In honour of this year's Austrian hosting, a few weeks ago I decided to mark the event by making a traditional gugelhopf cake - a yeasty, bready, cakey concoction that's usually eaten with coffee (or in our case, wine).
For 12 big wedges, you will need:
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water
1 cup milk
7 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into tbsp pieces and softened
6 tbsp granulated sugar
3 3/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups golden raisins
1 tsp finely grated fresh orange or lemon zest
About 20 whole blanched almonds
1 tbsp icing sugar
A standing electric mixer with paddle attachment (optional)
A gugelhopf mould*
Pour your yeast into a bowl.
Add the water and let it stand for about 5-10 minutes until foamy (if the mixture doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast).
Heat the milk with 6 tbsp butter and granulated sugar over a low heat, stirring until the mixture is warm, the butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.
Sift together flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the flour and add the yeast mixture. Add the warm milk in a slow stream while mixing.
Add the beaten eggs one at a time and mix.
Beat in the raisins and lemon zest.
Continue to beat until the dough is smooth, elastic and very sticky. Cover the dough with a teatowel and leave in a warm place for 1 hour.
Butter the gugelhopf mould with the remaining tablespoon of butter.
Put 1 almond in each depression in bottom of mould (the almonds are only decorative; you can skip them altogether if your mould has no depressions).
Spoon the dough evenly into the mould. Cover with a teatowel and leave in a warm place for a further hour.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Bake the gugelhopf in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes, then loosely cover the mould with foil and continue for 20 to 25 minutes more until golden and a tester inserted in centre comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then invert the cake onto a rack to cool completely (about 1 hour). Place on your favourite cake stand (I love this RBV Birkmann stand* with glass domed cover*)
Dust with icing sugar and devour!