What do you bring back home from holiday? I am this kind of person that always goes to local supermarkets. I love shopping for groceries in new places. Discovering all the spices, condiments, comparing mayos. Now, in Austria we have Mozart Kugel. There is an abundance of other things, but these little chocolate balls filled with pistachio marzipan and nougat seem to be an absolute must for each and every person that comes to visit. Okay, my dad prefers Debreziner. I guess it runs in the family.
Mozart kugel, Mozart bonbon or Mozart balls if we want to stick to English were first made in Austria in 1890 by a confectioner Paul Fürst. He wanted to pay his respects to Wolfgang Mozart who also came from Salzburg. Unfortunately Mr Fürst must have been so high on chocolate that he forgot to register the trademark. In effect cafes and chocolatiers all around Austria were serving their own versions.
Typically for Austria, conflict about who has the right to call dibs on Mozart Kugel name dragged and dragged over the years. In the end Cafe Konditorei Fürst uses the trademark “Original Salzburger Mozartkugel” and their Mozart Balls are still made by hand which is to guarantee a perfect perfectly roundness. Mirabell for example are machine made.
What is a Mozartbonbon?
You start with forming a small bowl out of pistachio marzipan. This is covered with nougat. The ball is then put on a wooden stick and covered with dark chocolate by pouring the chocolate on the ball. After this bath the ball is left to cool and harden.
Even the biggest box of Mozart balls comes to an end at certain point. If you feel like recreating the experience while still claiming it is a breakfast thing, you are going to be pleased with this recipe. This time typical Austrian thing marries an Englishman – a good old scone. Funny thing – scones were actually chosen to represent Ireland for Cafe Europe during Austrian Presidency of the European Union in 2006. United Kingdom chose shortbread if you‘re curious.
Another great thing – the shorter it takes from start to oven, the better. Butter can or rather should stay cold, ingredients do not have to be perfectly combined. Once you get a hang of it it takes 15 minutes to make. Then you can grab a shower while it is in the oven and when you are all fresh your scone loaf is ready.
The original recipe comes from Molly Yeh whom I adore dearly. Slight modifications are all mine.
- 120 grams marzipan, cut into small dice
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 75 grams dark chocolate chips
- 30 grams pistachios, chopped roughly
- 250 grams flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- 170 grams cold butter, cut into small cubes
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2-3 drops of bitter almond aroma
- Heat oven to 200°C. Line your loaf pan with parchment paper. Leave out wings that will hang over the edges, preferably on the long sides.
- In a large bowl, toss marzipan with powdered sugar to coat. Add the chocolate chips, pistachios and set aside.
- If you have a food processor combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Add the butter cubes and mix until the butter is the size of peas. Add to the bowl with the marzipan. If you don‘t have a food processor this is still completely fine. Just cut butter in quickly with a knife and then your hands. Be swift so the dough does not get too warm. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with buttermilk and aroma. Add to the dry ingredients. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir until just combined. You do not want to over-mix.
- Transfer the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and spread out evenly. Sprinkle the top with 1 tablespoon sugar. Transfer to the oven and bake until deep golden brown on top and firm when you poke it with your finger. Begin checking after 40 minutes.
- Definitely allow to cool down before cutting. It might seem a bit too moist but it will set nicely when completely cool.