Thursday, 25 May 2017


Unless you are conversant in Swiss German, the title of this post will be a mystery. Literally translated, a 'Nidlechueche' is a cream cake although it is - by British definitions - not a cake. I thought of explaining the pronunciation but I think I leave it at that: the 'ch' is pronounced as those native to Scotland would say in 'loch' (as in Loch Ness). It is not a sound that comes easy to most, except of course the Dutch and all German speakers. There may be other languages that use this sound that I am not aware of. This is how it sounds (click on the link).

Image source
I love this cake and have fond memories of eating when I was a child in Switzerland. It was a special treat and we sometimes bought it after a visit to the dentist. Not to celebrate the fact that no repeat visit to the dentist was necessary but simply because the practice was in the same little town as the bakery that is famous its variation of this traditional Swiss treat. The town is called Murten and if you ever get a chance to visit this part of the world, it is a beautiful medieval walled town. Located on the shores of a smallish lake, it is maybe 30 km from Bern, the Capital city of Switzerland. If you do, make sure you stop by the B├Ąckerei-Konditorei Aebersold, where you can enjoy the best of all Nidlechueche. You can't miss it if you enter the old town through the main town entrance, the 'Berntor', it is on the left hand side about 200 m ahead. All businesses on the main street are under cover, it is quite magical, and really handy when it is raining. The same, coincidentally, is true for my hometown, Bern. 

It is simple a simple cake, based on a sweet yeast dough, layered with cream and sugar. 
My gave me a recipe a long time ago and I have kept it in my recipe book every since. Every now and then, I'd notice it. I finally decided to make it for my Birthday BBQ. It was a bit of a disaster actually, I got the my decimals mixed up and used 500 ml of cream instead of 50 ml. Lets leave it at that, shall we? 

:: For the dough, mix 300 g of strong bread flour with 30 g of very soft butter, 200 ml of warm milk, 1 egg yolk, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and approximately 7 g of yeast. Dried yeast is good. You can dissolve the yeast in the warm milk as long as you make sure the milk is not too hot. It is best to do this in a mixer, if you have one. The dough is very very soft and sticky. Knead it for 15 minutes. It really takes that long to be transformed into a soft dough. 

:: While you are waiting, grease a tart pan of about 28 cm in diameter. I don't have one of those so used a rectangle baking dish of approximately 20 x 28 cm, lined if you have baking paper, just in case it sticks.

:: When the dough is ready, transfer it to the baking tray and push it into corners or (along the edges). Cover with a clean towel and prove for about one hour. 

:: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees centigrade. When the proving time is up, gently push the dough up the sides a little bit using your fingers. This will form a barrier for the filling. It doesn't need to be a very high. Then -using your fingers once more -push holes in the dough. The holes are filled with small flakes of butter, about 35 g in total. 

:: Now the base is ready to pour in double cream. The recipe asks for 50 ml but I found that I needed a little more to cover the surface, maybe 70 ml. This is where I went wrong the first time round, pouring in 500 ml... Don't try this! 

:: Finally, sprinkle 100 g of sugar over the entire surface. 

:: The baking time is approximately 10 to 15 min, depending on the efficiency of your oven. Best to be guided by the photo at the top, although this particular Nidlechueche could have been baked 2 min less, the sugar is a bit crunchy. 

Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee while you are waiting for the cake to cool down! 

I am sorry I haven't visited your own blogs lately, I succumbed to James' nasty bug and was more or less out of action for three days. Much better now, thankfully.

I'll be back with a weekend round-up on Monday evening. We are going camping! Have a great weekend yourself. xx