Ochsenaugen without a recipe

Classic German Desserts

This had to happen. Today I do not have a recipe for you. I tried to make a vegan version of a pastry called Ochsenaugen (Ox eyes) and I failed. Like Leipziger Lerchen, Mandelhörnchen and other baked goods, these are made with a mixture of marzipan and egg whites. You pipe the marzipan egg white mixture on top of a shortbread cookie, place some jam in the middle (the eyes) and bake them. During baking the piped marzipan should keep its form and look like this. Mine looked like this:Ochsenaugen

They tasted absolutely great but I am not satisfied with their shape. I need to think about better binders for the topping: I used starch. Maybe chickpea flour and/or flax would work better as a stabiliser.

I think these are a great example of how veganising recipes can sometimes be very hit-and-miss. So many recipes work great if you just use the vegan equivalent of an animal product. And sometimes you need to deconstruct the recipe and come up with your own recipe and your own ingredients. For some animal products and some of their functions in baked goods it is hard to find a good equivalent. I don’t think that this is a bad thing. I love experimenting and there are so many different ingredients and techniques that can work here. And I’m sure I can come up with something that keeps its shape.

I made the decision to carry on with my theme after the Vegan Month of Food so there should be plenty of time to revise this recipe!

28 Comments

  • 4 years ago

    Bummer! It’s such a shame when things don’t work out, but it gives you a chance to come up with your own recipe. The ones you link to look very shortbread-like, I wonder if that’s something you could go with, mixed in with marzipan?

  • 4 years ago

    They look delicious to me – sorry you were disappointed – egg white seems to be one of the harder elements of baking to replace in vegan baking – on the upside at least if your experiments with this recipe all are this good then I say bring on the experiments!

  • Your failure still looks delicious! I think following your trial and error is even more interesting than it would be to get the finished perfect product. It makes you seem human :P even though we all know you are superhuman. And I’m sure you will figure out how to improve these ox eyes (such a creepy name!). I’m looking forward to reading that post!

  • 4 years ago

    If I never looked at thay picture you linked to I would have been none the wiser, because your cookies look incredibly good! Yours look more real, kind of like a better version of a thumbprint cookie. Hope you’re able to find something that gets the marzipan to your liking.

  • 4 years ago

    Well they look gorgeous to me, Mihl. I do love your honesty, though. So much of social media is a facade. I love how REAL this post is. And it looks REAL good :)

  • 4 years ago

    I don’t care if your Ochsenaugen don’t look exactly like they were supposed to look – to me they just look delicious! Yours look nicer than the ones with all the funky food coloring anyway.

  • 4 years ago

    they still look pretty freakin gorgeous to me!

  • 4 years ago

    Oh well, you can’t win ’em all. They certainly sound amazing… and I really admire your perseverance. Try and try again! :) Good luck!

  • 4 years ago

    Looks yummy to me! Thanks for proving you’re human! ;-)

  • 4 years ago

    Your cookies look awesome! And they look a lot more like oxen eyes than the ones in the Dr Oetker recipe (although I’d love to see oxen with eyes like that!).
    Re: flax meringue – There’s a thread on the PPK (in the Kitchen). If you haven’t seen it, people have been having a lot of success. I think someone made pavlova.

    • Mihl
      4 years ago

      Thanks, Rachel. I’ll check it out.

  • 4 years ago

    Hey Mihl, I read somewhere about boiling up Flaxseeds to make a fluffy – eggwhite alternative. Would you like me to dig up the recipe? I’m not sure how well they’d work with marzipan and I don’t think you can bake them higher than 160°C but it would be worth a try?
    Greetings from Bavaria,
    Jess
    P.s. I made your Hefe-Schnecken today. So delicious! I just replaced the raisins with Apples and added a big heap of Cinamon :)

    • Mihl
      4 years ago

      Thank you, Jess! I’ll look for that. And thanks for trying the Hefeschnecken. Your version sounds very delicious.

  • Eric
    4 years ago

    Hi,

    The cookies, even though they didn’t turn out well, look super delicious.

    I love marzipan and jam, but sadly I live in the United States and marzipan is not very popular. For my birthday last year, my mother and I veganized a Swedish Princess cake.

    Also, I saw a vegan recipe for cooked meringues and it seems like if you combined the marzipan with the vegan meringue, it might work. I haven’t tried the recipe, but it seems as though it works well:
    http://forum.theppk.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=25665

    Best of luck with your baking endeavors,

    -Eric

    • Mihl
      4 years ago

      Thank you, Eric! That is very helpful. I’ll check it out.

  • Susmitha - Veganosaurus
    4 years ago

    Mihl, I think you’re being too much of a perfectionist! Your cookies look beautiful!!! And since you said they taste great, I think you have a successful recipe on your hands. :)

  • 4 years ago

    To someone who has never seen the original version, yours look beautiful. The photo in fact, is kind of unappetizing with all the weird colors.

  • 4 years ago

    Ich finde, sie sehen trotzdem toll aus :-)).
    Versteh dich trotzdem, mir gelingt ja auch nicht immer alles ;-).

  • 4 years ago

    I think your cookies look pretty amazing, though I understand the frustration of them not turning out like you wanted them to when you are trying to replicate something. But I would eat them any day. :)

  • 4 years ago

    It’s inevitable. Every time a really recipe fails to be veganized I am little sad, but then instantly really curious to figure it out!

  • 4 years ago

    What a perfectionist you are! I think they look great! Love all the marzipan that German desserts seem to involve.
    I’m carrying on my theme after Vegan MoFo too as I want to finish the A-Z! (although I might have to skip “X”! )

  • greta
    4 years ago

    – it´s psyllium husk fibre of course, i should go to sleep…

    • Mihl
      4 years ago

      Don’t worry! I know what you meant :)

  • greta
    4 years ago

    mihl, these look awesome anyway. when i read your post i was thinking about psyllium fibre husk (as in your coconut macaroons) because flax could be too overpowering – but actually i don´t know if that marzipan layer is supposed to be crispy in the end? and fibre husk would keep it too moist?

    • Mihl
      4 years ago

      Thank you for this tip! I think I’ll try it.

  • 4 years ago

    I actually prefer the look of yours. I think they look really appetising. I did not feel that way about the look of the Dr. Oeteker recipe. Did you try cream of tartar to stabilise? Doesn’t lemon juice stabilise too?

    Really!!! I think they look gorgeous. :)

    • Mihl
      4 years ago

      Yeah, I know what you mean. Where did they get those crazy coloured jams? Thank you for the cream of tartar tip. I bought some at a locan US/UK store today and will try it out.

  • 4 years ago

    Oh Mihl, I can completely relate. I just tried to make a homemade version of a nutri-grain bar and my filling was not thick enough, running everywhere! I think this makes for a great post though – showing how things don’t always turn out perfect the first time. Flour or a flax/flour combo might be worth trying,however, they look pretty darn good to me as is. ;-)

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