Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Kleckskuchen - Cherry Poppy Seed Streusel Cake

I am not going to lie. This cake is a production. There are 5 different elements to create to pull this thing together. However,  it's a cake with benefits. 

Not those benefits. Get your minds out of the gutter.

This dessert's benefits include: 1) It feeds a crowd 2) its unusual beauty  3) streusel 4) of course, it's delicious. 5) Did I mention streusel?

The best benefit of all is, you can say you made a "blob" cake.  The cake is called a Kleckskuchen in German which translates to something like "blob cake" which makes me giggle like a hyena. Say it with me, "Blob Cake. Blob Cake. Blob. Cake."

Kleckskuchen is a specialty of Oberlausitz or the Upper Lusatia region of Germany and Poland which dates back to the 1400s. Like most German desserts, it is comparatively low in sugar than it's American counterparts but does not sacrifice flavor. 

The recipe consists of a yeasted cake base and the four separate topping elements added on top of the cake base in blobs on to create the patchwork effect. 

This is fun to make with kids. If you are concerned about the tablespoon of rum in the  poppy seed filling and cherry jam, just leave it out or substitute vanilla extract.  you can also use any flavor jam you have on hand or use up those pesky half and quarter full jars left in your fridge. 

If you have the time, this dessert makes a great addition to your Memorial Day party menu. Like I said, it makes a lot of cake but it freezes well. Make sure you wrap each individual piece in plastic cling film and seal in a ziplock bag. 

Kleckskuchen - Cherry Poppy Seed
 Streusel Cake
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Rise time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Bake time: 30 minutes
Yield: 20 pieces

For the Cake Base:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1+1/2 packages of active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 7 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the poppy seed filling:
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1+ 1 /2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons of semolina or spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup crushed poppy seeds
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
For the sour cream filling:
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the streusel:

  • 1+ 1 /4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 7 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 - 10 oz. jar of cherry jam
  • 1 tablespoon rum

Make the cake base:

  • Place the flour in a bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour.
  • Add  3 tablespoons of the lukewarm milk and sprinkle the yeast into the milk.
  • When the yeast dissolves, add the sugar and rub the mixture between your hands to distribute the yeast.
  • Cover the bowl and let stand in a warm place for 15 minutes.
  • Add the melted butter, the rest of the milk, egg and salt and knead together into a smooth dough.
  • Cover the bowl once again and let stand 15 minutes.
  • Line a 10"x14"sheet pan with baking paper. Grease the sides. 
  • Roll out the dough into a rectangle, transfer it to the pan and spread it out to the edges.
  • Let stand for 20 minutes.
Make the poppy seed filling:
  • Mix together the lemon zest, milk, butter and semolina in a skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. The mixture should become thick like pudding.
  • Let cool and whisk in the poppy seeds, sugar, egg, rum, and cinnamon.

Make the sour cream filling:

  • Separate the egg.
  • Place the egg white in a mixer, add the pinch of salt. 
  • Beat the egg white until stiff peaks form.
  • Mix together the sour cream, milk, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla. 
  • Fold the egg white into the mixture.
Make the streusel:
  • Whisk together the flour and sugar.
  • Add the melted butter and the vanilla and use your hand or a fork to mix together until the streusel forms.
Assemble the Cake:
  • Mix the cherry jam together with the rum. Cover the cake layer, alternating with tablespoon sized blobs of the poppy seed filling, sour cream filling, and the jam. 
  • Sprinkle the streusel over the top and let the cake stand for another 15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Bake for 25 -30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven. Let cool. Cut and serve. 

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