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Apple, Raisin and Cinnamon Kugelhopf
A kugelhopf is a traditional cake-come-bread from the Alsace region of north-eastern France, baked in a fluted ring-shaped mould. This recipe produces a cake studded with rum-soaked raisins and fresh apples, flavoured with cinnamon and lemon.
For the cake
- 175g good quality, plump raisins
- 3 tablespoons dark rum
- 1½ teaspoons active dried yeast (not easy-blend)
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 250ml whole milk
- 90g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing
- 75g caster sugar
- 425g plain flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2-3 dessert apples, such as Cox’s, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm dice, to give 225g prepared weight
- Zest of 2 small lemons, finely grated
- 65g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons icing sugar
- Put the raisins into a small pan, add the rum and warm gently over a low heat. Cover and leave to soak for 1 hour, or overnight (reheating the mixture every now and then will encourage the dried fruits to absorb the rum more quickly).
- Whisk the dried yeast and warm water together in a small bowl and leave somewhere warm for 5-10 minutes until frothy on top. If the mixture doesn’t froth, discard and start again with a new packet of yeast.
- Put the milk, butter and sugar into a pan and warm gently over a low heat.
- Sift the flour, salt and cinnamon into the bowl of a stand mixer, make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture. Turn the machine to low and gradually add the warm milky mixture in a slow steady stream. Increase the speed to medium and beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the lemon zest. Beat for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth, elastic and very sticky.
- Add the prepared apples and rum-soaked raisins to the dough and mix briefly until evenly distributed through the mixture.
- Grease the Kugelhopf tin with the remaining butter. Distribute spoonfuls of the mixture evenly into the tin, cover with a sheet of lightly oiled clingfilm and leave somewhere warm to rise for 1½ to 2 hours until the dough has nearly risen to the top of the tin.
- Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/170°C Fan/Gas Mark 5. Carefully peel away the clingfilm and place the tin in the middle of the oven. Bake for 40 minutes, covering loosely with a sheet of foil when it is golden brown on top, until a skewer, inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes away clean.
- Leave the Kugelhopf to cool in the tin for 2 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack set over a paper-lined baking tray.
- Brush the melted butter evenly over the outside of the cake. Dust it all over with the caster sugar and leave until completely cold. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.
- This cake-come-bread is designed to be eaten on the day that it is made, and stales quite quickly. Wrap generously in cling film and store in an air-tight tin, and serve any leftovers toasted and spread with butter and honey.
- Like brioche, this dough is best made using a heavy-duty stand mixer. However you can achieve good results using a large mixing bowl, a wooden spoon, and lots of elbow grease.