Week 51. Switzerland. Dreikönigskuchen

Goodbye 2011. Good riddance. We’ve had a bit of a stinker with various blows and challenges and we won’t be remembering it fondly. It might just be a psychological feeling that we are turning the page and moving onto new and greater things, but this year we need that.

I’m very keen on 2012. Not only do we have the Olympics coming to this town of ours, but I’ve got a second child to meet, being an Uncle for the first time, the chance of moving on my career to another level and the opportunity to push on further and further in this food quest.

I began this blog in summer 2010 and 18 months later I should have been nearing 80 countries cooked. I’ve missed more weeks than I would have liked, but my drive to keep doing this is very strong and I intend on the next 12 months containing bigger and better dishes.

Choosing the dish for this week, after drawing Switzerland, was a real challenge. Over the next 6 weeks at work five of us are competing in a post-Christmas weight loss challenge. Each of us put on at least 4 Kilos since Dec 1 and we want those gone. On Jan 1 we weighed in. So, I needed to come up with a dish which wasn’t high in fat and the top two dishes in Switzerland are Fondue and Raclette. Fondue is a combination of 3 melted cheeses and eaten with dipped bread and Raclette is potatoes dripping in cheese. Both of which, whilst delicious, had to be vetoed. Instead I came up with an ingenious plan. Choose a cake, make it today, eat a small slice and then take the rest in to work tomorrow for my colleagues to stuff down and increase their weights. Fortunately there was an utterly appropriate cake in  Dreikönigskuchen. I’m a few days early, but this cake is traditionally made in Switzerland on January 6 as part of the Epiphany. Translated as The Kings Cake this is usually made for Breakfast and is formed of a number of balls in which one contains a special bean or token. Whoever gets this token is then treated by their family at The King for the day. A lovely idea.

It was relatively simple to make and looked great but I was largely disappointed with the taste. I expected it to be brioche-like in texture and sweeter than it was. Instead it was very heavy, not at all sweet and overall highly average. If anything it was more bread-like. I’m not sure how it is eaten in Switzerland, but it needed pimping to make it better. Smothered in butter and jam it was delicious and I’m sure it would stand up well sunk within a vanilla custard.

I’m back to work tomorrow and will endeavor to add another dish at the weekend. Time to dust my suit down. Boo.

To make:

  • 28oz flour
  • 3oz Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2TBSP Lemon Juice
  • 150g Butter
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 1/2 Oz Dried Yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 7oz Sultanas
  • 1 Dried Bean!

Preparation:

  • Start by mixing the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl.
  • Dissolve the yeast in warm water (about 1/2 a cup)
  • Melt the butter
  • Slowly add the butter, milk, yeast and eggs into the flour mix until you get a dough.
  • Split off 6 identically sized balls and attach to one ball.
  • Let prove for 1 hour
  • Cover in a wash of egg yolk and egg soaked almonds
  • Bake at 200f degrees for 1 hour.
  • Dust in icing and add a crown!
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