Kouglof is one more yeasted cake popular during Christmas holidays. It is famous in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France. It has different names in diferent countries, e.g. Kouglof, Kuglof, Gugelhupf, Guglhupf, Gugelhopf, Bábovka or Babka. Traditionaly it is filled with raisins/ sultanas and almonds (some regional varieties are also filled, often with candied peel, other nuts or a layer of sweetened ground poppy seeds). It is baked in a special circular pan with a central tube. I’ve made minis with raisins and almonds and used Pierre Herme’s recipe. If you don’t have such small moulds on hand, you may use a traditional big Kouglof pan.
The recipe makes 4 mini 4.5″/ 11 - 12 cm kouglofs or 1 large 9 - 10″/ 23 - 25 cm cake.
Recipe adapted from Pierre Herme
- ½ c/ 2.47 oz/ 70 raisins or sultanas
- 1 ¾ t/ 6 g instant dry yeast
- 1 2/3 c/ 5.4 oz/ 160 ml milk 30⁰
- 2 ¼ c/ 10.58 oz/ 300 g all-purpose flour
- ¼ c/ 1.76 oz/ 50 g white sugar
- 2 pcs/ 1.23 oz/ 35 g egg yolks
- 2/3 stick/ 2.47 oz/ 70 g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 t/ 5 g salt
- 2/3 c/ 2.82 oz/ 80 g blanched almonds
- 2/3 c/ 1.76 oz/ 50 g almond flakes
- 2 T vegetable oil, for greasing
- 2 T icing sugar, for dusting
Soar the raisins in boiling water for 15 min. Drain the water, wash the dried fruit thoroughly and pat dry with kitchen towels.
In a measuring cup, combine the yeast with half milk and leave for 10 - 15 min. on the counter, until bubbly.
Put the flour, sugar, egg yolks and remaining milk in a large bowl. Knead to form thick dough.
Add the activated yeast mixture and knead until smooth, 10 - 15 min. Gradually add the butter and all salt, kneading until fully incorporated after each addition. Add the raisins in and knead for a little longer to evenly distribute the fruit. The dough should be soft, shiny and elastic.
Place the dough into a large clean bowl lightly greased with oil. Cover with cling film and leave to proof at room temperature for 1.5 - 2 hrs, until doubled in size.
Get kouglof moulds (4 moulds 4.5″/ 11 - 12 cm or 1 large 9 - 10″/ 23 - 25 cm) ready: grease them lightly with oil. Put one almond kernel into each groove at the bottom of the moulds.
Gently punch down the risen dough. If making 4 mini-kouglofs, divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Shape each part into a disk matching the diameter of the moulds. Make a hole in the middle. Press the flaked almonds to the bottom of each disk.
If making 1 large Kouglof, follow the sequence without dividing dough. Place the dough disks into prepared moulds pressing it in to fill all the edges.
Cover the moulds with cling film and leave to proof at room temperature for 1.5 - 2 hrs, until visually puffed up.
Preheat the oven to 355ºF/ 180ºC.
Bake in the hot oven for 20 - 30 minutes or until golden brown and done.
Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar before serving.