Tea Soaked Fruit Cake

This cake recipe is one I came across recently and I like it because it uses tea – a drink well loved in Poland.

It is similar to a keks which is usually made in a loaf tin but I like to make this one in a round tin.

The recipe uses 8 tea bags and I think Earl Grey,  Lady Grey & Empress Grey tea bags are really good. (If you do not have tea bags then use 8 teaspoons of loose tea, but have it in a muslin bag as you do not want the tea leaves in the cake.)

I have used dried fruits consisting just of currants, raisins, sultanas & peel.

You could make it more Polish by using a bakalie mixture which also has chopped dates, figs & prunes, however I would not add nuts – or if you want to use them – add them after the overnight soaking.

Ingredients

500g mixed dried fruit

8 tea bags (Earl Grey, Lady Grey or Empress Grey)

300ml boiling water

500g self-raising flour

325g butter or block margarine

1 teaspoon mixed spice

pinch of salt

5 eggs

Method

Place the teabags in a large bowl and add the boiling water and stir to make a very strong tea.

Add the dried fruit and stir well.

Leave the fruit to soak overnight.

 

Pre-heat your oven to GM 3 ,  150°C.

Grease and line a 23cm loose bottom or a spring-form tin.

Place the flour and butter or margarine into a large bowl and use your finger tips to rub in the fat until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.

In a bowl mix the sugar, salt & mixed spice thoroughly.

Add the sugar mixture to the flour & butter mixture and stir well.

Add the eggs and the soaked fruit and all the remaining liquid and stir well.

 

Pour the mixture into the baking tin and level the top.

Bake in the  oven for 1 hour 40 minutes.

Check after an hour and place a piece of foil or greaseproof  paper on the top if it is beginning to burn.

Check to see if the cake is done with a cake tester or skewer.

NoteThis cake is large and you run the risk of having it underdone in the middle – make sure it is cooked in the middle when testing.

Leave to cool in the tin.

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Served on tea plates – Greenway  Hostess – design by John Russell, 1960 – 1979.

Smaller Sized Cake

This cake is large so I thought I would have a go at making a smaller version.

There are 5 eggs in the original recipe so I  decided to do a 3 egg version.

To make it more Polish, I used a bakalie mixture which had chopped dates, figs, peel & prunes as well as the currants, raisins & sultanas.

Ingredients

300g bakalie or dried mixed fruit

5 tea bags (Earl Grey, Lady Grey or Empress Grey)

200ml boiling water

300g self-raising flour

200g butter or block margarine

1 teaspoon mixed spice

pinch of salt

3 eggs

 

Method

As above – using a 20cm tin.

Bake for around 1 hour 20 minutes – checking after 50 minutes and covering if necessary with a piece of greaseproof paper to stop the top burning.

Note

Maybe because of the different dried fruits I thought it came out drier than the large one & I served it sliced with some butter.

However I have found that if you wrap the cake in aluminium foil for a day or two – it improves – becoming  more moist.

 

Served on tea plates – La prune – by Jet for Ter Steege in The Netherlands.

Placek

Placek is a low flat cake and can be  round or rectangular in shape.

I made two using  each of the recipes in  ciasto półkruche  – a type of shortcrust pastry – with jam fillings and both turned out well.

Placek with jam

Grease and line a 33 x 23 tin

Pre-heat the oven  GM5 – 190°C

Use half the dough and roll it out to fit the tin.

Spread the dough with jam – you will need around a jar.

Cover the top with the rest of the dough rolled out.

Bake for around 30 minutes.

Dust with icing sugar as soon as you take it out of the oven and leave to cool.

Placek with Blackcurrant Jam

 

Served on – Colclough – Enchantment-  1950 – 1960s

Placek with Sour Cherry Jam

 

Served on – Duchess – Bramble Rose – 1960s

 

 

 

Sponge with Sour Cherry Jam

Wiśnie  is the Polish for sour cherries  which I have described in More Duck.

Having made sponge with sweet orange jam I thought I would try this with sour cherry jam – the one I used is from Lidl and is very good with a sharp sour taste. The taste goes really well with the  dark chocolate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made an English style sponge for ease.

Ingredients

2 eggs

75g caster sugar

75g self raising flour

Method

Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C

Grease and line the base of  a round 18cm diameter  baking tin.

In a bowl whisk the eggs and caster sugar until they are pale and creamy.

Gently fold in the flour.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden.

 

You will need around 3 to 4 tablespoons of jam.

Warm the jam slightly to make it easier to spread.

Sandwich the cake halves together with the jam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make a dark chocolate glaze as in mazurek  using yeast dough  and again in mazurek with oranges.

 

Here served on Royal Doulton – Counterpoint  1973 – 1987.

 

 

 

Sponge with Sweet Orange Jam

This cake was inspired firstly by mazurek with oranges and also by the very British Jaffa cakes.

Jaffa cakes were first made in 1927 by McVitie & Price (Established in Edinburgh in 1830)  – little sponges with orange jelly and a chocolate topping – named after the port (now called Tel Aviv) from where the Victorians and Edwardians imported oranges).

A fat-free sponge cake is cut in half and sandwiched together with a sweet orange jam and then covered  with a chocolate glaze or icing.

I have tried out several versions – and made a fat-free sponge using  the recipe with  potato flour   this time using a round 19cm baking tin which has been greased and lined with a circle of greaseproof paper on the base and baked for 20 – 25 minutes at GM4 – 180°C

 

A quicker version is to use a more English sponge recipe ( this has slightly less volume so a smaller baking tin is used).

Ingredients

2 eggs

75g caster sugar

75g self raising flour

Method

Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C

Grease and line the base of  a round 18cm diameter  baking tin.

In a bowl whisk the eggs and caster sugar until they are pale and creamy.

Gently fold in the flour.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden.

 

 

Leave to cool and cut the sponge in half

 

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Orange & Elderflower Jam from IKEA

Warm the jam slightly to make it easier to spread.

Sandwich the cake halves together with the jam.

 

Chocolate glaze – using the one from Mazurek – with Yeast Dough

 

 

 

Served on Bramble Rose by Duchess from the 1960s

 

The more milk chocolate icing below is the one from chocolate babka.

 

 

Served here on tea plates by Spencer Stevenson Co Ltd 1948 – 1960, design name not known.

 

Mazurek with Oranges

This mazurek is one my mother used to make. She used the peanut butter base for sernik as the base.

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This quantity of pastry is enough for a small tin – 26cm x 16cm.

Grease and line the tin.

Pre-heat the oven to GM5 – 190ºC

Press the pastry into the tin and prick the surface of the pastry

 

 

 

Bake for approximately 20 minutes.

Leave the base to cool completely.

The original recipe used a sweet orange jam/sauce  which you made from sweet eating oranges. After a while my mother improvised and used English orange marmalade to which she added a little water and some sugar and heated this up for a few minutes.

Use the orange/marmalade  mixture whilst it is still slightly warm and pour this onto the base.

I have now found a jam from IKEA which is orange & elderflower , this has a really nice flavour – warm this slightly so it is easy to spread onto the base.

You need 3-4 tablespoons of jam.

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Leave the orange jam to cool completely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the orange jam is then poured a chocolate topping.

I have used the one from Mazurek – Using Yeast Dough yeast dough.

Chocolate topping

Ingredients

50g butter

30g of granulated sugar

2 tablespoons of cocoa

2 tablespoons of water

Method

In a small saucepan gently melt the butter and sugar .

Add the cocoa and water and mix it till it is all blended together.

Heat this on a low heat – stirring all the while.

Allow to cool slightly and then pour this over the jam.

 

 

 

 

Tea plates Las Palmas by Aynsley from the 1960s.

 

Sernik Base with Peanut Butter

My mother often used this base when she made her sernik (baked cheesecake)  – it is a recipe she used in later years as the use of peanut butter is not at all traditionally Polish!

Ingredients

110g butter or block margarine

90g caster sugar

175g plain flour

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon of peanut butter (I prefer to use crunchy)

Grated rind of 1 lemon

Method

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.

Add the lemon rind, egg yolk  and peanut butter and cream again.

Mix in the flour with a wooden spoon and then using your hand bring this all together to form a soft dough.

Place the dough in a fridge for several hours.

 

 

 

Pre-heat the over to GM5 – 190°C

Use a loose bottom tin (or spring-form tin)  22cm or 20 cm in diameter.

Grease the base and sides of the tin.

Press the dough onto the base of the tin.

Prick the surface of the dough with a fork.

Bake for around 15 – 20 minutes until the top is golden.

Let the base cool completely before using it.

 

 

 

 

Using The Base

The base must be thoroughly cooled before use.

The base can be stored on the tin base for later use if needed – wrapped in foil or in an airtight container.

Sernik

Make your sernik (cheesecake) mixture and pour this onto the base and bake as per your recipe.

I used around 450 – 500g of yoghurt cheese with the addition of  mixed peel as in my another cheesecake recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great cake lifter from Lakeland Plastics.

 

 

 

Cake is on a Lead Crystal cake stand

Cake forks are Crazy Daisy by Portmeirion designed by Sophie Conran in 2009.

Tea plates are Enchantment by Colclough from the mid 1950s – 1960s.

 

Hazelnut – Tort

Corylus avellana is the hazelnut, also known as  cobnut or filbert nut.  In Polish it is orzech laskowy  – which translates as nut of the forest and as its name implies hazel trees or bushes grow abundantly in Poland.

Turkey is the largest commercial producer of hazelnuts followed by Italy.

Ferrero SpA  – makers of Ferrero Rocher and Nutella use 25% of the global supply of hazelnuts per annum.

Tort is a layer cake (in England the French word gateaux is used) – the layers of cake being sandwiched together with a butter cream (Sweet whipped cream was hardly known in Poland – with soured cream being the norm).

The word tort is originally from the Latin torta – flat cake or round loaf of bread.

A tort can be round or in a block shape – it often has very decorative piping  – my decorations tend to be more simple!

A tort is often made for celebrations and is often very large – I have recipes which call for a dozen or more eggs!

The following recipe only uses 6 eggs!

This tort recipe uses hazelnuts which have been roasted and then ground.

I often buy my hazelnuts from a  dried fruit & nut stall in Leeds Kirkgate Market.  This the largest covered market in Europe and was founded in 1875 and has around 100,000 visitors per week.

On this stall you can buy : whole hazel nuts, roasted hazel nuts and ground roasted hazel nuts.

I use either roasted hazel nuts and grind them myself or roast the hazel nuts myself and then grind them.

Roasting Hazel Nuts

To roast hazelnuts put the shelled nuts on a baking tray and put them in an oven at GM 5 – 190°C for around 10 to 15 minutes – keep checking as it is easy to burn them.

Once they are done, leave them to cool and then rub off the papery skins between your fingers and discard them.

 

 

I use an electric grinder which is very useful.

 

 

 

Ingredients

6 eggs

225g  caster sugar

225g roasted & ground hazelnuts

2 sponge fingers – crushed

Method

Pre-heat the oven to GM5 – 190°C

Grease and line a 23cm x 32cm baking tray.

 

 

 

 

Mix together the ground hazelnuts and crushed sponge fingers.

 

 

 

 

Whisk together the eggs and caster sugar until they are pale and fluffy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fold in the nut mixture.

Pour the mixture onto the baking tray and bake for  around 20 minutes until it is golden on top.

 

 

Take out and leave it to cool on a cooling tray.

Measure the length of the cake and cut it into 3 equal pieces.

 

 

 

 

A poncz (sweet punch for moistening the cake) is used on each layer.

I used one made from 150ml of weak black tea, 45 ml of rum and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.

Rum Butter Cream

Ingredients

120g butter

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons of rum

300g icing sugar ( approximate amount)

Method

Cream together the butter and egg yolks.

Add the rum and cream again.

Mix in the icing sugar till you have a smooth butter cream

 

 

Using a spatulas layer up the cake first with poncz on each layer and then the butter cream.

Cover the top and sides with the butter cream.

Make fancy patterns with spatulas (or you can do fancy piping if you wish).

 

 

Little spatulas for decorating with icing.

 

 

 

Tea plates are Silver Rose by Duchess from the 1950s & 1960s.

The cake slice is Water Garden by Portmeirion.

Round Tort

The same quantities and method as above can be used for two 18m diameter cake tins.

Here the poncz was made from 150ml weak black tea and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar & coffee butter cream was used.

Coffee Butter Cream

Ingredients

90g butter

1 egg yolk

3 tablespoons of very strong coffee

250g of icing sugar (approximate amount)

 

 

 

Method

Cream the butter and egg yolk.

Add the coffee and cream again.

Mix in the icing sugar until you have a thick butter cream.

 

 

 

 

Use the poncz to moisten the cake & layer up and coat with the icing.

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Very useful cake lifter – from Lakeland Plastics – for moving the cake

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Another cake lifter

 

 

 

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

Green Teapot is Café Culture by Maxwell Williams.

Other Cake Sizes

3 eggs with 110g of roasted hazel nuts & 110g of caster sugar for 1 – 18cm diameter cake tin.

4 eggs with 150g of roasted hazelnuts & 150g of caster sugar for 1  – 22cm diameter cake tin.