29 August 2018

The Emperor's Gugelhupf


Sometimes I think that I take my love for the characters in my books a little too far. A couple of days ago I had such a craving for Gugelhupf (a yeast-based Bundt cake, which often contains raisins) that I decided to bake an Emperor's Gugelhupf just like my grandmother used to make. 

Her recipe is based on the one from the famous pastry shop Zauner in Bad Ischl, and is said to be the same Gugelhupf recipe that Katharina Schratt served Emperor Franz Joseph for his second breakfast, whenever he visited his 'dear friend'. The residents of Bad Ischl used to say:  “The Emperor just had his daily slice of Gugelhupf!” after Franz Joseph left the villa of his mistress. 

Whether this story is true or not and whether it actually is the original Gugelhupf recipe - who knows!? But who doesn't appreciate a good story? And ultimately, it doesn't matter. I just love this recipe! The Guglehupf is so moist and fluffy, with just the right amount of sweetness. It is the perfect weekend brunch treat or can be enjoyed any time. 

Emperor's Gugelhupf

Ingredients

180 ml milk
2 tsp active dry yeast
350 g flour
100 g unsalted butter
120 g sugar
4 egg yolks
1 pinch salt
Lemon zest of half a lemon
1 tbsp of cinnamon
100 g raisins
1 handful of sliced almonds (optional)
1 tbsp of unsalted melted butter
powdered sugar

Instructions

- Heat milk in a small saucepan until lukewarm.
- Pour the lukewarm into a bowl, add yeast and stir until it dissolves. Add 1/3 of the flour to the yeast mixture and mix well. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rest in a warm place. 
- In the meantime, whisk butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg yolks and whisk for an additional minute.
- Then add a pinch of salt, lemon zest, and the remaining flour to the mixture. Knead the dough until it is smooth. If the dough is still sticky add a bit more flour.
- Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.
- Butter and flour your Gugelhupf pan, and sprinkle the bottom of the cake pan with the almond slices.
- Take the rested dough out of the bowl and knead it on a well-floured surface. 
- Roll the dough into a square, approx. 2 cm thick. Sprinkle it with the raisins and cinnamon. Roll the dough square up and place the dough roll into the cake pan.
- Brush the surface of the cake with melted butter. Cover the pan with a kitchen towel, and let it rest for about an hour or until the dough has risen to the edge of the cake pan.
- Preheat the oven to 355 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bake Gugelhupf for 20 to 25 minutes. After the first 10 minutes of baking time, check your cake. If the top has already turned golden brown, cover it with aluminum foil.
- Let the cake cool for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.

Notes: Gugelhupf tastes best while it's still warm. I recommend eating it with a bit of butter and a dollop of strawberry jam. If you don't own a Gugelhupf pan, there's no need to go out and purchase an expensive one. Just use a regular Bundt cake pan.



Piper is the author of several non-fiction books, and recently added two historical fiction novels to her ever-expanding collection of published writings, In the Shadow of Her Majesty and The Country Girl Empress. When she isn't busy typing away on her computer, she can be found chasing after her furry children or holding on tightly to a good cup of coffee. Follow her on LinkedInFacebookGoodreads and Google+.

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