Today’s post is a tad more medical; I could not let this recent news simply slip away without informing you. Rumour has it that polio (poliomyelitis – a highly contagious potentially permanently paralysing virus transmitted through contaminated food/water) is making a comeback after having been almost eradicated for the past 25 years (with a 99% decrease in case numbers since 1988). Prevention through surveillance and multiple vaccinations (live oral polio vaccine or inactivated poliovirus vaccine) are the only way to fight this virus, as no cure is available, and has proven to be successful in eradicating the disease until recently. With newly reported infections in 10 countries (previously only Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan were classified as endemic), the WHO declared it a public health emergency earlier this week. So, I urge you to check your vaccinations and those of your children (or children in your surroundings)!!!, especially if you are travelling to a known polio-infected country – inform yourself and update your vaccinations as soon as possible, not only for your own protection but also in aid of the global eradication efforts!
Anyways… moving from the serious medical world to the world of baking: I present you with yet another cake baked for the March birthday celebrations. This is also an old family recipe created by none other than Martha, my previously mentioned grandmothers former housekeeper. It is a traditional yeast Gugelhupf with raisins. As a child I used to always pick the raisins out before indulging in this cake…. I could hit myself for that, a Gugelhupf without raisins is only half as good. So if you don’t like raisins in cake, don’t even try baking this one. And the rumour of these yeast cakes being dry is a lie, if you have only had dry Gugelhupf so far, your choice of bakery must be revised ;-).
200g caster sugar
250g butter, softened
a pinch of salt
30g fresh yeast
2.5 dl milk, warm
1 pack of chopped almonds
Icing sugar to dust
- On the evening before baking, dissolve the yeast in 2.5 dl warm milk. Add 250g flour and mix until you have a smooth dough. Cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place to rise over night.
- In the morning, add your eggs, butter, salt, sugar and raisins to the yeast mixture. Once incorporated well add the remaining flour and mix well. Knock the bowl with your mixture until it begins to create large bubbles (you’re probably confused by this, but hit it really hard on your counter or floor, bubbles actually form after a while).
- Grease your Gugelhupf cake tin with a generous amount of butter and line with the chopped almonds. Fill it evenly with your dough. Cover with a tea towel and let it rise until the dough fills the whole tin (might take 2 hours).
- Preheat your oven to 200 °C. Before baking, cover your cake with aluminium foil to avoid the bottom (i.e. top of the tin) from burning.
- Bake your cake on the second lowest shelf for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove the aluminium foil and bake for about another 5-7 minutes, the bottom (top of the tin) should brown nicely in this time.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool for about 10-15 minutes in the tin before turning it onto a cooling rack.
- Allow to cool completely before dusting with icing sugar and serving.
nothing beats a slice of any of Martha’s cakes..