17 September 2011

Fruity crumble cake - 'Streuselkuchen'

Streuselkuchen – cakes with a crumbly topping – are a great favourite in Germany and they come in many shapes and forms. A tasty and traditional variation is a sweet yeast-based cake topped with rich, buttery crumble. In bakeries this type of Streuselkuchen is often sold in big slabs or as individual round pastries that are plain or filled with a custard cream, poppy seeds and/or fruit. 

My favourite Streuselkuchen is a quick version without yeast that can be thrown together in only a few minutes. The recipe and the ingredients are simple, but its combination of flavour and texture has made this one of my favourite cakes. The cake can be baked in a round spring form (24-26 cm) or in a rectangular tin (30 by 20 cm). The basic mix can be combined with different fillings depending on what you like best and what is available. For the cake in the picture I used a tin of apricots (drained) and a tub of quark mixed with an egg, some sugar and vanilla.

For the base and crumble topping:

250g butter softened
200g sugar (or more if you like)
450 g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1 egg
Seeds of one vanilla pod

For the filling:

100g flaked almonds
Fruit of your choice (for example, apricots fresh or tinned; cherries fresh or tinned; raspberries fresh or frozen; sliced apples or pears or even a few tablespoons of fruit jam)
Optional: one tub of quark or curd cheese or mascarpone (suitable especially if you could do with putting on a few pounds), mixed with an egg and flavoured with sugar, vanilla or grated lemon zest.

Combine all ingredients for the base and crumble topping until well combined. The mixture should be in coarse crumbs. Press half of the mix into your greased cake tin. Top the base with half of the flaked almonds. This prevents the base from becoming soggy from the fruit. If using, spread the quark or mascarpone mixture on top of the almonds and/or top with your choice of fruit. Add the rest of the flaked almonds and crumble mix to cover the fruit. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for about 35-45 minutes.

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