Kirschenmichel, sweet Cherries in a Swabian Bread Pudding
by eat in my kitchen
Sweet, dark cherries bedded in an aromatic bread pudding spiced with cinnamon, cloves and Kirsch liqueur, that’s the famous Swabian Kirschenplotzer also known as Kirschenmichel! It’s a bit more firm and less soggy compared to other bread-based desserts, you can cut it like a cake but it still has the juicy texture that a good pudding should have.
I first found out about this cake through my step father. He grew up in the south of Germany, his mother and grandmother were specialists for traditional bread pudding. He taught me that unpitted cherries create the best result, this thankfully bypasses the pitting and so I enjoy the sweet fruits with all their juiciness. The bread you choose for the batter also has a big effect on the pudding’s taste therefore you should always use the best buns you can get. Mine are from a Swabian bakery, tasty, sweet and spongy soft buns. You can use stale white left over bread but I prefer to bake the pudding with cakey buns which aren’t too hard, they give it a nicer texture in my opinion. When it comes to the fruits I always buy fresh and not canned cherries. Preserved fruits work as well but their taste is watered down and not fresh enough, there’s no crunchiness left.
There’s one thing you should keep in mind when you take the first bite of this cake, mind the pits! I almost injured one of my cousins at one of our family gatherings when I forgot to tell her that I left out the pitting. Luckily, her teeth survived and everybody loved the cake. There is lots of spitting involved so you shouldn’t serve this cake at a formal afternoon tea, keep it for friends you know well!
For a 25cm / 10″ springform pan you need
sweet cherries, unpitted, rinsed, 1kg / 2 pounds
hazelnuts, chopped, 60g / 2 ounces
sweet soft buns, fresh or stale, cut into cubes, 175g / 6 ounces (around 3-4 buns)
milk 350 ml / 12 ounces
organic eggs 3
a pinch of salt
butter, soft, 100g / 3.5 ounces
sugar 120g / 4 ouces
Kirsch liqueur 2 tablespoons
plain flour 100g / 3.5 ounces
baking powder 2 1/2 teaspoons
ground cinnamon 2 1/2 teaspoons
cloves, crushed, 4
breadcrumbs to line the pan
Set the oven to 180°C / 355°F (fan-assisted oven), butter and line the springform pan with breadcrumbs.
Bring the milk to the boil, put the chopped bread in a big bowl and soak it in the milk for a few minutes.
Beat the egg whites and salt till stiff.
Mix the butter and sugar till fluffy, add the egg yolks and Kirsch liqueur and mix for 2 minutes till creamy. Stir in the soaked buns with a spoon and mix well.
Combine the flour, baking powder and spices and stir into the butter egg mixture with a wooden spoon. When it’s well combined stir in the stiff egg whites. Add the cherries and nuts and pour into the springform pan.
Bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown. Check with a skewer, it should come out clean. Let the cake cool down for a few minutes.
You should keep the Kirschenmichel in the fridge but always serve it at room temperature!