"Braunschweiger"

Pronuncuation: "BROON-svee-uh".

A cake made from a yeast based dough, with brown sugar icing mix.

Named after the German city Braunschweig, because of the colour of the icing on the cake. This is a recipe that has stood up to the test of time, and is still very popular all over Denmark. The icing, which is the real point of this cake, is made from brown sugar and butter. In Scandinavia all brown suger is made with Muscovado, and is particularly spicy. Your local brand of brown sugar should work fine though.

The original recipe calls for adding raisins to the dough. I recommend you do not do that. As usual it would probably not be difficult to find a couple of Danes to debate this issue at length.

Not all Danes like this. For myself it is an acquired taste. It has a distinctive kind of burned taste originating in the spicy brown sugar, and it is definitely a virtual bomb of calories.

Ingredients

Preparation

Put the flour and sugar in a reasonably large bowl and mix in the butter (or margarine if you are using that). It is best to add the butter in small chunks, that makes it easier to mix in. It doesn't have to be completely smooth before you add in the next ingredients. If you are adding raisins, now is the correct time to do it.

Carefully heat the milk in a small pot. It needs to be just so warm that it doesn't feel cold to touch. Around 30 to 35 degrees centigrade is what you are aiming for. Add the yeast in small chunks and use a plastic or wooden spoon to stir it around. Keep stirring until all the yeast have dissolved into the milk, or until you get tired of stirring. :-)

Add the milk to the bowl and mix all the ingredients well. When you get a somewhat smooth dough, get it out of the bowl and knead it until it is completely smooth (usually takes a couple of minutes). Then put it back in the bowl, cover it with a warm damp towel and leave it to raise for 20 minutes.

When it is done, take the dough out again and roll it flat. The thickness should be around two centimeters. Place in a dish which is buttered up, so the dough won't stick when you bake it. The dish should be around as large as the rolled out dough. You can roll it a bit more or a bit less to make it fit. You need to press the dough up against the edges of the dish. This is so that the icing doesn't spill out over the edges. If eventually it does spill out during baking don't worry, that piece will just be a bit greasier.

Let the dough raise again for 15 minutes. You can turn on the heat on the oven now. It needs to be around 200 degrees centigrade.

Also while it is raising, it is a good time to make the icing. Half-melt the butter in a small pot. Remove the pot from the heat and add the brown sugar and stir it firmly. There should be a reasonable amount of unmelted butter left when you add the brown sugar. If too much of the butter has melted, the icing mixture can become too fluent, and that makes it more difficult to smear unto the cake.

After the dough is done raising it is time for an important final touch before you add the icing. You need to make holes in it with your fingers. Press your thumb or index finger down into the dough and make depressions that goes almost down to the bottom of the dish. Don't press all the way through, because the icing will spill out the bottom and you will have a greasy and unweildy piece of cake. The depressions should be about five centimeters apart. Do not use a ruler to measure this distance, use good judgement.

Smear out the icing evenly on top of the cake. Some of it will assemble in the depressions you made. This is by design, but do make sure the entire cake is well covered.

Bake it in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Keep an eye on it at the end. Make sure it doesn't burn.

Serving

Let it rest for an hour or two before serving. Don't eat directly from the oven, because the icing is extremely hot and you will get a nasty burn. Cut it into square pieces before serving.

If stored sealed off in a dark container, the cake will keep up to two days.


Notes -

The pronunciation is for the node title which is the Danish name for this cake. The suggested English name is in quotation marks.
The real reason why it is called a Braunschweiger, is a bit more elaborate. Study the history of Braunschweig to find out more.


Source - "Fr√łken Jensens Kogebog" ISBN 87-00-75418-8 (popular book on Danish cooking).