For her Easter brunch, our German-born friend Bettina Forget baked a Canadian version of a German sour cream cake often topped with fruits. That specialty cake is called Schmandkuchen. You sandwich the schmand mixture between a layer a cake at the bottom and a fruit topping. It is delicious and not too sweet.
Schmand is the main ingredient of any Schmandkuchen recipes. Schmand is heavier, thicker and more sour in taste than crème fraîche. You mix the schmand with vanilla pudding to make the custard part of the cake. You can substitute shmand with Western sour cream mixed with heavy whipping cream or simply, with crème fraîche. But you have to know that schmand does not melt in the oven, which is different than how crème fraîche reacts in the stove. So you may have to adjust your recipe.
Everybody enjoyed a taste of what is the traditional German Easter cake in Bettina’s family. Her mother used to make her with pickled sour cherries. Abricot and mandarin are also popular. Bettina used fresh berries instead.
April 6th, 2010 Update: Get Bettina’s Schmandkuchen recipe here