Currant Tea Cakes

  • This recipe is a variation of Yorkshire Tea Cakes –  bułeczki.
  • These are soft bread buns with the addition of currants.
  • In Polish the word – rodzynki – is used for raisins and sultanas – ie dried grapes.
  • I do not know what word is used for currants – the dictionary gives the word   porzeczki  –  but that is used for berries such as black  or red currants.

Ingredients

  • 340g plain flour
  • ½ tablespoon of dried yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 30g granulated sugar
  • 30g of butter
  • 220ml of milk & water – lukewarm
  • 60g currants

Method

  • Mix the yeast, sugar and milk and leave to froth up.
  • In a large bowl rub the butter into the flour.
  • Add the salt.
  • Stir in the currants.
  • Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and mix well.
  • Cover the bowl and leave in a warm place for an hour.
  • Grease a baking tray.
  • Divide into 6 pieces and shape into flattened circles.
  • Place the circles, evenly spaced onto the greased baking tray.
  • Cover and leave for 40 – 60 minutes
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C
  • Bake for 10- 12 minutes.
  • Leave on the tray for a few minutes then put them on a wire rack to cool.

They are delicious, split, toasted and buttered.

Ciasteczka with currants & peel

Ciasteczka is the nearest Polish word for biscuits. It can describe small soft cakes or crisper style biscuits or cookies.

At home we always spoke about biskwity and it was only when I first went to Poland that I realised this was NOT A POLISH WORD!

The word nearest to descripting English biscuits is herbatniki – these are biscuits to have with a cup of tea (herbata).

These are often petit beurre, morning coffee or rich tea type biscuits – plain thin biscuits.

These ciasteczka are quite a bit richer – variations of these I would have enjoyed cutting out with my mother.

Ingredients

  • 240g plain flour
  • 120 butter
  • 120g granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 50g currants
  • 30g mixed peel
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 1 tablespoon of milk – optional

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Grease 2 to 3 baking trays.
  • Rub the butter into the flour till it resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the rest of the dry ingredients.
  • Add enough of the egg to make a soft dough.
  • You might need some of the milk.
  • Roll out the dough to 1cm thickness.
  • Cut out circles using a 7cm circular cutter.
  • Place on the baking trays.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes till lightly golden.
  • Leave to cool on a wire baking rack.

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.

Apricot & Prune Fruit Cake

I have been going through my recipe cuttings and came across this one, which I have been meaning to make for ages as I wanted to try a fruit cake made with either dried apricots or prunes and this has both!

This could easily be described as a keks in Polish.

It is a delicious and moist cake, which can be eaten straight away – so could be a very late bake for Christmas!

The recipe was for a very large round cake but I thought a square would be better for cutting up and so I scaled down the ingredients and made it in a 24 centimetre square tin.

You have to start this cake the night before.

Ingredients

  • 120g dried apricots
  • 165g stoned prunes
  • 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 and prunes 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 fruits and mix well.
  • *
  • Grease and line all sides of a 24 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 2 – 2¼ hours.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.

 

 

Tea set by Spencer Stevenson from the mid 20th Century

Note

Yesterday I baked this for the second time in a 21 centimetre square tin – this needed 3 – 3 ¼ hours.