Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Pistachio Gugelhupf (Pistaziengugelhupf)

Sorry for the photo"s poor quality - I was slobbering so much
that I couldn't stay focused. But please admire how very well you can see
the flowers in the background ;-))

This weekend, Paris was sun-flooded. And icy. In the warmth of my central-heated flat, I suddenly felt the strong urge to bake a nice Austrian cake. If you need that warm and cosy feeling, I told myself, prepare yourself a high-fat / high-sugar / high-calorie-recipe. Now, almost any cake from my home country will do the trick. Still, I couldn’t make up my mind. So, I flicked through my Treasure Bible with all those delicious Austrian pastry recipes. And I found something that immediately said “Bake Me! Now!”: a Pistachio Gugelhupf. I love pistachios; my choice was made.

A typical Gugelhupf cake tin (and a
very beautiful with that!),
photo found on
http://rocknrecipes-rocknquilts.blogspot.com

For your information, the word Gugelhupf has been coined in the Southern German-speaking regions. It comes apparently from the Latin word “cuculla” (hood) and the word “hopf” (which meant “Hefe” in Old German; it’s yeast in English). Traditionally, a Gugelhupf was thus a cake made of yeast dough (flour, eggs, milk, butter, almonds, yeast), sometimes with raisins. It was prepared in a wreath-shaped, high cake tin with a chimney-like hole in the middle: the so-called Gugelhupf Cake Tin. Today, any cake you bake in such a tin is a Gugelhupf, even without yeast. Like mine. The recipe I found seems to have replaced almonds and yeast by… butter! There’s more butter in it than I would use in a whole month. But, wow, the cake is sooooo fabulous (and wouldn’t it be, with me being the baker?)!

What you need: 
  • 250 g of butter (no typo!)
  • 80 g of powdered sugar 
  • Half a pack of vanilla sugar 
  • 50 g of marzipan 
  • Some lemon zest 
  • A pinch of salt 
  • 7 eggs 
  • 350 g of flour 
  • 125 ml of milk 
  • 180 g of sugar (you didn’t think you’d get away with only those 80 g of sugar mentionned above? Hey, I said Austrian recipe, okay?)
  • A pinch of baking powder 
  • 100 g of ground pistachios 
  • For the chocolate glaze: 200 g of black chocolate, 125 ml of cream 
How to proceed: 
  • Stir butter (yes, Ma’am, all of it!), your 80 g of powdered sugar, vanilla sugar, marzipan, lemon zest and salt until creamy. My food processor had some difficulties stirring so much butter, which is why I suggest you do it the classical way, with a hand mixer (alright, you do as you please; I will use my hand mixer next time!). 
  • Add egg yolks, 4 spoonfuls of flour and milk; stir again until creamy. 
  • Beat the egg whites and the 180 g of sugar until stiff. “Not too stiff-stiff”, says the recipe –you read that, you mumble to yourself “What the buggery f… does that mean?” Anyway, with that much sugar, my beaten egg whites didn’t exceed a certain not-too-stiff state of stiffness. Or was it because clumsy me made the tiniest drop of yolk drop into the whites? Anyone come up with a better guess? Tammy perhaps, my Baking Queen? Or Catherine? Pardon, what did you say? Ah… “Achoo!” Well, thanks anyway, Catherine. You’d better go back to bed now, sweetie. 
  • Stir in your beaten egg whites with the rest. 
  • Finally, stir in the flour (mixed with the baking powder) and the ground pistachios. 
  • Bake your cake in a Gugelhupf cake tin at 170°C, approx. 50 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. 
  • Let the cake cool down. 
  • Prepare the chocolate glaze: heat cream, throw in chocolate and let it melt and mingle without ever stopping to stir. 
  • Pour over your cake and let cool down. 
I didn’t find a Gugelhupf cake tin in my local supermarket, so I had to use two smaller tins. I kept one cake for ourselves and shared the other with my colleagues. You want to know if the cake is worth the trouble of spending all this time in your kitchen? Suffice it to say that the cake I brought to work didn’t survive very long ;-) 
Bon appétit, sweeties, make yourself a nice cup of coffee and enjoy it with the cake! 

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