Friday, December 30, 2016

Kugelhopf Recipe, Catching Up, and New Year's Goals

Hi all,

Been a very busy couple months. No apologies. But I do have a bunch of pics for you guys.

First off, I promised you a kugelhopf, so I will set up that recipe right now.

What is a Kugelhopf, you ask?

This is a Kugelhopf, or kouglof, or gugelhupf. Before dusting, still cooling.

If you think of a panettone and a brioche loaf and then imagine them having a baby (weird, I know, just go with it), it's like that. A light and sweet yeasty bread you have with coffee or tea. Morning or teatime or for dessert or frankly if you just have a hankering for something to cut the hunger. We had one when we went to Strasbourg. And this is my first time making it, ever. I had a recipe, but it wasn't very good (missing ingredients and no measurements) so, I made my own and am sharing it with you.

The right word, I think you're looking for, is DELICIOUS.

So without fail...

Mrs. K's White Chocolate, Cranberry, & Orange Zest Kugelhopf

Serves: 12-16
Prep time: 4 and 1/2 hours
Cook time: roughly 30 minutes

75g (scant 2/3 cups) Dried Cranberries
2 Tbsp Chambord liqueur or Raspberry juice
1 tsp Fast Action Dried Yeast
425g (3 and 1/2 cups) all purpose flour +50g (rounded 1/3 cup) more for levain
35ml (2 and 1/2 Tbsp) warm water, not hot
1 egg, room temperature
250ml (1 cup) warm milk, not hot
40g (1/2 cup) sugar
1 tsp salt
100g (7 Tbsp) butter, softened and cut into cubes
75g (1/2 cup) white chocolate, chopped
Zest from one orange (thin skinned is preferable)
a handful of sliced almonds
powdered sugar for dusting

1. In a small bowl, put dried cranberries and add Chambord over them and let soak overnight (or at minimum, two hours). Set aside.
2. Put 50g (1/3 cup) flour in a bowl of a stand mixer and add dried yeast. Add water and mix with a wooden spoon until incorporated and forms a firm ball. Cover with remaining flour. and leave to rise in a warm place (In an oven with only the light on is fine) for about 30 minutes. You should see the flour "crack," where the starter has risen and started to push the flour around.
3. When starter has "cracked", add the egg, milk, sugar, salt and butter to the bowl and mix with a dough hook until all is combined, about 7 minutes on low. The dough should look elastic and pliable. If not, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until the dough has begun to pull away from the sides of the bowl and looks elastic and soft.
4. Drain the cranberries and add them to the dough. Add the white chocolate and zest. (I used white chocolate chips and chopped them up roughly since they were so huge). Knead them into the dough so they are well dispersed.
5. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size in a warm spot, about 2 hours.
6. Generously grease a kugelhopf mold (or a bundt cake pan) and sprinkle sliced almonds into bottom and on sides.
7. Punch down dough and with lightly floured hands, remove from bowl and form a long log/snake/sausage shape. Wrap dough around hole in greased pan and pinch ends together. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until dough has filled the pan, about 2 hours.
8. Heat oven to 170C Fan (375 F no fan). Bake about 20-25 minutes (25-30 minutes), until a cake tested inserted into the bread comes out clean. It will rise above pan and have a rich golden brown color. If you're worried, place a cookie sheet beneath (I did) to catch anything that may fall. (Nothing did.)
9. Let cool 2 minutes in pan before flipping and allowing to cool completely on a cake rack, about an hour. Dust with powdered sugar before serving with tea or coffee.

And that's it!

The white chocolate chips melt away into the bread and the cranberries, orange zest, and almonds give it a wonderful scent and taste. Very festive. You can change up the ingredients to add: currants, golden raisins, dried cherries, etc and chocolate chips if you'd rather instead of white chocolate. Keep the orange zest though, really really good.

Mr. K and I had to test it, of course.
Verdict: Delicious with a cup of hot tea. Let me know if you try it!

Okay, recipe done, time to catch up.

Thanksgiving we traveled to California to spend time with Mr. K's family.
Great time and we got a bunch of us to go to Disneyland.

Then on our way around NM, we saw the coolest thing: a tumbleweed snowman.
You know you live in the Southwest when...

We had a snow and Mochi and I decided to goof off out of the sub freezing temps.

She did not want to go out in it. All four paws. Too cold for the princess.

And then there was a time of getting ready for Christmas and a series of sunsets.

Gorgeous. No filter, either.

Made this myself.

Our town even dressed up Oppenheimer and Grove for the holidays. Scarves make the outfit.

And so that now brings us to the end of this year.
It's been a long and rough one for a lot of us. I firmly believe there is still hope. Hope for kindness, hope for dreams, hope for, well, everything.

I don't make New Year's resolutions. (We don't keep them anyway...)
I make goals. Something I can strive for and hope-fully achieve (See what I did there? hehe).

So my goals for 2017 are these:

1. Stress less about the little things (always at the top)

2. Write a novel, or two.

3. Revise a novel, or three.

4. Read more.

5. Cherish what it is I have in my life (God, hubby, family, friends, job, etc.) because life is too short to worry about the what ifs and the maybes, the could've dones and should've dones.

As a friend once told me, focus on the "what is."

So, those are my goals.
Happy New Year, a few days early, readers.

My wish for you is that 2017 will bring you hope, no matter where you are.

Until next time,

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