Hi, I'm Andie.

I live near the Swiss Alps, in Bern, and I love not only melting cheese, but all kinds of Swiss cooking. 

En Guetä!

Schlossbärg Würfel

Schlossbärg Würfel

 
 

The Schlossberg Kugel is a specialty of the Storchen bakery in Bern. They are intense spheres of soft chocolate filling, sandwiched by almond dacquoise, wrapped in marzipan and drenched in chocolate (white, milk, dark, take your pick) and shards of almond. This is no truffel sized confection, these balls are the size of your fist. 

Although I had often seen them piled high into chocolatey pyramids in Storchen's window, I'd never actually tried them until my discerning friend Johanna, a lover of Storchen's chestnut bread, brought me some. 

Wow. 

I wanted to recreated these little chocolate bombs at home, but I wasn't sure how to get them round, so I decided to make them into würfels (cubes) instead of kugels (balls). 

 Storchen's Schlossberg Kugel outside...

Storchen's Schlossberg Kugel outside...

 ...and inside.

...and inside.

The results were a bit different from the originals, these felt more like a pastry than confection, but they still had all the elementscrunchy nuts, soft chocolate filling, marzipan, slathered in *more* chocolate. Heaven. 

I chose hazelnuts instead of almonds because I had some bags leftover from Christmas baking, but almonds would work just as well. 


 

Makes two würfels.

For the base layers:

100 g ground nuts

50 g powdered sugar

5 egg whites

40 g sugar

pinch salt

For the filling:

150 g dark chocolate

100 ml heavy cream

2 tbsp cocoa powder

For the glaze:

150 g dark chocolate

150 ml heavy cream

1 shot Frangelico or other spirit

 

200-300 g marzipan (depending on how thickly it is rolled)

About 60 whole hazelnuts to garnish


To make the nut base:

Whisk together the ground nuts, powdered sugar, and salt.

Prepare your baking trays. Line two baking trays with parchment, then use a small dish, or simply trace 10 cm / 4 inch squares on the paper, four squares per sheet, eight total. 

Preheat your oven to its lowest setting.  

Whip the egg whites. First prepare the bowl and whisk attachment by wiping it out with a little bit of vinegar on a paper towel. This acid will kill any traces of fat and allow the whites to beat up to full volume. 

Add the whites to the bowl and start whisking. After a few minutes, the whites should no longer be clear, but white and a bit fluffy. You can begin to add the sugar, a teaspoon at a time. Then, whip this to stiff peaks. 

Once the whites hold their shape, gently fold in the ground nuts with a spatula. Put this in a piping bag and carefully pipe out squares, following the template, onto the baking sheet. You should get eight squares.  

Bake in oven for 60 minutes, then, without opening the door, turn off the heat and let sit inside for an additional hour. Meanwhile, make the filling. 

To make the filling:

Chop the chocolate finely and put in a medium bowl. 

Bring the cream to a boil over medium high heat. Watch this carefullyit can easily overflow. 

Once it has boiled, pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Leave at least five minutes.

Uncover the bowl and gently whisk until the cream and chocolate come together into a glossy mass. 

Once it has cooled a little, whisk in the cocoa powder. Then cover and put in the fridge until it has thickened, about an hour. 

Assembly:

Prepare your base layers by very carefully peeling off the parchment paper. Don't worry too much if one or two of the layers break, you can use the filling to glue them back together. 

Take out your filling and make sure it is thick but spreadable. If it is too thick, simply warm it slightly by putting it over a pot of boiling water and whisking well. If it is too runny, leave it to cool a bit longer.

Spread six of the base layers with filling, then stack two piles of three layers, and put the remaining two squares on top. That makes two würfels, four layers of base and three layers of filling. 

Now roll out half of the marzipan (using powdered sugar if it's sticky) and drape over the würfel. Cut away any excess and smooth the top. Repeat for the second würfel, then set aside while you make the glaze.

To make the glaze:

Chop the chocolate finely and put in a medium bowl. 

Bring the cream to a boil over medium high heat. Watch this carefullyit can easily overflow. 

Once it has boiled, pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Leave at least five minutes.

Uncover the bowl and gently whisk until the cream and chocolate come together into a glossy mass. Add the shot and whisk well. 

Leave this to cool for a few minutes. 

Set out some parchment or wax paper and place a cooling rack on top. Put the würfels on the cooling rack. 

Give the glaze a whisk and make sure if it is glossy and pourable. If it is too thick, simply warm it slightly by putting it over a pot of boiling water and whisking well. If it's too runny, put it in the fridge for a minute or so.

Pour carefully over the centre of the würfel and use an offset palatte knife or the back of a butter knife to smooth the top and push the glaze over the edge. You can gently spread any additional glaze over any bare spots.

Once the glaze has set, place the whole hazelnuts along the edge, or in whatever pattern you like. 


  • You could replace the hazelnuts, both ground and whole, with almonds. 
  • The nut base can be quite delicate. Be sure that it is fully dried out before removing the parchment paper (timing will vary based on how hot your oven is). 
  • Many of the stages can be made in advance and assembled on the day. The nut base can be wrapped in foil and kept in a dry spot for a couple of days. Both the filling and glaze can be made earlier and then warmed to the correct consistency when needed. 
  • This should be stored in the fridge.
  • Although initially crunchy, the nut layers will become soft and chewy after a day or so. 

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