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Kugelhopf with honeyed Muscat pears

This famous yeasted fruit and almond cake from Alsace is eaten at all times of the day. It's very popular in Austria and Germany, too, who both also lay claim to the cake's origins.

You'll need

  Kugelhopf 1 egg 100 ml warm milk 50 gm dried muscatels or raisins 60 ml (¼ cup) kirsch 250 gm plain flour 55 gm (¼ cup) white sugar 1 tsp dried yeast 75 gm unsalted butter, softened 50 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped 14 whole blanched almonds   Honeyed muscat pears 440 gm (2 cups) caster sugar 2 tbsp honey 6 corella pears, halved lengthways 2 cinnamon quills 140 ml Alsatian muscat or similar floral, sweet white wine


  • 01
  • Lightly whisk egg and milk together in a bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine muscatels and kirsch to soak and set aside. Combine flour, sugar, yeast and 1 tsp salt in a food processor and process until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add butter and process for 2 minutes, then add egg mixture and process until well combined. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, adding more flour to stop dough from sticking, if necessary. Transfer to a large bowl and stand in a warm place for 1½ hours or until dough doubles in size. Knead dough again on a lightly floured surface, adding chocolate, muscatels and kirsch, kneading until combined.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly butter and flour a 5 cup-capacity, 16cm-diameter kugelhopf mould (see note), shaking excess flour from mould, and press almonds into grooves of mould. Roll dough out into a log shape, long enough to fit mould, then join ends to form a circle. Carefully place log into mould and press dough down. Cover with a tea towel and stand for about 1 hour or until dough has risen to rim of mould. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown, then turn onto a wire rack to cool.
  • 03
  • For honeyed muscat pears, combine sugar, honey and 2 cups water in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until mixture begins to simmer. Reduce heat to low, add pears, cinnamon and 60ml muscat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until pears are tender and caramelised. Remove from heat and stir in remaining muscat.
  • 04
  • To serve, transfer kugelhopf to a serving plate, place honeyed muscat pears around cake, drizzle some syrup over cake and serve with remaining syrup to the side.
Note A kugelhopf mould is turban-shaped. If unavailable, use a Bundt cake pan.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Vendange tardives (late-harvest) Alsatian riesling.

Featured in

Jul 2007

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