Piernik is a cake which has been known in Poland since the 12th century.
The very first recipes used just honey, wheat or rye flour and spices (see notes in previous piernik post for spices)
I have tried a recipe which did just use honey, rye flour and spices – I did not like the result at all, so will not be including that one!
I also tried one which used wheat and potato flour which also did not turn out well.
I then went on to make the recipe below which also uses wheat flour, egg yolks and icing sugar.
I tried this out twice as the first time it did not rise very much, so I doubled the amount of bicarbonate of soda and was pleased with the result.
Piernik with rye & wheat flour
110g rye flour
160g plain flour
160g runny honey
2 egg yolks
100g icing sugar
1 teaspoon of piernik spices (cinnamon : cloves : cardamom – in equal parts)
1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons of cold water.
Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 3 – 160°C
Line the tin with aluminium foil, grease the foil and then coat with dried breadcrumbs.
Grease & line a 2 lb loaf tin or use a paper liner
In a large bowl mix together the rye flour, plain flour and the spices.
In a small saucepan heat the honey to boiling point & turn it off the heat & allow to cool slightly.
Pour the hot honey over the flour and mix well.
Beat the yolks with the icing sugar until they are pale and fluffy.
Add this to the flour and honey mixture.
Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the water and mix this in.
Put the mixture into the prepared tin & smooth the top.
Brush the top with cold water.
Bake for around 40 minutes in the long tin & 1 hour in the loaf tin. Check earlier and cover with greaseproof paper to stop burning if necessary.
This piernik is not very sweet and could be split in half and sandwiched back together with powidła – Polish plum spread (see notes in previous piernik post) and covered in a chocolate coating made from melted butter & dark chocolate.
I just had it sliced and spread with powidła (Polish plum spread) or sour cherry or raspberry jam.
Served on La prune by Jet for Ter Steege in The Netherlands.