We were invited to ‘Kaffee und Kuchen’ (coffee and cake) in Görlitz Germany. Presented, along with the coffee, was a familiar-looking strawberry flan. I was fascinated by the sponge base. It was light and airy – not heavy at all like English ‘sponge’. It then occurred that our host may have made the sponge. I asked and the host’s expression of why, yes, of course, was priceless… In England we wouldn’t think of making our own fluted sponge bases. If we make a fruit flan it would normally made from a sweet pastry base – otherwise a ready-made sponge base would be bought from the supermarket.
But there was something else going on. The flan – and indeed the classic plum kuchen served as well, were not very sweet – certainly not to an English palate. But of course, light cakes make complete sense when served at 2 pm in the afternoon – there’s a fighting chance the appetite will recover for supper.
Okay, maybe this story does not amount to much – but it was a revelation for me that cooks of Germany think nothing of making a a very complicated-looking sponge base or that they would not make a cake sweet. I’m all for it. Kaffe und Kuchen anybody?