I’m sure I’ll never learn all there is to know about puds, but this blog is a damned fine excuse to try. I think of it as investigative journalism: if I see something new, it’s my duty to give it a go.
My most recent find was a Honey Kouglof, spotted at the Paul Rhodes Bakery in Greenwich. At almost £3 for a slice, it wasn’t the cheapest of newcomers – but it certainly looked like the tallest.
Indeed, it may be hard to tell from this picture, but the cake was quite a beast, overshadowing all its neighbours – almost literally.
I had never heard of a Kouglof before, let alone had a nibble of one. Now however, enlightened as I am, I can tell you a few things about it.
Firstly, it’s a cake that comes in many guises – Gugelhupf, Kugluh, Bundkuchen, Guguluf – depending on which part of Europe you’re in. From what I can gather, ‘Kouglof’ is the version in France.
But never mind that. Whatever the name, the facts are these: baked in a bundt tin, a Kouglof is made from a dough containing yeast.
Hence why it was so tall: those small yeasty particles had clearly been do(ugh)ing great things, making their new home rise to exciting heights.
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself – I knew none of this as we stood in the bakery. All I knew was that the thing looked massive.
When it comes to puddings, I firmly believe that size does matter. So impressed as I was by the Kouglof’s stature (and enamoured as I am with Honey), I ordered myself a piece to go, expecting a chunk so large it could act as a doorstop.
There was one thing I’d overlooked, however: that great big hole in the middle, which had been obscured from view.
My piece turned out like this:
Not tiny, but also nowhere near massive.
Such is life.
Taste-wise, things were extremely light too – but no less lovely for it.
The exterior had a slighty crisp crust and was dusted with fine sugar granules, reminding me of a Trifle Sponge. Inside, two moist layers – one of Apricot Jam and one of what seemed to be Honey Buttercream – added a much-needed zing and some depth.
Naturally, it was gone within seconds. But apart from the taste of Apricot (which slightly overrode the Honey), nothing much else of it lingered. So light was the cake, I’d felt like I’d almost dreamed it. It was a pleasant dream, of course, but not quite the full stop I needed after lunch.
Thank goodness for the Man, who’d purchased a Chocolate Tart and a Raspberry Millefeuille: a few borrowed chunks of these and I was sated.
The verdict then? My Kouglof conclusion?
If you fancy a moreish light bite then this will no doubt make your day. But, in general, a Pud-Hog requires something more.
Turns out it’s not just size that matters. It’s substance and density too.