Torcik – with Bottled Blackcurrants

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. Sponge cake base
  2. Sweet curd cheese with lemon jelly
  3. Drained bottled blackberries in blackcurrant jelly
  • For the base I used a kefir sponge cake which I cut into thin slices.
  • I adjusted the ingredients in the lemon/cheese mixture from previous ones and did not use egg whites.
  • I used real fruit juice Polish jellies and bottled blackcurrants.

 

 

Ingredients

  • 500g twaróg or yoghurt cheese (you could use full fat cream cheese)
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 4 yolks
  • 1 packet of lemon jelly
  • 1 packet of  blackcurrant jelly
  • *
  • Thin slices of sponge cake – I used my kefir sponge cake
  • *
  • Blackcurrants drained from a jar of bottled blackcurrants (keep the juice)

Method

  • Use a 25cm diameter loose bottomed or spring-form tin.
  • Lightly rub the base and sides with some butter.
  • Using thin slices of sponge cake make a layer on the base of the tin.
  • *
  • Dissolve the lemon 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 blackcurrant jelly as per the instructions with 500ml of boiling water.
  • Leave the jelly to cool.
  • *
  • Arrange the drained blackcurrants over the lemon layer.
  • Gently put the blackcurrant jelly over the blackcurrants – 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.

Coffee set & plates – Counterpoint by Royal Doulton  from 1973 – 1987.

Note

  • Next time I would pour several tablespoons of the juice over the sponge base.
  • Here I put a little of the the juice on the serving plate and let it soak in before serving.

 

 

 

Kefirowe with Fruit

This cake made with kefir is lovely to make in summer or early autumn with a variety of fresh fruits such as raspberries or whinberries.  Equally you can use frozen fruits later in the year.

Ingredients

  • 350g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 175g of granulated sugar
  • 2eggs
  • 400ml of kefir
  • 125ml of sunflower oil
  • Grated rind of 1 large orange
  • or grated rind of 2 small lemons
  • or ¼ teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • *
  • Around 300g of fruit such as raspberries, blackberries or whinberries etc
  • Larger fruit such as plums should be stoned and chopped into small pieces
  • Frozen fruit should be part defrosted first
  • *
  • Icing sugar to dust

Method

  • Grease and line with one piece of greaseproof a 32x22cm baking tray.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C
  • Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • In another bowl mix the eggs, oil, kefir and rind or essence together.
  • Pour the kefir mixture into the dry mixture.
  • With a wooden spoon mix well together until you have an even thick batter.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin.
  • Scatter the fruit over the top
  • Bake for 40 – 45 minutes.
  • Leave to cool in the tin on a wire cake rack.
  • Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Jug by Buchan – Portobello near Edinburgh – 1960 – 1979.

Tea plates Las Palmas by Aynsley from the 1960s.

What if you cannot get kefir?

  • Should you not be able to get any kefir you can use 3 parts yoghurt to 1 part milk instead.
  • So in this recipe use 300ml of yoghurt mixed with 100ml of milk.

Tea plates by Colclough from the 1960s

Plain Kefir Sponge

After I made the chocolate cake with kefir, which I posted recently, my Polish friend in Leeds said she had heard of plain versions with fruit on top.

I found many recipes all with varying amounts of the ingredients.

I tried out a few versions and decided on what were the best proportions to make a lovely soft sponge cake.

As well as the base for a fruit topped cake, which will be posted soon, this is a good cake which can be used as a base for torcik or desserts such as English trifle or Italian Tiramisu.

You can portion it up and freeze it for later.

Ingredients

  • 350g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 175g of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 400ml of kefir
  • 125ml of sunflower oil
  • Grated rind of 1 large orange
  • or 2 small lemons
  • or ¼ teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • *
  • Icing sugar to dust

Method

  • Grease and line with one piece of greaseproof a 32x22cm baking tray.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C
  • Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • In another bowl mix the eggs, oil, kefir and rind or essence together.
  • Pour the kefir mixture into the dry mixture.
  • With a wooden spoon mix well together until you have an even thick batter.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin.
  • Bake for 30 – 35 minutes.
  • Leave to cool in the tin on a wire cake rack.
  • Dust with icing sugar to serve.

 

What if you cannot get kefir?

  • Should you not be able to get any kefir you can use 3 parts yoghurt to 1 part milk instead.
  • So in this recipe use 300ml of yoghurt mixed with 100ml of milk.

 

Curd Tart – English Cheesecake

I have been doing some research on old English recipes and looked at curd tart recipes – these are similar to Polish baked sernik .

  • Curd tarts in England originated in the early 17th century.
  • In Yorkshire they were traditionally baked for Whitsuntide.
  • Nutmeg is a very popular spice in English baking.
  • Curds are coagulated milk proteins – casein.
  • Raw milk will coagulate naturally when left in a warm place.
  • Pasteurised milk needs the addition of something acidic such as lemon juice, vinegar or lactobacillus (found in natural yoghurt).
  • You can make your own curds. The following is an easy way to make curds and these are the curds* used in the recipe below.
  • *
  • *Polish twaróg or yoghurt cheese is more tangy.

Making Curds

  • In a deep saucepan put 500ml of milk, 3 beaten eggs and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • Heat gently until it comes to the boil, stirring occasionally.
  • Curds will form.
  • Put the mixture into a large sieve or muslin bag and leave for a few hours.
  • Leave the curds to go cold.
  • It is often good to make the curds the evening before you need them.
  • 500ml of milk will give around 200-225g of curds with this method.

 

Ingredients

  • Around 200g of curds (as above)
  • 110g granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • 60g currants
  • Grated nutmeg
  • *
  • Shortcrust pastry or a richer pastry such as  kruche ciasto

Method

  • Grease and line the base of a loose bottomed tart tin.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM5 – 190°C.
  • Roll out the shortcrust pastry thinly and line the tin with it.
  • With a fork, chop up the curds into small pieces.
  • Whisk together the curds, sugar and eggs.
  • Stir in the currants.
  • Pour the mixture into the lined tart tin.
  • Sprinkle liberally with freshly grated nutmeg.
  • Bake for around 30 minutes.
  • Leave to cool on a wire cake rack.

Served on tea plates by Royal Doulton, Counterpoint, 1973 – 1987

 

Kefirowe

My Polish friend who lives in Leeds sent me a copy of a recipe from an old Polish cookbook for kefirowe – this is a cake made with kefir.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • I tried it out and it is super – a soft moist cake made with sunflower oil and cocoa as well as kefir.
  • I made it twice, once with a darker chocolate icing and the second time with a milkier chocolate icing.
  • It would be good with a wide range of different flavoured icings.

Ingredients

  • 350g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons of cocoa
  • *
  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • 500ml of kefir
  • 250ml sunflower oil

Method

  • Grease and line with one piece of greaseproof a 32x22cm baking tray.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C
  • Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • In another bowl mix the eggs, oil and kefir together.
  • Pour the kefir mixture into the dry mixture.
  • With a wooden spoon mix well together until you have an even thick batter.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin.
  • Bake for 30 – 35 minutes.
  • Leave to cool in the tin on a wire cake rack.
  • *
  • Ice with the icing of your choice.
  • Cut into squares, rectangles or lozenges to serve.

 

Coffee set and tea plates – Greenway by John Russell 1960s

Chocolate Icing Ingredients

  • 100g butter
  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 200g icing sugar

Method

  • Melt the butter gently in a small saucepan.
  • Stir in the cocoa powder and the water.
  • Mix and cook gently for a couple of minutes.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Mix in the icing sugar, bit by bit until you have a thick icing.
  • Ice the top of the cake.

Milk Chocolate Icing Ingredients

  • 60g butter
  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons of hot milk
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 1-2 drops of vanilla essence

Method

  • Heat up some milk in a small pan (I use a bit more than is needed and measure it out after heating).
  • Melt the butter in a pan.
  • Blend in the cocoa powder.
  • Stir in the icing sugar, milk and essence (I add the sugar in stages -aiming  for a slightly runny icing) and beat until it is thick and smooth – adjusting with icing sugar and extra milk as necessary.
  • Ice the top of the cake.

 

 

Tea plates are Las Palmas – Aynsley from the 1960s

Jug by Buchan Pottery, Portobello near Edinburgh from the early 1960s.

What if you cannot get kefir?

  • Should you not be able to get any kefir you can use 3 parts yoghurt to 1 part milk instead.
  • I tried this out in the recipe and used 375ml of yoghurt mixed with 125ml of milk.
  • It worked very well.

I used a white chocolate icing on this cake.

White Chocolate Icing

  • 100g of white chocolate (I like Green & Black best)
  • 3-4 tablespoons of hot milk
  • 200g icing sugar (you might not need it all)

Method

  • Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of hot water.
  • Heat up some milk in a small pan (I use a bit more than is needed and measure it out after heating).
  • Mix 3 tablespoons of the hot milk into the heated chocolate.
  • Stir in the icing sugar (I add the sugar in stages – aiming  for a slightly runny icing) and beat until it is thick and smooth – adjusting with icing sugar and extra milk as necessary.
  • Ice the top of the cake.

Tea set by Royal Doulton – Carnation 1982 – 1998

Almond Meringue Cake

My mother used to buy little cakes called Japs from the English bakers where we lived in Lancashire.

We both loved them.

I now know that the name is shortened from Japonais  – which is French for Japanese style.  How they came by this name seems to be a mystery.

Traditionally they were two circles of almond meringue sandwiched together with a butter cream (often coffee flavour), covered with more butter cream and nibbled nuts.

When I came across this recipe for an almond meringue cake, lots of memories came flooding back.

The proportions for the meringue are:

50g of caster sugar & 25g of ground almonds per egg white.

I used 4 egg whites in this version.

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 100g ground almonds

Method

  • Use the loose bases of two baking tin – 20cm in diameter.
  • Lightly grease the circles.
  • Cut a 2 x 20cm circles of grease-proof paper and stick them onto the metal circles.
  • Place each circle on a large baking tray.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM1 – 140°C.
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
  • Add the sugar and whisk again till stiff.
  • Fold in the ground almonds.
  • Spoon and smooth half the mixture onto each circle.
  • Bake for 50 minutes (swap shelves half way through).
  • Turn off the oven and leave the meringues inside for 20 minutes.
  • Take out and leave to cool completely before using.
  • *
  • Place one circle onto your cake stand.
  • Cover this with coffee or rum butter cream**.
  • Place the second circle on top.
  • Optional – add a few blobs of butter cream on top to decorate.
  • *
  • ** You can use a lighter cream filling of your choice.

 

 

Coffee set by Royal Doulton  – Pastorale – 1970 – 1990

Jug by Buchan Pottery, Portobello near Edinburgh –  from the early 1960s.

 

Chocolate & Raspberry Cake

I decided to make a chocolate cake I had not made for a while. Raspberry jam is used in the cake and in the butter cream. The best results are with a jam that is not too sweet – a slight tartness is best.

I used raspberry jam that was made by my friend in Leeds from raspberries that  were grown on her allotment.

Ingredients

  • 150g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 30g cocoa
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 120g butter
  • 4 level tablespoons of raspberry jam
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 tablespoons of milk

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 5 – 190°C.
  • Grease and line the bottoms of 2 – 18cm diameter baking tins.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and cocoa together.
  • Cream the butter, sugar and jam together.
  • Add the eggs bit by bit .
  • Fold in the flour mixture with the milk to make a soft dropping consistency.
  • Divide the mixture between the two tins.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
  • When cold, sandwich together with the raspberry butter icing.
  • Dust the top with icing sugar to serve.

Raspberry Butter Icing

Ingredients

  • 60g butter
  • 2 tablespoons of raspberry jam.
  • 120g icing sugar.

Method

  • Cream together the butter, jam and around ¾of  of the icing sugar.
  • Add more icing sugar until the required consistency is achieved.

 

 

  • Coffee set – Greenway – by Hostess Tableware – 1960 – 1979
  • Designed by John Russell

 

Pear & Ginger Cake

Having recently made a lovely apple cake loosely based on an English Victorian recipe I thought I would adapt it using pears and ginger.

Ingredients

  • 4 pears (Conference are good) – peeled & cored and cut into rough 2.5cm chunks
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 230g of plain flour
  • ½ tablespoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 125ml of sunflower oil
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 2-3 drops of vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs

Method

  • Pre-heat oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Use a 22cm loose bottom tin with a cake liner – (like a huge bun case).
  • Mix the pears, ginger and sugar in a small bowl.
  • 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 pear mixture and juices on top of the cake batter.
  • Cover with the rest of the cake batter.
  • Place the rest of the pear mixture 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.

Served on Burleigh Ware, Burgess & Leigh Ltd, Blue Mist, stoneware tea plates from the 1930s.

Variation

Having made this, I thought about the French dessert Poire belle Hélène, which has a chocolate sauce poured over poached pears.

I made the cake again and when it was cool, I drizzled a chocolate sauce made from 40g of melted dark chocolate and 20g of butter over it.

Tea plates by Midwinter – Queensbury from the 1970s.

 

Victorian Apple Cake

I have been doing some research into cooking in Victorian England and came across this recipe, which is based loosely on an apple pudding in Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management  published in 1861.

Eating apples are used in this recipes rather than tart cooking apples.

Although not a Polish Apple Cake, I think it would go down very well if served with a cup of tea in Poland.

  • Sunflower oil  is used and this would not have been available to the Victorians.
  • Work on obtaining oils from cottonseed was started in the late 19th century in the USA.
  • Hardened vegetable oils were available from the early 20th century.
  • Vegetable oils became popular for cooking in the mid-20th century.

Ingredients

  • 4 eating apples – peeled & cored and cut into rough 2.5cm chunks
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 230g of plain flour
  • ½ tablespoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 125ml of sunflower oil
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs

Method

  • Pre-heat oven to GM4 – 180°C
  • Use a 22cm loose bottom tin with a cake liner – (like a huge bun case)
  • Mix the apples, cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl
  • 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 apple mix and juices on top of the cake batter
  • Cover with the rest of the cake batter
  • Place the rest of the apple mixture evenly over the surface of the cake
  • Bake for 55 – 60 minutes – cover and maybe another another 10 minutes if not done
  • Leave to cool in the tin before turning it out.

21st century Cake Stand is Crazy Daisy by Sophie Conran for Portmeirion

Meringue Cake with Rhubarb

Tort Bezowy is a meringue cake.

Meringues are popular in Poland and often made because lots of other dishes contain many egg yolks so there are egg whites needed to be used rather than wasted.

A little tip – freeze two egg whites at a time in a little container – then you have them ready for use later – bring them back to room temperature first.

The meringue that is used here has the addition of potato or cornflour and a little vinegar which gives a soft marshmallow centre to the meringue.

This style of meringue dish was named in honour of the Russian ballerina Anna Pawlowa (Pavlova) after her tour of Australia in 1926.

It is made up of 3 parts

  • 1 Pavlova style meringue
  • 2 Budyń (Custard)
  • 3 Rhubarb compote

Pavlova style meringue

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of potato flour or cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
  • 2-3 drops of vanilla essence

Method

  • Use the loose base of a baking tin 25cm in diameter.
  • Lightly grease the circle.
  • Cut a 25cm circle of greaseproof and stick it on the metal circle.
  • Place the circle on a large baking tray – one without sides is best.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM1 – 140°C.
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
  • Add the sugar and whisk again till stiff.
  • Fold in the potato or corn flour, the vinegar and vanilla essence.
  • Using up to ½ of the mixture cover the circle on the tin.
  • Using the rest of the meringue put spoonfuls around the edge.
  • Bake for 50 minutes.
  • Turn off the oven and leave the meringue inside for 20 minutes.
  • Take out and leave to cool completely before filling.

Budyń  (Custard) 

Ingredients

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 400ml of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 2½ tablespoons of potato flour or cornflour
  • 2-3 drops of vanilla essence

Method

  • Put 250ml of the milk, the butter, sugar and vanilla essence into a saucepan.
  • Heat gently until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved, stirring all the time.
  • Bring to the boil and then take off the heat.
  • Blend together the rest of the milk (150ml), the egg yolks and the potato or corn starch.
  • Add some of the boiled mixture and stir well.
  • Add this to the rest of the boiled mixture and stir well.
  • Put the pan back on the heat and gently bring back to boiling point and keep stirring.
  • Keep on the heat  – stirring for 1 minute.
  • Pour into a glass or china dish and cover with a circle of grease-proof paper.
  • Leave to go completely cold before using.

Rhubarb Compote

Ingredients

  • 250g fresh rhubarb*
  • 75g granulated sugar

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM3 160°C
  • Cut the rhubarb into 4cm chunks.
  • Put the cut rhubarb into a small roasting dish.
  • Sprinkle the sugar over the top.
  • Cover with a piece of foil.
  • Place in the oven for around 30 minutes.
  • Leave to go cold before using.

*You might want to roast more rhubarb for other uses and just use some for this dish.

Assembling the Pavlova

All three parts must be cold.

  • Place the meringue nest on a large serving plate or stand.
  • Using a tablespoon – pile the budyń (custard) into the centre.
  • Arrange the rhubarb chunks and some of the syrup over the custard.

Lead Crystal cake stand  – Tortenplatte – Venus  by Nachtmann(Germany).

Plates – Lavender by Jet for Ter Steege in The Netherlands.