Decadent Chocolate Kugelhopf
This week we are going on a tour outside of Paris for the first time. We have been planning this tour for a long time and now the time has come to go out together with our guests to one of our favorite regions, Alsace. We know this area so well and it was clear to us that the first time outside the City of Lights with our visitors would be in Alsace.
Strasbourg is so beautiful in this season before Christmas, it is full of magical markets, a smell of hot wine with winter spices, lights, decorations and a heart-warming atmosphere. Of course, in addition to the pleasant sights there are also pastries and desserts that characterize the area and this festive period.
One of the pastries most associated with Alsace is the Kugelhopf, a cake made of soft yeast dough, baked in a tall pan with a hole in the center. Depending on the region it comes from, the Kugelhopf can contain raisins, almonds and sometimes Kirsch. The traditional always contains dried fruits, usually raisins, and sometimes other dried fruits such as sour cherries soaked in orange juice or liqueur.
In honor of our special trip to Strasbourg, I met up with my friends from “The French Bastards” and filmed with them a video of their famous Mini Chocolate Kugelhopf. I changed the recipe a little and made one big Kugelhopf filled with chocolate and hazelnut spread and covered with milk chocolate.
Decadent Chocolate Kugelhopf
1 large Kugelhopf (22-24cm)
25g fresh yeast
240g whole milk
100g + 400g all-purpose flour
25g cocoa powder
70g eggs (1 big egg)
180g butter, softened, cubed
very soft butter
50g cocoa nibs mixed with 70g brown sugar and 10g cocoa powder
Chocolate hazelnut spread: recipe inside
Dark or milk chocolate, melted (optional for decoration)
1. Place yeast, milk and 100g flour in a large mixer bowl. Gently mix until a kind of very sticky dough is obtained. Place the rest of the flour (400g) on the mixture, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature.
2. Add cocoa powder, egg, sugar and salt. Make sure the yeasts don’t touch the sugar and salt. With the dough hook attachment, knead the dough for about 5-8 minutes at a slow/medium speed.
3. Add the butter in increments and keep kneading for about 10-12 minutes. Make sure to stop the mixer to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl if needed. The dough should be very soft and tacky to the touch. knead the dough until you have reached this consistency.
4. Remove the dough from the mixer and shape into a ball. Place in a lightly floured bowl and cover with kitchen towel to prevent dehydration. Set aside for about an hour and a half at room temperature (24 to 26 degrees Celsius). When the dough rises and reaches one and a half times its size, knead it lightly, return to the bowl, cover and set aside for another 40 minutes.
5. Grease the pan with butter, making sure all the folds are well covered. Sprinkle the mixture of cocoa nibs, sugar and cocoa powder on the sides of the pan, remove leftovers.
6. Remove the dough from the bowl, place it in the pan and cover with a kitchen towel. Leave in a warm and humid place to rise for about 1.5 hours, until the dough doubles in volume.
7. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
8. Put the Kugelhopf in the oven and immediately lower the heat to 180 degrees Celsius. Bake for about 45 minutes until the Kugelhopf sets. Remove from the oven, turn over on a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.
9. Decorate with melted chocolate (optional) and pour into the socket created in the Kugelhopf a generous layer of chocolate hazelnut spread.
*It’s recommended to eat warm and fresh.