Monday, September 26, 2011


This is Dorie Greenspan's recipe for kugelhopf: I made the recipe as written here.

It's technically a kugelhopf made in the wrong pan. This is a rose-shaped bundt pan. A kugelhopf is traditionally supposed to be in a tall swirly turban-like shaped pan.

I found out a few things while planning this cake:

1. A bundt cake in modern parlance is an American term for anything baked in a bundt tin of whatever shape, typically some sort of pound cake or heavy cake in any flavour. You can get bizarro bastardised versions in sour cream and carrot, black forest, pecan caramel, etc.

2. A bundt cake in the traditional sense is a German chocolate-laden thing, still in the fancy shape but with cinnamon-coffee-mocha-type flavouring.

3. A kugelhopf is not a bundt cake. It is like a brioche, but not. It has raisins in it and runs on yeast, not self-raising flour. So it is like a half-bread, half-cake bakery mutant.

I also learned that flour can Do Things I Did Not Know It Could Do. When the dough was first mixed, it was super-sloppy, almost like pancake batter. I was all like "whatever, it's screwed, I put too much milk in it". Then Dorie was all like "beat it in the mixer until the end of time." I was like "whatever Dorie, that's never going to become a cake, or even remotely dough-like. Good luck, lady." But anyway, I did the eternal mixing, and slowly it came together and all the gluten strands stretched and stretched and eventually it was like smooth stretchy chewing gum. No joke. I was amazed. Then it had to rise and be knocked back about six times, then sit overnight, then rise again for hours. By the end of all that I was like "THIS BETTER BE WORTH IT". Anyway, it totally was.

This thing came out of the oven and it was light, richly flavoured (no doubt from maturing and rising and yeasting for so long) and the raisins were soft and juicy, and it was awesome. I also dusted it with cinnamon along with the sugar. It was delicious with coffee.  Perfect for afternoon tea. Or breakfast. Or dessert. Incredible.

My tip: if you use a bundt pan or a rose pan or anything with tons of ridges or moulded detail, butter it real good, butter it again and then lightly flour the tin as well. I hate it when things stick to pans.

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