This dish is traditional in Southern Germany, the region my parents grew up in and where I was born too. It’s called “Dampfnudel” which literally translates to “Steam-noodle”. In other words, these are dumplings that you cook/steam in some milk, sugar and butter. They are then served with a rich vanilla sauce.
To make the dumplings (makes about 5)
- 250g Flour
- 2 tsp yeast
- 25g butter, melted
- 1 egg, beaten
- 125mL milk – luke warm
- 20g sugar
- pinch of salt
First you will prepare the dough just like you would if you were making bread. Combine the yeast, sugar and warm milk and mix well. Set aside and allow to activate. Remember to use a large bowl as it will raise a fair amount.
While the yeast is activating, combine flour and salt. Make a well in the centre and add the beaten egg. Now add your yeast and mix well. Continue to mix and kneed until it forms a ball.
Let rise in a warm area, away from any drafts and covered with a tea towel, until double in size.
When the dough has risen, form about 5 larger balls. Now prepare your pan to cook the dough in.
In a large pot or a large wok with a lid, heat up 125mL of milk, 25g of butter and 25g of sugar. When the milk comes to a boil, quickly add your dough balls and cover pan.
VERY VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!! DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, LIFT THE LID ONCE THE DUMPLINGS ARE IN THE POT. I know it is tempting to do so, but they will be ruined if you do.
Your dumplings will take about 20 to 25 minutes. You will begin hearing a bit of crackling and you will begin smelling caramelised sugar when they are done. If you have a glass lid, that is the best because you can see the dumplings a little bit.
To make the Vanilla Sauce
- 1 vanilla bean
- 300mL milk
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 3 egg yolks
Cut open your vanilla bean, scrape out the paste and put everything into the milk in a medium sized sauce pan. Don’t worry..you will remove the pod later. Bring the milk and vanilla mixture to a boil and then remove from heat.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until foamy. Take some of the hot milk and mix with egg, then put everything back into the saucepan. Beat well and turn up heat. Be careful to not bring milk/egg mixture to a boil or it will curdle. You just want to heat it up.
When warm, immerse the saucepan in an ice bath and whisk from time to time as the sauce cools down. Place in fridge until ready to serve.
And the combined result is…….