Food & Drink Magazine

German 'Gugelhupf' Makeover - Autumnal Apple Yeast Cake with Apple Cream Sauce

By Weavethousandflavors

Autumnal apple bread - 02

As people we have always been told that fear is at the root of all evil and this is almost always true. However, I confess that fear is at the heart of this recipe. You see I am what you call a 'strudel wimp'.

I don't mean strudel made out of pre-packaged pastry bits found in the freezer section of ones supermarket. I refer to the traditional method. If you've been reading this blog long enough you know by now that for most part I am a stickler for the authentic especially when it comes to traditional recipes that have been part of a culture for hundreds of years.

So I refer to the traditional method of  18th century strudel making that entails stretching the dough to the size of ones dining table and then folding over and over, repeating the process countless number of times. First of all, Lord knows how many laws of physics the dough is breaking to achieve this - not to mention the thought of my 5 year old grubby fingers poking and prodding the dough joined only by our Golden retriever and his propensity to stick his tongue at anything and everything remotely akin to food.

Needless to say - I am ways away from making traditional strudel at home. Having said that I love German cakes - especially the ones that have all those wonderful fresh fruits and  dry fruits soaked in booze. Traditionally, Gugelhupf is a dry- fruit filled yeast cake which is then folded over into a log and baked. It's part cake and part bread and delicious.

So I decided to combine my yearning for apple strudel (the filling at least) and Gugelhupf making some major changes which makes life a whole lot easier -

1) instead of dealing with the rolling etc, I simply use the dough as dumplings which is easy peesy.

2) Serving this with an apple cream sauce takes from delish to decadent. Yumm....

In fact so easy is this to fix, not to mention delicious that it's a piece of cake...err...bread!

Autumnal apple bread - Ingredients
Autumnal apple bread - Soak raisins in brandy

Gather the ingredients :

Cake -2 cups all-purpose flour + 2/3 cup all-purpose flour + 1 cup all-purpose flour (added in batches), milk, 1 packet active dry yeast, sugar, large eggs & salted butter

Filling : granny smith apples (or any other tart & firm apples), lime or lemon, light brown sugar, golden raisins, brandy, pecans, ground cinnamon & nutmeg

Cream sauce - Reserved juices from macerated apples & raisins (see recipe below), heavy cream, water, light brown sugar & cornstarch

Garnish - roasted sliced almonds

Prepare the ingredients -

Eggs - Crack in a bowl discarding shells.

Butter - Melt in microwave safe bowl and set aside.

Raisins - In a bowl measure out the raisins, pour the brandy over and set aside.

Pecans - Break with hand or chop into small pieces. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200 deg F. After 10 minutes turn the oven off.

Autumnal apple bread - Proof yeast in sweet milk
Autumnal apple bread - Add butter to flour

 
In a pyrex or microwave safe cup add 1 cup milk. Add 1/4 cup sugar and empty the yeast packet into the milk. Stir and set aside for 10 minutes till frothy. If not frothy then discard mixture and begin with a new packet of yeast.

In a large mixing bowl, add 2 cups of flour and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir to combine.

Add the proofed yeast and melted butter. Using a rubber spatula or electric hand mixer, combine.

Autumnal apple bread - Add eggs and combine
Autumnal apple bread - Very soft goopy dough mix

Add the eggs and with the electric hand mixer combine throughly. The dough mixture is very soft and goopy.

Autumnal apple bread - Add flour and combine
Autumnal apple bread - Add flour and combine2

Now add 2/3 cup flour total in 2 batches - incorporating well with the spatula between each additions. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth.

In the preheated oven, place the bowl for about 45 minutes until the dough has risen to double its size.

While the dough is rising -

Preheat the oven to 200 deg F. After 10 minutes turn the oven off.

Autumnal apple bread - Prepare apples
Autumnal apple bread - Thinly slice apples

Peel the apples. Using a melon baller, remove the core and ends and discard. Thinly slice into 1/8" thick slices and set aside in a bowl. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lime or lemon over the apple slices to keep from discoloring.

Autumnal apple bread - Add spices and nuts to apples
Autumnal apple bread - Drain juices from apples

To the sliced apples, add the spices, light brown sugar, pecans and raisins with brandy. Taste and adjust sweetness and spices. Set aside to macerate.

Once the dough has risen, drain all the juices from the apples and set aside in a bowl to be used for the sauce.

Autumnal apple bread - Rise to double in warm oven
Autumnal apple bread - Arrange apples at the bottom of pan

Punch the soft dough with clean fists. The dough is very soft. Place the dough onto a liberally floured surface. Add 1 cup additional flour in batches and roll and punch to incorporate thoroughly.

Divide the soft dough ball into 2 equal halves.

Coat a 9" non-stick spring foam pan with non-stick baking spray.

Place 1/2 the apple and nut mixture at the bottom of the baking tray. You only need to be pretty about it if you are going to invert the bread over. In my case I like the puffed up golden brown bread surface much more attractive.

Autumnal apple bread - Add remaining dough over apples
Autumnal apple bread - Add remaining apples over dough

Using fingers pull about 1-1/2" dough sections and place over the apples, covering the surface. It is okay to have gaps between the dough balls as they will rise and cover the whole surface. Empty the remaining apple mixture over the dough balls.

Autumnal apple bread - Add remaining dough over apples
Autumnal apple bread - Rise apple bread in warm oven

Finish with a final layer of dough balls, using the remaining dough.

Coat with melted or softened butter using a pastry brush. Set inside the pre-heated oven to rise for another 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.

Autumnal apple bread - Bake to golden brown

Bake the bread for about 22-25 minutes until the skewer comes out clean when pierced through the center.

Allow the bread to cool for 10-15 minutes.

While the bread is cooling prepare the Apple Cream Sauce.

Autumnal apple bread - Bring juices to a boil
Autumnal apple bread - Whisk the sauce

In a small sauce pan, bring the juices from the apple mixture & light brown sugar to a boil on medium heat.

Meanwhile, in a bowl combine the cream, water and cornstarch and whisk to remove any solids.

As soon as the juices come to a boil, add the cream mixture. Lower the heat and whisk continuously until the sauce reaches a consistency of caramel and easily coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and cool.

Whisk now and then to get rid of the skim layer on top.

Autumnal apple bread - 03

Drizzle the sauce over the warm cake, sprinkle with toasted almonds and serve immediately.

This cake is best served warm. You can refrigerate any leftover cake and sauce but warm the next day in the oven or microwave before serving.

Incredibly moist and infused with the flavors of apple, spices and the brandy spiked raisins. The apple cream sauce is simply luscious and makes every bite heavenly. What a wonderful celebration of the season and thoroughly enjoyed by the grown-ups and kids alike.

 

Recipe for

Autumnal  Apple Yeast Bread with Apple, Brandy & Cream Sauce

Inspiration: 'Gugelhupf' & 'Strudel' recipes by Wolfgang Puck & 'dumplings' technique from southern cooking. The rest from gray cells of Devaki's brain & the love of food from Devaki's heart.

Preparation time - 15 minutes 

Resting time - 1-1/2 hours (total)

Baking time - 25 minutes

Serves 6-8

Shopping list

2 cups all-purpose flour + 2/3 cup all-purpose flour + 1 cup all-purpose flour (added in batches)

1 cup milk

1 packet active dry yeast

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

4 tbs salted butter

Filling :

2 granny smith apples (or any other tart & firm apples)

1/2 lime or lemon

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/3 cup golden raisins

1/3 cup brandy

1/2 cup pecans

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Cream sauce -

Liquid from macerated apples & raisins

1/4 cup cream

1/4 cup water

2 tbs light brown sugar

2 tsp cornstarch

Garnish -

2 tbs roasted sliced almonds

Preparation -

Eggs - Crack in a bowl discarding shells.

Butter - Melt in microwave safe bowl and set aside.

Raisins - In a bowl measure out the raisins, pour the brandy over and set aside.

Pecans - Break with hand or chop into small pieces. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200 deg F. After 10 minutes turn the oven off.

In a pyrex or microwave safe cup add 1 cup milk. Add 1/4 cup sugar and empty the yeast packet into the milk. Stir and set aside for 10 minutes till frothy. If not frothy then discard mixture and begin with a new packet of yeast.

In a large mixing bowl, add 2 cups of flour and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir to combine.

Add the proofed yeast and melted butter. Using a rubber spatula or electric hand mixer, combine.

Add the eggs and with the electric hand mixer combine throughly. The dough mixture is very soft and goopy.

Now add 2/3 cup flour total in 2 batches - incorporating well with the spatula between each additions. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth.

In the preheated oven, place the bowl for about 45 minutes until the dough has risen to double its size.

While the dough is rising -

Preheat the oven to 200 deg F. After 10 minutes turn the oven off.

 Peel the apples. Using a melon baller, remove the core and ends and discard. Thinly slice into 1/8" thick slices and set aside in a bowl. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lime or lemon over the apple slices to keep from discoloring.

To the sliced apples, add the spices, light brown sugar, pecans and raisins with brandy. Taste and adjust sweetness and spices. Set aside to macerate.

Once the dough has risen, drain all the juices from the apples and set aside in a bowl to be used for the sauce.

Punch the soft dough with clean fists. The dough is very soft. Place the dough onto a liberally floured surface. Add 1 cup additonal flour in batches and roll and punch to incorporate throughly.

Divide the soft dough ball into 2 equal halves.

Coat a 9" non-stick spring foam pan with non-stick baking spray.

Place 1/2 the apple and nut mixture at the bottom of the baking tray. You only need to be pretty about it if you are going to invert the bread over. In my case I like the puffed up golden brown bread surface much more attractive.

Using fingers pull about 1-1/2" dough sections and place over the apples, covering the surface. It is okay to have gaps between the dough balls as they will rise and cover the whole surface.

Empty the remaining apple mixture over the dough balls. Finish with a final layer of dough balls, using the remaining dough.

Coat with melted or softened butter using a pastry brush. Set inside the pre-heated oven to rise for another 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.

Bake the bread for about 22-25 minutes until the skewer comes out clean when pierced through the center.

Allow the bread to cool for 10-15 minutes.

While the bread is cooling prepare the Apple Cream Sauce.

In a small sauce pan, bring the juices from the apple mixture & light brown sugar to a boil on medium heat.

Meanwhile, in a bowl combine the cream, water and cornstarch and whisk to remove any solids.

As soon as the juices come to a boil, add the cream mixture. Lower the heat and whisk continuously until the sauce reaches a consistency of caramel and easily coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and cool.

Whisk now and then to get rid of the skim layer on top. Drizzle the sauce over the warm cake, sprinkle with toasted almonds and serve immediately.

This cake is best served warm. You can refrigerate any leftover cake and sauce but warm the next day in the oven or microwave before serving.

Enjoy!

 


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