Chocolate Cookies

  • I was given this recipe recently and it is amazing how the icing sugar comes out crinkled.
  • They are so chocolatey 
  • Cookies would be called ciasteczka in Poland.
  • After mixing up the ingredients you have to refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  • I always mix this in the evening and leave it overnight.


  • 30g cocoa
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 65g plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 30g walnuts – chopped
  • *
  • 2 -3 tablespoons icing sugar


  • Mix the cocoa and sugar together
  • Add the oil, beaten egg and vanilla essence.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.
  • Mix the flour mixture with the cocoa mixture until combined.
  • Mix in the walnuts.
  • Cover the bowl and place in the fridge.
  • Leave overnight.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM3 – 150°C.
  • Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  • Put the icing sugar into a small/medium bowl.
  • Using a spoon divide the mixture into 12 even pieces.
  • Place these onto a large plate.
  • Drop 3 pieces into the icing sugar.
  • Roll them a little in the sugar to coat.
  • Pick each one up and roll in your palms to make an even ball.
  • Roll the ball in the icing sugar again.
  • This initial coating really works to stop the mixture sticking to your hands.
  • Place the ball on the baking sheet.
  • Leave space as these will spread.
  • Repeat with the other balls.
  • Bake for 11-12 minutes.
  • They will be soft and firm up once they cool.
  • Leave them to cool on the tray for 5-10 minutes.
  • Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. 
Crown Staffordshire Serving Plate

Gherkin Sauce – 1

  • I have a few more sauces to write about this year.
  • Gherkin sauce is Ogórkowy sos in Polish.
  • It is quite simple to make and can be made all year round.
  • It goes well with fish and also light meat such as roast chicken or pork.


  • 1 onion – chopped fine
  • 2 medium gherkins – chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of plain flour
  • 250ml of vegetable stock
  • Sugar to taste – optional


  • Fry the onions gently in the butter till golden.
  • Add the flour, mix and cook for a few minutes.
  • Slowly add the vegetable stock.
  • Stir until the sauce thickens and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the gherkins and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add  a little sugar to taste.
  • Serve hot.

Illustration –  by Czesław Wielhorski from my Kuchnia Polska book – first published in the 1950s. 

  • Super with fish!


Jabłecznik with a Different Filling

  • This is a variation on my well loved Polish Apple Cake.
  • I came across this filling whilst doing some research for Historic English recipes.
  • This is a Georgian recipe.
  • Rather than cinnamon, nutmeg and orange are used.
  • Egg yolks and butter are also added.
  • In the original recipe the filling was used in a tart.
  • Here I have used my Mama’s jabłecznik  recipe for the cake.
  • The filling has to be cold so you can make it the night before.

Ingredients – Filling

  • 4 Bramley apples
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange
  • 2-3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 30g butter
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 eggs yolks

Method – Filling

  • Peel, core and slice the apples
  • Place the apples in a saucepan with the sugar, zest and juice of the orange.
  • Cook until the apples are soft.
  • Add the grated nutmeg.
  • Take off the heat and add the butter.
  • When cold add the egg yolks and mix  well.

Ingredients – Cake

  • 300g plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 200g butter
  • 75g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk (save the white for the topping)
  • Juice of 1 lemon and 3-5 tablespoons of cold water
  • *
  • Sprinkle of granulated sugar for the top of the cake


  • You need a round tin with a loose base or a spring form tin or you will not be able to get the cake out.
  • I always use an anodised aluminium tin, 22cm in diameter and 8 cm deep, which does not rust.
  • Grease the tin well.
  • Rub the butter into the flour to make fine crumbs and add the sugar.
  • Add the egg yolk and the lemon juice and enough water to make a soft “dough” (try not to add more flour),  handle it as little as possible.
  • Leave it to chill for about ½ an hour as this makes it easier to handle.
  • *
  • Pre heat the oven to GM5 – 190oC.
  • Take slightly more than half the dough and press it into the cake tin.
  • Add the apple filling on top.
  • The rest of the dough will go on top of the apple mixture.
  • I use a rolling pin to make a circle that is smaller than the tin diameter and then place this on top.
  • Do not worry if the dough falls apart, just place it on with the breaks nearly touching.
  • Brush with beaten egg white.
  • Sprinkle the sugar on top.
  • Bake for around 50 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.
  • Tea Plate – Bramble Rose by Duchess from the 1960s.


  • These are sauerkraut pancakes or fritters.
  • I found this recipe from Southern Poland recently and thought they sound like “cousins” of:
  • Kotlety with cabbage
  • Kotlety with sauerkraut
  • Kartoflane placki 
  • Vegetable fritters
  • So I had to give them a try.
  • They are super!
  • They will be added to my list of best recipes to be made often.
  • They are best eaten “fresh from the pan”
  • But you can keep them warm in a low oven.


  • 300g sauerkraut
  • 1 onion
  • 150g white or spelt flour
  • 200ml of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste
  • *
  • Sunflower oil to fry
  • *
  • Flaked salt to serve with
  • Sour cream  or a garlic mayonnaise/yoghurt dip
  • Good with fried eggs and bacon


  • Drain the sauerkraut and place in a clean tea towel and squeeze out any excess liquid.
  • Chop it finely.
  • Finely chop the onion.
  • Whisk the milk and eggs, then slowly start adding the flour.
  • Add the sauerkraut and onion and mix well.
  • Season with salt and pepper (remember that the sauerkraut is already salty).
  • In a frying pan heat up the oil.
  • Place tablespoons of the mixture into the pan.
  • Fry till golden on both sides..
  • Place them  on a plate lined with paper towels to drain off excess fat.
  • Serve with sour cream or fried eggs and bacon.
  • Vintage Pyrex – plate
  • Meakin pottery – Topic – plate

Chocolate Roll

  • This cake would be called a rolada in Polish.
  • The baking of this is simple – the hardest part is adding the filling and rolling it back together.
  • You can make many versions of this with different fillings.
  • Here I have used a sour cherry jam layer and a sweet curd or cream cheese layer on top.

Ingredients – Cake

  • 2 eggs
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 50g Plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • *
  • extra sugar for rolling

Ingredients – Filling

  • Sour Cherry Jam & a little water
  • *
  • 150-200g  yoghurt cheese or cream cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons of soured cream
  • Icing sugar to taste

Method – Cake

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 7 – 220°C.
  • Grease and line a 24 x 34cm baking sheet.
  • *
  • Have ready 2 more sheets of baking paper.
  • Lay one of these flat and sprinkle with caster sugar.
  • *
  • Whisk the eggs and sugar until light, pale and fluffy.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and cocoa together till uniform.
  • Fold in the flour mixture with a metal spoon.
  • Spread the mixture over the prepared tin with a spatula –
  • Getting to all the edges as nearly as possible.
  • Bake for 7- 8 minutes.
  • DO NOT OVERBAKE or it will crack later.
  • Take out the cake and tip it onto the sugared paper.
  • Peel off the paper which was under the cake.
  • Using a metal spatula can be helpful.
  • Put the third sheet of baking paper on top of the cake.
  • Roll up the cake from the narrow end with the paper inside.
  • Leave the cake to cool completely.

Method – Filling

  • Use a small saucepan to thin down the jam by adding a little water, mixing and heating it gently.
  • Leave to cool completely.
  • *
  • Mix the cheese ingredients to taste.
  • You want a soft spreadable mixture.

Assembling the cake

  • Unroll the cake gently and flatten a little.
  • Spread on the jam over the whole cake.
  • Spread on the sweet cheese mixture over the jam.
  • Roll up the cake again.
  • Leave in a cool place for about an hour before serving.
  • Serve as thick slices
  • *
  • Can taste even better the next day as the jam seeps into the cake.
  • Served on Royal Doulton – Flirtation from the late 1970s.

You can try this with a variety of options with different jams and flavours for the sweet cheese. 



  • This is based on an old English recipe.
  • They have a shortcrust pastry base with slightly lemony filling.
  • They are best made with a rich buttery pastry.


  • Shortcrust pastry – Kruche ciasto – from 250g plain flour
  • *
  • 50g butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • Grated rind of 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of soured cream
  • 2eggs & 1 yolk
  • 100g ground almonds


  • Pre-heat the oven to – GM5
  • Butter shallow tart tins.
  • Roll out the pastry very thinly.
  • Cut out circles to fit and line each tart mould.
  • *
  • Cream the butter and sugar with the lemon rind.
  • Add in the eggs and yolk.
  • Mix in the lemon juice and  soured cream.
  • Mix in the almonds.
  • *
  • ¾ fill each tart – leaving room for expansion.
  • Bake for 15-16 minutes.
  • Leave to cool a little before removing them from the tins.
  • Served on Royal Standard – Lyndale – 1949 – 1960.

Carrot & Leek Soup

  • This recipe makes two different types of soup – two ways –  chunky and creamed.
  • A light vegetable stock is the basis of this soup.


  • 4 large carrots
  • 2-3 leeks
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1½ litres of vegetable stock
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • *
  • Several tablespoonfuls of soured cream for the creamed soup


  • Chop the leeks into small slices.
  • Fry them lightly in the butter.
  • Peel and chop the carrots.
  • Peel and chop the potatoes into small chunks.
  • Add then all to the stock.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Simmer till the vegetable are soft.
  • *
  • Check the seasoning and serve.

Creamy version

  • Purée the vegetables – a stick blender is good for this.
  • Add the soured cream and serve.
  • Served in:
  • Royal Stafford – Blossom Time
  • Midwinter – Spanish Garden

Fish Pierogi

  • I decided to try these after making fish pulpety, which were so good.
  • I adapted the filling slightly.
  • I used frozen basa fish but cod or haddock would also be good.
  • I have not made pierogi with a fish filling before – the verdict – delicious!

Ingredients – Filling

  • 150-200g cooked white fish
  • 1 onion chopped fine
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 1 slice white bread or a small bread roll
  • 1 tablespoon of dried breadcrumbs
  • Chopped flat-leaved parsley
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • *
  • Melted butter – to serve

Method – Filling

  • Fry the onions gently in the butter till golden.
  • Leave the onions to cool.
  • Make crumbs from the white bread.
  • Chop the fish into small pieces.
  • Mix the ingredients together.
  • Season to taste.
  • Use the filling to make pierogi *in the usual way.
  • *
  • *Quick recap of pierogi instructions below

To Serve

  • These are good served just with the melted butter.
  • I also liked the gently refried ones, in the butter, the next day.

*Pierogi Instructions

Ingredients – Dough

  • 250g pasta flour or plain flour & 2 tablespoons of fine semolina
  • 150ml water
  • 1 tablespoon oil – sunflower or light olive
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk

Method – Dough

  • In a jug or bowl mix together the water, oil and the yolk.
  • Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
  • Pour in the liquid from the jug and initially use a knife to mix this into the flour and then use your hands to mix the liquid and flour to get a ball of dough.Turn this out onto a floured board and knead the dough for a few minutes until you have a smooth ball.
  • Cover and leave to rest for about ½ an hour.
  • *
  • Cut the dough into half.
  • Prepare a large tray and cover it with a clean cotton or linen tea towel and sprinkle this with flour.
  • On a floured board roll out the dough a half at a time until you have a sheet of thinly rolled dough.
  • Cut out circles using a 7 cm diameter cutter.
  • The excess dough can be re-mixed and rolled out again.
  • Around a half tablespoon of filling is put on  each circle and then they are folded over and the edges pinched together to make a good seal.
  • You learn from experience how much filling to put in as too much will make it hard to seal them and if not properly sealed they will burst on boiling.  Do not worry if you have a few mishaps – it still happens – even with experience – it is hard to salvage one that has gone wrong – just accept that there will be a few that you do not cook.
  • Place the sealed pierogi on prepared tray until they are all made, do not let then touch each other.
  • *
  • To cook the pierogi, use a large pan of boiling water to which you have added some salt and a drizzle of oil.
  • Drop the pierogi in one by one and allow them to boil.  I usually do about 5 to 6 at a time.
  • As they cook they will float to the surface, let them boil for 2 minutes and then remove them with a slotted or perforated spoon and put into a colander above a pan for a few seconds to drain and serve with melted butter.
  • Continue boiling batches in the same water.
  • If you want to make all the pierogi to serve together then you need to get a large oven proof dish.
  • Melt lots of butter in the dish.
  • Keep the dish warm in a low oven.
  • As you take out the cooked pierogi add them to the dish and coat them with the melted butter.
  • Keep on adding more as they cook.

No Bake Chocolate Cake

  • My mother would often make this and I liked to help as it was easy – there was no baking required.
  • She would use plain biscuits such as:  Morning Coffee, Petit Beurre or Rich Tea.
  • These are called herbatniki – (biscuits to go with a drink of tea) – in Poland.
  • The biscuits were roughly crushed using a potato masher – they do not want to be too small.
  • Chocolate, butter and sugar are melted together and the biscuits are added.
  • My mother would press this into a square or rectangular tin, which was well buttered and lined.
  • This was then easy top cut up into small cubes or rectangles.
  • You can make make this in a small (15 cm) circular, loose bottomed tin and pour a chocolate glaze or icing over this.
  • With the given proportions it is easy to double-up etc to make a large cake or a two tiered cake.
  • *
  • I had always thought of this as a Polish recipe but have read recently that the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge had a similar one as one of their wedding cakes.
  • Also I have read that Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II enjoys this cake too.


  • 180g biscuits
  • 90g butter
  • 180g dark and milk chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons of cold water.


  • Butter and line a small rectangle 27 x 18 cm tin.
  • Crush half of the biscuits finely.
  • Roughly crush the other half of the biscuits.
  • Melt the chocolate in a bowl over some boiling water.
  • Add the butter and mix.
  • Add the water and mix
  • Mix  in the biscuits till they are all coated.
  • Press into the prepared and flatten the top with a wooden spoon.
  • Leave in a cool place or refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Crown Devon – Du Barry Cake Stand – 1930s.

Placek po węgiersku

  • Po węgiersku  means in a Hungarian style
  • This is not so much a recipe but a way of serving two well known dishes – 
  • Kartoflane placki – Polish potato pancakes and gulasz. 
  • Usually the pancakes are made around 6-7cm in diameter, here each one is made the size of a breakfast plate around 18 – 20cm in diameter.
  • Try and made the pancake as thin as possible ( I think mine were a bit too thick!)
  • Serve with a portion of your favourite Hungarian style gulasz on top and a large dollop of soured cream and a sprinkling of sweet ground paprika.

Ingredients – Kartoflane placki

  • 4 large starchy potatoes such as King Edward or Maris Piper
  • 1 medium or large onion
  • 1 egg or just the egg yolk
  • Plain flour
  • Salt & pepper
  • *
  • Oil for frying


  • Peel the potatoes then grate them using the fine size of the grater into a large bowl –  this is the part that takes time – I have tried using the coarse grate but they are not as good.
  • Leave to stand for a few minutes and the water from the potatoes will rise to the surface. If the potatoes are very watery pour of some of the water. The easiest way is to tip up the bowl slightly over the sink and hold down the potatoes with the palm of your hand.

  • Peel the onion and also fine grate it and add to the potatoes. This is the part that would often result in the grating of my knuckles as I tried to use every last bit of onion – I now often use some form of electrical mini-chopper to get a pulp of onion.

  • Add the egg, salt & pepper.

  • Add enough plain flour so that the mixture is thick.

  • Heat some oil in a frying pan, a thick cast iron one is ideal.
  • Place large spoonfuls of the mixture onto the hot oil and flatten it out to make a large circle.
  • Fry till golden on both sides.
  • It should be thin and  slightly crispy at the edges.
  • Do not have the pan too hot or it will burn on the outside and be raw in the centre.
  • Do not have the pan too cool or it will end up too greasy and not crispy.

To Serve

  • Have ready your favourite Hungarian style gulasz – cooked and hot.
  • Place a portion in the centre of the pancake.
  • Add a dollop of soured cream.
  • Sprinkle with sweet, ground paprika.
  • Served on Meakin – Topic plates – from the late 1960s.