Biszkopciki – Little Sponge Cakes

Biszcopciki, Sponge drops or fingers, Lady Fingers and Savoiardi (Italian) are names given to little light sponge cakes often with a light sugar crust.

In many older recipes eggs are separated and then the white and yolks beaten separately with sugar and these two mixtures brought together and plain flour added.

I have gone for a slightly easier version, using a more English sponge mixture with whole eggs and self raising flour but have used an icing sugar topping which is simple but wonderful!

You can use a piping bag to make these into fingers but I have made them into little tablespoon sized drops.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 75g self raising flour
  • *
  • 2-3 tablespoons of icing sugar

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 5 – 190°C.
  • Line two baking sheets with baking paper.
  • Whisk the eggs with the sugar until they are pale and thick.
  • Sift the flour.
  • Gently fold the flour into the whisked mixture.
  • Place tablespoonfuls of sponge mixture onto the trays, leaving them some distance apart.
  • Sift around 1 tablespoon of icing sugar over the drops.
  • Leave for 5 minutes (set a timer).
  • Sift another tablespoon of icing sugar over the drops.
  • Bake for 5 minutes and change the trays around.
  • Bake for another 3 to 5  minutes.
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes then remove with a metal spatula to cool on a wire rack.

Cake plate – Dubarry by Crown Devon from the 1930s

 

Served with Strawberry soup

Royal Doulton – Carnation 1982 – 1998

 

 

Torcik – with Strawberries

There are loads of strawberries in the garden and as I have previously made a torcik with alpine strawberries  – I thought I would make a slightly different version using strawberries.

This torcik has a sponge finger rather than a biscuit base and the lemony curd cheese layer has more butter and egg yolks but the egg whites are omitted.

There does not seem to be an exact English translation for Torcik – the terms icebox cake or no bake cake convey some of the ideas.

This torcik is composed of 3 layers

When making a torcik like this you need time to let one layer set before starting on the next or you will get mixing of the layers.

  1. Sponge Finger base
  2. Sweet curd cheese with lemon jelly (this is a richer mixture than in the alpine strawberry  torcik)
  3. Strawberries in blackcurrant jelly

I have had super results using the following brand of  real fruit juice Polish jellies.

 

Ingredients

  • 500g twaróg or yoghurt cheese (could use full fat cream cheese)
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 250g butter
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 packet of light coloured jelly (lemon)
  • 1 packet of dark coloured jelly (blackcurrant)
  • *
  • Sponge finger biscuits – around a packet
  • *
  • Lots of sliced strawberries – enough to cover the surface of the torcik

Method

  • Use a 25cm in diameter loose bottomed or spring-form tin.
  • Lightly rub the base with some butter.
  • *
  • Arrange the sponge fingers over the base of the tin – breaking some up so the whole base is covered.
  • *
  • 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 yolks, one by one, alternating with the twaróg.
  • Mix thoroughly.
  • Gently mix in the cool lemon jelly.
  • Pour the mixture over the biscuit base.
  • Level the top.
  • Leave to set – best in the fridge – for 3 hours at least.
  • *
  • Mix up the blackcurrant jelly as per the instructions with 500ml of boiling water.
  • Leave the jelly to cool.
  • *
  • Prepare the strawberries, remove any stalks and leaves and cut them into slices.
  • Arrange the strawberries on top of the lemon layer.
  • Gently put the blackcurrant jelly over the strawberries – use one spoon to pour the jelly 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 plate – Royal Doulton – Counterpoint – 1973 – 1987