Kouglof with a Ginger Bread Crème Anglaise

Kouglof1_lefermier_221115This recipe comes from Alsace. This region, in north-East of France, is famous for their architecture like the Palais Rohan, but also for their cuisine, which incorporates some Germanic traditions being that the town borders Germany.

Their culinary specialties include Cervelas, Tarte flambée, Choucroute (Sauerkraut) and Baeckeoffe, a mutton, beef and pork stew. They have one of the richest cuisines in France and are well know for serving big portions.

The recipe I am sharing with you today is called a Kouglof, a cake containing yeast, raisins, rum, & almonds. It has a distinctive shape because of the special mold it is cooked in, and you’ll find variations of this delicious cake in Germany and Austria. Once cooked, the Kouglof is soaked in a delicious vanilla and rum flavoured syrup that makes this dessert even more irresistible. To add a festive twist to this traditional recipe, I have chosen to pair it with a ginger bread crème anglaise.

If you are looking for a wine to match this delicious dessert, I highly recommend a Domaine Bertrand-Bergé Rivesaltes Ambré from www.airoldifinewines.com.au

Kouglof with a Ginger Bread Crème Anglaise:

For The Kouglof:

Ingredients:

  • 400g bakers flour
  • 35 fresh yeast
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 150g free range eggs
  • 50g milk
  • 150 salted butter
  • 5g salt

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Method:

  1. Warm up the milk and dilute the yeast into it.
  2. In an electric mixer, like a Kitchen Aid for example and equipped with the hook attachment, place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl and mix for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the yeast mixture, while mixing on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time and whisk on high speed until the dough detach itself from the sides.
  4. Slowly add the soft butter and mix until it is all incorporated, cover with cling film and place the bowl in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.
  5. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius and line the mold with soft butter and place an almond in each of the small holes of the mold.
  6. Mix the dough with the hook attachment on medium speed and add the raisins, mix until well combined.
  7. Place the dough in the mold to about ¾ , leave to proof until it has reached the top. Brush the top with an egg yolk and bake for 25-30 minutes depending on your oven.
  8. Unmould the Kouglof and soak it, using a pastry brush, with the syrup.

Kouglof4_lefermier_221115For the syrup:

Ingredients:

  • 1L water
  • rum
  • 1 orange zest
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 50ml dark rum
  • 1 vanilla pod, split
  • 500ml water
  • 100 g raisin

Kouglof5_lefermier_221115Method:

  1. Warm up 1 liter of water then add the rum, place the raisins or currants in the liquid for 30 minutes then strain. This process will avoid that the raisins fall at the bottom of the mold while cooking.
  2. Bring 500ml of water, orange zest, lemon zest and vanilla to the boil, then turn the heat of and add the rum.

For the Crème Anglaise:

Ingredients:

  • 500ml full fat milk
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 4 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon 5 spice

Method:

  1. Bring the milk and spices to the boil.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar together. Pour the hot milk over the top and whisk until all the ingredients are dissolved.
  3. Pour the mix back in the pot and cook on medium heat using a spatula to stir. Once the thin layer of foam at the top disappear, check the cream by lifting the spatula out and drawing a line with your finger, if the line remains it means that the anglaise is ready.
  4. Pour the crème anglaise in a clean bowl and refrigerate.

 

Back to Basics: Choux Pastry

Back to Basics: Choux Pastry

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As we know them today, Choux pastry was created by a pâtissier named Avice in the 18th century. They were named as such because they looked like little cabbages and the French word for cabbage is “choux”. The original recipe though is thought to have been created in the mid-sixteenth century by an Italian chef in the service of Catherine de Medici.

Choux pastry is one of the quintessential French recipes. The pastry itself is quite easy to make but it’s what you do with it that contains the ‘WOW’ factor. The show-stopping French wedding cake, the Croquembouche, is a tower made of choux pastries, covered with caramel and spun sugar. Profiteroles, éclairs and churros all use the same basic choux recipe and as well as gougères, which are a savoury option, filled with cheese.

For something simpler, why not try filling them with my delicious orange and vanilla crème pâtissière and coating them in a crunchy caramel topping. They will make the perfect dessert to share with friends or family after a delicious meal or to entertain guests at an afternoon tea party!

To watch the how to video on my YouTube channel, click Here

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Makes approx. 36 Choux

Ingredients:

  • 500ml water
  • 200g Butter (unsalted), diced
  • 300g Plain Flour
  • 8 Eggs

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Method:

  1. Bring the water and butter to the boil.
  2. Once the butter is completely melted, reduce the heat to medium, add the flour and stir well with a wooden spoon.
  3. Cook the dough for a few minutes to dry it a little bit, this process take should take about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Transfer the dough into an electric mixer bowl and mix on medium speed with the paddle attachment to cool it down. The dough should just warm before you add the eggs.
  5. Start adding the eggs one at a time while mixing.
  6. Once the eggs are all mixed through, transfer the mix into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.
  7. Line a couple of flat baking tray with greaseproof paper and pipe 2cm circle on the tray, make sure you leave about 1cm between each choux.
  8. Bake at 200 degrees for 20-25 minutes, the choux should sound hollow and feel a little hard when you press them between your fingers.
  9. Once cooked place them on a cooling rack and leave to cool.

Crème Patissière (French Custard)

Ingredients:

  • 40g Plain flour
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 500ml Full Fat milk
  • 4 free range egg yolks
  • 2 vanilla pods, seeds out
  • 2 orange zest
  • 20ml cointreau

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Method:

  1. Bring the milk, orange zest, Cointreau and vanilla pods to the boil.
  2. In the meantime, whisk the yolks, sugar and vanilla seeds together. Then add the flour and whisk until combined.
  3. Pour the milk over the egg mixture and whisk well until everything is mixed through.
  4. Return the pot to the stove and cook on medium heat while whisking until it thickens up. Once it starts boiling cook it for about 3 minutes more.
  5. Pour the crème patissière into a bowl, place a layer of glad wrap directly on top of it and leave to cool completely in the fridge.

Caramel:

Ingredients:

  • 125g caster sugar
  • 15cl water
  • 100g pearl or hail sugar (for the finishing)

Method:

  1. Mix the water and sugar together in small saucepan and cook the sugar until it becomes golden brown, and then take it off the heat.

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Finishing the choux:

  • Make a small hole in the bottom of each choux using the end a pen.
  • Pipe the custard in the choux using a piping bag fitted with a nozzle.
  • Dip the top of the choux in the caramel and the Pearl sugar.