von Nicolas Lair
January 22, 2024
What would summer be without ice cream? What would winter be without christmas-biscuits? Unimaginable, isn't it? Every season has its own classic treats that are simply part of it. Same goes for the carnival season, often affectionately referred to as the "fifth season". In Tyrol and many other regions, this season clearly belongs to the "Faschingskrapfen" (a special kind of carnival donuts). When I get a craving for a real five-star Faschingskrapfen at home, I can always rely on the recipe from head patissier Michael Hollaus from the Interalpen-Hotel in Mösern. And this is how it works!
A curious and royal origin story
Faschingskrapfen, also known as Berliner or Pfannkuchen in Germany, is a sweet yeast pastry baked in fat, which in Austria is traditionally filled with apricot jam and sprinkled with icing sugar. It is difficult to say whether the "Krapfen" originated with the Romans or in the Middle Ages. In Austria, however, there is a curious royal story about the origin of the Krapfen: Cäcilie Krapf, a court cook in the 17th century, is considered to be the name bearer. Out of anger at her apprentice boy, she threw a ball of dough at him. However, this ball of dough missed its target and landed in a pot of hot fat instead of on the boy. At first, Cäcilie Krapf thought the result was inedible, but when she tasted the creation, she was immediately taken with the flavour of the pastry. The "Cillykugel" was filled with pickled fruit and the Faschingskrapfen was born!
Today, there are countless different recipes and ways to prepare this carnival pastry, but my favourite is the five-star version. Here are the ingredients you need for this Faschingskrapfen. First, I make a pre-dough, a so-called "Dampfl".
- 130 g flour
- 130 g (1/2 cup) Milk
- 42 g Yeast (baker's yeast)
Heat the milk, dissolve the yeast in it and mix thoroughly with the flour. Leave to rise at room temperature (approx. 25 °C) for 20 minutes.
Now for the main protagonist
Ingredients for the dough:
- 380 g flour
- 100 g soft butter
- 50 g rum
- 40 g fine crystallised sugar
- 10 g salt
- 10 g vanilla sugar
- 5 egg yolk
- 1 egg
- Lemon peel
This will make your mouth water
And this is how to make Faschingskrapfen: beat the sugar with the egg yolk and egg, rum, vanilla sugar and lemon zest with a hand mixer until frothy. Mix the steam and the remaining flour with the egg mixture and knead for 4 minutes. Then add the softened butter and salt. Knead the dough for a another 6 minutes. Divide the dough into small pieces of 50 g each and knead on a smooth surface with the palms of your hands to form round balls. Place the balls on a baking tray dusted with flour and leave to rise in the oven for 30 minutes at temperatures between 27 °C and 30 °C with the light on. After rising, carefully bake the Krapfen in hot fat at a temperature of approx. 170 °C until they are golden brown. Make sure to turn the Krapfen once during the frying process so that they brown evenly.
The grand finale
Now that the Krapfen are almost ready, carefully lift them out of the oil and allow them to drain on kitchen paper or a wire rack and cool slightly. Then all that's left is the filling: the lukewarm Krapfen are filled with the apricot jam mixed with rum using a piping bag. The icing on the cake is icing sugar, which can be added to taste.
A tip for variation afterwards: instead of apricot jam, the Krapfen can also be filled with "Granten" (cranberries) or apple sauce.