Antoine Westermann, chef au Le Coq Rico à Montmartre, anc. chef du Buerehiesel en Alsace, France
Prep. Time: Relatively long (plan to make the dough the night before)
Cooking Time: Allow one hour in total
The prepared, but unbaked, kougelhopfs can be frozen. In this case, bake them for 40 minutes at 180° C. To accompany them, I suggest a little glass of kirsch.
Making the flaky brioche dough (the night before)
- Dissolve the yeast in the milk.
- In a large bowl, add the ingredients in the following order: flour, salt, sugar, eggs and the dissolved yeast.
- Mix well and beat the dough for about ten minutes, lifting and turning it by hand, until it is smooth and elastic.
- Add the softened butter (for kneading). Continue working the dough until it is no longer sticky and comes off your hands easily. Place it in a container and cover with a damp cloth. Let rest in a cool place overnight.
Turning the dough (successive folds)
- The next day, lightly flour a work surface and punch the dough down into a ball.
- Make four incisions on the top of the dough to form a cross-shape; do not cut through the middle of the circle.
- With a rolling pin, roll out the four sides to make a large cross, as you would for classic puff pastry.
- Place the softened butter (for the turns) in the middle of the dough. The butter should be almost the same consistency as the dough.
- Fold over the four sides to create an envelope. Without using too much pressure, roll out the package to create a rectangle approximately 10 by 15 centimetres.
- Fold the dough into three (like a letter) and let rest in a cool place for 20 minutes. Repeat this rolling and folding procedure two more times.
- Bring the milk to a boil.
- Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light, then add in the flour or corn starch, and then the boiling milk while whisking continuously.
- Return to the heat, removing the saucepan from the heat as soon as the mixture begins to boil. Cover the surface with a piece of plastic wrap (so that it does not form a skin) and let cool.
Making the cinnamon kirsch ice cream
- Make it as you would a cinnamon ice cream, adding in the kirsch just before you put the mixture in the ice cream maker.
Sour cherry coulis
- In a saucepan, bring the 200 g sour cherries to a boil with 200 ml water and the fine sugar.
- Let cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Purée in a blender and put through a fine strainer. Correct the consistency by adding a little water if necessary and a drop of lemon juice.
- Using a wooden spoon, incorporate the 150 g sour cherries and the 40 ml kirsch into the pastry cream.
- Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, gradually adding in the fine sugar while beating, and then gently fold the meringue into the pastry cream mixture.
Assembling the kougelhopfs
- Brush four individual kougelhopf molds with butter and place a flaked almond into each indentation in the bottom of the molds.
- Roll out the flaky brioche dough with a rolling pin.
- Cut out four discs, 9 cm in diameter and 2 to 3 mm thick, as well as four discs of the same thickness but only 4 cm in diameter.
- Line the interior of each mold with a 9 cm disc.
- Divide the kougelhopf filling between the four molds, then cover with the smaller discs, carefully sealing the edges.
Baking and finishing the kougelhopfs
- Bake the kougelhopfs in a 200° C oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven, unmold them and dust with icing sugar.
- Arrange the warm kougelhopfs in the middle of four plates and surround each with a ring of sour cherry coulis.
- Sprinkle with flaked almonds. Serve the cinnamon kirsch ice cream separately.
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