There is no such a thing like German Fasching without a Krapfen, Germany’s very own answer to the classic doughnut.
If you love doughnuts, you definitely have to try the traditional German version of it: The beloved Krapfen, alternatively called Berliner, or Kreppel depending on whereabouts you are.
These little yeast dumplings are sold year-round but to this day remain one of the main sweets eaten during the extended carnival season in Germany.
Classic Krapfen are either plain (with no filling) or filled with red marmalade or plum jam and topped off with sugar or powdered sugar.
Nowadays of course you will find a huge range of Krapfen, from those filled with vanilla or chocolate custard to boozy baily’s cream fillings and even fruit compotes. In addition, the traditional sugar dusting is often replaced by icing in various colours and flavours.
For these custard-filled krapfen, I have initially though about something pinkish and gin flavoured. Which I am sure would have tasted fabulous.
In the end, I opted for a Mezcal icing instead.
Because I think mezcal is one of the best sprits to be paired with desserts. That’s because the sweet and spicy notes of mezcal work perfectly with flavours like chocolate, vanilla, and baking spice.
If you want to learn more about Mezcal, read my blog Best Mezcal Cocktails For Cinco De Majo.
Recipe: Chocolate Custard Krapfen with Mezcal Icing
Serves 12 – 15 Krapfen
For the Krapfen
300 g all-purpose flour
50 g sugar
7 g dry yeast
180 ml warm milk
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon butter
pinch of salt
1 litre neutral oil
For the chocolate custard filling
500 ml milk
1 vanilla pod
6 egg yolks
60 g sugar
40 g all-purpose flour
75 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
For the Mezcal icing
60 ml Mezcal
1 tablespoon butter
300 g powdered sugar
Start making the custard, which you can do even a day ahead.
Half the vanilla pod and scrape out seeds. Add milk, vanilla pod and seed to a small saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat.
Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks with sugar until obtaining a pale mixture. Add flour and continue to whisk.
Take milk from the heat, eliminate the vanilla pod then slowly add to the egg mixture while continuing to whisk.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and continue to cook over medium-low heat until thickened while whisking continuously. This will take about 10 minutes.
Take from heat and let cool slightly.
Meal chocolate over a bain marie, then pour into the vanilla custard and carefully combine. Let cool completely.
For the krapfen, mix flour, sugar, dry yest and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add milk and egg yolks and knead together for a few minutes. Add butter and continue to knead until obtaining a soft and slightly sticky dough.
Cover with a kitchen towel and let rice for one hour in a warm place until double in size.
On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough once again with your hands.
Roll out about 20 mm thick. Using a cutter or small glass, cut out rounds.
Knead the dough scraps into a ball, roll out and cut into small rounds again.
Set aside the rounds at a warm place and let rise for another half hour to 45 minutes. The rounds should be notably up after that time, which is essential if you want them to be high and fluffy in the end.
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil to around 170°C – it will be hot enough when it starts steadily bubbling lightly.
Using a flat spatula, carefully slip in a couple of the krapfen into the hot oil and fry until golden, for about one to 1.5 minutes. Flip over the krapfen and fry for another one to 1.5 minutes until golden.
Transfer to a paper-towel lined rack to let cool completely.
For the icing, melt butter in a small saucepan. Set aside to let cool slightly.
Add powdered sugar and mezcal and stir until smooth.
Dip the krapfen into the icing.
Place the chocolate custard in a piping bag with a round tip. Using a sharp knife, cut a small tunnel into the krapfen then fill with the custard.