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Friday, September 29, 2023

Spaetzle, Black Forest Brownies – Sun Sentinel

America’s Test Kitchen’s newest cookbook, “Gatherings, Casual-Fancy Meals to Share,” lands on Sept. 19, just in time to inspire celebrations of every variety. The book opens with a chapter of practical tips on everything from party planning to menu management, before plunging into themed gathering ideas. You’ll find recipes and how-tos from ATK and Cook’s Country test kitchen chefs for everything from a Mexican Brunch to a Great British Picnic, a Bao Bar, a Vegetarian Dumpling Party and — this being the season — Oktoberfest.

The Oktoberfest at Home spread devised by Cook’s Country’s Mark Huxoll offers a full menu of German fare, complete with Schweinebraten, brown butter sauerkraut, beer and caraway pretzels, Gruyere and fontina-topped spaetzle and Black Forest Brownies.

Spätzle — or spaetzle, if your keyboard is umlaut challenged — is traditionally made with a spaetzle maker, which forms the eggy little noodles as the batter drips into your pot of boiling water. No spaetzle maker? No problem — Huxoll has created a clever hack using a perforated disposable foil pan.

America's Test Kitchen's newest cookbook focuses on festive gatherings.
America’s Test Kitchen’s newest cookbook focuses on festive gatherings.

“Käsespätzle is the German equivalent of macaroni and cheese — which means it’s always a hit,” he says.

And for dessert? “These incredible brownies have all the magic of the classic Black Forest layer cake of chocolate sponge cake, cherries and whipped cream, but they are much easier to make,” Huxoll says in the book. “When the pan comes out of the oven, on goes a layer of tart cherry jam mixed with additional Kirsch to soak into the brownies as they cool. I love serving them with small glasses of chilled Kirsch as a digestif to end the night.”


Serves 8


3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons table salt, plus salt for cooking spaetzle

1 teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup whole milk

4 large eggs

Späztle maker or a disposable 9-by-13-inch aluminum pan

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

4 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (1 cup), divided

4 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (1 cup), divided


Whisk flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg together in large bowl. Whisk milk and eggs together in second bowl until smooth. Slowly whisk milk mixture into flour mixture until smooth. Cover and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler ­element and heat broiler. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven. If you do not have a spätzle maker, use scissors to poke about 40 ¼-inch holes in bottom of disposable pan.

Add 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water and set spätzle maker or prepared disposable pan on top of pot. Transfer half of batter to spätzle maker or disposable pan. Use spatula to scrape batter across holes, letting batter fall into water. Boil until all the spätzle float, about 30 seconds. Using spider skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer spätzle to a colander set in a large bowl to drain. Repeat with remaining batter.

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