words such as "Oktoberfest" "Liebe" "Bier" and "Prost!". I even did a couple that said "Ich Liebe Bier" (I love beer) which the boys loved.

Another food that we ate while at Oktoberfest were chocolate covered fruit skewers from the carnival food stands. I loved that most of the food stalls were lovely fresh foods, not the pre-packaged junk you get at shows here. Being a bit low on funds lately, meant I was a bit limited so I just used bananas we already had, as well as strawberries which were on special. I made some with a mix, some with just strawberries, some in white chocolate and some in dark chocolate. 

The strawberries with dark chocolate were my favourite!

We also had other foods (Sausages and mini Schnitzels...... ok they were chicken nuggets) but I wanted to get a nice photo of the foods I had made. Except the boys just couldn't help themselves.

And kept taking food while I tried to get a photo (that's only half the pretzels by the way. The rest were behind me on cooling racks)

All in all, everyone enjoyed the food and was absolutely stuffed by the end of the evening. The few gingerbread cookies and fruit skewers that didn't get eaten that evening were gone in the morning (I was hoping to have leftover for work lunches, oh well...) Best of all, most of the ingredients were stuff I already had, so it didn't actuallu cost all that much to do, however I was in the kitchen most of the day, as they were all a bit time consuming.

Hopefully next year we will be in a better position financially and organisationally, so we can throw a big party to share with all our friends.


And here is the gingerbread recipe for those of you who aren't fortunate enough to have the Woman's Weekly Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits. I wouldn't ordinarily post something out of a currently published book like this, but a quick google search found that others had already posted this exact recipe, so I figured one more can't hurt
You will need:
125g butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3 teaspoons ground ginger
2 1/2 tablespoons golden syrup  

Royal Icing
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 egg white
4 drops of lemon juice (I left this out)
food colouring

Step 1
 Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add egg yolk, beat well. Gradually add sifted dry ingredients and syrup, mix well, knead lightly. Roll between two sheets of greaseproof paper to 3mm thickness. (mine might have been 4-5mm to make them soft fluffy biscuits)

Step 2
Gently remove greaseproof paper from top. Cut out gingerbread figures (or Hearts) with cutter. Remove any excess mixture around the cut-out figures.

Step 3 Lift the figures onto a lined baking tray. Bake in moderate oven 10 minutes. Cool on trays. Spoon royal icing into small plastic bag, snip off one corner to make a piping bag. 

Royal Icing
Sift icing sugar. Beat egg white lightly in a small bowl, using a wooden spoon. Add icing sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. When icing reaches piping consistency, beat in lemon juice and desired food colouring. Makes about 20.

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