Krapfen? Doughnuts? Or is it ‘Donuts’? Whatever you call these rich, fried, sugary, deliciously filled bready treats, there’s no denying they have universal appeal. Who can resist? (Hint: It’s not me…)
Bavaria is a state that’s very proud of its traditions and seems to enjoy being just that bit different. In the region surrounding Munich, the carnival season is known as Fasching and it fills the gap between Christmas and Lent. Celebrated between the 7th January and Pancake Day (or Shrove Tuesday, if you prefer!), costumed balls, parties and parades are held.
Now I’m not really one for a party but Fasching is a season I’ve come to love – Krapfen are everywhere and in all sorts of wonderful, delicious varieties. It seems almost cruel to my waistline that doughnut season runs on from Christmas! Every bakery currently has tray upon tray of krapfen, which in itself is something pretty impressive. Throughout most of the year there’s generally only an apricot jam filled version available – considering how hot it gets out here, I can very well understand why!
Up today are a couple of varieties from the Ihle bakery. Pictured in the first image above, on the left there’s a Schokoladen and a Bienenstich krapfen. On the right there’s another Schokoladen and a Liebeskrapfen. Can you guess which flavour Mr. E3 likes best?
The dough itself is probably most similar to a doughnut that Morrisons produces, in that it’s very much a bread product (rather than a more aerated, lighter dough, like Asda uses) – there’s a nice chewy denseness which is a great contrast to the fillings and isn’t greasy at all.
As I’m sure you’ll have guessed, the chocolate one contains a creamy, lightly chocolatey middle. It isn’t oversweet either – something we’ve discovered is a feature of the krapfen we’ve enjoyed from this bakery chain. The Bienenstich (literally meaning ‘bee sting’) is based on the cake of the same name, with an airy vanilla cream centre and topped with a sticky caramelised almond and biscuity pastry crumble.
The Liebeskrapfen (‘love’ krapfen) is topped with a pink and white chocolate heart and filled with a really generous amount of raspberry jam and fluffy cream. There arn’t any pictures of the middles on this one – I was far too busy eating this at the train station for breakfast! In my defence, doughnut season will be over soon and … ok, no excuses. I just have no boundaries for which meal a doughnut can replace. It was good though, seriously good and made me question why it isn’t more common to get a filling combo. The cream was light, fluffy and barely sweet, with a nice sharp hit of fruit from the raspberry jam.
If I was forced to pick a winner the Liebeskrapfen would be it, with the Bee Sting as a runner up. I love a bit of contrast in flavour and texture so I think these are both excellent choices, decently priced at €1.69 each.