On this first occasion, I have chosen Alsace’s most renowned pastry - the Kougelhopf which we enjoy during an aperitif. As a wine match, I suggest either the Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Eichberg 2012 or the Crémant d’Alsace Brut.
- For a medium sized Kougelhopf, use a mould of a size intended for six people. You will need 500 g of flour, 100 g of granulated sugar, a pinch of salt, 100 g of butter and 50 g butter for the Kougelhopf mould, 1 egg, ¼ litre of mile milk, 25 g baker’s yeast, 100 g golden raisins, 12 whole blanched almonds, a small glass of Kirsch spirit (optional).
- In a bowl, mix the flour, the salt and the sugar.
- In another bowl, macerate the golden raisins in Kirsch (cherry) spirit (optional).
- Gently heat the quarter litre of milk in a saucepan until it becomes warm. Put the baker’s yeast in a bowl with ten tablespoons of warm milk and one tablespoon of sugar. Soften the yeast and leave to rise for an hour. Cut the remaining butter into pieces and put into the remaining milk so that it melts.
- Butter the Kougelhopf mould. Put an almond in each depression in the base of the mould.
- Add the milk and the melted butter in the bowl containing the mixture of flour, salt and sugar. Mix well and add the yeast. Mix well and add the egg. Mix well once again and add the golden raisins. Mix well again and beat until dough is smooth and elastic (you will need to beat approximately 100 times).
- Put the Kougelhopf dough in the mould (the mould must be between half to three-quarters full) and let dough rise for about 3 hours.
- For the cooking: Preheat the oven for 10 minutes to 215 °C. Bake the Kougelhopf in the oven for 35 minutes (do not open the oven during the 10 first minutes). If the cake starts to be too brown, cover the Kougelhopf with aluminium foil. When the baking is done, take the cake out of the oven and wait for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn the cake mould upside down onto a rack.
- Leave to cool down