About one month ago I moved cities within Switzerland. Exciting! Not such a biggie though as a trip to my old “home” is only one hour by train. But, nonetheless, new city (which I love!) = new traditions, or lack thereof. First lack: Herbstmesse. That’s right, there is no Herbstmesse where I now live (SO SAD!!).
For those of you who don’t know Herbstmesse, it’s the Basel autumn fair which last for 2 weeks, spreads across the whole city and is well-known for rides, games and most importantly food. Lots of exciting edible things to indulge in are unique to the Herbstmesse, eg. Beggeschmutz (something like a chocolate covered giant marshmallow), Mässmogge (sugar-candy), Brennti Mandle (caramelised almonds), Biberli (gingerbread like heaven filled with almond paste), Rosekiechli (a thin kind of waffle), Maagebrot (cinnamony/clove/chocolatey bread bites coated in a chocolate/sugar glaze), the list goes on. My personal favorite: Maagebrot. Directly translated it would be called stomach bread…. doesn’t sound too appetising. Honestly, it also doesn’t look appetising. But the combination of the cocoa, cinnamon and cloves in the bread with a thin chocolatey glaze is irresistible.
In an attempt to bring a bit of the autumn fair feeling into my new home I decided to make Maagebrot. To my surprise, it wasn’t even that difficult. As mentioned before, its appearance really isn’t that appetising so sorry for the picture. Try to imagine a christmassy smell, recreate at home and dig in alongside a cup of hot chocolate!
for the dough
12g baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
0.5 tbsp ground cloves
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 dl milk
for the icing/glaze
3 tbsp cocoa powder
- Combine all ingredients for the dough in a large bowl and bring together to form a smooth dough. This requires patience, whatever you do, do not add more liquid!
- Preheat your oven to 190°C. Divide your dough into 6 pieces. Shape each piece out into about 2cm thick rolls and place onto a baking tray. Bake for about 15 minutes.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and immediately cut your rolls into 1.5-2cm wide strips, using a bread knife. Place your strips into a sealabe large glass bowl/container.
- For the icing bring your sugar, milk and cocoa powder to a boil. Pour over your, let’s call them bread pieces and seal the glass container with a lid.
- Gently tip and sway your jar until your bread pieces have soaked up as much icing as possible.
- Line out on a sheet of baking paper to dry.
- Make a cup of hot chocolate. Sit on the sofa. Dig in.