With German TV pastry Enie van de Meiklokjes you can expect plenty of fun and great baking. In her cookery shows and books this German style icon generates lots of excitement with cupcakes, muffins, quiche and much more. At Ambiente we talked to her about trendy whoopie pies and German-Danish cross-border cake trafficking.
We jokingly asked Enie van de Meiklokjes whether she had asked for dinner services and coffee sets as wedding presents. The presenter of German TV cookery show Sweet & Easy smiled and replied: “No, at my age I’ve already got everything I need for the home and kitchen.” Last year, the 40-year-old tied the knot with Tobias Stærbo in Copenhagen.
While she was preparing pastry in front of an audience at Ambiente, she told us about her new collection of baking products, manufactured by the Kaiser company. Her collaboration with the WMF-owned brand has resulted in a sugar-sweet range of products ranging from muffin pans to spatulas. Everything is in pink and covered with cute polka dots. In short, a style that fits precisely with the 1950s image of Enie van de Meiklokjes. “By the way, that’s not a fascinator, it’s a hat”, she tells us in explanation of the idiosyncratic headwear, which has become her trademark. Complete “coffee tables in miniature” have previously perched jauntily on her head.
“At home I don’t bake very much. But when I do, it’s always without an apron – or a safety net! I’m not someone who sticks to the recipe. I like to cook freestyle. I don’t often use my kitchen scales, I prefer to do it by feel”, reveals Enie van de Meiklokjes. In fact, her kitchen in Denmark, where she now lives with her husband, is a lot smaller and more modest than people might think. “Up until recently I didn’t have a food processor and did everything by hand. That worked OK.”
And talking about Denmark: “Something that you can only get there is ‘Brunsviger’, a classic tray bake with lots of sticky caramel. It’s brilliant! I like to bring some with me when I visit home as many of the ingredients aren’t available in Germany”, she says. In return, she brings German cheesecake back with her to Copenhagen: “It has to be a really luscious one.” Black Forest gateau, though, is something she doesn’t pack. “I’m not a fan. There’s too much schnapps in it, particularly when I bake it”, she laughs. Finally, she introduces us to the mouth-watering prospect of American double-decker “whoopie pies”. These are unfamiliar to us here in Germany. She shows us the baking tray with circular indentations. Are they macaroons? “Almost. Whoopies though are soft and really moist. They could probably become more popular than muffins here.” It’s a sort of sandwich. Light fruit cream or luscious mascarpone cream is spread on one baked half and then the baked “cover” is put on top. These sweet pies have a long tradition in the USA, particularly on the East Coast.
Butter crust, caramel and mascarpone … what’s not to like? We skate over the issue of calories (although every calorie in these pies is worth it) and turn cautiously to the subject of vegan baking. Enie van de Meiklokjes has strong opinions here. “I’d love to be vegan, but for me it’s out of the question. The reason is simple. In vegan cooking you have substitutes for everything apart from whipped egg whites. That’s a real problem in baking. If they find a solution, I might turn vegan.”