Schnitzel, brats, beer . . . and, “room for dessert?” Best wear your stretchy lederhosen to Helen. Compared to American desserts, the Germans err on the light and airy side just a bit: it’s all about mild cream (i.e. Bavarian cream), fruit, chocolate, and flaky pastries.
Here are some key places to sample representative German desserts. Helen is walkable, so deduct some extra calories for your steps.
Hofers produces old-world quality on European baking and pastry equipment. All breads are baked in a traditional stone hearth over. The bakery was founded by Germans who carried on the traditions of Northern Bavaria.
The bienen kuchen, bee cake, is a yeast cake flavored with honey and almonds, often with pastry cream in layers. It is a flavorful snack that your taste buds won’t recognize but will buzz about.
Cream Puff Pastry
Do not be deceived by their simplicity: German cream puffs take baking prowess to the next level, particularly in preparing the gooey, twice-cooked dough called pate a choux, which relies on trapped air rather than yeast to rise. As a result the nickname for these in Germany is windbeutel, meaning windbags. Filled with not-too-sweet cream, these are a great snack for the not-so-hungry.
German Chocolate Torte
Okay, not everything is light and airy—but it’s a torte, which means low-carb. German chocolate has been world-renowned for a couple hundred years. And German chocolate cake is a familiar flavor profile that fits nicely in a lighter European torte.
Chef Aural Prodan spent ten years becoming a German master chef, actually living in Bavaria, before bringing his vision to Georgia. He strives for authenticity.
Black Forest Cake (there’s fruit in it!)
Black Forest cake is created with several layers of chocolate cake, with whipped cream and cherries between each layer. It is adorned with extra whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and chocolate shavings.
You might think it is named after the Black Forest mountain range itself, but it’s really about the booze, specialty tart-cherry liquor called Schwarzwälder Kirsch (“wasser”). The cherry pit/liquor flavor is distinctive in the cake layers, and it’s a German original.
Vanilla Ice Cream, Warm Raspberries, Cream
Rote Grütze (red berry “pudding”) is a common theme that is often riffed upon. The Northern German tradition is basically warm fruit compotes topped with some sort of cream—imagine a cobbler without the bready parts.
The original festive German pub and eatery in Helen, The Heidelberg cultivates the spirit of Oktoberfest year-round with music, themed clothing, and hospitality.
Apfel Strudel: Fresh apples with cinnamon, sugar and raisins, baked in a very thin dough roll
We don’t know exactly who invented the strudel, but it is a German word, and the oldest official recipe is from 1697. The strudel is an oblong pastry filled with sweetened fruit. The unleavened dough is rolled out so thinly that you can see through it. The dough wraps the fruit and then it’s folded back on itself in several layers. It’s a hearty mainstay, not meant to be overly sweet, perfect for a cool evening in this friendly pub.
Need a place to crash after you’ve had your fill of these Bavarian delights? Check out our sweet accommodations here.