Friday, 30 July 2010

Apple & blackberry kuchen

Or cake for butchers. Where do I start where do I begin... It is important to have decent butchers locally. Never mind the usual stuff, but when you are in good relationship with you butchers, they can also supply you with some stuff that they do not normally sell such as pork fat or marrow bones for beef stock. My local butchers are decent lads and they do not charge me anything for some random orders and this is what I have made for them to thank them for their recent help.

This sort of yeast cake with not too sweet base is very popular in Poland (and in Germany as far as I am concerned - Kuchen = cake) all year round using different seasonal fruits. I was bit concerned using Nigella’s recipe, rather than my Granny’s but the outcome was very satisfying.

From "Nigella Bites", makes 20 x 30 Swiss roll tin

For the cake base:

350–400g strong white flour
half tsp salt
50g caster sugar
half packet easy-blend yeast (about 3g)
2 eggs
half tsp vanilla extract
zest of half a lemon
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
125ml lukewarm milk
50g butter, softened

I have placed all of the above in a bread machine and used "dough" programme. At first I used 350g of flour and was adding some more when I noticed that the dough is too sticky. You can use a stand mixer or you hands, adding mixed wet ingredients to dry ones and mixing until you have medium soft dough, then kneading with your hands. Next place the dough into a bowl, cover and leave in warm draft-free place until doubled in size. Or you can leave in a fridge overnight.

Then punch down to release the air and press to line a Swiss roll tin (I lined mine with baking paper) –it needs some stretching. Next leave it for about 15-20 minutes to rest and prove little bit.

Meanwhile prepare the fruits.

Fruits for topping:

1 small Bramley apple
300g blackberries
zest of half lemon

Peel, deseed and chop the apple and toss in a bowl with lemon zest and blackberries. Set aside and prepare the crumble toping.

Crumble topping:

50g self-raising flour
25g ground almonds
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
50g cold unsalted butter, diced
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp demerara sugar
25g flaked almonds

Put the flour, cinnamon and ground almonds in a bowl, stir to combine and add the cold, diced butter. Using your finger tips rub the butter into the dry ingredients, work quickly – you do not want the butter become too soft. Stop when mixture resembles clumpy porridge oats. Fork in the sugars and flaked almonds.

Now prepare mixture that will keep the juices from the fruits soaking into the dough when baking.

1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp of cream
pinch of ground cinnamon

Mix all of the above together and brush over the dough.

Next tumble the fruits over the egg washed dough and then sprinkle with crumble topping. Put in the preheated (200C) oven and bake for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 180C and cook for further 20 minutes or so, until the dough is swelling and golden and the crumble is set.

Remove from the oven and wait about 5 minutes before cutting into portions. Serve warm or cold.


  1. Agatha, thank you very much for your comment. Sorry for delay in replying, but I had few days off, just came back to normal. ;)


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