Onion cake is a wonderful lunch or supper and together with a glass of Federweisser (just fermented grape juice or young wine) it is a typical dish for a wine region. One could only get this lightly sparkling juice in late autumn and I was happy to still see some bottles around yesterday which directly lead to our supper. This is a hearty savoury cake, good enough to take on the road as well or to have friends over for an informal evening. It is easy and – considering it is a yeast dough – quick to prepare, just get out the bottles of Federweisser (only 4% alcohol) and a nice salad. Done!
Zwiebelkuchen & Federweisser – onion cake & young wine
makes 6 main course or 12 starter portions
½ block of fresh yeast (21g) or half an envelope of dried yeast (3.5g)
100ml (3.4 US oz) tepid water
1 pinch caster sugar
250g (2 cups) flour (plain or bread flour) + extra for kneading
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
butter to grease the tin
600g (21 oz) = 3 big onions
100g (3 ½ oz) bacon lardons
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ – 1 teaspoon ground paprika
100g (3 ½ oz) Crème fraîche
100g (3 ½ oz) medium mature gouda, grated
1 round springform tin with removable bottom, 24cm or10 inches in diameter
Make the dough:
Dissolve the yeast in the tepid water and add a pinch of sugar to feed it. If you are unsure about the activity of your yeast, leave it for a while and see if the yeast starts to foam. Measure the flour into a mixing bowl and add the yeast, dust with a little flour, cover with a cloth and rest for 15 minutes. Add the oil and salt and knead to a smooth dough. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest for another 30 minutes.
Make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) or 180°C fan oven.
Cut the onions into half moons. Heat a frying pan with the oil and lightly fry the bacon. Add the onions and season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, thyme and paprika and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Stir from time to time, the onions should get soft but not brown.
Grease your tin with a little bit of butter. Briefly knead the dough on a floured surface and roll out to fit into your tin and form a 3-4cm (1-1½ inches) rim. Whisk the crème fraîche into the eggs, add the cheese and season again. Decant the onion mixture onto the dough and drizzle with the egg-cheese-cream. Bake in the oven for about 25-35 minutes.
Leave to cool and serve with a glass of fresh Federweisser.