Tuesday, 18 November 2014


In the midst of much birthday caking, it occurs to me that the cake recipe I have made more than any other this year has been Kuchen, from the Joy of Cooking.  If you don't have a copy of the cookbook,  there's a very nice blogpost with the recipe here.  Unfortunately, the ingredients are only in American measurements, so I'm hoping that the powers-that-be won't mind me including them here in metric (along with my own tweaks).
Gooseberry Kuchen, with Demerara streusel

I own three copies of the Joy -- the two volume paperback my Mom gave me for my 11th birthday,  a hardback that we got soon after we got married, which is falling apart, and a new copy of the version issued in 2006. But of late, I've been using the app more and more.  I've never used an app for recipes, but this has won me over.  There's lots of neat features, but the best one as far as I'm concerned is that it gives most ingredients in both weight and volume.

Basically this is a recipe in three parts -- there's the fruit, the cakey bit, and the streusel.  I leave the cake pretty much alone, but the other two components vary a fair bit.  Probably the best fruit we've done this year was peaches and blueberries.  But we've made it with gooseberries, rhubarb, sour cherries - pretty much any fruit I can find.  And my streusel is more likely to have muscovado sugar in it, and maybe some oats and flaked almonds, or pecans, depending on the fruit.     The recipe is a bit fiddly by my standards (3 bowls!), but once you get the hang of it, it's very straightforward. And worth it for the good taste.

I *do* try not to just copy recipes from cookbooks here, so, the text here comes directly from Megan Scott's guest blog linked to above and again here.  All I've done is add in metric measurements.  If you like it, I would encourage you to check out the app.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F  (180C). Grease a 9-inch springform pan or 9 × 2-inch round cake pan.

Prepare the streusel topping first. Combine in a small bowl:
1/3 cup turbinado or granulated sugar  65 grams  (I use either demerara or muscovado)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or rice flour  16 grams
2 tablespoons unsalted butter  30 grams
Blend these ingredients until crumbly. Add:
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup chopped or sliced almonds   no equiv given - a handful? 
Set aside.

Peel, pit, and slice, then spread evenly in pan:
1 pound ripe apricots (about 3 cups sliced)  450 gr

Whisk together:
1 cup all-purpose flour  120 grams
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Grated zest of one lemon  (I never bother with this...)

Beat in a large bowl until fluffy:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened  110grams
3/4 cup sugar  150 grams

Beat in:
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Beat in one at a time just until blended:
2 large eggs
Stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated.

Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Scatter the streusel on top. Bake until the topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake (avoiding the fruit) comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool to room temperature on a rack.

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