March 18, 2012

11a/52 Punschkugeln

Do you know how much dust and dirt accumulates when old windows are exchanged for new ones? I do now.
Four days of noise, dirt, dust, and annoyance lie behind me. Not the best environment for baking. Or even baking inspiration. So I cheated a bit - but you're not gonna tell, are you?

This ready-made chocolate sponge cake just caught my eye. I usually never even pay attention to these ready-made cake layers but this time
a) it was 50% off,
b) I knew that I wasn't gonna feel like real baking during the window exchange nuisance, and
c) I have been meaning to make "Punschkugeln" (which literally translates to "punch ball"), one of my husband's favorite sweet treats, for a long time.

Before moving to Switzerland, I wasn't too familiar with Punschkugeln. They are like big chocolate cake balls, with a hint of rum flavor, rolled in chocolate sprinkles, dusted with a bit of powdered sugar.
In Germany, "Rumkugeln" ("rum balls") are widely known. They (obviously) do taste like rum and are rolled in chocolate sprinkles, but are typically more of a chocolate-truffle, not cake.

Reading many different recipes for Punschkugeln and chocolate cake balls, I created my own combination of ingredients:

Punschkugeln à Sarah

340 g chocolate sponge cake layers, ready-made
60 g (1/3 cup) orange jam
60 g  (1/3 cup) apricot jam
3 tablespoons Cinzano Orancio
3 teaspoons cream cheese
chocolate sprinkles
powdered sugar
  • With your hands, crumble sponge cake into a bowl.
  • Add jam, Cinzano, and cream cheese and mix together by hand until you have a smooth "dough". Add more cream cheese or milk if dough is still too crumbly.

  • Form balls of about 10 cm (4 in) diameter.
  • One ball after the other, wet surface with a bit of water, roll in chocolate sprinkles and put in muffin paper liners.
  • Dust with powdered sugar.
  • Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving to get the best taste and texture.

Modification ideas:
For an alcohol-free version, use milk instead of Cinzano and add a bit of rum flavor if you want.
Try different fruit jams or jellies.

The taste:
My husband, who is the Punschkugel expert in our family, said they tasted better than his favorite store-bought ones. Need I say more?

Have you ever cheated when it comes to baking or cooking? Please share your stories!

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