Baking Recipe Guidelines

  • If I use egg replacers for a recipe, my favourites are chickpea flour, soy yoghurt, or a combination of both. Like eggs they add protein, fat, and lecithin, are good binders or add texture, soy yoghurt also adds liquid. In Germany chickpea flour is available at Indian or Asian grocery stores where it is sold as gram flour or besan. A great substitute for chickpea flour is soy flour (full fat) or lupin flour.
  • The fat of choice in German dessert recipes is butter. While most people would use margarine I try to avoid that. While older recipes on this blog still call for margarine, the newer ones all call for rapeseed oil or coconut oil. I prefer to use organic refined coconut oil. When substituting coconut oil for butter you have to keep a couple of things in mind:  1: Butter contains water, coconut oil doesn’t. So most of my recipes call for less coconut oil than they would call for margarine. 2: Creaming together coconut oil and sugar is more difficult than creaming together butter or margarine and sugar. Please make sure that your coconut oil always has room temperature. The softer (but not liquid!) it is, the better you can cream it. Use a narrow and tall bowl when creaming coconut oil.
  • German flours may have different properties than flours from other countries. For example they have less gluten than US flours. In general, flour batches can differ a lot from each other even if they were produced in the same country. That means that you might have to adjust your ratio of flour to water even if you followed the recipe to a t. Some batters need less liquid, some more, depending on where your flour is from.
  • German cake batters are often very thick and barely pourable. That is not a mistake. Please don’t add more liquid.
  • Cakes, cookies, etc. are leavened with baking powder only. Soda is not used. Additionally baked goods for Christmas season call for leaveners like pot ash or salt of hartshorn (ammonium carbonate).
  • German dessert recipes call for less salt than, for example, recipes from the US. Many also do not call for vanilla (and if it’s vanilla sugar and not vanilla extract). If you prefer, you can adjust these spices to your taste.
  • The amounts in all of my recipes are based on metric measurements. I usually go with metric and then convert the ingredients to cups. I do that with the help of measuring cups and this really useful converter. But I’d also like to add that the metric measurements are more exact. I recommend a kitchen scale for baking.

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