Gloria, Victoria, wieder, wieder witt bum hei SI SA… aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
We sing out out loudly and lustily in German as the music reaches a crescendo – except that the two voices in front with the mikes go wandering off in different directions seeking different heights! Herr Muller, our Direktor, looks down from his height of over six feet – first at one and then at the other, his mouth falling open – in equal parts with astonishment and horror – this is music? Happily for us, we were ignorant of the thoughts buzzing around in his head – “I’ve been told India is a land with a lot of music, people actually sing and dance on the streets at the slightest provocation, why even their romancing is by breaking out into song… what the heck are these two girls about??!! Herr Max Muller must have been a big, fat liar!”
We, that is my friend Shreesha and I, being the only two girls in the class and shorter than all the guys (it also helped that we were the apples of our teacher’s eyes!!), had been fondly placed by him in front of the stage to sing, along with the rest of our Mittelstufe class which was passing out, the German folk songs we had learnt during the semester. We were the shortest, so he put us at the front of the stage with a couple of mikes – rather like handing Dennis the Menace the keys to the fire station! We wreaked such havoc on stage with our loud and tuneless singing that I heard later they closed down the Institute!
BUT, Herr Rajan, our teacher, was such a good teacher that I can still sing (ahem, after a fashion but I swear I know ALL the words. The tune is minor technical matter!!) many German songs!
My first exposure to desserts outside the home – payasams and kesaris and chakkara pongals came with a German dessert that is still a favourite across hotels in India – and deservedly so – the Black Forest Gateau!
During serious baking experimentation days (every cook goes through this phase!), pretzels – which for a long time i thought were American – appeared on my menu but very little else by way of German food.
Today I decided to make mini baked doughnuts but the holes got overfilled with batter and so I converted them into mini Bundt cakes with a ganache filling! Incredibly quick to make, these are really delicious for tea and surprisingly low in fat.
MINI BUNDT CAKES WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE
- 1 cup maida – plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup sugar – granulated
- Cinnamon powder – 1/4 tsp
- Nutmeg powder – 1/4 tsp
- Butter – 1 tbsp – melted
- Buttermilk or yogurt – 1/3 cup
- 1 egg – beaten
Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add the butter, buttermilk and egg and fold through to get a light batter. Using a piping bag, pipe the batter into a mini baking doughnut pan with 12 holes till almost the top (see pic for pan). This way, when you turn out the doughnuts, you get a hole only at the top into which the ganache can be filled. Bake at 160 C for about 18-20 minutes till springy to the touch. Cool and turn out onto a plate.
- Dark cooking chocolate – 50 gm
- Cream – 4. tbsp
Melt together in a double boiler till glossy and gooey. Fill each of the holes in the mini bundts.
You can sing as lustily and as tunelessly as you want while making them!