No Bake Chocolate Cake

  • My mother would often make this and I liked to help as it was easy – there was no baking required.
  • She would use plain biscuits such as:  Morning Coffee, Petit Beurre or Rich Tea.
  • These are called herbatniki – (biscuits to go with a drink of tea) – in Poland.
  • The biscuits were roughly crushed using a potato masher – they do not want to be too small.
  • Chocolate, butter and sugar are melted together and the biscuits are added.
  • My mother would press this into a square or rectangular tin, which was well buttered and lined.
  • This was then easy top cut up into small cubes or rectangles.
  • You can make make this in a small (15 cm) circular, loose bottomed tin and pour a chocolate glaze or icing over this.
  • With the given proportions it is easy to double-up etc to make a large cake or a two tiered cake.
  • *
  • I had always thought of this as a Polish recipe but have read recently that the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge had a similar one as one of their wedding cakes.
  • Also I have read that Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II enjoys this cake too.

Ingredients

  • 180g biscuits
  • 90g butter
  • 180g dark and milk chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons of cold water.

Method

  • Butter and line a small rectangle 27 x 18 cm tin.
  • Crush half of the biscuits finely.
  • Roughly crush the other half of the biscuits.
  • Melt the chocolate in a bowl over some boiling water.
  • Add the butter and mix.
  • Add the water and mix
  • Mix  in the biscuits till they are all coated.
  • Press into the prepared and flatten the top with a wooden spoon.
  • Leave in a cool place or refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Crown Devon – Du Barry Cake Stand – 1930s.

Coconut Meringue Cake

  • As I  said in my coconut macaroons recipe, my mother did not use coconut in her baking.
  • This is an English recipe that I have made for years.
  • Egg yolks are used in the cake base and whites in the topping.
  • The egg whites are whisked till stiff but then the sugar and coconut are just folded in.

Ingredients

  • BASE
  • 75g butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2-3 drops vanilla essence
  • TOPPING
  • 2 egg whites
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50g desiccated coconut

Method

  • Grease and line a 26 x 20cm baking tin.
  • Preheat the oven to GM3 – 160°C.
  • Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy
  • Beat in the egg yolks, vanilla essence and milk.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.
  • Fold the flour mixture to the creamed mixture.
  • Spread this over the base of the tin.
  • *
  • Whisk the egg whites stiffly.
  • Fold in the sugar and coconut.
  • Spread this mixture over the cake base.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.
  • Cut into slices when cool.
Stardust by Colclough Tea Plate

Date & Walnut Cake

  • This cake is not really a Polish recipe but it is well liked in my family.
  • The instructions for the original recipe said to make this in a large loaf tin.
  • However I think it is much better baked as a round cake.

Ingredients

  • 225g dried dates
  • Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
  • 150ml of boiling water
  • *
  • 75g butter
  • 75g granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 225g plain flour
  • 2½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • 75g of walnuts- chopped

Method

  • Grease and line a 20cm circular tin – or use a cake liner.
  • Chop the dates and put them into a bowl.
  • Add the bicarbonate of soda.
  • Pour on the boiling water and mix.
  • Leave till cool.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 4 – 180°C
  • Cream the butter and sugar.
  • Beat in the eggs.
  • Mix the baking powder with the flour and stir this in.
  • Stir in the walnuts.
  • Stir in the dates.
  • Mix well together.
  • Spoon into the baking tin – smooth the top with a wooden spoon.
  • Bake for 40 – 45 minutes
  • Leave to cool in the tin.
Lyndale by Royal Standard from the 1950s

Earl Grey Cake

  • Earl Grey Tea is black tea flavoured with oil of bergamot.
  • Legend has it that the secret recipe was given to Earl Grey by the Chinese.
  • However he never visited China, though he might have received it as a diplomatic present.
  • Who was Earl Grey?
  • Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (1764 – 1845) was a Member of Parliament for Northumberland.
  • He was British Prime Minister from 1830-1834.
  • Two important Acts of Parliament were passed during his time as Prime Minister:
  • 1832 Reform Act
  • 1833 Slavery Abolition Act.
  • The earliest mention of Earl Grey Tea appears to be in the 1850s, several years after his death.
  • *
  • This cake is called a Tea Bread in England and is a cake made using tea.
  • Using Earl Grey Tea makes most recipes even tastier.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of loose leaf Earl Grey Tea
  • 250 ml boiling water
  • *
  • 300g sultanas
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • *
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 280g plain flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • *
  • Icing sugar to dust

Method

  • Grease and line a 23 cm circular cake tin or use a cake liner.
  • Pour the boiling water over the tea leaves and leave for 3 minutes.
  • Put the honey and sultanas into a bowl
  • Strain the tea leaves and pour the tea over the sultanas and honey.
  • Stir and leave for 3 hours.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C
  • Strain the fruit but also keep the liquor.
  • Whisk sugar and eggs till pale, thick and creamy.
  • Mix the flour and baking powder together.
  • Stir in the drained fruit, zest and flour.
  • Add the rest of the tea liquor and mix well.
  • Spoon the mixture into the baking tin.
  • Bake for 45 to 50 minutes.
  • Leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before turning it out.
  • Leave to cool on a baking rack.
  • Dust with icing sugar to serve.

 

Chocolate Orange Tort

  • This is a chocolate cake with orange butter cream.
  • I adapted a chocolate cake recipe from a BeRo cook book.
  • Use a chocolate or chocolate orange glaze on the top.
  • You could double the ingredients – use bigger diameter tins or make a 4 layer tort.

Chocolate Cake – Ingredients

  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 225g caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 100g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons of evaporated milk
  • 5 tablespoons of water
  • Grated rind of 1 orange* 
  • * save the juice for later

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Grease and line the base of 2 x 20cm tins.
  • Rub the butter into the flour.
  • Add the baking powder, salt and cocoa.
  • Mix well together.
  • Mix the eggs, milk, water and orange rind together.
  • Mix the liquid into the dry ingredients.
  • Beat well.
  • Divide the mixture between the 2 tins.
  • Smooth the tops level.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • Allow to cool completely before assembling. 

Orange Butter Cream – Ingredients

  • 100g butter (unsalted is best)
  • 200g icing sugar
  • Grated rind of 1 orange
  • 3 tablespoon of orange juice

Orange Butter Cream – Method

  • Cream the butter and icing sugar.
  • Add the rind and juice and mix well.

Chocolate Glaze

  • Melt 80g of dark chocolate (or dark chocolate with orange) with 40g of butter in a bowl over hot water.
  • You could add grated orange rind to the dark chocolate. 
  • You would need to use another orange and will have some juice left.

Assembling the Cake

  • Place one round of cake onto a serving plate.
  • Spoon half of the orange juice over the top of the cake.
  • Spread the orange butter cream over the cake.
  • Place the second round of the cake on top.
  • Spoon the rest of the orange juice over the top of the cake.
  • Leave for a few minutes.
  • Make the chocolate glaze.
  • Spread the chocolate glaze over the top of the cake.

Orange Drizzle Cake

  • My lemon drizzle cake is very popular and I make it often.
  • I decided to make an orange version and was very pleased with the result.

Ingredients – Cake

  • 175g butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Juice of ½ orange
  • 175g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder

Ingredients – Drizzle

  • Juice of ½ orange
  • 80g caster sugar

Method

  • Grease and line a large (2lb) loaf tin – or use a ready bought liner.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 4 – 180oC
  • Cream the butter and sugar till soft and fluffy
  • Add the orange zest and mix again.
  • Add the eggs, 1 by 1, and mix well.
  • Add the orange juice and mix well.
  • Mix the flour with the baking powder.
  • Fold in the flour with a metal spoon.
  • Put the mixture into the loaf tin and gently level the top.
  • Bake for around 45-50 minutes – check after 40 minutes and cover the top with greaseproof paper if needed to prevent the top burning.
  • Leave to cool slightly in the tin and then remove and place on a cake rack and allow to cool a little more.
  • *
  • Prepare the drizzle by mixing the sugar and orange juice until it dissolves.
  • Remove the greaseproof paper or liner and place the cake onto a plate (a long rectangular one with a lip around the side is the best ) so that the base is flat and excess drizzle does not run off.
  • Prick the top of the cake with a skewer.
  • Gently spoon all the drizzle over the top of the cake.

Save

Burleigh Blue Mist tea plate- 1930s

Apricot Keks

  • I made a lovely apricot and prune keks – fruit cake – several months ago.
  • I still had a lot of dried apricots so decided to make this just with apricots.
  • This time I made it in a 21 centimetre square tin
  • It too was delicious.
  • You have to start this cake the night before.

    Ingredients

    • 385g dried apricots
    • 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 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 apricots and mix well.
    • *
    • Grease and line all sides of a 21 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  3 – 3¼ hours.
    • Leave to cool in the tin.

Note

You can use a 24cm tin – and bake for 2 – 2¼ hours.

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.

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