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EASTER

Easter recipe: How to make German ‘Kleckskuchen’

A Kleckskuchen in German translates to something like “blob cake”. A yeasted cake base with four separate topping elements added on top in blobs creates an unusual patchwork effect.

Easter recipe: How to make German 'Kleckskuchen'
Making this traditional recipe is well worth the final result. Photo courtesy of Lora Wiley

This streusel-topped cake is a specialty of Oberlausitz, or the Upper Lusatia region of Germany and Poland dating back to the 1400s.

Kleckskuchen is fun to make with kids. However, if you are concerned about the tablespoon of rum in the poppy seed filling and cherry jam, just leave it out.

Alternatively, substitute vanilla extract. Instead of cherry jam, use any variety, or a mixture of jams you have on hand. This is a great opportunity to get rid of those pesky half and quarter full jars left in your fridge.

The recipe makes a lot of cake. Consequently, it’s an ideal dessert to bring to potlucks or any sort of festivity this summer.

However, it also freezes well. Make sure you wrap each individual piece in plastic cling film and seal them in a ziplock bag before tossing into the freezer.

The final product. Photo courtesy of Lora Wiley

Kleckskuchen – Cherry Poppy Seed Streusel Cake
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Rise time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Bake time: 30 minutes
Yield: 20 pieces
Ingredients:
For the cake base:
• 400g flour
• 125ml lukewarm milk
• 30g wet yeast
• 60g white granulated sugar
• 100g butter, melted
• 1 egg
• 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the poppy seed filling:
• 1 tablespoon lemon zest
• 250ml milk
• 20g unsalted butter
• 30g semolina or spelt flour
• 100g crushed poppy seeds
• 50g white granulated sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 tablespoon rum
• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
For the sour cream filling:
• 1 egg
• pinch of salt
• 250g quark
• 4 tablespoons milk
• 80g white granulated sugar
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the streusel:
• 175g flour
• 100g white granulated sugar
• 1/2 package vanilla sugar
• 100g melted butter
Topping:
• 250g cherry jam
• 1 tablespoon rum


Learn how to make this tasty poppy seed filling. Photo courtesy of Lora Wiley

Directions:
Make the cake base:
• Place the flour in a bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour.
• Add  3 tablespoons of the lukewarm milk and break up the yeast into the
milk.
• When the yeast starts to bubble, add the sugar and rub the mixture
between your hands to distribute the yeast.
• Cover the bowl and let stand in a warm place for 15 minutes.
• Add the melted butter, the rest of the milk, egg and salt and knead
together into a smooth dough.
• Cover the bowl once again and let stand 15 minutes.
• Line a 25 cm x 35 cm sheet pan with baking paper. Grease the sides.
• Roll out the dough into a rectangle, transfer it to the pan and spread it out
to the edges.
• Let stand for 20 minutes.
Make the poppy seed filling:
• Mix together the lemon zest, milk, butter and semolina in a skillet and
bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. The mixture should become thick like pudding.
• Let cool and whisk in the poppy seeds, sugar, egg, rum, and cinnamon.
Make the sour cream filling:
• Separate the egg.
• Place the egg white in a mixer, add the pinch of salt.
• Beat the egg white until stiff peaks form.
• Mix together the quark, milk, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla.
• Fold the egg white into the mixture.
Make the streusel:
• Whisk together the flour, sugar and vanilla sugar.
• Add the melted butter. Use your hand or a fork to mix together until
the streusel forms.

Assemble the cake:
• Mix the cherry jam together with the rum. Cover the cake layer, alternating
with tablespoon sized blobs of the poppy seed filling, sour cream filling, and the jam.
• Sprinkle the streusel over the top and let the cake stand for another 15
minutes.
• Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C.
• Bake for 25-30 minutes.
• Remove from oven. Let cool. Cut and serve.

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CULTURE

EXPLAINED: A guide to the best international supermarkets in Berlin

EXPLAINED: A guide to the best international supermarkets in Berlin
Archive photo shows fruit from Vietnam sold at the Dong Xuan Center. Photo: Stefan Weißenborn/dpa-tmn

It was in the middle of a Rewe, of all places, where I first experienced a wave of culture shock. 

Since moving to Berlin I thought I had adapted well. I’d mastered the, at first, confusing public transport. I’d adjusted to the “Berliner Schnauze”. I’d even managed to fumble my way into a Meldebescheinigung (obligatory registration of residence). 

And yet, standing here in the tea section of a German supermarket, scanning the shelves desperately for anything resembling breakfast tea, a wave of panic hit me. 

READ ALSO: The complete German supermarket survival guide

I couldn’t have felt more un-German. 

For most of us, what we eat and drink is a huge part of our identity. A quick Google search shows that food is one of the most frequently named topics in conversations about homesickness and expat adjustment. 

Many expat sites suggest cooking home meals every now and again as a way to combat this feeling. But in German grocery shops, where spices are often limited to “Currypulver” and paprika, that’s often easier said than done. 

Even if you’re a more well-adjusted Berliner than me, you may want to know where you can get some more interesting ingredients from. While Covid-19 is still suspending a lot of travel, you can still get your culture fix with a cookbook – if you know where to get the ingredients. 

With this in mind, I’ve narrowed down a (non-exhaustive) list of the best international supermarkets in Berlin. 

Hao Cai Lei Asia Supermarket 

There are loads of great “Asia-Supermärkte” (which can mean any combination of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian and more) in Berlin. My personal favourite is Hao Cai Lei. 

This small shop just down the road from the Hermannplatz U-Bahn station boasts an impressive collection of fresh and preserved ingredients. 

There’s a comprehensive selection of Asian cooking basics, which aren’t limited to food either. They also sell steamers and other cooking utensils. 

But what sets Hao Cei Lei apart from other shops is their unrivalled choice of tofu (for fellow veggies) and a well-curated selection of traditional and contemporary East-Asian spirits and wines.

They also sell 100-year old duck eggs and other quick (and quirky) snacks. 

Note: On Google Maps, the shop comes up as “Hao-You-duo Asia Supermarket”

Karl-Marx-Strasse 15, 12043, Berlin

Centro Italia Supermercato

 
 
 
 
 
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There are now three of these Supermercatos in Berlin. I’ve only been to Greifswalderstraße. The other two are in Mariendorf and Charlottenburg. 

It was a good sign that everyone in it, whether staff or customer, was speaking Italian. 

The Centro Italia has a huge selection of dried pastas, and a fridge with freshly made ravioli, tortellini and gnocchi. 

While they don’t have fresh fruit and veggies or meats, they have more or less everything that can be tinned, dried or put in a jar.  

The best part of the shop, however, is their deli counter with a mouth-watering display of cheeses, hams and antipasti, as well as a little bakery section with fantastic rustic loafs. 

Another bonus is that every branch has a big car park (not a given in Berlin). 

Greifswalder Str. 80C, 10405 Berlin

Großbeerenstraße 169-171, 12277 Berlin

Sophie-Charlotten-Straße 9-10, 14059 Berlin

Zora Supermarket – Indian, Asian, African Grocery 

Zora is another smaller grocery shop in Kottbusser Tor. It’s therefore a place for African and Indian cooking basics, rather than a specialist store. 

However, the reason it’s on this list is their small but excellent fresh fruit and veg section. 

READ ALSO: Your complete guide to German supermarkets

On my visits, Zora has so far won out everytime on freshness, quality and choice. From bright green, unwrinkled okra, karela and green plantains, to ingredients that are harder to get elsewhere like cassava and green mango, Zora has you covered. 

While I haven’t tried them, their fresh sweets look promising, with a choice of Jalebi, cham, gulab or laddu. 

Zora is also irresistibly affordable. 

Kottbusser Damm 93, 10967 Berlin

Broken English 

Broken English has faced some challenges since Brexit came into force. However, in keeping with the British character, they deal with it through light grumbling and sarcasm on an entertaining Facebook page

British products are displayed at Broken English in this archive photo from 2019. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Gregor Fischer

While it’s not the cheapest (Brexit probably plays a role in this), they have a great selection of UK products – from scone batter to Scottish shortbread and, significantly, English breakfast tea. 

They even sell some fresh and frozen produce, like cheeses, hams and Linda McCartney’s veggie sausages (praise the Lord). 

And for the Scots, there’s even Irn Bru (if you know, you know).

Arndtstraße 29, 10965 Berlin

Turkish Market 

It’s basically impossible to pick a favourite Turkish grocery shop in Berlin. I live in Neukölln and tend to just go for my local (a whole thirty seconds away from my front door). 

That said, the Turkish Market on Maybachufer does have a special place in my heart. It’s relatively large, and so has a big selection of more specialised ingredients. 

It also has one of the biggest bakery sections I have seen so far. 

Even better: there’s an entire aisle for herbs and spices, so it’s my go-to shop whenever I’m looking for lesser-known components in recipes. 

Another advantage is that they’re right next to the Neuköllner Wochenmarkt, an open-air food market along the canal where you can buy fresh veg, or delicious food-to-go. 

Maybachufer 1 13, 10999 Berlin

 
 
 
 
 
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Other great shops: 

Chili & Paprika – a Mexican supermarket in Danziger Straße: one of the more affordable and comprehensive South American supermarkets in Berlin 

L’epicerie – a gourmet French shop near Mauerpark: it’s definitely on the pricey side but offers some fantastic looking luxury patês and wines

Mitte Meer – a relatively affordable supermarket for all things Mediterranean, with three locations in Berlin  

Dong Xuan Center – Germany’s biggest and most famous Vietnamese supermarket. As well as a grocery store, it boasts a big general goods market and a wonderful Vietnamese restaurant and bar.

US-Shop Berlin Any Americans missing mac and cheese or pop tarts will be relieved to stumble upon this one-stop shop, conveniently centrally situated near Tempelhof.

Superiberico – This hidden gem on Markgrafenstrasse sells more than Iberico ham: it’s Germany’s largest selection of Spanish and Latin American groceries, including a comprehensive wine section!
 
Thai Park – Though this is actually a street food market and not a supermarket, we thought it was worth a mention. Alongside the mouth-watering authentic snacks on offer, there are also some stalls that sell fresh ingredients, especially fruit and veg that are harder to get elsewhere. 
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