Yeah, that’s right. I’m being cheesy but it just seemed to work, considering that this post is about sweet yeast cakes with plenty of caramelized sugar on top.
note: for those of you who don’t know, “bruler” means “to burn” in French. Think crème brulee.
IN any case, Mardi Gras is one of my favorite food holidays, however this year I kept things pretty low key. I didn’t even make King Cake, even though I really promise I had planned on it! I just got swept up in the craziness of this week, but I thought I’d share my recent baking adventures that involve sweet yeast dough and lots of sugar, which after all, is a King Cake, minus the food coloring and plastic baby. Don’t worry, though, I made sure to let the baby participate!
During our recent blizzard I rediscovered a fantastic baking cookbook, or bakebook (because why not?) that covers a lot of European baking basics. This book, called A Baker’s Odyssey, by Greg Patent, is truly amazing and inspirational, and what I like most about it is that it covers recipes from so many different ethnicities and origins that are not commonly looked into.
My eye jumped right away to the German sweet yeast dough recipes and I knew I wanted to attempt a couple of yeast cakes (think brioche in a cake pan). The results were amazing.
I made two: one with streusel on top in a square baking pan and another with a delicious caramelized almond/sugar/butter mixture spread gingerly on top, set in a spring form pan.
My preference was the Almond Cake. Due to the fact that the topping wasn’t as heavy, it rose nicely and was light and fluffy. I also loved the addition of lemon zest to the sweet dough, which gave it a nice lift in flavor, helping to balance out the fact that the dough wasn’t overly sweet.
As an added bonus, I also couldn’t help but make the Norwegian Cinnamon Buns, honestly because who doesn’t love buns filled with sugar and cinnamon, but also because I wanted to try a new recipe and see how they stood up to the one I’ve been using for 10 years. Turns out mine still win! A recipe for those will be coming soon, that’s a promise.0