Where does the German word “Keks” come from?

“Keks” was in fact derived from the English term “cakes”. When the German manufacturer Herrmann Bahlsen brought the idea of ready-made cakes and biscuits to Germany in 1911, Germany had no fitting term for this type of bakery ware. The summarily Germanised term was later officially adopted by the German Duden (a dictionary of the German language first published by Konrad Duden in 1880).


How is chocolate added to the biscuit?

When chocolate-coated biscuits are being made, the raw biscuits are first baked and then transferred via band conveyor to a coating machine where they travel along a wire mesh band and are coated with liquid chocolate. If the underside of the biscuit is also to be covered with chocolate, a roller transports the chocolate up to the wire mesh band to additionally coat the underside of the biscuit. The chocolate biscuits are then cooled to harden the coating.


How are waffles made?

Waffles are made in a different way to biscuits or cake. Instead of dough, one needs a paste, and different machines and production methods. From a distance, a modern waffle baking machine looks a bit like a giant paddle-wheel mill. Nozzles inject the waffle paste onto a hot waffle iron, a second iron claps down on top of the first (adopting the principle of old waffle irons from an earlier age) and the paste is then baked. The waffle irons eject the finished waffles after an exactly set time. When filled waffles are being made, every second waffle wafer is automatically transported to a higher band conveyor, parallel to a band running underneath. Once the wafers have sufficiently cooled, the respective filling is applied to the lower wafers and then covered by the upper wafers. These are then cooled to solidify the filling. In a final step, the finished wafer sandwich passes through a waffle cutter, which cuts the waffle into the respectively programmed size. Then it is off to the packaging machine.


Where does the word “zwieback” come from?

The term “zwieback” comes from the manufacturing procedure in which the product is baked twice (“zwie”, meaning “twice”, derives from “zwei”, meaning “two”). The product first goes through a normal baking procedure (called “Einback”, meaning “single bake”), followed by a cutting and roasting procedure which removes the majority of any remaining moisture and gives the product its characteristic fresh-roasted smell and flavour. The residual moisture content is around 2?6%, turning zwieback into a long-life product with a typical crispy texture.


With sandwich biscuits, how is the top placed on the filling?

Sandwich biscuits come in various forms, round or oval, filled with nougat cream or cocoa cream, or with some other filling. But how are they made? When the biscuits leave the conveyor oven, having been cut and baked, they initially pass over a cooling section to reach room temperature. They then travel on a band conveyor under a dispensing tank which automatically dozes the filling mass onto the biscuits. However, these “dabs of filling” are only applied to every second biscuit or, depending on the production line, every second row of biscuits. The band conveyor runs on and reaches the “lid station”. This is where each biscuit with a dab of filling is automatically topped with the empty neighbouring biscuit. Then on it goes to the packaging machine.


When did Lebkuchen (gingerbread) first originate?

The origins of such fine bakery wares can be traced back to Egypt and Greece. The skill in making such delicacies reached Rome sometime between the second and fourth century A.D. As Christianity spread throughout the world, it was particularly monasteries which adopted the skill of producing fine bakery wares the Roman way. Gingerbread and honey cake were particular popular. At some time the idea of spreading the gingerbread mass onto wafers was born. As of the 10th century, these gingerbread wafer biscuits were produced by monastery bakeries in great volumes.


Where does Spekulatius come from and how did it get its name?

Spekulatius (speculoo) is believed to have originated from the Rhineland and the Netherlands. It owes its name to Saint Nicholas who bore the (Latin) nickname “speculator” = bishop. The biscuit was originally baked on 6 December, in honour of the said bishop. Today Spekulatius biscuits still typically bear pictures recounting the story of Saint Nicholas and are a typical specialty of the Christmas season.