Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Daring Bakers: Strudel sans Apple

True Confessions time: before this Daring Bakers challenge, I didn't know what strudel was.
[pause for everyone to stop laughing]
I'm serious. All I knew was that it was a German (Austrian? Austro-German?) dessert, and that it was mentioned in "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music, along with "shnitzel with noodle." Come to think of it, I don't know exactly what shnitzel is either, but I think it might involve fried meat.

So I obviously had a big learning curve when it came to this month's challenge. Step one: learn what strudel is! Step two: make some.

Turns out making strudel is easy. And fun! You get to play with your food, like this:

I was seriously tempted to drape it over my face and have a little Silence of the Lambs moment, but there was no one in the house to freak out, so I let it go.

I really like apple desserts, but I just was. not. feeling. the apple strudel recipe. I don't know, maybe it was all the breadcrumbs-- yes yes I know they're for absorbing moisture, but it just seems wrong. What's next, croutons in cake? It's a slippery slope, people.
So I solicited the hungry hungry hubby for filling ideas, and he suggested a cream cheese filling, like a danish. Denmark, Germany, danish, strudel, potato, po-tah-to, right? I ended up making a chocolate cream cheese filling with toasted hazelnuts and chopped dried cherries. Looks like hell, tastes like heaven, and it all evens out in the end.
The filling had a great flavor from the tangy cream cheese, bittersweet chocolate, nuts, and sour cherries. I wasn't sure how it would bake, all rolled up burrito-style, but it turned out fine, and of course it was much improved by the standard dollop of whipped cream on top.
The dough flaked and layered really nicely, and overall I'd say my first strudel outing was a success. It wasn't my favorite thing to eat--too much filling, not enough pastry around it--but the hubs adored it and ate three pieces in a row, so I felt better about my own apathy.

I don't know if I'll be making strudel again, but at least I'll be confident during this year's Sound of Music sing-a-long (September! Hollywood Bowl! I am so there) that I know exactly what Maria's favorite things are.


  1. YOur filling sounds and looks fantastic. Great job!

  2. Oooh tasty looking strudel - well done!

  3. "Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens." Yup, seen that, heard that, sung that --- a lot.

    As long as it tastes great!!! doesn't matter what it looks like - remember....

    You are tooo funny.

  4. Too funny - not good to pair it in your head with schnitzel with noodles :) It looks wonderful, and the filling sounds great!

  5. It sure looks good and sounds like some yummy flavors! Great post!

  6. I didn't know what a strudel was either -- I thought it was more like a Danish. :-)

    Your chocolate filling looks freakin' amazing! Great job!

  7. OK...super funny post...I love the picture with your hand escaping from the evil dough above....very "early 90's thriller movie meets baking group" :)...

  8. Ahahaha! I like that it looks like hell but tastes like heaven!

  9. I personally think that the chocolate cream cheese one looks beautiful! You did an incredible job with these!

  10. Um, that filling does not look like hell; it looks like heaven. Yep, pretty darn amazing. Your hubby is one creative cookie. I'd take the chocolate cream cheese over the apple any day. What a great first strudel adventure for you!

  11. Claire S9:26 PM

    You should try apple strudel. yum! yum! yum. You can get them at Trader Joes, I think if you don't want to bake it (I've never had one with breadcrumbs in...) but they do tend to contain the dreaded raisins.

    Miss you!

  12. das is goot!10:39 PM

    Excuse me, but what, exactly, is the problem with schnitzel?
    ps-come home already-WE MISS YOU!

  13. WOW! I love strudels and they are so popular here where I live, but I've never seen something like this! I have to try something like that! :))

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  15. milanm3:43 PM

    Wow..its the best filo and best filling.....what is the recipe for dough?????

  16. Schnitzel, is basically reeeally thin cake. Wiener Schnitzel is EXACTLY the same as American Chicken-Fried Steak! :)