Swabian Cuisine – Redcurrant Cake {Träubleskuchen}

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I finally managed to create something in the kitchen again, yay! I’ve been meaning to make this cake for two weeks now but have been procrastinating. In the kitchen today, I realised once again that although I loved baking in my teens, I now don’t have the patience for it. Don’t know how this came about, because with cooking I can make something that requires me to be in the kitchen all day and still no sign of impatience. However, patient or not, I managed to get this cake – or rather these mini versions – to taste perfect.

Before all else, I’d like to tell you about this Swabian cake and where its name comes from. I think I’ve mentioned here before that the typical Swabian likes to use diminutives of lots of words. In this case the word Träuble – our name for redcurrants – is the diminutive of Traube, which means grape. I can only imagine redcurrants being named little grapes because they look like mini grapes on a vine. In Swabia you won’t find the word Johannesbeerkuchen (redcurrant cake) at any bakery, it’ll always be advertised as Träubleskuchen.

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The tart redcurrants are just the right contrast to the sweet filling. That’s all I really have to convince you this is a fantastic cake 🙂 . I would choose this over any other cake any time (except when my Godmother makes Dobos Torte…).

The recipe is my mother’s and is originally for a 24 cm ∅ spring-form pan. I made the whole amount of dough but only half of the filling, because I knew I wanted to make mini versions. Not trusting myself with the shortcrust pastry I decided to make the whole recipe in case of needing emergency backup if something went wrong. In the recipe below you’ll find the original amount of ingredients.

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This shortcrust pastry shouldn’t be too thick and not too hard. The filling is kind of gooey, and the topping – eggwhites – can be either crisp outside and chewy inside or completely chewy. Mine turned out chewy – because I have no idea how to get it crisp on the outside without overbaking the whole cake. The recipe looks long but this cake is prepared really quickly. It helps to have the redcurrants washed and de-stalked before you start, though.

My amount of filling made three little cakes, one of which I just had with coffee *sigh*. The other I’ll be taking to work tomorrow to share with friends.

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Swabian Redcurrant Cake {Träubleskuchen}

Shortcrust Pastry
200 g flour
60 g sugar
½ packet (= 8 g) baking powder
1 packet (= 16 g) vanilla sugar
125 g butter
1 egg

To make the pastry, mix together all ingredients until smooth, form into a ball, and refrigerate until required. {My dough needed refrigeration because it got too warm and soft during handling; if this happens, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.}

600 g redcurrants
3 large egg whites
75 g sugar
125 g ground almonds {I used shop-bought almond flour}

For the filling beat the egg whites until stiff, then slowly add the sugar while still mixing. Add the redcurrants {preferably washed and de-stalked before starting the recipe} and the ground almonds, and mix into the egg whites until well distributed. Set aside until pastry dough is pre-baked.

3 large egg whites
75 g sugar

Beat egg whites until stiff, then slowly add sugar while still mixing. {Preferably do this just before the cake goes in the oven.}

If making one large cake, roll out dough – not too thick – and use the bottom of your spring-pan to cut out the right size. If making small versions, use the removable bottoms of the little tart pans to cut out the right size. Place dough bottoms into buttered cake pan/little tart pans and gently pierce the dough with a fork.
You will have leftover dough – this is for the edge(s) that you’ll add after pre-baking. {This is what my mother does – when you pre-bake with edges, they’re likely to shrink.} Refrigerate while the cake bottom(s) bake!

Pre-bake the cake bottom(s) for 10 minutes at 200°C / 400°F on middle shelf. Take out and set aside until pan has cooled enough to touch.
From the remaining dough, cut edges to add to your buttered cake pan/tart pans. Add the filling, then prepare the topping. Use a piping bag (and any kind of tip you fancy) to decorate the cake(s).

For one large cake, bake at 200°C / 400°F for 60 – 70 minutes, checking to make sure the topping doesn’t burn.
For smaller tart pans, bake at 200°C / 400°F for 25 – 30 minutes.

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