Monday, November 10, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Kugelhopf

Kugelhopf: German for "Frustratinghopf"

Oh, my friends. I realize that most of you do not know me in real life. I like to think that I present the best image of myself on this blog, and that you all think of me as a lovely, happy-go-lucky, cheerful person. My friends, this is a lie.

The truth is that I am a nitpicky perfectionist with an ego problem. I hate to admit that I don't know things, that I can't do things, or that anything I do does not turn out perfect on my first, charmed try. This week's TWD recipe for "kugelhopf" (IF that's its real name) hit me where it hurt.

Behold, the result of my epic struggle to remove the kugelhopf from the sorry oversized bundt pan I used instead of the specialty kugelhopf pan:

And this is how the whole kugelhopf baking process made me feel:
However, here is something else about me you don't know: I am a devoted Arrested Development fan. Instead of focusing on the negative, I am going to make like Gob and use illuuuuuuusions to make my kugelhopf seem super awesome.

Now isn't this just the tastiest kugelhopf you've ever seen? And such lovely foliage!
Really, though, this cake-bread Frankenstein had problems, beginning (I thought) with the recipe. At almost every stage I found myself wondering if I'd made a mistake, because her descriptions didn't match my product. The "shaggy" dough? Mine was completely dry. And how about the part where the dough climbed the bread hook? Yeah, mine was chillaxing in the bottom of the bowl, looking like a thick cake batter. And on and on. My biggest dilemma was after the cake was baked. Should I wait a few minutes to unmold it? Do it while it's piping hot? Who knows? Better cross your fingers and hope for the best! (For the results of this brilliant baking strategy, see above.)
But the real problem in this recipe was the flavor, or lack thereof. Dorie, of course, calls for...wait for it...raisins, but of course that didn't fly with me. I recently got these awesome raspberry-flavored dried cherries, so I subbed those and added the zest of a whole lemon. Sadly, these two elements were the only flavor I got from the cake. The taste and texture was that of a mediocre sweet roll. I did enjoy the butter and sugar soaked crust, but that alone wasn't enough to save this recipe for me. I have much better sweet roll recipes that don't take six hours of my time and plunge me into existential baking despair.
So, obviously, this was not my favorite. Maybe it's just my unrefined American taste buds, but I prefer my cakes to be moist, sweet, and flavorful. You can keep your subtle, refined European tea cakes! Bring on the layers of buttercream. Next!

24 comments:

  1. LOL I hear you bring on the butter cream!

    Even though yours broke it still looked good!

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  2. Hilarious post!! I agree with you, that Dorie chose raisins for this recipe is a little less than surprising, given she sneaks them into EVERYTHING. Woman must have a raisin fetish, or some kind of deal with Sunmaid. At any rate, your kugel looks beautiful to me! Your smoke, mirrors and illuuusions paid off!

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  3. Loved this entire post, the text and the photos. Thank you!

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  4. lol, love the post. I agree with you on the American taste bud thing. Where's the cream cheese frosting? The chocolate? Anything with flavor?!!

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  5. LOL. My Malaysian taste buds didn't mind it, but this post made me laugh. Lookin beautiful anyhow though!

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  6. Hilarious! and this ... "I am a nitpicky perfectionist with an ego problem. I hate to admit that I don't know things, that I can't do things, or that anything I do does not turn out perfect on my first, charmed try" describes me to a T. I also photograph my layer cakes at an angle so you can't tell that they are lopsided ....

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  7. hehe, i agree, bring on the butterceam! :) it looks delicious, even though you weren't too happy with it.

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  8. This is my first TWD and I feel so much better after reading your post! This one is proving challenging for me too!

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  9. Yeah, this was more of a bread, a slightly sweetened bread, than a cake. I'm sorry you didn't like it, but at least you tried.

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  10. Ahahahahahah! You have a problem with Europeans? Wanna meet me outside? Lol! We can't love them all, but it's good to try!

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  11. Sorry you didn't like this cake..> I still have to try mine: it's in the oven right now and I can't wait to taste it....
    And: not everything that's European is bad!!

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  12. Bummer about the unmolding but I am with you on the flavor...not nearly enough for two days of work.

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  13. I miss Arrested Development so much....Fellow TWD Cranky Girl....

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  14. Amen sister! Your "I am frustrated" face is hilarious and OMG I heart Gob! Him and Tobias rival each as my favorite characters depending on the episode. I wasn't a kugelhopf fan either. Too bland, kinda dry, no frosting? That just aint cake for me. Oh well... bring on the rice pudding!
    Clara @ iheartfood4thought

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  15. Gosh I love AD. I miss the whole gang. Your post was hilarious!

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  16. Yeah, my hubby said, "But wheres the frosting? It's cake isn't it?" Yeah, well. Not on my do again list either. Great facial expression. Great post. Pretty cake.

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  17. Next, INDEED. This was a lot of work for a Flaming Ring of Disappointment. Dammit, Dorie!

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  18. LOL! How did you really feel about the kugelhopf? I agree with your assessment of this -- a WHOLE lot of work for a "meh." I never would have suspected you could have been underwhelmed by this cake/bread based on your pictures, though -- nice staging with the flowers!

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  19. Excellent illusions. Powdered sugar is one of my favorite ways to disguise things- a close second after false mustaches.

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  20. Sorry it didn't work out for you. I too love buttercream-like cakes - the kind one feels like burying ones face in.

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  21. Lovely looking cake. I love the flowers. Sorry it wasn't that great for you!

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  22. Loved your post...This was cake or death. For Real. I had a major fubah with mine and so I'm must not let it beat me. no no no Actually, that Euro pallet was really good sliced, buttered, toasted and jam for sure. Really pretty tasty.
    AmyRuth

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  23. Oh, yes. The infamous "climbing up the hook" reference which made me doubt my sanity... Your kugelhopf looks much better than the doorstop I baked up.

    Love the Arrested Development reference, by the way. Whether it's Buster's crush on the vertiginous Liza Minnelli character or the closeted Tobias' feeble attempts at being an actor, this show has always made me laugh at an embarrassingly loud level. Why does every show I love get canceled?

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  24. Btw: I love the picture of your 'grumpy face'!!

    P.s. check out my Sinterklaas giveaway!

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