Placek with Prunes – 2

  • I have an earlier post –  prune placek, which is quite different from this one.
  • This placek – flat cake- has a filling of prunes.
  •  The pastry used is a variation on my Polish  kruche ciasto – shortcrust pastry.
  • Prunes often feature in Wigilia – Christmas Eve dishes.
  • A prune filling like this is used in a tart baked in Belgium and eaten on Ash Wednesday. (17 February in 2021)

Ingredients – Pastry

  • 225g plain flour
  • 110g butter
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 5 tablespoons of water
  • *
  • 1 tablespoon of caster sugar to sprinkle

Ingredients – Filling

  • 300g of prunes – stoned
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon – grated rind and juice

Method – Filling

This filling needs to be cold – so make this first.

  • Put the prune, cinnamon stick and rosemary in a large bowl.
  • Cover these with boiling water.
  • Leave overnight.
  • *
  • Remove the cinnamon stick and rosemary.
  • Put the prunes and liquid  into a  pan.
  • Add the lemon rind and juice.
  • Heat gently  and stir occasionally until the prunes are soft and the water is adsorbed.
  • Use a stick blender to turn the prunes into a pulp.
  • You might have to heat gently again to make sure the pulp is thick.
  • Leave to go completely cold.

Method – Pastry

  • A rich pastry is made in the traditional rubbed in method with the ingredients listed above.
  • Chill the pastry for around 30 minutes.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 5 – 190°C.
  • Grease and line a shallow tray 21cm x 26cm.
  • Divide the pastry into two.
  • Roll out one piece to line the bottom of the tin.
  • Spread the filling evenly over the pastry – not quite to the edges.
  • Roll the second piece of pastry out and use to cover the filling.
  • Press the edges down to seal.
  • Make some diagonal slashes across the top.
  • Bake for around 30 minutes until golden.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the caster sugar.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.
  • Cut into squares when cold.

Royal Doulton – Counterpoint tea plates – 1973-1987

Plum Bread

This is an old English recipe which could easily be a keks recipe in Poland.

  • It can be called a tea bread as the dried fruits are soaked in tea.
  • Why is it called plum bread when there are no plums?
  • In England in the past, plum referred to all the different dried fruits.
  • The usage of the word plum to mean dried fruits has dropped out of usage.

Ingredients

  • 450g mix of currants, sultanas and raisins
  • 200ml of hot, strong Earl Grey tea
  • 170g soft brown sugar
  • 25g melted butter
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder

Method

  • Put the dried fruit and sugar into a bowl.
  • Pour the tea over them and stir.
  • Leave overnight.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Line a large loaf tin or use a cake liner.
  • Mix the flour with the baking powder.
  • Mix the flour mixture into the dried fruit mixture.
  • Stir in the melted butter.
  • Spoon into the tin and smooth the top.
  • Bake for 60 minutes – check after 50 minutes and cover with greaseproof  paper if necessary to prevent burning.
  • Leave to cool in the tin on a wire cake rack.

Served on Queen Anne, bone china tea plates

Spiced Date Cake

  • Dates are lovely in cakes, they have a rich sweetness.
  • This is a very easy cake to make – you just have to start it the night before.
  • The way the dates are cooked first is similar to the method in my mother’s date slices.

Ingredients

  • 175g of pitted dates
  • Fine grated rind of 1 orange
  • 3 tablespoons of boiling water
  • 4 tablespoons of orange juice
  • *
  • 175g soft brown sugar
  • 175g butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger

Method

  • Chop the dates into small pieces.
  • Place them in a bowl with the grated orange rind.
  • Add the boiling water and the orange juice.
  • Leave overnight.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 3 – 160°C.
  • Use a cake liner in a deep 20cm cake tin.
  • Cream the sugar and butter.
  • Add the eggs and continue to mix.
  • Mix in the soaked dates.
  • Mix the flour well with the baking powder, mixed spice and ground.
  • Fold the flour mixture into the cake mixture.
  • Spoon into the cake mixture into the baking tin.
  • Bake for 60-65 minutes.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.

 

 

Served on Tea plates – Burleigh Ware – Burgess & Leigh Ltd – Blue Mist from the 1930s

 

Apricot & Prune Fruit Cake

I have been going through my recipe cuttings and came across this one, which I have been meaning to make for ages as I wanted to try a fruit cake made with either dried apricots or prunes and this has both!

This could easily be described as a keks in Polish.

It is a delicious and moist cake, which can be eaten straight away – so could be a very late bake for Christmas!

The recipe was for a very large round cake but I thought a square would be better for cutting up and so I scaled down the ingredients and made it in a 24 centimetre square tin.

You have to start this cake the night before.

Ingredients

  • 120g dried apricots
  • 165g stoned prunes
  • 100ml hot Earl Grey tea
  • 100ml sherry
  • *
  • 115g currants
  • 115g sultanas
  • 115g raisins
  • 50g mixed peel
  • *
  • 150g soft brown sugar
  • 150g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • *
  • 185g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of mixed spice

Method

  • Chop the apricots and prunes into small pieces.
  • Place them into a bowl and pour the hot tea over them.
  • Leave until this is cold.
  • Add the sherry, cover and leave overnight.
  • *
  • Add the other dried fruits to the soaked fruits and mix well.
  • *
  • Grease and line all sides of a 24 cm square tin
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 1- 140°C
  • Mix the flour with the mixed spices.
  • Cream the sugar and butter till well blended.
  • Add the eggs and mix well together.
  • Fold in the flour mixture.
  • Add the dried fruits and mix well together.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth down the top.
  • Bake for 2 – 2¼ hours.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.

 

 

Tea set by Spencer Stevenson from the mid 20th Century

Note

Yesterday I baked this for the second time in a 21 centimetre square tin – this needed 3 – 3 ¼ hours.

Raspberry Ripple Icing

This is a recipe for a large sponge cake, sandwiched and iced with an icing made from yoghurt cheese or cream cheese and a thick raspberry sauce.

The sides are not fully covered with the icing – this modern way is called “semi-naked”.

Sponge Cake

  • Bake two  creamed sponge cakes –
  • Using 4 eggs and equal weights of butter, caster sugar and self raising flour –  baked in 2 x 21 cm anodised baking tins.
  • Leave to go cold completely.

Ingredients – Icing

  • 350g yoghurt cheese or cream cheese
  • 150g icing sugar

Method – Icing

  • Add the icing sugar bit by bit until you get the desired sweetness.
  • This does not want to be too sweet.
  • You might not need all the sugar.

Ingredients – Sauce

  • 150g of raspberry jam
  • 75ml of water

Method – Sauce

  • Put the jam and water into a small saucepan.
  • Heat gently and stir with a wooden spoon.
  • Heat until the sauce is thick and smooth.
  • Leave to cool.

Assembling the cake

  • Place one of the cakes onto the serving plate or stand.
  • Spread around a third of the icing on the cake.
  • Drizzle around half of the sauce on the icing.
  • Use a wooden BBQ skewer to make the ripple effect.
  • Place the second cake on top of the icing.
  • Use the rest of the icing to cover the top of the cake and part cover the sides.
  • Drizzle on the rest of the sauce.
  • Repeat using a wooden BBQ skewer to make the ripple effect.
  • Keep the sauce to just the top of the cake.

 

 

Tea set is by Spencer Stevenson Co Ltd, who manufactured in England  between 1948 and 1960.  The design name is not known.

 

Placek with Figs

  • This placek – flat cake- has a filling of bakalie – dried fruit and nuts – there are lots of figs in this mixture, which make it extra delicious.
  •  The pastry used is a variation on my Polish  kruche ciasto – shortcrust pastry.

Ingredients – Pastry

  • 225g plain flour
  • 110g butter
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 5 tablespoons of water
  • *
  • 1 tablespoon of caster sugar to sprinkle

Ingredients – Filling

  • 190g dried figs – chopped
  • 60g currants
  • 60g raisins
  • 60g walnuts – chopped
  • 60g soft dark brown sugar
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 125ml water

Method – Filling

This filling needs to be cold – so make this first.

  • Put all the ingredients into a small pan and heat gently.
  • Stir occasionally until the mixture is soft and the water is adsorbed.
  • A little more water might be needed and more heating.

Method – Pastry

  • A rich pastry is made in the traditional rubbed in method with the ingredients listed above.
  • Chill the pastry for around 30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 5 – 190°C.
  • Grease and line a shallow tray 21cm x 26cm.
  • Divide the pastry into two.
  • Roll out one piece to line the bottom of the tin.
  • Spread the filling evenly over the pastry – not quite to the edges.
  • Roll the second piece of pastry out and use to cover the filling.
  • Press the edges down to seal.
  • Bake for around 30 minutes until golden.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the caster sugar.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.
  • Cut into squares when cold.

Hand painted Paragon plates.

Friends who tried this said “Please make this again!”

Chocolate Limes – Torcik

In England there are some old fashioned sweets called chocolate limes, which I really like. They consist of a crunchy lime coating over a dark chocolate paste centre.

I have been making several chilled cakes – torcik – and thought I would try out a variation based on this chocolate and lime idea.

This torcik is a variation on ones that I made previously with different fruits and bases.

I tried out a few variations on the proportions of the ingredients and decided that just having two layers worked best with a chocolate flake decorations on the top.

  1. Biscuit & chocolate base
  2. Sweet curd cheese with lime jelly

Ingredients

  • 100g of plain biscuits such as petit beurre, morning coffee or rich tea
  • 40g butter
  • 50g dark  chocolate
  • *
  • 300g twaróg or yoghurt cheese (could use full fat cream cheese)
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 80g butter
  • 4 yolks
  • 1 packets of lime jelly
  • *
  •  Cadburys flake or grated dark chocolate to decorate.

Method

  • Use a 22cm diameter loose bottomed or spring-form tin.
  • This is a smaller size than for my previous ones.
  • Lightly rub the base with some butter.
  • *
  • Crush the biscuits into small crumbs.
  • Melt the butter and chocolate gently, stirring to prevent burning.
  • Add the biscuit crumbs and mix well together.
  • Put the mixture into the base of the tin and press it down firmly.
  • Leave till it is cold.
  • *
  • Dissolve the lime jelly in 150ml of boiling water and leave to cool.
  • The tricky bit is having the jelly at the right temperature to use.
  • *
  • Cream together the butter and icing sugar.
  • Add the egg yolks, one by one, alternating with the twaróg.
  • Mix thoroughly.
  • *
  • Gently mix in the cool jelly.
  • Pour the mixture over the base.
  • Level the top.
  • *
  • Leave for around 30 minutes so the jelly is starting to set.
  • Decorate  the top with sprinkled grated chocolate or flakes or both.
  • Leave to set – best in the fridge – for at least 3 hours.
  • Take great care when removing the torcik out of the tin.
  • Use a long thin spatula to ease the edge.
  • Use a tin to place the cake tin on to move it apart from the base.

 

Tea plates Waterlily by Taylor and Kent

Cherry Torcik

  • The inspiration behind the flavours in this torcik is from a Black Forest Gateau, which is a chocolate cake with sour cherries and Kirshwasser – a cherry spirit, and often with cream.
  • It is claimed to have been invented in 1915 but other sources say it was in the 1930s.
  • It was very popular in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • This torcik is a variation on two that I made previously with different fruits and bases.

When making a torcik you need time to let one layer set before starting on the next.

This torcik is composed of 3 layers

  1. Chocolate sponge base
  2. Sweet curd cheese with black cherry jelly
  3. Drained bottled cherries in black cherry jelly

Ingredients – base

Ingredients – cherry layers

  • 300g twaróg or yoghurt cheese (you could use full fat cream cheese)
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 80g butter
  • 4 yolks
  • 1 packet of black cherry jelly
  • *
  • Sweet or sour bottled cherries
  • 1 packet of black cherry jelly

Method

  • Use a 22cm diameter loose bottomed or spring-form tin.
  • Lightly rub the base and sides with some butter.
  • *
  • Melt the butter and chocolate and leave to cool a little.
  • Stir in the cake crumbs.
  • Mix together well.
  • Place on the base of the tin and pat down with a spoon.
  • Leave to go cold.
  • *
  • Dissolve the cherry jelly in 150ml of boiling water and leave to cool.
  • The tricky bit is having the jelly at the right temperature to use.
  • *
  • Cream together the butter and icing sugar.
  • Add the egg yolks, one by one, alternating with the twaróg.
  • Mix thoroughly.
  • Gently mix in the cool jelly.
  • Pour the mixture over the sponge base.
  • Level the top.
  • Leave to set – best in the fridge – for at least 3 hours.
  • *
  • Mix up the black cherry jelly as per the instructions with 500ml of boiling water.
  • Leave the jelly to cool.
  • *
  • Drain the cherries from the juice.
  • Arrange the drained cherries over the black cherry/cheese layer.
  • Gently put the black cherry jelly over the cherries – use one spoon to pour this over the back of a second spoon.
  • Leave it to set again in the fridge – can take several hours.
  • Take great care when removing the torcik out of the tin.
  • Sprinkle some chocolate curls or flakes around the serving plate.

 

Tea Plates by Royal Crown Derby – Derby Posies  – 1972

 

 

 

Orange Cake – 2

I posted a recipe for an orange cake over a year ago  – it was made with sunflower oil and yoghurt.

Whilst looking through my box of recipes I came across this recipe, which I had not made for a while.

This orange cake is made in a large loaf tin and has a sticky glaze poured over it once it is baked.

Ingredients

  • 225g self raising flour
  • 75g butter
  • 125 caster sugar
  • 50g mixed peel
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 2 oranges – grated rind and 3 tablespoons of juice
  • *
  • 3 tablespoons of orange juice and 40g icing sugar for the glaze

Method

  • Use a cake liner to line a large loaf tin.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Rub the butter into the flour until you have “breadcrumbs”.
  • Stir in the sugar.
  • Stir in the mixed peel and fine grated orange rind.
  • Mix in the egg, milk and juice.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes.
  • Cool for a few minutes.
  • *
  • Place the orange juice and icing sugar into a small saucepan.
  • Mix well and whilst stirring bring it up to the boil.
  • *
  • Spoon the glaze gently over the cake surface.
  • Leave to cool completely in the tin.

Tea set – Lyndale by Royal Standard from the 1950s.

Serving plate by Burleigh Ware – Burges & Leigh Ltd – Blue Mist from the 1930s.

Custard Tart

  • Whilst trying out some old English recipes I made this custard tart.
  • It is made with a shortcrust pastry case, which is filled with an egg custard.
  • Ground nutmeg is a popular spice in England.

I think that this would be liked in Poland as it is similar to Budyń – Polish custard which is also made from milk, egg yolks and sugar.

  • Shortcrust pastry or a richer pastry such as  kruche ciasto is used.
  • The pastry case is baked blind first in a loose bottomed tart tin.
  • This can be made the day before.

Ingredients

  • Shortcrust pastry to line the base and sides of a 20cm diameter loose bottomed tin
  • 300ml of milk
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 eggs – beaten
  • Freshly grated nutmeg

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C.
  • Roll out the pastry thinly and line the base and sides of the tin.
  • Bake blind for 15 minutes.
  • Take out the “beans” and bake for another 5 minutes.
  • Leave the pastry to become completely cold.
  • Lower the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Put the tart tin on a baking sheet (makes it easier to handle).
  • Have the beaten eggs in a large bowl.
  • In a deep saucepan, add the sugar to the milk and gently bring to the boil, stirring a few times.
  • Pour the hot milk mixture onto the beaten eggs and whisk together quickly.
  • Allow the mixture to cool completely.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the baked pastry case.
  • Grate the nutmeg liberally over the surface of the custard.
  • Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the custard is nearly set.
  • Turn of the oven and open the door slightly.
  • Leave the custard in the oven for around 15 minutes.
  • Take it out and leave to cool on a wire cake rack.
  • Leave it to cool before taking it out of the tin.
  • Serve at room temperature.

 

Tea plates:

  • Burleigh Ware – Burges and Leigh Ltd – Blue Mist from the 1930s
  • Aynsley – Las Palmas from the 1960s.