Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Goulasch is nice with anything starchy, like potatoes or macaroni, but the best accompaniment is Spätsli. Spätsli is like tiny little dumpling things, very hard to describe. Made with eggs, flour, salt and milk, the resulting batter is dropped into boiling salted water through a press with holes in it, which makes the yummy little droplets. The recipe follows:

Spätsli (enough for 6 people)

6oo gms plain flour
6 eggs
300 mls milk
2 tsp salt (or to taste)

1. Beat the ingredients with a whisk or wooden spoon until smooth. It should be runny enough to drop from the whisk or spoon in a slow stream.
2. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling point.
3. Depending on what machine you use (a potato ricer may work if you don't have a spätsli machine, use large holes), press the batter through the holes in the machine so it drops into the boiling water in little droplets about 2-3 cm long.
4. Repeat in batches, skimming the cooked spätsli out with a sieve and putting into a container to keep warm. The spätsli are cooked when they float to the surface.
5. Plate up desired quantity and cover with goulasch sauce.

Slide show of Goulasch with Spätsli

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hungarian Goulasch

Well OK! It's Hungarian! But Hungary was part of the Austrian empire and my Grandmother's family lived in Hungary for a while when my Great Grandfather worked in a glass factory there. Anyway, this was a staple in my home and even my dad had an opinion on how this should be cooked. I have experimented with this over the years and have finally gotten it to a point where I am happy with it and my family love it too.

Hungarian Goulasch

2kg gravy beef or chuck steak, (or pork steak, even veal works well, or a combination)
1 1/2 - 2kg onions (YES! the more onions the better!)
garlic (as much as you want)
2T white vinegar
1T carraway seeds
3 - 4 T sweet paprika (you can also add the hot variety if you wish)
3 - 4 beef stock cubes
salt to taste
3 - 4 T cornflour stirred into 1 cup cold water
2T oil
Hot water (about 2 litres)

1. Cut meat into 2 -3 cm cubes (be rough, no need to measure).
2. Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic.
3. Fry in oil until onions are soft, add carraway seeds.
4. Add meat to the onions and fry until browned.
5. Add the paprika, mix and fry a little.
6. Add enough water to cover the meat and stir thoroughly.
7. Add vinegar and stock cubes, stir.
8. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and leave to cook for at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours (the longer, the more tender the meat will be). Check and stir occasionally, adding more water to avoid drying out.
9. When cooked to your liking, add salt to taste.
10. Add the combined cornflour and water and stir while bringing back to the boil for a minute. This will thicken the sauce. Add more water if necessary, as the sauce should be plentiful and thick.
11. Serve with spätsli (Austrian style) or your preference of boiled potatoes, gnocci, or macaroni.

Slideshow of Goulasch with Spätsli

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Easy Cake - results

Well, this was a much easier cake to make than the last one.

I decided to ice it with a lemon butter icing made with icing sugar (about 1 1/2 cups), 2T soft margarine and enough juice from 1 lemon to make a creamy consistency, mixed and beaten with a knife in a large plastic cup. Easy. And yummy.

The cake itself didn't rise as much as I expected, but maybe with a smaller tin it would have looked bigger. The consistency was lovely and it tasted good. It also developed a lovely crunchy crust.

Flickr Slide show of the making process

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Easy Cake - Einfache Torte

The last baking experiment was quite a mammoth effort! So I thought this time I would try something which didn't require yeast! I found this recipe in mum's book and it is simply called "Easy Cake".

Easy Cake - Einfache Torte

100 gms butter
120 gms sugar
3 to 4 eggs - yolks from whites separated
6 T milk
240 gms flour
baking powder

1. Cream the butter, add the sugar and egg yolks, beat again.
2. Mix in milk and half of the flour alternately in tablespoon quantities.
3. Whisk egg whites till stiff, and fold in the other half of the flour with the baking powder.
4. Put mix into a greased baking tin and bake for 45 minutes.
5. When cool, dust with icing sugar or glaze with icing.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Steirische Apfelkuchen - Apple Cake - Results

Yippee! My first creation is a success!

I followed the instructions, but had to adlib when deciding how much milk to add. I ended up adding 275 mls to get a good consistency. I also warmed the milk before adding it, and whisked the eggs. I used both eggs. I used the dough hook on my Kenwood Patissier mixer and let it go at full speed until the dough was pulling together and showing good stretching of the gluten fibers. I let it rise for 1 1/2 hours in the oven with the door open at 60 - 80 C, covered with plastic film to keep it from drying out.
I used a slicing machine for the apples and cooked them on a medium heat until they were soft. Patience required.
I just patted the dough down and pushed it into the corners of the baking dish. I used a 9x13 in, 2.8L Pyrex dish, which ended up being a good size.
I almost stuffed up when I forgot to cut the top into strips before layering it on top of the filling, but I managed to save it. The top looked a bit bare, so I added some chopped walnuts for decoration, I also sprayed it with some cooking spray to give it a nice top. When it was ready to serve, I finished it off with a generous dusting of icing sugar. It didn't last long!

Slide Show of cooking steps

Apple Cake (Apfelkuchen) Recipe

This is the first recipe experiment for my new blog. I have never made this before and am going to translate the recipe directly from Mum's 70 year old recipe book - Kochbüchel für das steirische Bauernhaus von Emilie Zeidler (n.d.). I may need a dictionary!

Apple Cake (Apfelkuchen)

Make a batter and beat well, with the following ingredients:
1/2 kg flour
60 gm butter
60 gm sugar
1 to 2 eggs
20 gm fresh yeast (I am using the equivalent in dry yeast)

Put the batter in a warm place to rise.

Meanwhile, into 100 gm hot melted butter add 40 gm dry breadcrumbs,
1 1/2 kg peeled, cored and thinly sliced apples.
Cook until the apple is soft.
Add 60 gm sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon zest.

Take 1/2 the risen batter and roll it to finger thickness, and place onto a baking tray.
Cover with the prepared filling.
The other 1/2 of the risen batter is rolled out and cut into strips. The strips are placed criss-cross over the filling.
Leave to rise again. Bake in a moderate oven for 1/2 hour.

Well, that's the plan. I'll get back with the results and some photos!

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Welcome to Home Cooking - Austrian Style!

This is the place where I will be sharing with you my adventures and experiments into Austrian style home cooking.

My mum was a great cook. She taught me many Austrian dishes which I cook regularly, but there are so many more that I have not tried out yet. Mum gave me her very old and well used cookbook which she brought with her when she migrated out to Australia 50 years ago. So I have decided to go through that cookbook and try out as many new dishes as I can.

I invite you to come along with me on that cooking adventure!

In the coming weeks look for new and interesting recipes based on old Austrian recipes, and some experimental recipes using today's ingredients. Share my successes and my failures.