Get ready to create a seasonal favourite.
Chef Holger Lang brings a combination of 20-plus years of experience coupled with family inspiration to his role at this popular hotel.
Born in Germany, chef Holger has been executive chef at Swiss-Belhotel Seef Bahrain since March 2014.
He started his career in Germany and worked in Switzerland and Portugal before moving to Saudi Arabia in 2000 as executive sous chef at the Sheraton Hotel and Villas Jeddah. He later joined Kempinski in St Petersburg, Russia, and was part of the group’s opening team for properties in Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia and Bulgaria before returning to the Middle East to offer a new and audacious culinary experience to the guests of Swiss-Belhotel Seef Bahrain.
Chef Holger holds a Kitchen Master Craft Degree from the Hotel College Rotenberg, Germany and his worldwide experience has given him a good knowledge of French, Italian, Mediterranean, Asian and Oriental cuisines, with his favourites being Mediterranean and seafood.
He says: “I was first inspired by my father in my childhood as he was usually the one cooking for the whole family. At the beginning I was only watching him because I was intrigued and later I ended up helping him to prepare the meals. My mother was great at baking; she gave me some of her cake recipes and I treasure them, they represent so many memories.”
Of his love of cooking, he adds: “It is fascinating to work with fresh products and I can use my imagination to create dishes. There is no bigger appreciation than to see a happy guest, friend or relative enjoying one of the dishes I have prepared.”
Gugelhupf (or kugelhopf) is one of the most popular Austrian desserts, and a classic for afternoon teas and Sunday breakfasts, at home or in Vienna’s coffee houses.
Essentially, gugelhupf is a yeast or sponge cake baked in a peculiar high-creased cake tin with a tube in the middle, and served with sugar sprinkled on top. Its fine taste comes from chopped dried orange peels used in the dough. Varieties include adding raisins or creating a marble cake by blending dark dough with chocolate along with the original light dough.
Ingredients (serves 12)
• 300g butter
• 240g flour
• 150g icing sugar
• 150g crystalised sugar
• 60g raisins
• 4 egg yolks
• 4 egg whites
• Vanilla sugar
• Finely chopped lemon peel
• Flour and sugar for the pan
• Icing sugar to sprinkle
• Whisk the soft butter with the icing sugar until frothy.
• Whisk the egg whites and blend with the butter-sugar mixture.
• Add the egg yolks, the vanilla sugar, the crystalised sugar, the flour, the lemon peel and raisins and mix well.
• Pre-heat the oven to 180° Celsius.
• Coat the cake tin with butter and flour.
• Put the dough into the tin and bake for approximately one hour.
• Let the cake cool in the tin before turning it out. This is important, otherwise you risk leaving part of the cake behind. Be patient, this can take up to another hour.
• If the surface is very uneven, cut it straight using a knife.
• Sprinkle with icing sugar, using a small sieve or tea strainer.