Friday, 9 October 2015

History Bakers - Quick Kuchen

The word ‘Kuchen’ is German for cake and it’s possible that there are as many variations as its English counterpart. The recipe I have chosen is a Streuselkuchen, which is a German speciality. Traditionally it is made of yeast dough covered with a sweet crumb topping referred to as streusel, but this variation has a sponge base. The recipe allegedly originated from Silesia, a province that is today in Western Poland, but the cake can now be found all over Europe. Many variants are prepared with fruit fillings, mostly of sour taste such as apples, gooseberries, sour cherries, and rhubarb.

Clearly there are many variations of the recipe and this particular one came from a souvenir recipe book called Our Favourite Recipes (Reference C DJC/1/7/2/1) put together by the Hull Daughters of Zion in 1965 to share recipes and raise funds for a ‘Jerusalem Baby Home’. Recipes in the book cover a whole array of dishes, including soups, fish dishes, Passover dishes, cakes and desserts, as well as including useful ‘Household Hints’.

I particularly wanted to choose a Jewish recipe for this month’s History Bakers as it ties in nicely with the launch of the exhibition Religion, Culture and History: The shaping of Hull’s Jewish Community, which will run until the end of October at the History Centre. I chose the ‘Quick Kuchen’ primarily as it is a traditional cake but most importantly because it is quick to make and the method simple to follow!

To make the kuchen:
2 ½ cups of self-raising flour
½ cup oil
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
¾ cup of milk
Handful of sultanas (I used raisins)

To make the streusel:
2 oz. flour
2 oz. butter
3 oz. sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
A few chopped almonds

To make the kuchen:
Beat up eggs, sugar and oil. Add flour, milk and sultanas. Put in greased tin, cover with streusel.

To make the streusel:
Sieve flour and cinnamon, mix in the sugar, then rub in the butter until like breadcrumbs and add a few chopped almonds. Sprinkle over kuchen.

Put into a cold oven. Turn on to no.3 and bake for 50 minutes.

Staff Comments:
Hannah: “Delicious mix of crunchy top and soft sponge, tasty!”
Caoimhe: “Absolutely scrummy - crunchy topping compliments the soft fruity and very light sponge - spot on!”
Claire: “Really nice - different textures make it interesting and delicious!”
Verity: “Beautiful sponge, great mix of textures.”
Michele: “A delicious light and fruity cake with a lovely crunchy topping.”
& Grace: “The crunch on the top of the sponge was a lovely touch as were the sultanas inside.”
Christine: “Loved the crunchy topping and the sultanas in the sponge gave a lovely touch of moisture.”
Pete: “Very very nice, tastes as a kuchen should.”

Overall the Quick Kuchen was definitely a hit! Why not have a go yourself and see what you think...

Laura Wilson
Archivist / Librarian

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