Monday, October 16, 2006

Mausi's got a bun cake in the oven

What a difference a word makes, eh?

Nope, there aren't going to be any new additions to this little family, 'cept maybe a dog, so anything that happens around here between two consenting adults behind closed doors is strictly for recreational (as opposed to procreational) purposes. Yes, it's true, people over 40 ARE still sometimes able to summon up enough energy know.

But enough of that. Out of the bedroom and into the kitchen to talk about my second favourite pastime - making something out of nothing, aka cooking.

Lately we've been trying, with the emphasis on trying to "live a healthy lifestyle" and "eat a balanced diet" but sometimes pure lust gets in the way and we just can't help ourselves.

Last week Mr. M came home from work, looked deep into my baby blues with his brown puppy dog eyes and said, "Mausi, if I shower you with diamonds and pearls will you bake me a Marmorkuchen in that new cake pan you bought when we were on vacation? Pleeeeease? I really, REALLY need cake right now."

And who was I to deny a man in need?

Ahhh, Marmorkuchen - marble cake. Every German boy's dream and pure heaven with a cold glass of milk. If you're not familiar with this cake, you'll be pleased to know that just like ratatouille isn't made with rats, marble cake contains not a single marble. If you remember to brush after meals, your teeth are safe with me.

Since the arrival of baking powder (mass production began in Germany in 1898), cakes like this are often baked in a Gugelhupf (say Google-hoop-pfff and you've got it) pan. You might know it as a tube or Bundt pan. It's really all the same thing although the design may vary somewhat. A traditional Gugelhupf cake , however, is less sweet and more bread-like, made with yeast, raisins and nuts.

Of course you can bake marble cake in a different pan, but somehow it's just not the same. My kitchen is pretty well stocked with bakeware - I've got loaf pans and quiche pans and flan pans and muffin tins ad infinitum, but can you believe that up until August of this year, I never had a Gugelhupf pan? And guess where I finally aquired one? In Vancouver. Actually, my mother bought it for me after asking if there was anything I really needed. ("Besides a new life, you mean?" "Yes, besides that.")

We were checking out all the home decor places and there it was, a nice, sturdy black Gugelhupf pan. And what was stamped on the outside? Why "Made in Germany" of course. *sigh* You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave, I guess.

The weird thing, though, was that this pan was cheaper than any of the ones I'd seen in Germany. Well, cheaper if you disregard the thousand euros or so that I paid for my plane ticket, but as I think I've mentioned before, math was not my strongest subject.

So I was happy, Mum was happy and Mr. M was positively delirious. Cake will do that to a guy, I've been told. I'm beginning to think that all this "understanding the male psyche" stuff may not be quite as difficult as it seems. Looks like the way to a man's heart really IS through his stomach. (I'm still waiting on the diamonds and pearls, though.)

If you, too, want to experience new heights of ecstasy, try out this easy recipe .


At October 16, 2006 4:03 p.m., Blogger Sandra said...

A classic Mausi post, loved it! Just imagine how that Gugelhupf pan felt when, thinking it had found a new life in Canada, it found itself back on another plane and headed straight back to Germany. Can you imagine?

That cake looks wonderful.

At October 16, 2006 4:15 p.m., Blogger Antipodeesse said...

You funny lady! Me love you long time, long time!

At October 16, 2006 4:22 p.m., Blogger Ms Mac said...

Well if a cake doesn't have marbles in it then I'm not interested. Does that mean you've lost your marbles, Mausi?

I don't have a Gugelhopf in my kitchen, my Swiss neighbours are right, I am lost to them!

At October 16, 2006 4:32 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

See how you have elicited such funny comments! You do take the Gugelhupf cake when it comes to your funny posts, dear Christina!

BTW, I fly back to Hannover tomorrow. Can you save a piece for me (if there are leftovers, that is)?

At October 16, 2006 5:07 p.m., Blogger Betsy said...

Mmmmmmmmmm! Caaaaaake.

Marblecake may not be made of marbles but it turns out like a slab of marble if you forget to put in the baking powder. (It doesn't rise and ends up hard as a rock.) That'll teach me to bake during happy hour... ;-)

As usual you made me laugh with this post. and drool. Strange combination, I know, but I like it! That's why I keep coming back. :-)

At October 16, 2006 5:09 p.m., Blogger Maribeth said...

Looks like another winner. Must try this recipe too!

At October 16, 2006 5:10 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Sandra - Thanks! I'm having a good week so far. Yes, that poor, poor pan. Just goes to show you that you never know where you're going to end up.

Antipo - *smoooooooch!*

ms mac - Stella, dear, you and I both know that I lost my marbles a LONG time ago. ;-)

Ginnie - Why thank you! And I had no idea you were going to be in Hannover again so soon! Unfortunately there's nothing left of that cake, but if you come to visit I promise to bake a new one.

At October 16, 2006 6:13 p.m., Blogger Kurt said...

My mom used to make marble cake in pans like that when I was little. We skipped the glass of milk though, and just put the cake in a bowl, and poured the milk over it and ate it like soup hehe.

At October 16, 2006 10:57 p.m., Blogger Dixie said...

I bought a Gugelhupf pan in June and have yet to christen it. I think a baking a marble cake is just what I need to do tomorrow!

At October 16, 2006 11:26 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Betsy- Yep, I've baked my share of bricks too. Alcohol and baking definitely don't mix.

maribeth- It came out really nicely. There are recipes all over the net but this one looked easy.

Kurt - Thanks for visiting. The cake soup sounds really good actually. Just right for little kids.

Dixie - Go for it! B will love you even more. :-)

At October 17, 2006 12:00 a.m., Blogger Carol said...

Christina, you just keep bringing me back to my childhood! Thanks!

The photo is most definitely "tiger cake," American-ized by my cousin and me when we were 6...

I can absolutely taste it -- and that's the reason why your blog will remain open on my desktop for the remainder of the afternoon! YUUUUM!


At October 17, 2006 12:04 a.m., Blogger Mike B said...

I was going to make a clever comment about your provocative opening, but my timer just went off and I have to take the bread out of the oven. Oh well.

Nice cakes, babe!

At October 17, 2006 4:46 a.m., Blogger Sarah said...

I used to live in Alsace, where they're spelled "kugelhopf" (I think); in addition to the traditional sweet cake, the Alsations also make a savory kugelhopf with bacon bits!

I never bought one of the kugelhopf molds, though, despite their beauty, because--as you know too well--they were too pricey! Now I'll start looking in the States for an affordable version so I can try your marble cake.

At October 17, 2006 1:05 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Carol - Tiger cake is a great name for it. When I was in high school I had a friend whose mom was German and she made marble cake all the time too.

mike - Ding! Saved by the bell! Lord knows what you would have come up with. ;-)

Sarah - Yes, it can also be called Gugelhopf or Kugelhupf depending on where you are. The savory variation sounds great. Hope you find a pan you like. Mine is the "Kaiser" brand.

At October 17, 2006 2:23 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

Well, do NOT bake a new one for me, Christina. I was really joking but, well, er, I really do like what you make!

At October 17, 2006 2:27 p.m., Blogger Elemmaciltur said...

Here's my fav recipe for Guglhupf form, try it out if you like:

Cherry almond cake:

1/2 cup ground almonds
butter, melted for greasing
200 g butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp almond essence
2 cups plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1 cup chopped glacé cherries

Sprinkle ground almonds over the base of a frying pan and heat gently until lightly golden. Grease a 22 cm ring mould generously with melted butter. Toss almonds in tin to coat the base and sides. Cream second measure of butter and sugar until light and fluffly. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in almond essence. Sift flour and baking powder together. Fold into creamed mixture alternately with the milk. Mix in cherries. Spoon mixture into prepared tin. Bake at 160°C for 50 to 60 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Leave in tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

At October 17, 2006 4:49 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Ginnie - Oh all right, no cake, but maybe I can ply you with a couple of a high-fiber low-fat cholesterol-free oat bran muffins?

Elemm - Thanks! Mmm...that looks really good. I'll try it soon.

At October 17, 2006 8:55 p.m., Anonymous V-Grrrl said...

Hi Mausi,

Wanted to thank you and your expat fat for coming over and visiting me and my expat fat. ; D

I bought my first bundt pan here in Belgium, and promptly burnt the first cake I baked in it (for company) and had to send my children to the bakery to replace it before our guests arrived. Dear children that they are, as soon as we opened up the door to our friends, they blurted out, "Mama burnt the cake!"

My mom used to make marble cake and my brother was a big fan of it. She never burnt it. Sigh. But hey, she never had a blog either, so I'm not a complete failure.

At October 17, 2006 9:28 p.m., Anonymous amy said...

Smile, laugh, salivate, REPEAT! :) That was great!

Of Cake and Men: I make a sour cream coffee cake which has been dubbed Sweet Lovin'. Man was on the phone to his brother while Cake baked in kitchen... cake scents waft past Man, Man says to brother "she's baking a coffee cake, smells like..." Brother says: "sweet lovin'?"


At October 17, 2006 9:35 p.m., Blogger Expat Traveler said...

yum - that does look good... and you made us wait and laugh the entire way down to find out what the prize looked like...LOL

At October 18, 2006 10:48 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have brought back old memories of when I was a little Army brat (real BRAT) in Germany. We had a maid to whom I was cruel. I remember jumping off the sofa onto her back as she bent over cleaning something. But she called me "Betty Lamb" and made marble cake for me.

At October 18, 2006 3:28 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

You can ply me with anything you want :)

At October 19, 2006 3:15 a.m., Blogger Tim Rice said...

Cake is good but pie is better.

I don't remember near all the song; but my dad use to tell us a song from his younger years which started out something like "Can she bake a cherry pie? Yes, she can. Yes, she can...." He used to teasingly say that's why he married my Mom.

At October 19, 2006 8:01 a.m., Blogger Karen said...

Absolutely scrumptious looking :-)
It's one of my favorites, too!

At October 19, 2006 3:20 p.m., Blogger mar said...

You are plain wonderful!!!


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