Written by Rae
This past weekend I made a kougelhopf. I wasn’t sure what to expect because it was my first kougelhopf ever. I thought I would try it because I was interested in what it tasted like, and if you know me it looked like a simple enough cake/bread-thing to throw together. It seemed like something right up my alley. If you don’t know, kougelhopf is a pastry that comes from the Alsace region of France – but probably originated in Austria or Germany.
Although I was debating between using the David Lebovitz recipe or the Christophe Felder recipe, I ultimately decided on the Felder recipe because I didn’t want to go to the store to buy milk for the Lebovitz recipe. I already had to go to a different store to buy almonds, so . . . that wasn’t happening!
Kouglehopf is a viennoiserie, so it is made with yeast like a croissant or a brioche, though doesn’t involve nearly as much butter. It’s not a very sweet cake, and also doesn’t have a strong flavor. Next time, I will parfum the kougelhopf more by adding orange, vanilla, or some dried berries or spices to give it more of a kick. For this kougelhopf, I soaked the raisins in some rum and Cointreau, and I dusted the outside with a sugar syrup flavored with rum and a bit of Cointreau, then dusted it with granulated sugar. My kougelhopf was a bit overflowing the pan (reminded me a bit of a dutch pancake), as I wasn’t sure how much the dough would rise. I also had enough dough to make two mini kougelhopfs, which turned out really cute. Next time I might try using kirsch instead for the syrup and for soaking the raisins in.
Despite the overflowing crust, which was one of the best parts after being dusted in sugar, I was pretty pleased with my first kougelhopf. It had a nice bread like texture, and the plum raisins scattered throughout kept their rum flavor. The almonds crusted on top with the sugar glaze, and were a nice sweet treat. However, like I said, next time I will parfum the batter a bit more, just to give it a bit of a kick!