Fueskichelcher

Fueskichelcher might be one of the more difficult to pronounce Luxembourgish words, but one that is worth knowing.  In Luxembourg, this delicious fried sweet treat is served for Fuesend (Carnival). They are also known as Verwurelter (equally difficult to pronounce) which means something like tangled. The dough is made of flour, eggs, sugar and butter and can be yeast or baking powder based (the latter being less soft but having a yummy delicate taste, I enjoy both of them equally). The dough is formed into a knot and is fried in vegetable/animal fat. When baked, they are rolled in (icing) sugar, and can (and should!) be served immediately. They are fairly simple to make but because they are best eaten fresh (within the first or second day) I do not tend to make them often, as I don’t have that many mouths to fill. In Luxembourg, I can recommend both Oberweis and Namur ones (the main difference being that Namur adds a generous amount of grated lemon peel into the dough which gives them a pleasantly refreshing taste).

Recipe for traditional Fueskichelcher

  • 250g flour
  • 12g yeast
  • 100ml water/milk
  • 5g salt
  • 20g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g butter

Prepare the levain: take a quarter of the flour, crumble in the yeast into the center and add half of the water/milk at a lukewarm temperature. Mix/beat quickly and leave to rest in a warm spot for 15 minutes (covered with a clean towel).

Mix the remaining flour with the sugar and salt. Add the softened butter, the eggs and the remaining liquid. Mix well, then add the levain (which should have doubled in size by now). Knead again to get a smooth texture and form into a ball. Let the dough rest under a towel in a warm spot for about one hour until the size has doubled.

Now roll out your dough (to about ½cm thickness) and cut 8 cm long and 1 cm wide strips. Tie each strip into a knot (not too tight) and lest rest again on a baking tray covered with a towel (for about 20min). When the knots are nice and plump, fry in 175°C hot vegetable oil until golden brown. Drain well and generously sprinkle with fine caster sugar.

If you are afraid of achieving a yeast dough or want to avoid the hassle of tying numerous knots, I can recommend this super easy and quick recipe that is based on a Quark dough and baked in the form of balls.

Recipe for Quark Fueskichelcher 

  • 250g Quark
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 -1 ½ cups caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons cream
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ package baking powder
  • 400g flour
  • 1 pinch of salt

Mix the Quark with the eggs, vanilla and the sugar. Slowly add the cream, the oil, the flour, salt and baking powder.

With two spoons form small balls (of the size of a walnut) directly into 175°C hot vegetable oil and bake until golden brown. Drain well and sprinkle with icing sugar when cooled down.

Fueskichelcher are best eaten fresh but can be kept in a metal tin for a couple of days.

Enjoy!

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