“Let’s just say you may regret that second piece of cake.’Oh my God. Regret cake? Whatever was about to happen must be truly evil.” Rachel Hawkins
As a part of her Austrian heritage, my maternal grandmother has left me a gorgeous earthenware Kugelhopf tin. Kugelhopf is said to have originated in Austria and was made popular in France by Marie-Antoinette for its royal look. Another belief makes reference to the Three Kings who traveled through the village of Ribeauvillé in France and as a way of expressing thanks for the generous hospitality they received, the Kings baked a crown cake and presented it to their benefactor; a village baker called ‘Monsieur Kugel’. Another tale states that when the Turks were defeated at the gates of Vienna in 1683, in honour of the victory the Viennese bakers made a victory cake resembling a Turks’ turban.
The original earthenware Kugelhopf moulds, traditionally made by village potters can be glazed and unglazed, plain and decorated. The shape and material of the traditional moulds help the heat transferring through the middle of the cake during the baking process, which will result in an even bake of the soft batter. This is the most likely reason for the invention of the shape.
120 g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
150 g caster sugar
1 tsp rum
1,5 tsp baking powder
120 g plain flour
50 g ground nuts
2 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp cocoa powder mixed with 2 tbsp hot water to make a paste
100 g icing sugar, to dust
Heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Thoroughly brush a Kugelhopf tin with melted butter. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Stir in the rum. Mix together the baking powder, flour and ground nuts. Beat in one egg at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour mixture in between. Repeat until all eggs have been added, then fold in the remaining flour mixture and stir in the milk. Spoon half of the cake batter into a separate bowl and mix in the cocoa paste. Add spoonfuls of each of the batters alternately to the tin and drag the handle of a teaspoon through the mixture to create a marbled effect.
Bake for around 30 minutes and then test the cake to see if a skewer inserted into the deepest part comes out clean. The cake can take 30 – 50 mins, depending on the proportions of the mould. Let the cake cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Once cooled, make runny icing with a little water and the icing sugar, and cover the top of the cake.
“Love is like a good cake; you never know when it’s coming, but you’d better eat it when it does!” C. JoyBell C.