How many Flaschen must a man use?
March 21, 2010 10:47 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to bake a cake from a German recipe, help me with archaic and confusing conversions!

I'm taking night classes in German at the local Community College and for the final presentation, we have to do something in German and talk about it for a few minutes--no biggie, I've got that part in the bag!

I've decided that I'll be walking the class through the baking of a Black Forest cake, and I've stumbled upon what appears to be a reasonably authentic recipe.

My research has gotten me through most of the conversions I've needed except for one: 25 Flaschen Weizenstärke.

25 Bottles of starch doesn't particularly make much sense to me, so I asked for the equivalent on the German version of Yahoo! Answers (Why? Why did I do that?) and got one response suggesting that the recipe intended 25g, and another response consisting of an ASCII facepalm and the thoroughly unhelpful answer "That depends on the size of the bottle."

Anyone here know if there is a standard size for bottles of starch sold in Germany? Or if the recipe actually intended 25g? If I should give up, blindly fill 25 randomly sized flasks with wheat starch and throw them in the batter, hoping for the best?
posted by coryinabox to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Here's what looks like the original recipe, with an author attribution: perhaps you could email and ask.
posted by emilyw at 11:00 AM on March 21, 2010

If I were you I'd consult a different recipe for Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte and see how much starch they use. Cooking is not an exact science.
If you go by this recipe they employ 50 g of starch on 100 g of flour for the Boden. The recipe you mentioned uses 75 g for the floor (?) of the Torte. So that's between 35 and 40 grams.

25 Flaschen is a lot if it were anything to do with a bottle. So I'm guessing it's a small form of tea spoon kind of quantity.

If you insist about the Flaschen I'll call my mother. She grew up near Bavaria and has been baking Schwarzwälder Kirshtorten for approximately 60 years.
posted by joost de vries at 11:06 AM on March 21, 2010

Between 35 and 40 grams of wheat starch.
posted by joost de vries at 11:07 AM on March 21, 2010

As far as I'm aware stark is not currently being sold in bottles in Germany, sorry. I just asked a German baker, she would go for 200g of flour/stark in total, which leaves you with 75g flour as in the recipe and an additional 125g stark.
posted by oxit at 11:08 AM on March 21, 2010

It does indeed say bottles and it should probably be g as nothing else would make a lot of sense given the amount of flour you're supposed to use. Never noticed any Stärke in bottles when I was still living in Germany.
posted by koahiatamadl at 11:08 AM on March 21, 2010

I've never seen a recipe for "Biskuitboden" that requires starch - or seen starch in bottles. Maybe use another recipe, like this one?
posted by Omnomnom at 11:10 AM on March 21, 2010

There's another recipe on that site where they made an Einheit error putting Flasche where Gramm was intended. So I'd go with the assumption that somebody put in the wrong unit during data entry.
posted by joost de vries at 11:14 AM on March 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think joost de vries is right. Is is likely gramm. I also don't think starch is available commonly in bottles.

The only time Germans use bottles that comes to my mind is when using special aroma:

This small bottles contain something like 2-5 ml I guess.
posted by yoyo_nyc at 11:18 AM on March 21, 2010

Native German here. Starch is not sold in bottles, it's an error in the recipe. My vote is for 25 grams of starch, but if you want to be sure, try to find another recipe.

Cooking is not an exact science. - But baking is. If you use the wrong amount of wheat starch, the cake might be too heavy or too thin...
posted by amf at 11:34 AM on March 21, 2010

Vielen Dank!

I'm going to stubbornly stick to this recipe (If I pick a different recipe now, the starch has won!) and try it out with 25g of starch. If it sucks, I'll find a different recipe.
posted by coryinabox at 12:14 PM on March 21, 2010

Seconding Flasche/Gramm mixup, it looks like you choose the unit in a dropdown, so I'm assuming user error here.
posted by CharlesV42 at 12:49 PM on March 21, 2010

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