Kouglof- Guest Post

I’m so excited to share my first guest post on the blog!  Marie and I first met a little over a year ago when she moved from France to the States.  She and I immediately hit it off over our love of cooking.  I’ve been hoping she would do a guest post on the blog for quite sometime after tasting her delicious quiche, and I’m thrilled she chose to share a seasonal French dessert with us! – Shawn

Kouglof is a type of Bundt cake, traditional of the Alsace region in the Eastern part of France, where my great grandparents were from. It is usually enjoyed all year long as a dessert or coffee cake, but over the years it became a typical Christmas-season breakfast treat in my family. As there are a lot of different ways to spell the word (Kouglof is the French spelling, but you can find many spelling variations from Germany, Austria, Czech Republic or Romania), the recipes also are plenty and vary from one country to another, one family to another. The original family version from my great grandmother, which was too dry to my mother’s Parisian tastes, has evolved into a delicious, tasty, moist yet not too much, delicacy.

Legend says that The Three Kings were the creators of the Kouglof. Another says that Queen Marie-Antoinette made it popular in France after she imported it from her native Austria. What is less of a legend, and certainly less interesting, is that my great grandmother was initially the only person who baked the Kouglof in the family. When she passed away, my mom took the lead, and I would often participate in her many trials to get a result that would best fit our own tastes; modifying the proportions, adding or removing ingredients, and replacing the butter by oil. We finally agreed on one recipe, the one that pleases our whole family the most! I sure hope you will like it too.

Kouglof is normally baked in ceramic pans like these. Although many people do not know how to bake Kouglofs in France, a lot of them like to hang up the pans on their walls as part of the decor. I was at first disappointed to notice that the traditional pans I am used to finding in my home country were not easily available in the USA. Though, I have to admit that the different Bundt cake pans I use here are giving the Kouglofs an adorable modern touch.


Kouglof
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 and ½ cups of plain all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of oat flour
  • 80g of yeast (not baking soda!)
  • 3 tbsp of slightly warm milk (but not hot!)
  • 2 tsp of sea salt
  • 2 tsp of sugar
  • ¾ cups of canola oil (or any type of oil that does not have a strong taste)
  • 50g of raisins
  • 50g of sliced almonds
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp of butter for the pan
  • 60ml of water
  • 3tbsp of powder sugar
  • 3tbsp of orange blossom water
Instructions
  1. Place the yeast in the warm milk and mix. It is important that the milk is not cold, but not too hot either so that the yeast can grow.
  2. In a large sealable bowl, throw in the flour, sugar, sea salt, half of the sliced almonds roughly crushed, the raisins, the oil and the yeast. Mix roughly. Add the eggs and mix roughly again. Close the bowl and make sure it is properly sealed. Shake the bowl vigorously until all the ingredients form a ball. Open the box and work the dough with your hands if needed.
  3. Place the dough ball in the center of the bowl, seal the bowl, and leave it for 1 hour 30 minutes in a warm place, ideally between 73° and 77°F. The size of the dough should double.
  4. Work the dough for about a minute, it will downsize a bit. Spread some melted butter on the inside of the Kouglof pan and sprinkle the rest of the shredded almonds at the bottom of it. Roll the dough in length (about 15 inches) and place it in the pan. Leave it there for about 30 minutes so that it rises again.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes at 370°F. When cooked, take out of the oven and remove from the Kouglof pan.
  6. In a pan, put the water and sugar to boil. Remove from heat and add in the orange blossom water. When ready, pour the mix all over the Kouglof.
  7. Kouglof can be kept without any problem up to 4 days wrapped in aluminum foil. You can heat it up in the microwave or in a toaster oven.
  8. Bon appétit !
Notes
Orange blossom water can be found at Whole Foods, or any other natural and organic store. It gives a Maghrebian and Proche-Oriental twist to the cake that reminds me of delicious North African pastries.

 

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