Hmmmm, Snail Cake! Sounds appetising doesn’t it? Last year, my Taste le Tour journey involved escargot … I was not a fan, but this type of ‘snail’ I can handle!
Stage 9 of the Tour takes us to Mulhouse. Close to the German border in Alsace, cuisine in this part of the world shares much with France’s neighbours. The Snail Cake is an Alsatian sspecialty brioche pastry, traditionally stuffed with cinnamon and almonds or custard and owes its name to the dough rolled into a snail shape.
Tonight’s recipe is courtesy of http://www.recettes-alsace.fr
For the dough:
- 500g flour type 45 (I used standard flour)
- 20g fresh baker’s yeast (I used 3 x 7g sachets of dry yeast)
- 3 Eggs
- 70g Caster sugar
- 125g butter or extra-fine Churn
- 250ml semi-skimmed milk
- 8g Salt
For the filling:
- 125g almond meal
- 125g melted butter
- 125g caster sugar
- 1 Egg
- 20g Cinnamon
For the glaze:
- 30g icing sugar
- Few drops lemon juice
How to do it
Firstly make the dough by dissolve the yeast in a little of the warm milk (about 20mls). Then place the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer along with the flour, sugar, salt, eggs and remaining milk . Mix with the whisk attachment for about 5 minutes or until a smooth paste forms.
Switch from the whisk to a dough hook attachment. Chop the butter into small cubes and add to the smooth paste, mixing with the dough hook on a low speed until the dough becomes stretchy and pulls away from the bowl.
Transfer the mix to an oiled bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and place in a warm spot for an hour or so or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, make the filling by mixing the almond meal with the sugar, cinnamon, melted butter and egg. Set aside until needed.
When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured bench and use your fingertips to shape into a rectangle about 60cm by 40cm. Then spread with the cinnamon mixture. You may need to warm this slightly to help it spread.
Then, roll up the dough along the long edge and slice the roll into 7 pieces (note – I did the short edge and it did not seem to make much difference to the end result).
Place the dough into a 20-23cm cake pan with the one of the cut sides facing up to reveal the cinnamon spiral (snail pattern). Place one piece in the centre and position the other 6 pieces around it. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius and leave the dough to rise again for another hour.
When risen, brush the top gently with egg and place in the oven for 45 minutes. When cooked, remove from the oven and cool. Finally, mix the lemon juice with the icing sugar and drizzle over the cooled cake. Enjoy with a cup of tea or with warm with custard over the following days.