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Magenbrot, a Swiss Treat for your Stomach

Can you tell that weather has been getting colder and rainier here in Switzerland? It seems that people are generally more interested in food, especially warm and sweet food, during the wintery season. Maybe its simply that time of the year, where you are drawn to experiment in the kitchen rather than wanting to go outside and get muddy - although that can be fun too.

When it's cold outside we Swiss like to drink and eat warm stuff.  Cheese fondue and chocolate fondue are winter classics as are hot roasted chestnuts. Another popular Swiss snack or treat is Magenbrot.

What is Magenbrot?

Magenbrot are square sized, chunky pieces of pastry that contain cloves, cinnamon, anise and nutmeg. It is usually sold on street fairs or Christmas markets during fall and winter time. The two biggest retail stores Coop and Migros are now also selling Magenbrot in half-kilo bags.

Magenbrot - lichtkunst.73  / pixelio.de
Supposedly, the spices used in Magenbrot are good for your tummy. This might explain the name 'Magenbrot' which literally means 'stomach bread'. Truth is, it is not really a healthy snack.

Nevertheless, many Swiss people cannot imagine Swiss winters without eating Magenbrot at least once. It is simply part of winter. You buy a bag of warm Magenbrot and share it with friends while you walk through the streets or sit on a bench. Magentbrot is best enjoyed in combination with hot punch, tea or hot spiced wine.

Recipe for Magenbrot

In Switzerland, there are many bakeries and even semi-industrial productions of Magenbrot. However, it is fairly easy to make a batch of Magenbrot yourself and just as tasty as the one you buy at the markets, especially if you eat it while still warm. I adapted this Swiss Milk Recipe for Magenbrot for you.

Ingredients:

For the dough:
500g Flour
250g Sugar
2 tbsp Baking powder
2 tbsp Chocolate powder
1 tbsp Gingerbread spice
1 tbsp Powdered cinnamon
1 pinch Salt
150ml Milk
150ml Water
100g Honey (liquid)

For the frosting:
80g Dark chocolate, in pieces
10g Butter
5-6 tbsp Water
1 tbsp Chocolate powder
250g Powdered sugar


Directions:

Dough:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Mix all ingredients up to and including the salt in a bowl.
  3. Heat up the water and milk; do not boil! Add the honey and stir well before pouring into the bowl. Mix everything until smooth.
  4. Pour on baking sheet and smooth it out approx. 1,5 cm thick. Bake in the middle of the oven at 180°C for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Let it cool and then cut it into rectangles of 2x4 cm.

Frosting:

  1. Melt chocolate butter and water in a sauce pan. 
  2. Add chocolate powder and powdered sugar. Stir until smooth.
  3. Put ¼ of the Magenbrot rectangles in a bowl. Add ¼ of frosting. Turn until all Magenbrot pieces are evenly coated with the frosting. Put on baking rack to cool.
  4. Repeat with the rest of the Magenbrot pieces and frosting.




Source:
Swiss Milk Recipe for Magenbrot



© 2011 IRENE WYRSCH "A HUMOROUS GUIDE TO SWITZERLAND" ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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