12 September 2015

AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE)

AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE)

For me 'Gugelhupf' is so typically Austrian that I just got home-sick typing the word. Especially 'Mohngugelhupf'. But I guess there is good reason for that: imagine travelling to Austria to visit your sister, also known as 'The Queen of Cakes and Puddings' (and Sweet Dumplings; and Textile! but that's another story...). The house already full with family, you stay in a nearby Bed&Breakfast. To send you on your way, she hands you a rather large bag(?). In the room said bag reveals: an espresso maker, coffee, sugar, cups and saucers, spoons, dessert plates, napkins - and: the most exquisite of all Mini-Mohngugelhupfs - with doily and all! "For early breakfast", she had said, "before coming over". Yes, that's my sister... :-)

AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE)

What a treat! So now imagine daily balcony cake and coffee breakfast with warm summer sunshine, framed by a chain of mountains... Are you following me?

AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE)


AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE)

Turns out, Mohngugelhupf, is the perfect cake for these kinds of 'surprise bag breakfasts'. It is so moist and therefore keeps fresh for a very long time, staying incredibly soft and super delicious. This recipe, yes, it's the one from 'The Queen of Cakes and Puddings', is not only excellent, but has also an advantage: it contains no flour at all, just poppy seeds, nuts, and lots and lots of eggs. Soft, but with a lovely thin crust, and nutty poppy seed pops with every bite - yum. Of course I will never do 'The Queen's' Gugelhupf justice, but I did ask her for the recipe, and it's wonderful, although a little sad... after all it's missing 'The Queen', the house full of family, and the mountains... sigh...

AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE)

'Gugelhupfs' come in many different textures and flavours, one of them being the famous 'Marmorgugelhupf' (Marble Gugelhupf), a marbled version made from white and cacao-flavoured cake batter, but all having one thing in common: they are baked in a 'Gugelhupf' pan. This special pan, first used in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, is generally higher and more hat-shaped than the Bundt pan, the American answer to the Gugelhupf pan, and has normally a similar shape and pattern as the one in the photo below.

AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE)

Having said that, originally Gugelhupf was more to describe the type of cake, rather than the pan it was baked in. According to Wikipedia it was a yeast cake with raisins, with 'Gugel= old German word for 'Kapuze' = hood describing its rounded hood-like shape, and 'hupf' = 'hüpfen' = to jump, a play on words on the yeast rising action, suggesting the cake to 'jump out of the pan' during baking. I guess the pans used must have been similar to today's pan, but not necessarily identical. Nowadays, at least in Austria, basically every cake baked in a Gugelhupf pan is called Gugelhupf, yeast or not - except for the 'Kärntner Reindling', that is still called 'Reindling', but more to that another time. There are lovely vintage Gugelhupf pans out there, made from copper or enamelled pottery, often with beautiful paintings. They lend themselves as lovely wall decorations. Unfortunately I don't own such thing; instead I've recently acquired a silicon Gugelhupf pan to replace my not so vintage, but just old, pan, and this works very well, as getting the cake out of a metal or ceramic pan can be a matter of luck sometimes - well, no more! In any case, make sure to butter the pan well, followed by a generous coating of flour, to prevent the cake from sticking.

AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE)

For some Gugelhupfs, sliced almonds are first sprinkled into the pan for additional crunch before pouring in the cake mix, like for this beautiful birthday 'Grand Gugelhupf' that I once was lucky to have been given in Vienna... yes, more homesickness... Come to think of it, must present this one as a challenge to 'The Queen of Cakes and Puddings' :-)

AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE)

Recipe Source: from Margit, aka 'The Queen of Cakes and Puddings'
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Makes 1 Gugelhupf, app. 16 slices
200g butter, at room temperature
60g icing sugar
8 eggs, at room temperature
180g granulated sugar
300g poppy seeds, finely ground
150g walnuts, ground
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
¼-½ tsp cinnamon
soft butter and flour for the pan
granulated sugar to sprinkle
icing sugar to serve

Also: a Gugelhupf pan, app. 22 cm diameter, 11 cm high - of course you can also use a similar size Bundt pan, but then it's just not a Gugelhupf ;-)


AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE) AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE)

Preheat the oven to 150°C fan (170°C convection). Butter the pan, then dust with flour, inverting the pan over the sink at the end, tapping out any excess flour. Grind the poppy seeds in a coffee grinder, then grind the walnuts. 

AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE) AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE)

Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl once in a while to make sure all dough gets incorporated during mixing.

AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE)

Separate the eggs into two bowls (use a rather large bowl for the egg whites). Add the yolks one at the time to the butter cream, beating thoroughly after each addition to prevent the mixture from curdling.

AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE)

Beat the egg whites until they resemble bath foam, then slowly add the sugar. Keep beating until you have stiff glossy peaks. 

AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE) AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE)

Add ⅓ of the beaten egg white to the butter mix and stir under. Add the remaining ⅔ of the egg white, as well as the ground poppy seeds and nuts, then fold under gently using a spatula, making sure not to stir out too much air.

AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE) AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE)

Pour the mixture into the prepared Gugelhupf pan, then even out the surface with the spatula.

AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE)

Bake on the lowest shelf of the pre-heated oven for 50-70 mins, or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. Remove the Gugelhupf from the oven and sprinkle the top immediately with granulated sugar. Invert onto a plate and leave to cool inside the pan. Serve, sprinkled with icing sugar. Keeps in the refrigerator for several days.

AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE)


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AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF 
(POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE)



AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE)AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE)AUSTRIAN MOHNGUGELHUPF (POPPY SEED BUNDT CAKE)

Makes 1 Gugelhupf, app. 16 slices

200g butter, at room temperature
60g icing sugar
8 eggs, at room temperature
180g granulated sugar
300g poppy seeds, finely ground
150g walnuts, ground
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
¼-½ tsp cinnamon
soft butter and flour for the pan
granulated sugar to sprinkle
icing sugar to serve

Also: a Gugelhupf pan, app. 22 cm diameter, 11 cm high - of course you can also use a similar size Bundt pan, but then it's just not a Gugelhupf ;-)

Preheat the oven to 150°C fan (170°C convection). Butter the pan well, then dust with flour, inverting the pan over the sink at the end, tapping out any excess flour. Grind the poppy seeds in a coffee grinder, then grind the walnuts. Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl once in a while to make sure all dough gets incorporated during mixing. Separate the eggs into two bowls (use a rather large bowl for the egg whites). Add the yolks one at the time to the butter cream, beating thoroughly after each addition to prevent the mixture from curdling. Beat the egg whites until they resemble bath foam, then slowly add the sugar. Keep beating until you have stiff glossy peaks. Add ⅓ of the beaten egg white to the butter mix and stir under. Add the remaining ⅔ of the egg white, as well as the ground poppy seeds and nuts, then fold under gently using a spatula, making sure not to stir out too much air. Pour the mixture into the prepared Gugelhupf pan, then even out the surface with the spatula. Bake on the lowest shelf of the pre-heated oven for 50-70 mins, or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. Remove the Gugelhupf from the oven and sprinkle the top immediately with granulated sugar. Invert onto a plate and leave to cool inside the pan. Serve, sprinkled with icing sugar. Keeps in the refrigerator for several days. 

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