This cake is a cross between my grape meringue cake and placek(flat cake) with rhubarb and meringue.
There are two parts to this cake
- Short pastry base – baked and cooled
- Grapes & Meringue topping.
Short pastry base
The base of this is made made from the recipe for Ciasto kruche 1 – using raw egg yolks found in a previous post – Pastry – ciasto kruche & półkruche.
However as the topping is sweet, I used less sugar in the pastry – you might be able to omit all the sugar – I have not tried this.
Ingredients – Base
- 300g plain flour
- 200g butter – chilled
- 50g icing sugar
- 4 egg yokes
- pinch of salt
Method – Base
- Add a pinch of salt to the flour.
- Use a knife to cut the chilled butter into small pieces into the flour and then use your fingers to make the mixture like breadcrumbs.
- Add the icing sugar and mix this together.
- Add the yolks and gently mix them in
- Bring it all together into a dough – try and handle the pastry as little as possible.
- Form the dough into a rough rectangle.
- Wrap the dough in grease proof paper and chill it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to GM 6 – 200°C.
- Grease and line a 33 x 23 cm baking tin – use one long piece for sides and base – helps to take it out.
- Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough a little
- Press the dough into the tin – filling it up all the sides.
- Prick the surface with a fork.
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes till golden.
- Leave to cool.
Ingredients – Meringue
- 4 egg whites
- 200g granulated sugar
- 2 sponge fingers – crushed
- 300g seedless green grapes
Method – Meringue
- Preheat the oven to GM 2 -150°C.
- Place the whites into a grease free bowl.
- Whisk till stiff.
- Add granulated sugar and whisk again till stiff.
- Fold in the crushed sponge fingers.
- Place 1/3 of the meringue over the cake base.
- Place the grapes over the meringue.
- Cover the grapes with the rest of the meringue
- Put into the oven for 50 – 60 minutes.
- Leave to cool completely in the tin.
- Cut the cake into squares when cool to serve.
Served here on Royal Doulton – Sonnet 1971-1998
I have been watching my box set of Fawlty Towers DVDs and have found they are still amusing after more than 40 years.
When an American guest asks for a Waldorf salad and Basil Fawlty replies “I think we’re just out of waldorfs” – I thought – I have never actually had that – must look it up and make it!
Waldorf salad was created by Oscar Tschirky, a Swiss – American, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York in 1896.
The original was made with celery, apple and grapes – nuts were added a bit later.
Either use green skinned apples for an all green look or red skinned for a nice contrast.
Toasted walnuts are delicious – just take care and watch them so you do not burn them!
- 6 sticks of celery
- 2 eating apples – Braeburn are good
- 100g walnuts – toasted
- 100 – 150g seedless green grapes
- 2-3 tablespoons of full fat mayonnaise
- Juice of half a lemon
- Crispy lettuce leaves to serve
- Thinly slice the celery stalks
- Core the apples and chop into small pieces
- Chop the toasted walnuts into small pieces
- Cut the grapes into halves
- Mix the celery, apples, nuts and grapes together
- Mix the mayonnaise with the lemon juice
- Mix the dressing with the salad
- Hand shred the lettuce leaves and put them in the at the bottom of a shallow bowl
- Heap the salad on top of the lettuce.
For individual servings put one or two lettuce leaves per person in a small dish and spoon some salad in the middle.
This recipe is from Pani Stasia *, she and my mother were at school together. She baked wonderful cakes and everyone loved this soft cake with seedless green grapes on the top within a mound of lovely meringue.
Many years ago I jotted down the recipe and now I found it amongst my many hand written recipes.
I obviously had not written it down very well and in my first attempt, although the topping part worked very well , the bottom cake part was not as I remembered it. Part of the problem was some of the measurements were in spoons and I think my conversions did not work out that well. Also I remember that seedless grapes used to be very small, now they seem to be much bigger.
My next attempt was a disaster! I tried cutting the grapes in half (bad idea) and I adjusted the base ingredients – the base did not cook well at all this time – a big gloopy mess – straight to birds.
One of a pair of wood pigeons that come into the garden looking for cast off cake!
I decided to bake the cake base separately and add the topping later – I had a couple of goes and found that a Victoria sponge using two eggs was the best.
This method means you have 4 egg yolks left over (you can use these in many other recipe). The original recipe used the yolks in the base and the whites in the topping – sadly I could not recreate this.
- 100g butter
- 100g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 100g self raising flour
- Grated rind of 1 lemon
- Grease a 22cm loose bottomed tall sided tin.
- Preheat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
- Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy
- Add the eggs and lemon rind and whisk again.
- Fold in the plain flour.
- Place the mixture in the tin and bake for around 25 minutes.
- Leave to go cold before adding the topping.
- 225g seedless green grapes
- 4 egg whites
- 200g granulated sugar
- 2 sponge fingers – crushed
- Preheat the oven to GM2 – 150°C.
- Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff.
- Add the sugar and whisk again till stiff.
- Mix in the crushed sponge fingers
- Put half of the meringue mixture on top of the cake base.
- Place the grapes in a layer on top of the meringue.
- Put the rest of the meringue mixture on top of the grapes and smooth it down.
- Bake for 1 hour – if not dry enough – lower oven to GM1- 140°C and leave for another 30 minutes.
- Switch off the oven and leave cake in the oven.
- Once oven is cold take out the cake and leave to cool in the tin.
- Do not try to take it out of the tin until it is totally cold.
Queen Anne tea plates & Portmeirion – Crazy Daisy cake forks – Sophie Conran’s design from 2009.
Coffee set and plates – Greenway by Hostess Tableware – design by John Russell, 1960 – 1979.
- Pani translates as Madam, Lady or Mrs and is a polite form of address – it is like donna in Italian or saying Miss Mary in the Southern States of America.
- Stasia is the shortened form of the Polish name Stanisława. (The feminine form of Stanisław)
- St Stanisław is the patron saint of Kraków & Poland, he was a martyr, murdered by the Polish king Bolesław II the Bold in 1079 – a story which has much in common with St Thomas à Beckett and the English king Henry II in 1170.