Post by Alison Hein
Götterspeise – quite a mouthful, whether you’re saying it or eating it. “Food of the Gods” is so decadently delicious, it’s a decidedly rare indulgence. Here’s my story:
Location: Straubing, Germany, Uncle Franz and Aunt Irmgard’s kitchen
Time: Just after New Year’s, late evening, after a long day of over-eating and over-drinking
Cast: Tante Irmgard and me
Irmgard: “Have you ever tried Götterspeise?”
Irmgard: “Never mind. Watch me.”
Irmgard pulls out a few cookie tins and removes a variety of sugared, nut and cinnamon-filled delights. She breaks these into pieces and places them in a large bowl. She runs quickly to the other room for the brandy decanter, returns and sloshes a generous portion over the whole cookie mess.
Irmgard: “Good night.”
Me: “Huh? What about the Götterspeise?”
Irmgard: “That? We’re having it for breakfast!”
Morning arrives. Irmgard and I are back in the kitchen. Irmgard whips out a heavy pot and places it on the stove. She heats some milk, adds some eggs and some other ingredients to make pudding. Then she pours this on top of the brandy-soaked cookies. She scoops some Götterspeise into a couple of bowls, and tops them off with whipped cream. She hands me one.
Irmgard: “Guten Appetit!”
I dig deep into the Götterspeise. My spoon comes up a gooey mass of culinary dimensions – dense, brandied pastry; rich, golden pudding; sweet, airy cream. I close my eyes. I taste. I sigh. I understand the name. This is indeed Godly food.
Me: “Danke schön!”
Moral of the story: When having an indulgent breakfast in bed, be sure to eat decadently delicious food.
2 cups broken assorted Christmas cookies (substitute a mix of any firm, stale cookies)
1½ cups rum (substitute brandy or liqueur)
½ cup sugar
¼ cup flour (or 2 tablespoons cornstarch)
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dash of salt
1 cup heavy cream (optional)
Place broken cookies into large glass dish. Pour rum evenly over cookies and let sit for at least one hour, or as long as overnight. When ready to prepare, give the cookie mixture a good stir, and divide evenly into two serving dishes (cocktail glasses work well for this).
Combine sugar and flour in a heavy saucepan. Add milk, and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes, until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk about one half of the milk mixture into the beaten eggs, stirring constantly. Return egg mixture to the saucepan. Bring again to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, and cook for a few minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in butter, vanilla and salt.
Gently pour pudding mixture over cookies, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator until firm.
If you like, whip heavy cream, sweeten, and place on top of Götterspeise when ready to serve.