Carnivals Shrove Tuesday is almost upon us and as every good Austrian knows, Carnival is Krapfen time!
This, in the past, was because lent was much stricter than it is nowadays and people needed to eat heartily to keep up their reserves during the 40 days of lent.
In the 18th century, apparently, a brilliant cook, Cecilia Krapf, made the first well documented Fachingskrapfen. This is why these gorgeous treats are called “Krapfen”.
During the Congress of Vienna in 1815 it is reported that about 10 million of Krapfen were devoured as there were balls every day for the duration to celebrate the defeat of Napoleon.
The Austrians, and especially the Viennese LOVE their magnificent balls, with the harmonious music, the dancing under sparkling chandelier lights, the joy of living.
Krapfen where easy to eat with a couple of bites and gave you strength to continue frolicking and having fun until early in the morning hours.
Recipe for Austrian Carnival Doughnuts
- 370 g milk
- 90 g sugar
- 10 g salt
- 100 g butter
- 7 egg yolks
- 740 g flour
- 3 packets of dried yeast
- zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
- 1 l groundnut oil
- 400 g abricot jam, finely pureed with rum to taste (the rum is optional)
- icing sugar
Heat the milk, sugar, salt and butter to approximatively 45C (if you have a Thermomix use that otherwise use a thermometer).
Mix this liquid with the yolks, flour, yeast, vanilla, and the zest of the lemon and orange until it makes a soft dough.
Cover the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes, mix again and let again rest for 15 minutes.
Cut the dough into pieces of 50 g each and form them into balls, place them onto a floured surface and let them rest, covered, in warm temperature.
Heat the oil to 170C and bake each Krapfen on both sides until golden – careful they cook very fast.
Fill the Krapfen with the aid of a long piping syringe or bag. Dust with icing sugar and voila!
Enjoy as soon as possible!
TIP 1 If you don’t have or don’t want to invest in a piping syringe you can cut the Krapfen part open and fill the interior with a spoon – nobody is going to complain and my mother used to do it this way when my sisters and I were little.
TIP 2 You will probably have too many – freeze them and if needed reheat them gently in the microwave – I was told by a friend who tasted one fresh and one reheated that there was no difference! Just let the Krapfen cool down for a while as the jam inside is much hotter than the Krapfen itself!
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