ALSATIAN YEAST CAKE
This cake is eaten as an accompaniment to coffee, often at breakfast. It does not keep well and should be eaten within a day or two. For that reason I’m going to use it tomorrow for making French toast with syrup and bacon or a bread and butter pudding… or both as it’s a large sweet yeast cake.
75 g raisins (I used half currents half dried mixed citrus peel soaked in 100 ml Amarula Gold liqueur)
10 g dry instant yeast
250 ml warm milk
100 g sugar
500 g cake flour
2,5 ml salt
2 eggs beaten
200 g butter softened
60 g chopped almonds
icing sugar for dusting
Soak the fruit in the liqueur for at least an hour. Blend the yeast with half of the warm milk, 5 ml of the sugar and just enough flour to give a thin cream consistency when mixed. Leave in a warm place for 20 minutes or until frothy. I used a 1 liter measuring cup which was just big enough once the yeast and sugar starts activating with the warm milk (see photo).
Sift remaining flour and salt into a bowl, stir in the rest of the sugar. Beat in the eggs and the rest of the milk. Knead in the softened butter and continue to work the dough until it comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl. Add the yeast mixture, beat for a few minutes then cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place for 1 hour or until well risen.
Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface and incorporate the fruit and nuts. Press the dough into a well buttered kügelhopf mould or a 30 cm ring mould. It should only half fill the mould. Cover and leave in warm place for 2 hours or until risen almost to the top of the tin.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 15 min then turn down to 160°C and bake a further 30 min or until tested and done. If the top We are to be browning too quickly during baking, cover with foil.
Leave in the mould for 15 min before turning out. Dust liberally with icing sugar when cool.
Photo: Elsabie Templeton