Grape Meringue Placek

This cake is a cross between my grape meringue cake and placek(flat cake) with rhubarb and meringue. 

There are two parts to this cake

  • Short pastry base – baked and cooled
  • Grapes & Meringue topping.

Short pastry base

The base of this is made made from the recipe for  Ciasto kruche 1 – using raw egg yolks found in a previous post  – Pastry – ciasto kruche & półkruche.  

However as the topping is sweet, I used less sugar in the pastry – you might be able to omit all the sugar – I have not tried this.

Ingredients – Base

  • 300g plain flour
  • 200g butter – chilled
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 4 egg yokes
  • pinch of salt

Method – Base

  • Add a pinch of salt to the flour.
  • Use a knife to cut the chilled butter into small pieces into the flour and then use your fingers to make the mixture like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the icing sugar and mix this together.
  • Add the yolks and gently mix them in
  • Bring it all together into a dough – try and handle the pastry as little as possible.
  • Form the dough into a rough rectangle.
  • Wrap the dough in grease proof paper and chill it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to GM 6 – 200°C.
  • Grease and line a 33 x 23 cm baking tin – use one long piece for sides and base – helps to take it out. 
  • Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough a little
  • Press the dough into the tin – filling it up all the sides.
  • Prick the surface with a fork.
  • Bake for 20 – 25 minutes till golden.
  • Leave to cool.

Ingredients – Meringue

  • 4 egg whites
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 2 sponge fingers  – crushed
  • *
  • 300g seedless green grapes

Method – Meringue

  • Preheat the oven to GM 2 -150°C.
  • Place the whites into a grease free bowl.
  • Whisk till stiff.
  • Add granulated sugar and whisk again till stiff.
  • Fold in the crushed sponge fingers.
  • *
  • Place 1/3 of the meringue over the cake base.
  • Place the grapes over the meringue.
  • Cover the grapes with the rest of the meringue
  • Put into the oven for 50 – 60 minutes.
  • Leave to cool completely in the tin.
  • Cut the cake into squares when cool to serve.

Served here on  Royal Doulton – Sonnet  1971-1998

Waldorf Salad

I have been watching my box set of Fawlty Towers DVDs and have found they are still amusing after more than 40 years.

When an American guest asks for a  Waldorf salad and  Basil Fawlty replies  “I think we’re just out of  waldorfs” – I thought  – I have never actually had that – must look it up and make it!

Waldorf salad was created by Oscar Tschirky,  a Swiss – American, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York in 1896.

The original was made with celery, apple and grapes – nuts were added a bit later.

Either use green skinned apples for an all green look or red skinned for a nice contrast.

Toasted walnuts are delicious – just take care and watch them so you do not burn them!

Ingredients

  • 6 sticks of celery 
  • 2 eating apples – Braeburn are good
  • 100g walnuts – toasted
  • 100 – 150g seedless green grapes 
  • 2-3 tablespoons of full fat mayonnaise
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • *
  • Crispy lettuce leaves to serve

Method

  • Thinly slice the celery stalks
  • Core the apples and chop into small pieces
  • Chop the toasted walnuts into small pieces
  • Cut the grapes into halves
  • Mix the celery, apples, nuts and grapes together
  • Mix the mayonnaise with the lemon juice
  • Mix the dressing with the salad
  •  *
  • Hand shred the lettuce leaves and put them in the at the bottom of a shallow bowl
  • Heap the salad on top of the lettuce.

 

Serving Variation

For individual servings put one or two lettuce leaves per person in a small dish and spoon some salad in the middle.

Kotlety mielone – in Lager with Caraway

This is another variation on the theme of kotlety mielone –  Polish meatballs  or as they are called  in the USA –  meat patties and now in England as burgers.

I got this idea from my fellow blogger – Lithuanian in the USA.   In their recipe for Meatballs in barbecue sauce – instead of  bread soaked in milk – oats are soaked in milk.

This sauce is one I made years ago and have just come across it in my recipe notes & cuttings – it is super – how could I have forgotten it?

Ingredients – meatballs

  • 500g minced beef
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 50g rolled oats
  • 125ml milk
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Plain flour for dusting
  • Butter for frying the onions
  • Sunflower oil for frying

Method

  • In a small bowl soak the oats in the milk for around 15 minutes.
  • *
  • Chop the onion into small pieces and fry in some butter until golden.
  • Add the caraway seeds and ground allspice and mix well together.
  • Leave to cool completely.
  • *
  • In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together, it is best to do this using both hands, making sure that all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • Pour some flour onto a large plate or board.
  • Take a handful of the mixture and press it between your hands to make a flattened circle, place this in the flour and turn it over to cover both sides and edges.
  • Once coated place them on a tray dusted with flour until you have used all the mixture up.
  • *
  • Preheat the oven to GM4  – 180°C
  • *
  • Shallow fry the kotlety in hot oil, depending on the frying pan size,  you can do  4 to 5 at a time, turning them over so that both sides are done.
  • Place them in a large oven proof dish, which has a lid.
  • *
  • Pour the sauce over them, add the lid and put the dish into the oven.
  • Cook for at 75 to 90 minutes.
  • *
  • Super served with creamy mashed potatoes, pasta or boiled rice – sprinkle chopped chives or flat-leaved parsley over them before serving.

Ingredients – sauce

  • 300ml – 500ml of lager
  • 300ml of vegetable or chicken stock (can be from a cube or powder)
  • 4 tablespoons of soft brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons of tomato purée
  • 3 bay leaves

Method

  • Place all the ingredients into a sauce pan.
  • Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Remove from the heat and pour over the kotlety.

 

 

Cinnamon Buns

As I have been doing lots of yeast recipes in the past few weeks when I was sent this lovely recipe for cinnamon buns I knew I had to try it out.

A mixture of strong and plain flours is used and this makes the dough softer and a little harder to handle. After the first rising the dough is NOT knocked back but just used as it is to make the rectangular shape. Putting the buns into a deep foil lined roasting tin helps to let them rise into shape. They come out very soft and fluffy.

Ingredients – dough

  • 250g strong flour
  • 250g plain flour
  • Half a tablespoon of dried yeast
  • 50g butter
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • Around 330ml milk

Ingredients – cinnamon mix

  • 40g butter – softened
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons demerara  sugar
  • 1  teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method

  • Line a roasting tin with foil taking it all up the sides.
  • Warm a little of the milk and add the yeast.
  • Leave for around 10 minutes.
  • Mix the flours together.
  • Rub the butter into the flour – like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the sugar.
  • Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture.
  • Add the beaten egg
  • Slowly add the milk – you might not need all of it.
  • Use a knife first to start to bring everything together
  • Then use your hands and form a soft dough ball.
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for at least 5 minutes – even up to 10 minutes.
  • Place the dough into a bowl, cover (a disposable shower cap is good) and leave to rise until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Mix up the cinnamon mixture in a small bowl.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board.
  • DO NOT KNOCK BACK THE DOUGH.
  • Using you fingers gently flatten and shape the dough into a rectangle.
  • Cover the dough with the cinnamon mixture.
  • Roll into a log.
  • Slice into thick pieces.
  • Place the pieces into the tin.
  • Cover and leave to rise.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C
  • Once all the pieces are touching put in the hot oven.
  • Bake for around 20 mins – check and maybe cover after 15mins.
  • leave to cool in the tin on a cake grid.
  • Dizzle with lemon icing  or dust or dust with icing sugar.

Salad after Fawlty Towers

Recently I have been watching my box set of Fawlty Towers DVDs, which is still so amusing after all these years.

Whilst watching the episode with the American guest and the Waldorf salad  – when famously Basil Fawlty says  “I think we’re just out of  waldorfs” – I thought must try that!

I needed a salad for dinner but realised I did not have all the ingredients so decided to make a similar salad with the ingredients I had.

I will get all the ingredients for a real Waldorf salad and make that soon.

Ingredients

  • Half a white or sweetheart cabbage
  • 2 eating apples – I used Braeburn*
  • 100g of walnuts – chopped
  • 2 -3 tablespoons of mayonnaise – full fat is best

Method

  • Shred and chop the cabbage into fine pieces.
  • Core the apples and chop into small pieces.
  • Mix the cabbage, apples and walnuts together.
  • Mix in the mayonnaise.

Braeburn apples originated in New Zealand in the 1950s.

They are named after Braeburn Orchard where they where first commercially grown.

 

 

 

Rye Scones

This recipe is a cross between an English scone and soda bread.

I used this recipe with spelt flour and it was a huge success.

I now tried it out with rye flour using equal amounts of rye to plain flour.

In Poland you might call these babeczki – little buns or bułeczki – little bread buns.

Ingredients

  • 125g rye flour
  • 125g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 30g of demerara or granulated sugar  & 1/2 tablespoon
  • 80g of sultanas or raisins
  • 65g butter – chilled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons of yoghurt & milk to make 125ml
  • 1 egg

Method

  • Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  • Preheat the oven to GM7 – 220°C.
  • Mix the flours, baking powder and salt together.
  • Add the butter and mix in with the flour to make breadcrumbs.
  • Add the 30g of sugar.
  • Add the sultanas or raisins.
  • Lightly mix the egg into the yoghurt/milk mixture.
  • Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture.
  • With a knife work the mixture together to make a damp rough ball.
  • Turn the ball of dough on the the baking sheet.
  • Form into a flattened disc around 20cm in diameter.
  • Sprinkle with the 1/2 tablespoon of sugar.
  • Deeply score the disc into eight sections.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden and firm.

They tastes delicious freshly baked with butter & the next day slightly warmed or toasted.

Served on Elizabethan Carnaby from the 1960s.

Variations

These were so delicious I made them again but instead of sultanas used –

  • 80g chopped dried apricots

 

 

 

 

Or

  • 80g dried cranberries

 

 

 

 

 

All versions are super!

 

Rye Bread 2

Recently I found my local Polish shop sold fresh yeast in small blocks, so I have been trying out lots of yeast buns and bread recipes.

This is one for Polish Rye Bread based on a recipe in the following book, which is easy to make and the bread is super.

 

 

Ingredients

  • 225g rye flour
  • 225g strong flour
  • 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 20g of fresh yeast (or 10g of dried)
  • 140ml of lukewarm milk
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 140ml of lukewarm water

Method

  • In a jug mix the milk, yeast and honey.
  • In a large bowl mix the flour, caraway seeds and salt.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour.
  • Pour the yeast mixture into the well.
  • Add the water and slowly mix the flour and liquid together until a dough forms.
  • Turn the dough into a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes (set a timer!).
  • Place the dough into a bowl and cover (a shower cap is good for this).
  • Leave until this has doubled in size (around 3 hours if warm).
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and lightly knock back.
  • Shape into an oval loaf.
  • Grease a baking tray.
  • Place the loaf onto the baking tray.
  • Dust with some rye flour.
  • Cover and leave to rise until doubled in size (around 90 minutes if warm).
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM7  – 220°C
  • *
  • Use a sharp knife to make 2 long cuts in the top of the loaf.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Leave to cool before cutting.