A speciality from Alsace and Germany, which is a kind of fluted brioche with almonds, made in a special mould... The recipe includes flour, eggs, butter, sugar, raisins.
Where does the kugelhopf come from? In German, kugel means "ball" and off "yeast" or "open", because people used to cook it in a mould with an "open half-ball" shape, to let the dough rising, says the book Dictionnaire universel de cuisine pratique.
People ate it since the Middle-Ages, in Austria, Flanders, Germany and Alsace. The tradition said that ex-king of Poland Stanislas (and duke of Lorraine) brought the recipe with him when he arrived in Nancy. Chevriot, his cook, made kugelhopfs for him, that Stan ate with a Malaga wine glass!
The court in Versailles just loved them: Marie-Antoinette ate them each morning at breakfast. Famous French cook Antonin Carême even popularized the recipe in Paris and talked about it in his book Le Pâtissier royal ("The Royal Pastrycook")... a recipe he learned from prince Schwartzenberg’s cook, Mr. Eugène Wolf.
And what about the nice moulds? The museum of Alsacian Traditional Art and Gingerbread, in Gertwiller, shows some extraordinary moulds, with funny shapes: fleur-de-lis, baby Jesus, rabbit, hen, craw-fish, heart... A collection of 300 models, from the 18th to the 19th century!