Part two of mom’s present! This is going to be a really baked-goods-focused blog for a few days!
This is called Berliner Brot, which my very limited German figures as “Berliner bread” (that’s right, I just patted myself on the back for translating one word). From what I understand, this is a traditional Christmas treat in Germany – or maybe just Berlin? Naomi? Other friends who live or have lived there or know more than the little that I know? If anyone would like to tell me I’ve gotten it totally wrong, please set me straight.
This recipe came from the fantastically international blog Paprika & Paprika – she’s Hungarian, living in Italy, and she writes her blog in both those languages as well as English. I made some necessary changes due to what I did and didn’t have on hand when I made the recipe, so Germans might laugh and say this is nothing like the cakes to which they are accustomed – and they’re probably right. For starters, it isn’t glazed – I thought I had icing sugar but I didn’t – and rather than shave chocolate to stir in, thereby affecting the colour of the cake, I used chocolate chips instead. Also, I misunderstood the instructions at first and thought it was to be baked on a sheet pan, but I think it’s really meant to be made in a baking pan – a 9×9 or 8×8 pan (what I think of as a “brownie pan”), because there isn’t really enough to spread over a whole baking sheet of any size, at least without becoming too thin. I did not do that, but instead sort of formed a 9×9 square on the baking sheet. I felt a little dumb doing this, so since I want to spare you the embarrassment of feeling dumb in your own kitchen, I’m going to tell you to do it in a brownie pan.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp rum (did I forget to mention that there’s rum in this? there’s rum in this)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
scant 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped almonds
Preheat oven to 350.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and eggs until light and fluffy.
Mix in the rum.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and chocolate chips.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined.
Mix in the almonds.
Spread into a 9×9 baking pan.
Bake for 20 – 22 minutes or until the center is set and it passes the toothpick test.
If you wanted to do the glaze, you’re looking at 3/4 cup of icing sugar whisked with 3 tbsp of water, then drizzled over the cake while it’s still warm. Without it, it’s the less-sweet taste of European cakes, but with it, the sweetness may be up to American standards of dessert. I think it’s fine this way, but it would definitely look better with the glaze.