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Fred's Mum's Recipe for Kuchen

This is a recipe for a German cake - "kuchen" is German for "cake" in general, but this is the name given to it by my maternal grandmother a few generations after her German forebears settled in Australia. This recipe is basically the same as the one my grandmother used, but my mum substituted mashed potato for yeast which the original recipe called for. The cake is more like a dry slice than, say, a sponge. It keeps well for 3 or 4 days; can be frozen, reheated in microwave.

(See Cook's Calculator at Epicurean.Com to convert cooking weights/temperature/volumes)

Base - Ingredients
½ cup of warm mashed potatoes
2 tablespoons of butter
2 eggs (3 if small)
½ cup milk
1 cup sugar
2 cups of self-raising flour
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
2 or 3 handfuls (1½ cups) of sultanas
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon lemon essence
Base - Method
Mix warm mashed potatoes with softened butter & sugar. Add eggs, nutmeg & lemon essence, then alternate flour and milk to keep the mixture getting too runny or stiff. Finally, mix in the sultanas. The mixture should end up only slightly softer than scone mixture.
Topping - Ingredients
1 cup of plain flour
½ cup of sugar
4oz (115-125g) butter (margarine will do, but butter makes the topping crunchier/crumblier at room temperature)
1 tablespoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla Essence
Topping - Method
Add wet ingredients to dry. Mix together, using fingers as mixture becomes thicker. Topping should end up quite crumbly. Add small amounts of water if crumbs are too fine.

Putting it all together

Put base mixture into greased sponge-roll tin. Brush lightly with a little milk. Crumble the topping onto the base. Bake in a moderate (200°C, 400°F) oven for about 30 minutes until slightly brown. Test that it's cooked with a skewer.

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