A very popular baked good here in Germany is the so-called „Amerikaner“, which translates into “US-American”. It’s a light white round cake-ish thing covered with one part lemon icing and one part milk chocolate. Wikipedia tells me they are known as “Black and White cookies” or “Half Moons” in the English-speaking world and particularly popular in New York. These sound just as sweet as they are, and back in the day when I still ate gluten I would never ever buy and eat them. Now, that I cannot eat them whenever I want, I have been craving them. They are quite delicious, but still: silly girl!
I went ahead and found some recipes online. I made a few changes, so I’m posting my version here. This recipe makes 12 large Half Moons. After allowing the icing and the chocolate to harden, I wrap the Half Moons in plastic foil and freeze them. They take about five minutes to defrost. So they are great for spontaneous guests over for coffee.
120g butter at room temperature
1 tbsp grated lemon peel
200g gluten-free flour (I used a mix of Schaer Farine and Harina de Reposteria from AdPan)
50g tapioca starch
3 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp gluten-free agents (xanthan gum, arrowroot and carob flour, guar gum)
1 tbsp whipping cream (or milk)
250g milk chocolate
150g powdered sugar
In a bowl, mix the sugar and the butter until blended well. Add the eggs, one by one and proceed to add all the other ingredients until you have obtained a smooth, homogenous mass.
Turn your oven to 200 °C.
Line a baking tin with baking parchment. You can now either form twelve round cakes of equal size and height with the help of a tablespoon. Keep a bowl of water nearby, so that you can dip the tablespoon in water every once in a while so that it doesn’t stick to the dough. You can even out the top of the cake with the help of a knife that you also dip into the water so that it won’t stick to the cakes.
I prefer shaping these with the help of a caking ring and a cake ring lid (which I – yes, you guessed it! – dip in water between cakes).
I suggest not baking more than five cakes per baking tin (meaning you should either use two baking tins for this recipe or bake the cakes in two batches), because these suckers rise upwards and sidewards and will grow into each other (like they did with mine, boo!), ruining their pretty symmetrical appearance. You can also make much tinier Half Moons. That’s actually what I was going for, but I somewhat forgot just how much they grow while in the oven.
Bake the Halfmoons for 15 minutes. Remove Halfmoons from oven and remove from baking parchment. Let cool completely.
Meanwhile, in a water bath, melt the chocolate. In a bowl, mix the lemon juice and the powdered sugar. Once the Halfmoons have cooled down, with the help of a spoon or a knife, decorate the each cake half with the melted chocolate and the lemon icing. Allow the melted chocolate and the lemon icing to harden. This works best in the cold, so placing them on your window sill or outside entirely will speed up the process.
These do not keep well overnight, so I encourage you to either eat them right away or freeze them for later.