Tort Melba – Fat Free Sponge

  • This tort – layer cake – mimics  a pêche melbapeach melba dessert .
  • It is a recipe for a fat free sponge cake, sandwiched with a filling made from yoghurt cheese or cream cheese and puréed tinned peaches plus a thick raspberry sauce.
  • I used an English quick style version of the sponge cake.

Ingredients -Fat Free sponge

  • 4 eggs
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder

Method – Fat Free sponge

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C
  • Grease and line the base of  two 18cm diameter baking tins.
  • In a bowl whisk the eggs and caster sugar until they are pale and creamy.
  • Sift the flour and the baking powder together.
  • Gently fold in the flour.
  • Pour the mixture into the tins and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.
  • Leave to cool completely.

Ingredients -Filling

  • Tin of peaches
  • 200g of yoghurt cheese or cream cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons of icing sugar

Method – Filling

  • Drain the peaches from the juice/syrup.
  • Save the juice.
  • Chop the peaches and then purée them.
  • Mix together the yoghurt cheese and the puréed peaches.
  • Add the sugar – do not make it too sweet.

Ingredients – Raspberry Sauce

  • 100g of raspberry jam
  • 50ml of water

Method – Raspberry 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 a serving plate or stand.
  • Prick the cake with a wooden skewer.
  • Sprinkle half the peach juice over the cake.
  • *
  • Spread half the raspberry sauce over the cake.
  • Spread the peach filling on the cake. (You might not need all of it)
  • Drizzle the rest of the raspberry sauce on the filling.
  • *
  • Prick the other cake with a wooden skewer.
  • Place the second cake on top.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the peach juice over the cake.
  • *
  • Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Note

  • There is more than enough filling with this size cake.
  • You might try using some to slightly cover the sides of the cake as well.
  • This modern spreading of the icing is called “semi-naked”.

Fruity Yeast Cake

  • This started as a recipe for buns but the dough was much too soft.
  • I decided to make it as a large flat cake ( placek) instead.
  • It has turned out similar to my aunt’s recipe for  drożdżówka  a sweet cake made using yeast.
  • This yeast cake is made with spelt flour (not strong flour) and the mixture is mixed with a wooden spoon or a Danish whisk to form a soft mixture and is not kneaded.
  • As with any recipe made with yeast, timings are so unpredictable depending on many variables including the room temperature.
  • I try to bake with yeast when I am at home for most of the day with other activities to do whilst waiting for the dough to rise.

Ingredients

  • 450g spelt flour
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 180g currants
  • 40g mixed peel
  • 25g fresh yeast
  • Around 280ml of milk – warmed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice

Method

  • In a bowl mix the flour and salt.
  • Rub in the butter till you have breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the sugar, mixed spice, currants and mixed peel.
  • Make a well in the centre, add the yeast and enough of the warmed milk to make a soft dough.
  • Cover the bowl and leave it in a warm place to rise.
  • The rise will not be very large.
  • Line a large baking tray with a rim.
  • Tip out the dough and spread it out to the edge of the tray with a spatula.
  • Cover and leave to rise for 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C.
  • Bake for 20 – 25  minutes.
  • Cool on a baking rack for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the baking paper and put back on the rack to avoid it going soggy at the base.

Royal Doulton – Sonnet  tea plates – 1971 – 1998

As with most yeast cakes this is best eaten as soon as possible as it will soon go stale.

If all is not eaten on the day of baking, I cut the cake into slices and pack into a plastic container and freeze – these are then toasted and served with butter at a later date.

Miodownik – Honey Spice Cake 2

Miód is the Polish word for honey and  Miodownik is a Honey Cake which usually contains spices.

These cakes have been known in Poland since the 12th century and the  spices would have come from Turkey (originally brought back by the crusaders) or India.

The main spices used are cinnamon and cloves with the addition according to different recipes of cardamon, black pepper, caraway, nutmeg, and sometimes as in this recipe – ginger and then in later recipes allspice, which is from the New World.

Honey was the original sweetener, long before sugar and there are many traditional recipes that use honey not only in cakes, but also in meat dishes.

I learnt recently that my paternal grandfather kept bees and that my dad’s sister, my godmother, helped to look after them.

I was given this recipe recently and it is similar to one I have posted before, which was my mother’s recipe.  Her recipe used sunflower oil which is a more recent addition to recipes in Polish cookery whilst this one uses soured cream.

I had a large jar of Polish honey and used some for this recipe.

It is a dense squidgy cake which is lovely and moist.

Honey cakes are served over the Christmas Period in Poland.

Ingredients

  • 300ml clear honey
  • 225g granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs separated
  • 250ml soured cream
  • 290g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Method

  • Use a 23cm loose bottomed or springform tin
  • Grease and line the base or use a cake liner.
  • Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4 – 180º C.
  • In a small saucepan bring the honey to the boil and then leave to cool.
  • In a separate bowl mix the flour,  bicarbonate of soda and the spices.
  • Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar.
  • Whisk in the soured cream.
  • Whisk in the cooled honey.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the mixture and mix well together.
  • Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and fold these cake mixture.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
  • Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for around  60- 65 minutes.
  • Take care as this has a tendency to burn at the top, you might need to cover it after about 45mins hour with a piece of greaseproof paper of aluminium foil.
  • Test to make sure it is cooked through with a fine cake tester.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.
  • Dust with icing sugar to serve.
  • *
  • This cake has a tendency to sink a little in the middle – nothing to worry about!

 

Tea plates – Bramble Rose by Duchess –  from the 1960s

Tea cups – Harvest Pink by Queen Anne – 1959 – 1966

Note

  • The instructions were for a round cake – the second time I made this I used a 32 x 22cm greased and lined tin.
  • The timings are roughly the same.
  • The cake is easier to cut into portions.
  • It is not quite as moist or squidgy as the deeper round version.
  • Wrapping it in aluminium foil and put in an airtight box will make it softer over time.
  • *
  • A loose bottomed deep square tin may be better and easier to get the cake out – but I do not have one of these.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

Tort – Jadwiga

I remember my mother making this as a no-bake tort using sponge fingers.

She called it tort Jadwiga.

I have not been able to find a recipe for this other than in my notes and now I wonder whether she called it after me!

Partly because I did not have any sponge fingers and partly because I wanted to make a round cake – I decided to make this by baking two round fat free sponges.

Three are 4 parts to the ingredients list:

  • Fat free sponges – I used a quick English style version
  • Juice of a large orange
  • Rum & Almond butter icing
  • Toasted flaked almonds to decorate.

Ingredients -Fat Free sponge

  • 4 eggs
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g self raising flour

Method – Fat Free sponge

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C
  • Grease and line the base of  two 18cm diameter baking tins.
  • 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 tins and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.

Ingredients – Butter Cream

  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons of rum
  • 300g icing sugar (approx)

Method – Butter Cream

  • Cream the butter with around half of the icing sugar.
  • Add the egg yolks and cream again till fluffy.
  • Add the ground almonds and the rum and whisk again.
  • Start adding the rest of the icing sugar until you have a thick butter cream.

Assembling the tort

  • Prick the top of each sponge with a skewer.
  • Place one of the sponges on the cake stand or plate you are going to use.
  • Using a spoon pour half the orange juice over the base of the tort.
  • Put a layer of the butter cream over the base.
  • Put the second cake on top and gently pour the rest of the orange juice over it.
  • Using a small spatula cover the top and sides with the rest of the butter cream.
  • Scatter the almond flakes over the edge of the top and around the sides of the tort.

 

 

Tea set by Royal Standard – Lyndale from the 1950s

Hazelnut Meringue & Apricot Cream

Although I  have been using this recipe for many years I just cannot remember where I got it from.

I make the meringue in a nest shape and fill it with apricot cream when I have many people to eat it in one sitting.

Otherwise I make little meringues with 1 tablespoon of mixture on baking sheets.  These can be stored for ages and served with the apricot cream in individual dishes when required.

Ingredients

  • 4 Egg whites
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 75-100g chopped roasted hazelnuts
  • *
  • 1 tin of apricots in syrup
  • Around 200g of yoghurt cheese
  • Around 2-3 tablespoons of icing sugar

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 chopped roasted hazelnuts.
  • 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.
  • *
  • Drain the apricots from the syrup
  • Purée the apricots – a stick blender is good for this.
  • Mix the apricot purée with the yoghurt cheese and some of the icing sugar.
  • Adjust the sweetness with icing sugar – you do not want it too sweet.
  • *
  • Put the meringue nest onto a serving plate or stand.
  • Pile the apricot cream into the centre of the nest.

 

 

Coffee set – Elizabethan – Lace – 1966 – 1982