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.

 

 

 

Torcik – with Alpine Strawberries

Five years of blogging today!

I know I said this last year but I still cannot believe it!  I posted my first post five years ago today – 4 July 2015.  Time has gone so quickly but there is still much more to write about.  

This will be post number 280 and there have been visitors from more than 130 countries.

Suddenly in the garden there were loads of alpine strawberries – time to use them in a recipe!

I had seen lots of cakes in Poland with a layer of fruits and jelly on top and decided now was the time to start trying some out.

Torcik – this is a word that I have just learnt.

There does not seem to be an exact English translation!

I have seen the terms icebox cake or no bake cake, which convey some of the ideas.

  • Tort is a layer cake, a gateaux and the -cik  ending usually denotes a diminutive – something small.
  • A torcik is a dessert type cake which is not baked.
  • A torcik can be assembled cold from previously baked parts such as meringue circles, crushed biscuits or sponge fingers.
  • It usually has a mousse or custard layer  or one which has been set with gelatine.
  • Curd cheese, twaróg or yoghurt cheese is often used.
  • In Poland this would not be called a sernik  – a cheesecake as it is not baked.
  • *
  • Many recipes use gelatine or bought flavoured jellies.
  • Polish jellies come in the form of powdered granules.
  • English jellies come in a concentrated jelly block.
  • I have had super results using the following brand of  real fruit juice Polish jellies.

 

 

  • I intend to try out some more recipes out using English style jellies.
  • If you are adapting recipes between using gelatine and using bought jellies – you need to adjust the sugar content.
  • *
  • I think a Charlotte Russe could be described as a torcik.
  • It was invented up by the French chef, – Marie Antione Carême(1784-1833) who was working for the Russian Tsar, Alexander I.
  • It is not layered but has many of the same element.

When making a torcik you need time to let one layer set before starting on the next  – my first attempt was a disaster in looks!

This torcik is composed of 3 layers

  1. Biscuit base
  2. Sweet curd cheese with lemon jelly
  3. Alpine strawberries in blackcurrant jelly

Ingredients

  • 500g twaróg or yoghurt cheese (could use full fat cream cheese)
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 80g butter
  • 3 eggs separated
  • 1 packet of light coloured jelly (lemon)
  • 1 packet of dark coloured jelly (blackcurrant)
  • *
  • 125g of plain biscuits such as petit beurre, morning coffee or rich tea
  • 70g butter
  • *
  • Lots of alpine strawberries – enough to cover the surface of the torcik

Method

  • Use a 25cm diameter loose bottomed or spring-form tin.
  • Lightly rub the base with some butter.
  • *
  • Crush the biscuits into small crumbs.
  • Melt the butter, add the crumbs and mix.
  • Put the mixture into the base of the tin and press it down firmly.
  • *
  • Dissolve the lemon jelly in 125ml 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 yokes, one by one, alternating with the twaróg.
  • Mix thoroughly.
  • Whisk the whites until they form stiff peaks.
  • Fold the whites into the mixture.
  • Gently mix in the cool jelly.
  • Pour the mixture over the biscuit 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.
  • *
  • Prepare the alpine strawberries – removing any stalks and leaves.
  • Arrange the alpine strawberries on top of the lemon layer.
  • Gently put the blackcurrant jelly over the alpine strawberries – 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.

Tea plates – Queensbury by Midwinter from the 1970s

 

 

Carrot Pancakes

Daucus carota – the carrot – was cultivated from wild carrots in the countries we now know as Afghanistan & Iran and are mentioned there in the 10th century and by the 12th century they were mentioned in Europe.

These tap roots were originally white, yellow or purple in colour.

The orange colour that we recognise today was breed by growers in Europe in the 17th century especially in the Netherlands.  It is thought that this was in honour of Prince William of Orange-Nassau (Willem van Oranje) who had an orange stripe on his flag. Nowadays orange is thought of as the national colour for the Netherlands.

These pancakes made with carrots in Polish are called racuszki z marchwi.

They are small round pancakes like American pancakes or dropped scones and are served with sugar or sweetened soured cream.

Ingredients

  • 450g carrots, peeled and finely grated
  • 140g twaróg/cream cheese or yoghurt cheese
  • 2 eggs separated
  • 3 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 1/2  teaspoon of baking powder
  • Sunflower oil for frying

To Serve

Caster sugar or soured cream sweetened with icing sugar.

Method

  • Whisk the whites until they are stiff.
  • In a small dish mix the baking powder with the flour.
  • In a large bowl mix together well the finely grated carrots, the cream (or yoghurt) cheese and the egg yolks.
  • Add the flour mixture.
  • Fold in the stiff egg whites.
  • Heat some sunflower oil in a cast iron frying pan or griddle.
  • Use 2 tablespoonfuls of the mixture for each pancake, cook on one side and then turn them over and cook on the other side.
  • Sprinkle with caster sugar or with a dollop of sweetened soured cream.

 

 

Served here on Wedgwood – Hathaway Rose – 1959 -1987.

Note

I have also tried them with maple syrup poured on them & these too were delicious.

IMG_20160729_161009545

 

Beetroot & Chocolate Cake

I had a request from the 93 year old mother of one of my friends to make her a cake that included beetroot in the ingredients – maybe a red velvet cake.

Now I had never seen one of these cakes and certainly never made one and I did have doubts about it.

I did some research and found lots of recipes for red velvet cakes but nearly all of them used just red food colouring.

I then found a recipe for a cake using beetroot and tested it out and surprisingly it came out very, very well. The recipe uses sunflower oil and is an easy to make batter cake.

This is not a traditional Polish recipe at all but it does contain a favourite Polish vegetable – namely – beetroot.

Ingredients

  • 250g cooked beetroots (I used ready cooked vacuum packed beetroots  – 1 pack is more than enough)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 250ml sunflower oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • Method

Grease and line a  21 x 31 cm baking tin.

Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4 – 180ºC

Drain the beetroots from the water and place in a sieve for a while to ensure they are dry – you can dry them with some kitchen roll as well.

Purée the beetroots – using a food chopper or blender

In a large bowl combine the puréed beetroots, eggs, vanilla essence, oil and sugar.

In a separate bowl mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cocoa.

20170219_113354

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add the dry ingredients to the other bowl and beat well together.

20170219_114510

Pour the batter mixture into the prepared tin.

20170219_115514

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes.

Test if done with a cake tester or wooden skewer.

Leave to cool in the tin.

20170219_125037

The cake is delicious and moist – it has a slightly red tinge to the very dark nearly black colour.

Here I have just served it plain.

Served on Royal Doulton, Counterpoint, 1973 – 1987.

You can dust the top  with icing sugar if desired.

The cake is delicious on its own but many versions have a topping of some description.

I made one using butter, cream cheese ( or yoghurt cheese), icing sugar and lemon.

Ingredients for Topping

  • 50g butter
  • 100g of full fat cream cheese, twaróg or yoghurt cheese
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 250 – 300g icing sugar

Method

The butter needs to be at room temperature.

Cream the butter, lemon rind, lemon juice and the cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of the icing sugar until the mixture is smooth and well combined.

Slowly add the icing sugar and mix well in until it is smooth and firm enough to use as a topping.

You can make the topping ahead of time and keep it in a container in the fridge – topping the cake later when needed.

Take care not to get too many brown cake crumbs in the icing when spreading it on the cake.

Served on Colclough, Enchantment, tea plates from the 1960s

with Portmeirion, Crazy Daisy, pastry forks.

The cake was voted delicious!

Another Cheesecake!

I had not planned to write about cheesecakes again so soon but recently I had made lots of yoghurt cheese and I decided to make a baked cheesecake for my visitors.

There are so many variations you can make of baked cheesecakes – here is one with a chocolate and an orangey twist.

sernik3

 

 

 

 

 

I had a packet of milk chocolate digestive biscuits already opened and  I thought I would try  a variation on my usual recipe.

Ingredients for the base

  • 100- 150g of chocolate digestive digestive biscuits (milk or dark)
  • 50 – 75g of butter
  • A few chunks of dark chocolate

Method

  • Grease a spring-form or loose bottomed tin with melted butter. (You can use a 19cm, 20cm or 22cm tin – adjust the amounts of the base ingredients to suit.)
  • 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 the tin into the fridge whilst you make the yoghurt cheese mixture.

Ingredients for yoghurt cheese mixture

  • Around 450g of yoghurt cheese (or use cream cheese)
  • 3 eggs separated
  • 80g of caster sugar
  • 60g of chopped mixed peel (I use the peel from Marks & Spencer)
  • 2 tablespoons of custard powder

Custard 1

 

 

 

 

The custard powder helps as the yoghurt cheese is often quite “wet” – this is a tip I got from the book   Eat Well  The Yochee Way   by Nikki & David Goldbeck.

IMG_20160723_173617216(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 3 – 160ºC.
  • Whisk the egg yolks and the sugar till they are pale and fluffy.
  • Lightly whisk in the yoghurt cheese and the custard powder till it is all well combined.
  • Mix in the mixed peel.
  • Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and then fold them into the mixture with a metal spoon.
  • Pour the mixture onto on the biscuit base.

 

 

  • Bake in the oven for  50 minutes.
  • When the cake is ready switch off the oven and leave it in there for at least 40 minutes.
  • Take out the cake to cool.
  • Once it is cold – take the cake out of the tin by loosening the outer ring or placing the cake tin with the loose bottom on a tin can and sliding the cake tin down.
  • Dust the cake with icing sugar before serving.
  • I think this cake is best made the day before you want to serve it – so it is well cooled and set.

 

The blue & white table cloth is a new 100% cotton one from Ikea.

The tea plate is Las Palmas by Aynsley from the 1960s.