Sponge Cake with Peaches

  • This cake is loosely based on one I made with pears.
  • However rather than use fresh peaches – I used tinned peaches.
  • My peaches were in syrup – but one in juice should also be fine (but not tested).
  • This sponge is made with sunflower oil and is very easy to make.

Ingredients

  • Tin of peaches – drained
  • *
  • 230g of plain flour
  • ½ tablespoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 125ml of sunflower oil
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • *
  • Icing Sugar to dredge – optional

Method

  • Pre-heat oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Use a 22cm loose bottom tin with a cake liner – (like a huge bun case).
  • Chop the peaches into small chunks.
  • Leave whilst you prepare the cake mixture.
    *
  • In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • In another bowl whisk the oil, sugar, vanilla extract and the eggs until they are thoroughly mixed.
  • Add the flour mixture to the oil mixture and mix thoroughly.
  • Place half the cake batter into the cooking tin.
  • Place half the peaches on top of the cake batter.
  • Cover with the rest of the cake batter.
  • Place the rest of the peaches evenly over the surface of the cake.
  • Bake for 60 – 65 minutes – cover and maybe another another 10 minutes if not done.
  • Leave to cool in the tin before turning it out.
  • *
  • Dredge with icing sugar when serving – optional.
  • Served on Royal Doulton – Sonnet  and Duchess – Bramble Rose tea plates
  • *
  • I tried this out also in a rectangular tin – 26 x 21cms.
  • The batter was poured into the tin and the peaches all put on the top.
  • This took 40 – 45 minutes to cook – check after 35 minutes and cover with baking paper if necessary.

Pierogi with Chicken & Spinach

    • I have been trying out new fillings for pierogi – all with chicken – here is the third and last for now – will be trying out different ones  later.
    • The filling is  made with cooked chicken as usual but I have found that chicken thighs make a tastier dish than chicken breast.
    • I cooked the chicken as for  rosȯł – chicken soup.
    • Spinach is often added to twaróg or yoghurt cheese but I wanted a more meaty mixture.
    • Lots of spinach cooks down to quite a small amount so the amount can be whatever you have.
    • You can mince the chicken and spinach but I used a mini-chopper, which gave a great smooth filling.

Ingredients – Filling 

  • 150 – 200g cooked chicken thighs
  • 150 -200g fresh spinach
  • 1-2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • *
  • Melted butter to serve

Method – Filling

  • Blanch the spinach in  rosȯł,  chicken stock or boiling water for several minutes.
  • Let it cool and drain it.
  • Whisk the spinach in a mini chopper.
  • Minch the chicken or use a mini chopper.
  • Mix the spinach with the chicken until well mixed.
  • Mix well in the cooled, melted butter.
  • Season to taste.
  • *
  • Serve with melted butter.
  • *
  • Instructions for putting the pierogi together are below the photographs.

How to make pierogi

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.

Coffee Tort

  • I wanted to make a coffee tort using strong ground coffee rather than instant.
  • I think my mother used Camp Coffee – concentrated syrup flavoured with coffee and chicory.
  • It was first produced in 1876 by S. Paterson & Sons Ltd in Glasgow.
  • Camp Coffee is still made today and used mainly in home baking.
  • I made two sponge cakes with the method of weighing the eggs in their shells and then weighing the same amounts of butter, caster sugar and plain flour.
  • I made a 2 egg  version but you can easily make a bigger cake and adjust the ingredients and cake tin sizes.
  • You can make more butter cream to cover the sides.

Ingredients – Cake

  • 2 eggs
  • Equal weights of – 
  • -Butter
  • -Caster sugar
  • -Plain flour
  • 2½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of strong coffee
  • *
  • 125ml strong coffee & 2 tablespoons of sugar – mixed so the sugar dissolves
  • * you can use a larger volume of coffee- say 180ml or even 250ml – adjust the sugar

Method – Cake

  • Line the bases of 2 x 18cm diameter sandwich tins.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Mix the flour with the baking powder.
  • Cream the butter and sugar till pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in the coffee.
  • Beat in the eggs – one by one.
  • Fold in the flour.
  • Divide the mixture between the two tins.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 mins.
  • Leave to cool in the tins on a baking rack.

Ingredients –  Butter Cream

  • 100g butter
  • 200g icing sugar – more may be needed
  • 3 tablespoons strong coffee

Method – Butter Cream

  • Cream the butter with half of the icing sugar.
  • Mix in and cream the coffee.
  • Add the rest of the icing sugar, bit by bit until you have the consistency you require. 

Assembling the tort

  • Place one of the two cakes on a flat cake plate.
  • Use half the coffee and sugar mixture and spoon it over the cake.
  • Spread half the butter cream over the cake.
  • Put the second cake over the butter cream.
  • Use the rest of the coffee and sugar mixture over the top.
  • Spread the rest of the butter cream over the top.
  • Using a pointed spatula, make a pattern in the butter cream.
  • Vintage cake stand on a central chrome/steel foot
  • Tea plate – Crown bone china

Pierogi – Mexican Inspired

    • I have been trying out new fillings for pierogi – all with chicken – here is the second.
    • This was on the menu in a restaurant in Kraków that I went to a few years ago  I did not choose this but noted it down.
    • The filling is  made with cooked chicken as usual and  I have found that chicken thighs make a tastier dish than chicken breast.
    • I cooked the chicken as for  rosȯł – chicken soup.
    • You can mince the chicken and beans but I used a mini-chopper, which gave a great smooth filling.
    • This makes a lot of filling so I  have given instructions for 500g of flour for the dough.
    • The amount of chilli will vary depending on how fresh your chilli powder is and your tastes.
    • Use paprika instead of chilli if you do not like food hot.

Ingredients – Filling

  • Tin Kidney beans – drained
  • 250 – 350g cooked chicken
  • 2- 3 teaspoons chilli powder  (to taste or paprika)
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method – Filling

  • Mash the beans well or use a mini chopper.
  • Mince the chicken or use a mini chopper.
  • Combine the chicken and beans.
  • Add the melted butter and the egg yolks and mix well.
  • Add the chilli and season to taste.

To Serve

  • Serve with melted butter.
  • Serve with onions – char cooked in butter.
  • Serve with onions cooked with chopped peppers – can also add some chopped fresh chilli.
  • Serve with melted butter with chilli flakes add – NOT tested.

How to make pierogi

Ingredients – Dough

  • 500g pasta flour or plain flour & 2 tablespoons of fine semolina
  • 300ml water
  • 1 -2  tablespoons oil – sunflower or light olive
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg yolks

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 quarters.
    • 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 quarter 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.

Honeyed Plum Sauce

  • Super with meats such as chicken, duck and pork.
  • Also with great with desserts and with yoghurt.

Ingredients

  • 10 plums
  • 250ml water (maybe a little extra)
  • 4-6 tablespoons of runny honey

Method

  • Simmer the plums gently in the water.
  • Stir until the plums fall apart.
  • Add extra water if needed.
  • Add as much honey as required to taste.
  • Remove the pips – optional.
  • Serve hot with meats or chilled with desserts.

Pierogi with Chicken & Carrots

  • This is my 500th post – so I thought I would do a variation on a classic!
  • I have been trying out new fillings for pierogi – all with chicken – here is the first.
  • The fillings are made with cooked chicken as usual but I have found the chicken thighs make a tastier dish than chicken breast.
  • I cooked the chicken as for  rosȯł – chicken soup.
  • 5 – 6 carrots were in with the chicken.
  • You can mince the chicken and carrots but I used a mini-chopper, which gave a great smooth filling.

Ingredients

  • 200g of cooked chicken thighs – without bones or skin
  • 5-6 carrots boiled with the thighs
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method

  • Mince or use a mini-chopper to get a smooth mixture of chicken and carrots.
  • Mix in the melted butter and egg yolk.
  • Season to taste.
  • Use the filling to make pierogi in the usual way.
  • *
  • Serve with melted butter.
  • *
  • I have added how to make pierogi – below the photographs.
  • How to make pierogi

  • 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.

Little Honey Cakes

  • This recipe, which only uses honey as the sweetener, is based on an old Yorkshire recipe.
  • It would be quite “at home” with Polish recipes for pierniczki.

INGREDIENTS

  • 100g butter
  • 225 plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 130g runny honey
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • (A little milk – maybe needed)

METHOD

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 5 – 190°C.
  • Grease two large baking trays.
  • Mix the baking powder with the flour.
  • Rub in the butter till it is like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the mixed spices, caraway seeds and ginger.
  • Mix in the honey and egg to give a soft dough.
  • (Should it not be soft enough – add a dash of milk).
  • With lightly floured hands make balls with the dough (larger than walnut).
  • Place the balls on the baking tray – leaving room for them to spread.
  • Flatten the balls slightly.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Leave them to cool on the trays before removing.

Honey Cake – Miodownik 4

  • This is based on an old English recipe and is a bit lighter than my other Polish honey cakes.
  • There are no spices in the original recipe but you can of course add them.

Ingredients

  • 150g butter
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 150ml honey
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 4 – 180 C.
  • Grease and line a 26 x 16cm baking tin.
  • In a saucepan gently melt the butter and sugar.
  • Add the honey and stir.
  • Add the milk and stir again.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Mix in the eggs.
  • Mix the baking powder with the flour.
  • Add the flour to the mixture to give a smooth batter.
  • Pour the batter into the tin and smooth the top.
  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
  • Check that the top is not burning and cover with baking paper if necessary.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.

Crown bone china tea plate

Pancakes with Bacon

  • These are the thick American style pancakes not the thin crepes.
  • A good way of serving the bacon.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • 180 – 200ml of milk
  • 180g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 6 rashers of streaky smoked bacon
  • *
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • *
  • Fried eggs, maple syrup or sugar, butter – to serve

Method

  • Chop the bacon into small squares.
  • Fry till crisp & strain of any fat.
  • Keep to one side & warm.
  • *
  • Mix the flour and the baking powder together.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour.
  • Mix in the eggs.
  • Mix in enough milk to make a thick batter.
  • *
  • Fry large tablespoons of the batter on a hot griddle or frying pan.
  • Add some bacon bits to the top.
  • Turn over the pancakes and fry on the other side.
  • *
  • Serve as savoury with scrambled or fried eggs or more sweet with butter and maple syrup.
  • This Pyrex design from the 1970s is called Carnaby.

Pineapple & Coconut Cake

  • I came across this recipe ages ago but have only just had a chance to make it.
  • The original recipe used a small tin of pineapples, which I have not seen for a while.
  • I used part of a larger tin, which meant I had pineapples left to just eat or use in another dish.
  • The original recipe was baked in a loaf tin, which would have made it a keks.
  • However I think it is best in a flat rectangular tin – so maybe this is a placek!

Ingredients

  • 150g plain flour
  • 1½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • 110g butter
  • 75g granulated sugar
  • 50g & 1 tablespoon of desiccated coconut
  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • 120g tinned pineapples – drained and chopped 
  • 75g sultanas or raisins
  • *
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons of pineapple juice

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM5 – 190°C.
  • Drain the pineapples, reserve the juice.
  • Weigh out the 120g of pineapples and chop these up into small pieces.
  • Grease and line a 26 x 16cm baking tin.
  • Mix together the flour and the baking powder.
  • Rub in the butter till the mixture is like breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the sugar and the 50g of coconut.
  • Mix in the eggs.
  • Mix in the pineapples.
  • Mix in the sultanas.
  • Put the cake mixture into the tin and smooth the top.
  • Scatter the tablespoon of coconut over the top.
  • Bake for 25-30minutes.
  • *
  • Mix the 2 tablespoons of sugar and pineapple juice together.
  • *
  • Spoon the juice mixture evenly over the top of the cake as soon as you get it out of the oven.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Royal Doulton Carnation tea plate