Christmas has really crept up on me this year! I am so ill prepared for this year’s festivities. I’ve barely bought any presents, the house doesn’t feel Christmassy at all – I don’t think you can count a bag of clementines and some chestnuts as Christmas decorations.
I will get all of the shopping, wrapping and decorating done, we generally don’t have a big tree or go crazy with decorations. I’m also really bad at remembering to send Christmas cards, I haven’t even bought any yet and I’m aware that the last Christmas posting dates are getting close!
You might be fooled into thinking that I don’t like Christmas, but that’s not the case I really enjoy it. Houses have twinkling lights, there are decorated trees everywhere people are generally in a lighter mood and it’s considered acceptable to ingest and imbibe far too much and you get extended time off work and lie-ins!
My first Christmas themed post this year is a raspberry and white chocolate kugelhopf. This isn’t traditionally a Christmas bake, but as a sweet bread it tastes a lot like panettone or even stollen (minus the marzipan). The cranberries really help to make it feel more festive and combined with the amazing Valrhona white chocolate I got for my birthday (yes I’ve managed to leave a bar of chocolate untouched for 8 weeks+) from Sous Chef, it’s a real sweet treat.
As I’ve mentioned this is a sweet bread, rather than a cake so you do have to wait for this to prove. This isn’t a time consuming recipe, but you need to be around the house a bit to wait for it. I did pop out to run errands in between the proving though.
This was a style of bread making I hadn’t done before, a starter is covered with flour and left to rise before the ingredients are all added. The dough is then proved, shaped and left to prove again.
The kugelhopf is then baked for 25 minutes, it doesn’t need very long at all, which means the chunks of chopped white chocolate don’t really melt, so you get a lovely burst of sweetness.
If you find after a couple of days the kugelhopf is getting a bit dry, you can warm it in the oven or microwave and dust it with more icing sugar. It tastes really great warm too.
- 75g Dried Cranberries
- 1½ Tbsp Chambord
- 5g Fast Action Dried Yeast
- 275g Plain Flour
- 35ml Lukewarm Water
- 1 Egg
- 40g Caster Sugar
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 65g Butter, softened
- 75g White Chocolate, chopped
- Approx 10-12 Whole Blanched Almonds to decorate the top
- Icing Sugar for dusting
- Put the cranberries and chambord in a bowl together and soak for a few hours or overnight.
- Put the yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer, add 50g of the flour and stir until a firm ball of dough forms.
- Cover this starter with the remaining flour and leave to rise in a warm place until the starter has risen underneath and you see the flour start to crack, this should take around 30 minutes.
- When the starter is ready, add the egg, milk, sugar, salt and butter to the bowl, knead the dough on a low speed for 7-8 minutes, increase the speed to high until the dough is elastic and pulls away from the side of the bowl, this should take 2-3 minutes.
- Drain the cranberries and add them to the dough along with the white chocolate, knead the dough further to mix in the cranberries and white chocolate.
- Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, around 2 hours.
- Grease the kugelhopf tin with butter and place an almond in each of the indentations in the bottom of the tin.
- With lightly floured hands, shape the dough into a sausage and wrap it around the hole in the kugelhopf tin. Leave it in a warm place to rise again, until the tin is filled, about 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 170C Fan and bake for around 20-25 mins, until a cocktail stick or cake tester comes out clean.
- Turn the kugelhopf out onto a cake rack and dust with icing sugar while it's still warm.
Thanks for reading.