I have just returned from a trip to The Netherlands where I stay with my Dutch friend who I have known for nearly all my life! We were both born in the same year – lived just a few doors apart in Lancashire and went to the same school together. Now we live in differerent countries but we visit each other often.
I am always on the look out for recipes as well as old glass & china. We went to a second-hand street market in Roermond and there was a book sale in one of the churches and strangely enough the books were sold by weight! I bought a nearly new copy of a cookery book by Yvette van Boven (I now know she appears on television).
This cake is based on one of her recipes and reminds me of the light fruit cakes called keks in Polish – though the use of the courgette is novel – you would never guess it is in the cake!
Ingredients – Cake
150g self-raising flour
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar
150g of light brown sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
150g of raisins
150g of currants
100g of roasted and roughly chopped hazelnuts
1 medium size courgette coarse grated
125ml of sunflower oil
Ingredients – Lemon Icing
Fine grated rind of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
150g of icing sugar
Method – Cake
Pre-heat the oven to GM4 180°C
I used a continental style long loaf tin, greased it and used a single sheet of grease proof paper to line the long sides and the base.
Mix together the flour, salt, sugars and cinnamon, making sure that any lumps in the brown sugar are all pressed out.
Mix together the raisin, currants, nuts and the courgette.
Lightly whisk the eggs and oil together.
Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix thoroughly together with a wooden spoon.
Add the courgette mixture and mix well in.
Place the cake mixture into the tin and smooth the top.
Bake for 50 – 55 minutes – check after 40 minutes and cover the top with greaseproof or foil if browning too much before it is baked through.
Leave to cool before icing.
Method – Icing
Place the icing sugar in a bowl and add the grated lemon zest.
Mix in the lemon juice until you have a thick icing.
You might have to adjust the thickness with more lemon juice (or water) or with icing sugar.
Put the icing on the top of the cake and let it drip down the sides.
Served on Woodside by Royal Grafton from 1940 to 1959.
I thought that this might be good using grated carrot instead of courgette – I used a medium sized carrot.
I used chopped walnuts, which I had, as when I had gone to get the hazelnuts, I got the last packet from my local shop and did not have time to go to anywhere else!
Corylus avellana is the hazelnut, also known as cobnut or filbert nut. In Polish it is orzech laskowy – which translates as nut of the forest and as its name implies hazel trees or bushes grow abundantly in Poland.
Turkey is the largest commercial producer of hazelnuts followed by Italy.
Ferrero SpA – makers of Ferrero Rocher and Nutella use 25% of the global supply of hazelnuts per annum.
Tort is a layer cake (in England the French word gateaux is used) – the layers of cake being sandwiched together with a butter cream (Sweet whipped cream was hardly known in Poland – with soured cream being the norm).
The word tort is originally from the Latin torta – flat cake or round loaf of bread.
A tort can be round or in a block shape – it often has very decorative piping – my decorations tend to be more simple!
A tort is often made for celebrations and is often very large – I have recipes which call for a dozen or more eggs!
The following recipe only uses 6 eggs!
This tort recipe uses hazelnuts which have been roasted and then ground.
I often buy my hazelnuts from a dried fruit & nut stall in Leeds Kirkgate Market. This the largest covered market in Europe and was founded in 1875 and has around 100,000 visitors per week.
On this stall you can buy : whole hazel nuts, roasted hazel nuts and ground roasted hazel nuts.
I use either roasted hazel nuts and grind them myself or roast the hazel nuts myself and then grind them.
Roasting Hazel Nuts
To roast hazelnuts put the shelled nuts on a baking tray and put them in an oven at GM 5 – 190°C for around 10 to 15 minutes – keep checking as it is easy to burn them.
Once they are done, leave them to cool and then rub off the papery skins between your fingers and discard them.
I use an electric grinder which is very useful.
225g caster sugar
225g roasted & ground hazelnuts
2 sponge fingers – crushed
Pre-heat the oven to GM5 – 190°C
Grease and line a 23cm x 32cm baking tray.
Mix together the ground hazelnuts and crushed sponge fingers.
Whisk together the eggs and caster sugar until they are pale and fluffy.
Fold in the nut mixture.
Pour the mixture onto the baking tray and bake for around 20 minutes until it is golden on top.
Take out and leave it to cool on a cooling tray.
Measure the length of the cake and cut it into 3 equal pieces.
A poncz (sweet punch for moistening the cake) is used on each layer.
I used one made from 150ml of weak black tea, 45 ml of rum and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.
Rum Butter Cream
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons of rum
300g icing sugar ( approximate amount)
Cream together the butter and egg yolks.
Add the rum and cream again.
Mix in the icing sugar till you have a smooth butter cream
Using a spatulas layer up the cake first with poncz on each layer and then the butter cream.
Cover the top and sides with the butter cream.
Make fancy patterns with spatulas (or you can do fancy piping if you wish).
Little spatulas for decorating with icing.
Tea plates are Silver Rose by Duchess from the 1950s & 1960s.
The cake slice is Water Garden by Portmeirion.
The same quantities and method as above can be used for two 18m diameter cake tins.
Here the poncz was made from 150ml weak black tea and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar & coffee butter cream was used.
Coffee Butter Cream
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons of very strong coffee
250g of icing sugar (approximate amount)
Making Strong Ground Coffee
Cream the butter and egg yolk.
Add the coffee and cream again.
Mix in the icing sugar until you have a thick butter cream.
Use the poncz to moisten the cake & layer up and coat with the icing.
Very useful cake lifter – from Lakeland Plastics – for moving the cake
Another cake lifter
Tea set is by Spencer Stevenson Co Ltd, who manufactured in England between 1948 and 1960. The design name is not known.
Green Teapot is Café Culture by Maxwell Williams.
Other Cake Sizes
3 eggs with 110g of roasted hazel nuts & 110g of caster sugar for 1 – 18cm diameter cake tin.
4 eggs with 150g of roasted hazelnuts & 150g of caster sugar for 1 – 22cm diameter cake tin.