Breaded Aubergines

  • I went to my favourite restaurant in the area, which is very near to where I live.
  • It is called Healds Hall .
  • They had a new starter on the menu, which was delicious.
  • I decided to recreate this at home.
  • I used Polish honey from the Mazurian Lakes, which was delicious.
  • The Polish word for aubergine is bakłażan and it comes from the Persian – badigan. 
  • Americans call aubergines – egg plant.

Ingredients

  • 1 Aubergine
  • Plain flour
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dried breadcrumbs
  • *
  • Sunflower oil to fry
  • *
  • To serve
  • *
  • Runny honey
  • Yoghurt cheese or cream cheese

Method

  • Slice the aubergine into 1 – 1.5cm circles.
  • Sprinkle them with salt and put them into a colander over a bowl.
  • Leave for around 30 minutes.
  • Dry the slices with kitchen roll.
  • Sprinkle with a little pepper.
  • Have ready dishes of flour, beaten egg and dried breadcrumbs.
  • Dip each slice of aubergine first into the flour, then the beaten egg and lastly the dried breadcrumbs.
  • In a frying pan heat up the oil.
  • Fry the slices gently on both sides till golden.
  • Remove from the oil, place onto kitchen roll to remove some of the oil.
  • Serve with yoghurt cheese or cream cheese with runny honey on top.

Fruity Twaróg Desserts

  • These desserts are a more fruity version of twaróg desserts 
  • As well as flavoured jellies and twaróg, puréed tinned fruits such as peaches, apricots and pears or runny jams are used.
  • The jelly, fruit and twaróg mixture is left to set in a bowl and scoops are then put into individual serving dishes.
  • The flavours and fruits used here are just examples – use the flavours of jellies that you like as well as the fruit.

Ingredients – Raspberry

  • 1 packet of raspberry jelly
  • 250 – 350g of twaróg , yoghurt cheese or cream cheese
  •  4 tablespoons of raspberry jam

Ingredients – Peach

  • 1 packet of lemon or orange jelly
  • 250 – 350g of twaróg , yoghurt cheese or cream cheese
  • 1 tin of peaches

Ingredients – Apricot

  • 1 packet of lemon or orange jelly
  • 250 – 350g of twaróg , yoghurt cheese or cream cheese
  • 1 tin of peaches

Toppings

  • Fresh fruit chopped
  • Tinned or bottled fruit chopped
  • Thickened syrup made from tinned fruit juices and potato flour
  • Sauce made from runny jam or jam and water (heated and cooled)
  • Grated chocolate or chocolate flake
  • Mint or lemon balm leaves

Method

  • Make up a packet of jelly with 200ml of boiling water.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Drain the fruit from the syrup.
  • Purée the fruit .
  • Or gently heat the jam with some water and then cool.
  • Whisk in the twaróg and fruit or jam into the cooled jelly mixture.
  • Pour into a large bowl.
  • Leave to set in the fridge.
  • Put scoops into individual glasses.
  • Add the toppings.

Note – you can make two flavours and serve scoops of each.

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”.

Twaróg Dessert

  • This dessert is one I make when I do not wish or have time to to make a layered torcik
  • The jelly and twaróg mixture is left to set in a bowl and scoops are then put into individual serving dishes.
  • The more twaróg you use the softer will be the mixture.
  • As I do not really like to drink milk using twaróg ensures I get calcium in my diet.
  • The flavours and fruits used here are just an example – use the flavours of jellies that you like as well as the fruit.

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of lemon jelly
  • 250 – 400g of twaróg , yoghurt cheese or cream cheese
  • Juice and rind of 1 lemon
  • *
  • Toppings
  • Bottled blackcurrants – drained
  • Grated chocolate or chocolate flake

Method

  • Make up 500ml of jelly as per the packet instructions.
  • Add the lemon juice and rind.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Whisk in the twaróg and mix till all  is blended in.
  • Pour into a large bowl.
  • Leave to set in the fridge.
  • Put scoops into individual glasses.
  • Add the toppings.

Salmon Spread

  • There are many recipes in my Polish cookery books for a variety of spreads using cooked meat or fish.
  • In Polish this would be called pasta – a paste or a spread.
  • This recipe was given to me by my late cousin who lived near Durham.

Ingredients

  • Small tin of pink salmon
  • 200g of cream cheese or yoghurt cheese
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • *
  • A little soured cream- optional
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Drain the salmon from the liquid in the tin.
  • Remove the skin and any bones.
  • Mash the salmon up with a fork.
  • Add the cheese and the lemon juice.
  • Mix it all together to a smooth paste.
  • Add some soured cream to make a softer spread.
  • Season to taste.
  • Put into a bowl to serve or into individual little pots.
  • *
  • Serve with bread, toast or crackers and green salad.
  • Or use as a dip with crudities.

 

Served on an oval plate by Johnson Brothers – Snowhite – 1960-1979

Note

You can use some left over poached fresh salmon instead.

 

Lemon Torcik

  • This is such an easy way to make the lemon and cheese mixture.
  • It is adapted from a recipe on a tin of condensed milk.
  • The bottom layer is made from a biscuit base – I have made a chocolate one.
  • You can adapt this base using different biscuits or omitting the chocolate.* see footnote photos
  • I used a little chocolate to decorate the top and this was enough for me.
  • You could add fruit and syrups or many other options.

Ingredients – Biscuit Base

  • 150g of Petit Beurre(morning coffee or similar) biscuits
  • 75g of butter
  • 50g – 75g of dark chocolate

Method

  • Grease a spring-form or loose bottomed tin with melted butter. (Use a 20cm or 22cm diameter tin).
  • Crush the biscuits in a bowl.
  • Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat then add the chocolate and let it melt.
  • Add the butter & chocolate mix to the biscuits and mix them all together.
  • Press the mixture into the base of the tin and leave it to cool completely.
  • Once cool you can put it in the tin and into the fridge for several hours.
  • You can leave this overnight if you wish.

Ingredients – Lemon Cheese

  • 300g of yoghurt cheese or cream cheese
  • 1 tin of condensed milk (397g weight).
  • Juice and fine grated rind of 2 large lemons
  • *
  • Chocolate flake or grated chocolate to decorate.
  • Lemon rind strands from 1 lemon to decorate.

Method

  • If using your own yoghurt cheese, a good idea is to leave it overnight in a large sieve over a bowl to get rid of excess whey.
  • Put the yoghurt cheese, the condensed milk, the juice and rind of the lemons in a big bowl.
  • Whisk the contents together.
  • Spoon the mixture over the base and smooth the top.
  • Leave in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
  • *
  • Put long strands of lemon rind in around a tablespoon of granulated sugar.
  • Leave for around an hour.
  • *
  • 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.
  • *
  • Decorate the edges and the centre with chocolate flake and lemon rind.

Served on tea plates by Greenway Hostess by John Russell –  1960-1979

*The following photos are from a version made  without the chocolate in the base and a fluted loose bottomed tin was used.

 

  • Served on Royal Doulton – Counterpoint tea-plates 1973 – 1987
  • Portmeirion Crazy Daisy cake forks by Sophie Conran from 2009.

Pierogi with Leeks & Peas

  • Well over a year ago when on a trip to Gdańsk, in one restaurant I saw on the menu pierogi (Polish filled pasta) which had leeks, peas and soured cream as a filling.
  • Although I did not try these, I thought they sounded good and tried out this  mixture as a filling for buckwheat pancakes.
  • At last I have had the time to try this out as a filling for pierogi.
  • I adjusted the filling I had made for the pancakes by using cream cheese (or twaróg or yoghurt cheese) rather than soured cream.

Filling

  • 2 leeks – chopped
  • 50 – 75g frozen peas
  • 2-3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 -3 tablespoons of cream cheese, twaróg or yoghurt cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

  • Using a deep large frying pan with a lid (a glass one is best), melt the butter and gently cook the leeks to soften them but not brown.
  • Add the frozen peas and cover with the lid and cook for a few minutes.
  • Stir the mixture and continue to heat without the lid to drive off excess liquid.
  • Purée most of the mixture – keeping some of the peas whole.
  • Stir in the cream cheese (twaróg or yoghurt cheese).
  • Season to taste.

Ingredients – Dough

  • 250g pasta flour or plain flour & 2 tablespoons of fine semolina
  • 150ml water
  • 1 tablespoon oil – sunflower or light olive
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk

Method – Dough

  • In a jug or bowl mix together the water, oil and the yolk.
  • Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
  • Pour in the liquid from the jug and initially use a knife to mix this into the flour and then use your hands to mix the liquid and flour to get a ball of dough.

 

  • Turn this out onto a floured board and knead the dough for a few minutes until you have a smooth ball.
  • Cover and leave to rest for about ½ an hour.
  • *
  • Cut the dough into half.
  • Prepare a large tray and cover it with a clean cotton or linen tea towel and sprinkle this with flour.
  • On a floured board roll out the dough a half at a time until you have a sheet of thinly rolled dough.
  • Cut out circles using a 7 cm diameter cutter.
  • The excess dough can be re-mixed and rolled out again.
  • Around a half tablespoon of filling is put on  each circle and then they are folded over and the edges pinched together to make a good seal.
  • You learn from experience how much filling to put in as too much will make it hard to seal them and if not properly sealed they will burst on boiling.  Do not worry if you have a few mishaps – it still happens – even with experience – it is hard to salvage one that has gone wrong – just accept that there will be a few that you do not cook.
  • Place the sealed pierogi on prepared tray until they are all made, do not let then touch each other.
  • *
  • To cook the pierogi, use a large pan of boiling water to which you have added some salt and a drizzle of oil.
  • Drop the pierogi in one by one and allow them to boil.  I usually do about 6 to 7 at a time.
  • As they cook they will float to the surface, let them boil for 2 minutes and then remove them with a slotted or perforated spoon and put into a colander above a pan for a few seconds to drain and serve with melted butter.
  • Continue boiling batches in the same water.
  • If you want to make all the pierogi to serve together then you need to get a large oven proof dish.
  • Melt lots of butter in the dish.
  • Keep the dish warm in a low oven.
  • As you take out the cooked pierogi add them to the dish and coat them with the melted butter.
  • Keep on adding more as they cook.

Plate- Alfred Meakin – Midwinter – Spanish Garden 1960s

To Serve

  • These are good served just with the melted butter.
  • I also liked the gently refried ones, in the butter, the next day.

 

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.