Autumn Flavors Around the World
Just as the beloved season of pumpkins and aromatic recipes has multiple names(fall + autumn), fall spreads around the world are enjoyed uniquely from the flavors of each country’s harvest. In the U.S, fall brings us memories of pumpkin-spiced lattes, pies, and warm scented candles but have you ever wondered what fall favorites look like around the world? Our love of pumpkin-flavored foods is surprisingly not the go-to favorites around the world as temperatures make their steady decline! Let’s explore the colorful autumnal dishes from Denmark, China, and Mexico City that are sure to transport you across the globe to a fall season unlike any other. First, we’ll explore Denmark's Apple Trifle, next the Chinese Mooncake, and finally, we’ll add a bit of spice to our autumn picks by exploring the Chiles En Nogada from Mexico City!
Danish Caramel Hazelnut Apple Trifle
The Æblekage or the Danish apple trifle is a sweet layered apple cake that has been around for years. The soft notes of apple, hazelnut, and cream are enjoyed throughout the season. The best part of this dish is how the traditional recipe is unique to each individual with the addition of jams, oats, caramel, and even crushed macarons! The airiness of the apple trifle is often perfectly paired with a hot cup of coffee. Transport yourself to fall in Denmark by brewing a cup of joe from our favorite roasters and adding a sweet pairing of the Danish apple trifle!
6 large apples, peeled and cut into slices
4 oz of sugar, granulated
Water, for boiling
1 ¼ cup hazelnuts
2.5 cups heavy whipping cream
1 vanilla bean
3 oz of caramel sauce, more or less to taste
½ lemon, juice
Start off by bringing a large pot of water to a boil, make sure there’s just enough water to have the apples fully submerged. Once the water is boiling, add the sliced apples, lemon juice, and half of the sugar(2 oz). Grab the vanilla bean and remove seeds, add both seeds and pods into the pot. Keep on a steady boil until the apples begin to break apart and wilt. To create the consistency of apple puree add water if the mixture becomes too thick. Remove the apple mixture from heat and set aside to cool on the counter or in the fridge. Next, it’s time to prep the hazelnuts. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and find an oven-safe pan to roast the hazelnuts. Once the oven has been preheated, bake for about 10 minutes. Remove the nuts and pour them into a kitchen towel and let steam for about a minute or two. To remove the skins, brush the hazelnuts together between the towel until most of the skins have been removed, set aside to cool. Next, it’s time to create the whipped cream, grab the heavy whipping cream and whisk on medium speed until the consistency is of whipped cream. Lastly, grab the cooled hazelnuts, and add the remaining sugar, chop in a food processor. Now that all the ingredients are ready to go, it’s time to assemble the trifle. Layer the apple puree, crushed hazelnuts, and whipped cream in a clear glass until you have reached the top, sprinkle with a few pieces of hazelnut and caramel sauce. Let cool in the fridge and make yourself a hot cup of coffee for the perfect accompaniment to your trifle!
The mid-autumn festival or the mooncake festival is one of the most important holidays in China that aims to celebrate the first new moon of autumn and is oftentimes compared to Thanksgiving. As family and friends gather around the table to a large spread of fruit, mooncakes, and numerous local dishes, we had to explore the main delicacy that the festival was named after! Mooncakes are made in various varieties such as the traditional egg yolk filled, red bean paste, matcha or even a savory meat-filled edition. During the festival, these little cakes are presented to family and friends by the dozens. Let’s explore how to make a batch of these famous mooncakes that are sure to take us to the mid-autumn festival in China!
½ cup of golden syrup found online or at an Asian market
¼ tsp of lye water or Kansui, found in an Asian market
½ cup of cake flour
⅓ cup oil, preferably vegetable
1 mooncake mold, found online
2 eggs to be used as an egg wash
Red Bean Paste Filling
10 egg yolks, salted (original method uses duck eggs but chicken eggs work well)
1 cup of red bean paste
First, we’ll make the dough. Grab your liquid dough ingredients(golden syrup, kansui, and oil) and combine. Next, make sure there aren’t any clumps in the flour and begin to incorporate into the batter. Once it has reached a dough consistency, roll into a ball and set aside in a covered bowl for about 25 minutes. Next, we will work on creating the filling. Grab the salted egg yolks and one by one grab a yolk and carefully wrap in the red bean paste creating a ball. Set aside and roll all of the yolks into red bean paste balls. Finally, it’s time to put our filling into its shell. Take a minute to preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grab the dough that was originally set aside and grab about 2 teaspoons full and lay onto parchment paper. Lay another sheet of parchment paper on the top and roll out the dough into a circle making sure the center is thinner than the edges. Remove the top parchment paper and add one red bean paste ball in the center of the dough. Cover the filling completely with dough, add a few sprinkles of cake flour if the dough is very sticky. Pinch the edges of the dough together to create a ball. Next, flip the cake over and dust with flour, grab the mooncake mold, and press gently to create the shape and design of the authentic mooncake. Now it’s time to bake, place in the oven for 5 minutes, remove from heat and gently glaze over the cakes with your egg wash. Place the cakes back into the oven and cook for approximately 10-12 minutes until golden. Once golden, remove from the oven and set aside to cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, you are ready to join in on the festivities of the mooncake festival, so grab your cakes and a cup of tea to celebrate!
Mexican Chiles En Nogada
As the fall approaches in Mexico, sights of pumpkins and nutty flavors are not the only highlights of the season. Instead of sweet autumnal treats, let’s add a bit of fall spice and explore Mexico City’s take on the spicy fall favorite, the Chiles En Nogada. The dish is as festive as it looks by incorporating the vibrant colors of the Mexican flag, it’s no surprise that it is often served to celebrate Mexican independence day. Chiles en Nogada are meat(turkey, chicken) stuffed poblano chiles drizzled with a creamy walnut sauce and garnished with parsley and pomegranate. The rich flavors of the seasoned meat, chiles, and walnuts are sure to transport you to fall in Mexico!
½ tsp of ground cinnamon
1 cup of shelled walnuts, halved
2 cups of milk
1 ½ cup of creme fraiche
6 poblano chiles, large ~ 6 in
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground black peppercorn
¼ tsp dried thyme
1 cup of tomato sauce/crushed tomatoes
½ cup raisins, preferably golden
1 white onion
3 cloves of garlic
½ apple, diced and peeled
1 peach, diced
4 oz ground beef
4 oz pork
1 ½ Tbsp butter
Salt to taste
1tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp olive oil
A handful of pomegranate seeds and parsley
First, start off by grabbing the walnuts and submerging them in hot water for about 25 minutes to loosen the skins. Next remove the skins of the walnuts by rubbing off the coverings, continue until most skins have been removed, and place in a bath of cold water for an additional 15 minutes. Next, grab a blender and pour in all ingredients for the sauce(cinnamon, milk, peeled walnuts, cinnamon, creme fraiche). Blend on high speed until thoroughly combined and set aside. Next, it’s time to start on the filling. Set a pan on medium heat with butter and saute the chopped onion, garlic, thyme, and pepper for a few minutes. Next, pour in the meat and continue to cook the meat through. Finally add the salt, peaches, apples, cinnamon, and sugar and cook until fruits begin to release juices. Last, add in the tomato sauce and cook until most of the water has evaporated. Now it’s time to assemble the Chiles en Nogada. Grab the poblano chiles and roast to a char on an open flame on the stovetop. Once the skin begins to turn black, remove from heat and set aside to cool. Once cooled, cut the chile vertically to create space to stuff the filling. Grab the filling and scoop in the mixture into each of the chiles. Plate the dish by pouring the walnut sauce over the chiles and sprinkling with pomegranate and parsley.