Sunday, June 19, 2011

Good Cake Gone Bad

I’m a firm believer in the idea that the fastest way to any man’s heart is through his stomach. As today is Father’s Day, I thought I would test that idea and bake something for Scott’s dad in lieu of a buying him a gift. Alan has a sweet tooth and I had the perfect recipe for the occasion; gesundheit kuchen.


Gesundheit kuchen is German for good health cake and happens to be one of the recipes I learned from my grandmother. It is a rich, dense cake with hints of lemon, reminiscent of a pound cake. The smell of the cake baking instantly takes me back twenty years to my grandmother’s kitchen, where we used to spend hours talking about and baking all sorts of treats. Since this cake was being baked for a special occasion, I decided to step my grandmother’s traditional recipe up a bit (or to be more accurate, I went over the top!). What resulted was a moist, golden brown cake drenched in chocolate ganache –AND– dropped, drooling jaws on both Scott and John when they saw the cake this morning (and were told they couldn’t eat it until this evening!). Oh, how I love it when they do that! It is a great affirmation that I am doing alright as a baker.

Below you should find a copy of my good cake gone “bad”. Happy Father’s Day!

Gesundheit kuchen (good health cake)
with chocolate ganache

 Cake ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs, whipped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon or orange
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
 Ganache ingredients:

  •  9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  •  1 cup heavy cream
Kuchen Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 12” fluted tube pan. In medium bowl, cream butter with sugar. In a large bowl combine creamed mixture with eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest; mix until smooth. Sift together flour and baking powder (creating a dry mixture). Mix wet mixture alternately with dry mixture and milk creating a smooth, thick batter.

Pour batter into prepared tube pan. Bake one hour, or until cake is golden brown and cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

Ganache Directions:

Place chocolate in medium mixing bowl. In a small sauce pan, heat heavy cream until boiling. Pour milk over chocolate and mix until all chocolate is melted and a smooth consistency is reached. Drizzle ganache over cooled cake. Allow ganache to set before serving (this can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours depending on how thick the ganache is dispersed over the cake).

Slice, serve & enjoy!