The Christmas Challenge Part Deux – KugelHopf My Way

The last couple of weeks have been challenging, lots of travelling and fighting a virus which is not very pleasant, and particularly hideous when its your birthday. I had planned another baking session but did not feel up to it, so postponed the event for a week hoping the virus would have started to clear. I had already starting preparing by putting Raisins and Kirsch In a bowl and covered with cling film, which would macerate for 1 week in the fridge to seriously plump up! So back to the Christmas challenge and another recipe, this time modelled on the ‘Alsacian Kugelhopf‘, an enriched cake made with yeast and butter, and in my case a number of spices and fruits.  I have recently acquired a ‘Bundt’ baking tin, a round tin with a hole in the centre and fluted edges, and intended to put it to good use with this recipe. You can see it in the picture below, with most of the ingredients.

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The process to make this recipe is quite long, you will ideally need to prove the dough mixture 3 times so allow plenty of time, the 1st proving stage can take 2 – 3 hours, with the 2nd and 3rd another 1 1/2 – 2 hours each. For this recipe you will need the following ingredients:

  • 3 Cups Plain Flour
  • 120 Grams Butter
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Warm Water
  • 1/2 Cup Warm Full Fat Milk
  • I Sachet Dried Fast Acting Yeast (7 Grams)
  • 1/2 Cup Castor Sugar (preferably Vanilla infused)
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla EXTRACT
  • 3/4 Cup Raisins (Preferable Soaked for a week in 1/4 Cup of Kirsch)
  • 1 Teaspoon Maldon Sea Salt
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • Zest of 1 Lime
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • 75 Grams mixed Peel (Orange & Lemon)
  • 2 Cloves ground in pestle & mortar
  • 1/2  heaped Tsp Ginger
  • 1/2 heaped Tsp Ground Allspice
  • 1/4 Grated Fresh Nutmeg
  • 30 Grams chopped Hazelnuts
  • 30 Grams flaked Almonds

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Firstly, put the Milk and Water into a jug, add the Yeast and stir. Leave in a warm place for 10-15 minutes until a froth starts to develop on the surface.

Put the Butter, Orange, Lemon, Lime Zest, and Sugar in the bowl of a Kenwood Chef with the Dough Hook attached and mix on a medium speed until pale in colour. It takes between 5 & 10 minutes depending on how cold the butter is.

Now add the Eggs, Vanilla and Yeast mixture and mix thoroughly, then add about half the flour, with the Kenwood set to medium speed. Don’t forget to add the ground Cloves, Ginger, Ground Nutmeg and Ground Allspice at this stage.

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It should resemble something like above at this stage, once combined, wipe the side of the bowl down with a spatula and add the rest of the flour, and thoroughly mix for a good 10 minutes, you should end up with a soft sticky dough like the picture below.

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Now the mixture needs to be left in a warm place covered, until doubled in size, this takes 2 – 3 hours. I put mine by the fire to help the process along.

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After the 1st rise, your should end up with silky smooth mixture that looks like the picture above. You can just see flecks of zest dotted about. The next stage is to ‘knock back’ the mixture to get rid of some of the air, I used a spatula to assist with the process. The mixture will deflate and look like the next picture.

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Now repeat the process, covering the mixture with a tea towel and again, the rise should double in size just like before.

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Whilst the rising is happening, heavily butter the Bundt Pan, and sprinkle with the flaked Almonds, once the 2nd rise has completed, you need to knock back the mixture and add the Hazelnuts and Fruits making sure they are evenly distributed.

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The Mixture needs covering again, and left in a warm place to rise for the 3rd time.  It should look like the picture above.

When  its done, it should be close to the surface of the tin. You need to bake the Kugelhopf for approximately 35 Minutes at 160 deg (Fan Oven), or 180 deg (Convection Oven). After 15 Minutes cover the top with some tin foil to prevent it from browning too quickly, a side effect of the quantity of butter in the mixture.

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When its cooked, leave to rest for 5 – 10 minutes, it should ease away from the sides of the tin, then release from the mould and allow to cool on a wire rack. You can see the effect of putting the flaked Almonds on the tin before adding the mixture in the picture above.

You can decorate the Kugelhopf with plain icing sugar, or make a icing drizzle by adding Icing Sugar to Orange or Lemon Juice, depending on your preferences.

You can find out what it tastes like by having a go at making one yourself, Now I have tested the recipe I will be making another one for my colleagues at work later this week, I hope they enjoy it As I much as I enjoyed creating my own version of this spectacular cake.

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