Oktoberfest is just as much about hearty, warming German fare as it is about foamy mugs of beer. Host your own festive fall feast with homemade sausages, satisfying barley soup, and a decadent black forest cake.
- Oktoberfest Beer
- German Barley Soup
- Seeded Rye Loaf
- Spatzle with Herbs
- Mixed Green Salad with Horseradish Dressing
- Black Forest Cake
RELATED: Family-Friendly Pasta Dishes »
The Sprecher Oktoberfest is perfect to pair with this rich menu. Clean and balanced, with a velvety mouth-feel and a lavish, creamy head, this medium-brown lager delivers traditional caramel-malt sweetness followed by crisp, nutty notes and a lingering bitterness.
The earlier in advance you make the black forest cake, the better. The cake, soaked in brandy, improves in flavor the longer it sits. For step-by-step photo instructions, see our gallery »
Nothing goes with freshly-baked rye bread better than homemade butter. To make your own, follow the step-by-step instructions in our gallery »
The German barley soup is traditionally garnished with sausage, but you can serve it without for dinner, and then the next day use the leftover sausage to top the leftover soup for a hearty, satisfying lunch.
Todd Coleman RECIPE: German Barley Soup
This classic barley soup makes a wonderful side but garnished with sausage, it's substantial enough to make a meal in itself.
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup pearl barley (available from Organic Wholesale Club)
8 cups vegetable stock
½ cup finely chopped peeled russet potato
½ cup finely chopped carrot
½ cup finely chopped celery root
½ cup finely chopped leek
1 tsp. dried marjoram
2 German sausages, like bockwurst or bratwurst (available from Koenemann Sausage Co.)
1 2-oz. piece bacon
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup thinly sliced flat-leaf parsley leaves
RELATED: Warming Chili Recipes »
Heat butter in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; add onion, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add barley, and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Add stock, potato, carrot, celery root, leek, marjoram, sausages, and bacon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until sausages are tender, about 35 minutes. Remove sausages and bacon from saucepan, thinly slice sausages, and discard bacon. Season soup with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. To serve, ladle soup into 8 serving bowls, and garnish with parsley and sliced sausage.
RELATED: Cooking with Beer »
Todd Coleman RECIPE: Black Forest Cake
This classic, German, cherry-filled chocolate cake, a masterpiece of cherry brandy-soaked pastry engineering, improves the longer it sits.
FOR THE CAKE AND SYRUP:
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for pan
1 cup flour, plus more for pan
1½ cups sugar
¾ cup cornstarch
¼ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
14 oz. (2 cups) jarred or canned sour cherries, drained, reserving ½ cup cherry juice from jar, plus 12 cherries, to garnish
½ cup kirsch (cherry brandy)
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING:
2 tbsp. unflavored powdered gelatin
2 cups plus 6 tbsp. milk
½ cup cornstarch
6 tbsp. sugar
4 cups heavy cream, chilled
6 tbsp. kirsch (cherry brandy)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, grated
RELATED: Cauliflower Recipes »
1. Make the cake: Heat oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 3″-deep 9″ cake pan; set aside. Combine 1 cup sugar and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk; beat on medium-high speed until tripled in volume, about 8 minutes. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt in a bowl; sift onto egg mixture. Add butter; working quickly, gently fola until just combined. Pour into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes; let cool. Using a serrated knife, trim top of cake to create a level top; cut cake horizontally into 3 even layers and set cakes aside.
2. Make the kirsch syrup: Stir together 14 oz. cherries and kirsch in a bowl; let sit for 30 minutes. Bring remaining sugar and reserved cherry juice to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan and stir until sugar dissolves; remove from heat and set aside. Drain kirsch from cherries, and add it to cherry syrup in saucepan. Set soaked cherries and syrup aside.
3. Make the frosting: Sprinkle gelatin over 6 tbsp. milk in a bowl; let sit until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Whisk cornstarch and sugar in a 2-qt. saucepan; add remaining milk, and heat over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens to the consistency of very thick pudding; transfer to a food processor along with gelatin mixture; process until smooth. Transfer gelatin mixture to a large bowl. Place cream, 4 tbsp. kirsch, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk; beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Add Vé of the whipped cream to the gelatin mixture; stir until smooth. Add remaining whipped cream, and gently fold with a rubber spatula until evenly combined.
4. To assemble the cake: Place 1 layer of cake on a cake stand; brush heavily with cherry syrup. Cover with soaked cherries; spread 1 cup frosting over cherries. Place another cake layer on top; brush heavily with syrup. Spread 2 cups frosting over cake; top with remaining cake layer and brush heavily with syrup. Spread a very thin layer of frosting over top of cake; using a long knife, score top into 12 wedges. Transfer remaining frosting to a piping bag fitted with a ⅜″ star tip; starting at outside edge of top of cake, pipe zig-zag rows of frosting on wedges, staying between scored lines. Pipe 3 rows of frosting around side of cake; smooth rows until frosting evenly covers side. Drag a 6" x 4" decorating comb (available at Kerekes) over side of cake to produce a ridged pattern. Pipe 12 small mounds of frosting on top of each wedge; place a cherry on top of each mound. Pour chocolate shavings over center of cake. Chill until frosting is firm, about 2 hours. To serve, pour remaining 2 tbsp. kirsch over chocolate.
MORE FROM SAVEUR.COM: