This is a traditional cake from north-eastern France; you find similar cakes in Germany, Austria and eastern Europe (the names vary slightly: Kugelhopf, Gugelhupf ). You will need an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook for this recipe as the dough is too soft to knead by hand.



1.Combine raisins, kirsch and rind in a small bowl.
2.Grease a 24cm (9½-inch) (top measurement) kouglof pan well. Place almond kernels in the grooves of the pan; refrigerate pan.
3.Sift flour and salt into a large bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook attached; add caster sugar, yeast, milk and eggs. Knead on a low speed about 1 minute or until mixture forms a soft dough. Add butter. Increase speed to medium; knead about 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Add raisin mixture and slivered almonds; knead until combined. Cover bowl; stand in a warm place about 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size.
4.Punch down dough; knead with electric mixer 1 minute. Gently push dough into pan, to avoid disturbing the nuts. Cover; stand in a warm place about 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size.
5.Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
6.Bake kouglof about 40 minutes. Stand in pan 5 minutes, before turning onto a wire rack to cool. Serve dusted with sifted icing sugar.

This cake is traditionally baked in a circular pan with a central tube made of enamelled pottery but you can easily find metal pans in cooking stores. SERVING SUGGESTION: Serve warm with whipped cream. It keeps well and is delicious the following day thickly sliced, toasted and spread with butter and jam. This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week.


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