Eastern European Kulich with Whipped Cream Cheese and Ricotta Icing by Winning Appliances

RatingDifficultyIntermediate
Prep Time20 minsCook Time30 minsTotal Time50 mins
Soaked fruit
 300g mixed dried fruit, like cranberries, apricots, fig and golden raisins
 ½ cup (110g) sugar
 ½ cup (125ml) water
 ¼ cup (60ml) Contreau
 1 strip of orange rind, pith removed
Dough
 1 tbsp boiling water
 ½ tsp saffron threads
 ¾ cup (180ml) tepid milk
 3 tsp dried yeast
 ⅓ cup (75g) caster sugar
 3 cups (450g) 00 flour
 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
 1 tsp cinnamon
 1/2 tsp mixed spice
 50g butter, softened
 2 eggs, lightly beaten, plus
 1 egg, extra, beaten
Whipped cream cheese and ricotta Icing
 1 packet (200g) smooth cream cheese, room temperature
 125g butter, cubed, at room temperature
 1 cup (160g) pure icing sugar, sifted
 1 tbsp finely grated orange rind
 ⅓ cup (80g) smooth ricotta
1

For the soaked fruit, in a small saucepan add fruit, sugar, water, rind and Cointreau. Bring to the boil, then cook on medium-high heat for 6 minutes or until sugar has dissolved and mixture has slightly thickened. Set aside to cool completely.

2

For the dough, in a small bowl, mix boiling water and saffron. Set aside to soak saffron and allow colour to develop.

3

Place milk, yeast and 1 tsp of the sugar in a small bowl and set aside for 5 minutes until foamy.

4

In a large mixing bowl, add flour, remaining sugar, salt, cinnamon and mixed spice; stir to combine ingredients.

5

Add yeast mixture, saffron water, butter and eggs; use a flat bladed knife to bring together to form a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Alternately, place in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix until smooth and elastic. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl; cover lightly with plastic wrap and cover with a tea towel; set aside for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Alternatively, place in the steam oven set at 30°C until doubled in size.

6

Meanwhile, strain fruit, allowing fruit to drain well; reserve syrup. Divide the fruit in half; set aside one half for the dough; return the remaining fruit to the syrup, which will be used for serving.

7

Wash and dry 4 x 450g empty fruit cans. Grease and line with baking paper.

8

Punch down dough and turn out onto a floured surface; sprinkle with the drained fruit. Gently knead dough, incorporating the fruit, kneading for 1 - 2 minutes or until fruit is combined.

9

Divide the dough into 4 equal portions; roll into balls. Place into prepared cans; set aside for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

10

Preheat oven to 175°C fan forced with low added steam. Brush dough with extra beaten egg and cook for 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from cans, and place on a wire rack to cool.

11

To make icing, place cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixture and beat for 2-3 minutes until fluffy. Add icing sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes until smooth; fold through rind and ricotta.

12

To serve, top with icing and spoon over with remaining fruit mixture.

Recipe Notes 

  • Don’t have empty cans available? You can also bake one large Kulich using a lightly greased round 20cm cake pan. 
  • Ensure your baking paper lining is high enough to help ensure you get a beautiful straight high Kulich.
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Ingredients

Soaked fruit
 300g mixed dried fruit, like cranberries, apricots, fig and golden raisins
 ½ cup (110g) sugar
 ½ cup (125ml) water
 ¼ cup (60ml) Contreau
 1 strip of orange rind, pith removed
Dough
 1 tbsp boiling water
 ½ tsp saffron threads
 ¾ cup (180ml) tepid milk
 3 tsp dried yeast
 ⅓ cup (75g) caster sugar
 3 cups (450g) 00 flour
 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
 1 tsp cinnamon
 1/2 tsp mixed spice
 50g butter, softened
 2 eggs, lightly beaten, plus
 1 egg, extra, beaten
Whipped cream cheese and ricotta Icing
 1 packet (200g) smooth cream cheese, room temperature
 125g butter, cubed, at room temperature
 1 cup (160g) pure icing sugar, sifted
 1 tbsp finely grated orange rind
 ⅓ cup (80g) smooth ricotta

Directions

1

For the soaked fruit, in a small saucepan add fruit, sugar, water, rind and Cointreau. Bring to the boil, then cook on medium-high heat for 6 minutes or until sugar has dissolved and mixture has slightly thickened. Set aside to cool completely.

2

For the dough, in a small bowl, mix boiling water and saffron. Set aside to soak saffron and allow colour to develop.

3

Place milk, yeast and 1 tsp of the sugar in a small bowl and set aside for 5 minutes until foamy.

4

In a large mixing bowl, add flour, remaining sugar, salt, cinnamon and mixed spice; stir to combine ingredients.

5

Add yeast mixture, saffron water, butter and eggs; use a flat bladed knife to bring together to form a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Alternately, place in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix until smooth and elastic. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl; cover lightly with plastic wrap and cover with a tea towel; set aside for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Alternatively, place in the steam oven set at 30°C until doubled in size.

6

Meanwhile, strain fruit, allowing fruit to drain well; reserve syrup. Divide the fruit in half; set aside one half for the dough; return the remaining fruit to the syrup, which will be used for serving.

7

Wash and dry 4 x 450g empty fruit cans. Grease and line with baking paper.

8

Punch down dough and turn out onto a floured surface; sprinkle with the drained fruit. Gently knead dough, incorporating the fruit, kneading for 1 - 2 minutes or until fruit is combined.

9

Divide the dough into 4 equal portions; roll into balls. Place into prepared cans; set aside for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

10

Preheat oven to 175°C fan forced with low added steam. Brush dough with extra beaten egg and cook for 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from cans, and place on a wire rack to cool.

11

To make icing, place cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixture and beat for 2-3 minutes until fluffy. Add icing sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes until smooth; fold through rind and ricotta.

12

To serve, top with icing and spoon over with remaining fruit mixture.

Eastern European Kulich with Whipped Cream Cheese and Ricotta Icing by Winning Appliances
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