Bioladen im G’machl/Tirolerhof

One of my favorite things about visiting the Schönbrunn zoo is the Tirolerhof. The Tirolerhof is the location of a farm house from the Austrian Alpine region of Tirol that was disassembled, transported to the zoo, and reassembled. It serves as a living museum: the rooms are set up as they would be in a typical farm house of the region, and the inside and outside stalls house rare breeds of animals from Tirol.

The farm house at Tirolhof.

The farm house at Tirolhof.

The best part, of course, is the farm shop (Bioladen im G’machl) that sells cured meats, cheese, brötchen sandwiches, baked goods, and beverages from Tirol. We had lunch there yesterday and I’ve discovered two more things that I want to learn how to make.

Powidl topfen kuchen.

Powidl topfen kuchen.

The first is powidl topfen kuchen, a cake made with powidl and topfen. Powidl is kind of like plum jelly, except it is made without adding sugar or pectin (or other gelling agents). It sounds like you boil fresh, late-season plums for hours until they get thick. I want to learn to make this preserve for its own sake, and to re-create this cake. Topfen is a type of cottage cheese that is used in a lot of desserts here. Wikipedia says it is similar to paneer, which I know how to make, so I am a third of the way to knowing how to make this cake.

Mohn zelten.


Next we have mohnzelten, which are poppyseed-filled bread. Wikipedia says that the bread is made with potato dough, which surprised me because I’ve always thought of the bread as a cross between pretzel and sweet bread. This is one of my favorite snacks that I have discovered here, and the way my family gobbled this up yesterday suggests they would not be adverse to me learning how to make them.

Stay tuned for recipes!


Recipe: Vanille-Mohn-Kipferl

Kipferl: clearly, they don't have to be perfectly formed to taste good.

Kipferl: clearly they don’t have to be perfectly formed to taste good.

These cookies are very popular at Christmas time: my son’s class made them to hand out to the parents at their Christmas program, and my Austrian friend gave me a box of kipferl that she’d made as a Christmas present. This is her recipe, in fact.

200g (7 oz) cold butter
75g (3 oz) icing sugar
Between 1 1/2t to 1T vanilla sugar*
250g (9 oz) cake flour
100g (4 oz) poppy seeds
1/2t cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
icing sugar for dusting

1. Cream the butter, icing sugar, and vanilla sugar until pale and fluffy.

2. Combine the flour, poppy seeds, cinnamon, and salt and add to the butter mixture in three batches, thoroughly combining after each addition.

3. Add the egg yolk and mix until combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rest in refrigerator for 1 hour.

4. Preheat oven to 180C (350 F). Divide the dough and roll it into finger-thick sticks, then cut the sticks to a length of 3 cm (about 1 1/4″). Form the sticks into crescents and place on baking sheets lined with baking paper.

"Finger-thick sticks cut into a length of 1 1/4", then formed into a crescent.

“Finger-thick sticks” cut into a length of 1 1/4″, then formed into a crescent.

5. Bake for 10-15 minutes (when the edges are brown and the curved part starts to brown). Take them out of the oven, let cool slightly, and then sift icing sugar over the cookies.

*The original recipe calls for 1 1/2t vanilla sugar, but my friend said she used 1T instead. I made mine with 1 1/2t and could taste the difference. I prefer my friend’s version with more sugar but my kids gobbled up the ones that I made, so I guess it’s to taste.

Recipe: Mohngugelhupf

Sabine's cake.

Sabine’s cake.

My Austrian friend made this poppy seed cake for us. The poppy seeds give it an earthy flavor, and the milk and marzipan make the cake dense and moist.

1/2 vanilla bean
60 g (2.1 oz) poppy seeds
125 ml (1/2 C) milk
110 g (3.9 oz) butter
100 g (3.5 oz) granulated sugar
2 eggs
50g (1.8 oz) marzipan
150 g (5.3 oz) flour
1/2 t baking powder
pinch of salt
2T butter and 2T flour for the molds

Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F). Butter and flour mini bundt cake molds.

Halve vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and cook seeds with the pod and poppy seeds in milk. Remove from stove and cool.

Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer until light and creamy. Thicken by adding eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition until the egg is completely incorporated. Grate marzipan on a coarse grater and stir into egg mixture.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the cooled poppy-milk mixture to the butter mixture, stirring after each addition. Pour the batter into the prepared molds and bake about 17 minutes on medium rack. (Stick a wooden skewer into the cake; when it comes out clean, the cake is done.)

Let the cakes cool for a few minutes, then turn out from mold. Best served warm.

(The recipe says the cake is best warm but I think it tastes better cold, and it goes quite nicely with a cup of tea.)