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

 

 

 

Pierogi leniwe

Pierogi leniwe – means lazy pierogi or  lazy dumplings.

I wrote about kopytka – Polish potato dumplings a good while back and these have the same shape.

Traditional recipes use twaróg – Polish curd cheese – I use my own yoghurt cheese.  I have found that you can use crumbly, white, mild, English cheeses such as: Cheshire, Lancashire or Wensleydale.

They can be served savoury or sweet – with melted butter, à la Polonaise (buttered breadcrumbs) or skwarki (crisp, fried, small squares of bacon) or sweet with a cinnamon sugar mixture.

Ingredients

  • 400g of twaróg (curd cheese), yoghurt cheese or  a white, crumbly cheese.
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 160 – 200g of plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

Method

  • Mix the yolks with the cheese.
  • Add the salt
  • Weigh out the flour to give an idea of how much is needed – this will depend on the cheese and the size of the eggs.
  • Add the flour and mix first with a wooden spoon and then by hand, you might not need all the flour or you may need more.
  • Mix until you have a soft dough.
  • Divide the dough into quarters and using a floured board shape the dough and roll it with you hands until you have a long sausage about 3cm in diameter.  If the dough sticks to the board then you need to add more flour.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into pieces, make the first cut at a diagonal and make the thickness about 1 to 1.5cm. You will get a sort of oval shape.
  • Repeat this with the rest of the dough.
  • Fill a large pan with water, add some salt and bring this to the boil.
  • When the water is boiling, add the dumplings one by one, do not over fill the pan or they will stick together. I tend to do around 8 at a time.
  • As they cook they will float to the surface, give them about another minute and then remove them with a slotted  or a perforated spoon and put them in a colander.
  • I have a colander sitting in an empty pan by the side of the large pan in which I am boiling the dumplings.

IMG_20151020_094418143

 

 

 

 

  • I find that the maximum from putting  them into the water to taking them out will be 3 minutes, if you cook these too long they will start to fall apart.

Here served as suggested above with  melted butter and with skwarki (crisp, fried, small squares of bacon).

Served on –

  • J & G Meakin – Topic – around 1967
  • Wedgwood – Chelsea garden – early 21st century.

Here served  à la Polonaise (buttered breadcrumbs)  in a handled dish by

Rörstrand Sweden Granada Ovenware  from the 1960s

 

 

They can be also be served  sweet with a cinnamon sugar mixture.

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.

 

 

 

Curd Tart – English Cheesecake

I have been doing some research on old English recipes and looked at curd tart recipes – these are similar to Polish baked sernik .

  • Curd tarts in England originated in the early 17th century.
  • In Yorkshire they were traditionally baked for Whitsuntide.
  • Nutmeg is a very popular spice in English baking.
  • Curds are coagulated milk proteins – casein.
  • Raw milk will coagulate naturally when left in a warm place.
  • Pasteurised milk needs the addition of something acidic such as lemon juice, vinegar or lactobacillus (found in natural yoghurt).
  • You can make your own curds. The following is an easy way to make curds and these are the curds* used in the recipe below.
  • *
  • *Polish twaróg or yoghurt cheese is more tangy.

Making Curds

  • In a deep saucepan put 500ml of milk, 3 beaten eggs and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • Heat gently until it comes to the boil, stirring occasionally.
  • Curds will form.
  • Put the mixture into a large sieve or muslin bag and leave for a few hours.
  • Leave the curds to go cold.
  • It is often good to make the curds the evening before you need them.
  • 500ml of milk will give around 200-225g of curds with this method.

 

Ingredients

  • Around 200g of curds (as above)
  • 110g granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • 60g currants
  • Grated nutmeg
  • *
  • Shortcrust pastry or a richer pastry such as  kruche ciasto

Method

  • Grease and line the base of a loose bottomed tart tin.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM5 – 190°C.
  • Roll out the shortcrust pastry thinly and line the tin with it.
  • With a fork, chop up the curds into small pieces.
  • Whisk together the curds, sugar and eggs.
  • Stir in the currants.
  • Pour the mixture into the lined tart tin.
  • Sprinkle liberally with freshly grated nutmeg.
  • Bake for around 30 minutes.
  • Leave to cool on a wire cake rack.

Served on tea plates by Royal Doulton, Counterpoint, 1973 – 1987

 

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

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

 

 

Lemony Sauce

Sweet cream, either poured or whipped is not used in traditional Polish cooking.

Soured cream with the addition of a little icing sugar is often used to drizzle over sweet dishes such as pierogi with fruit fillings or with Polish style pancakes.

I have previously made a super beetroot & chocolate cake and topping this with a lemon butter icing.

This time I just wanted a lighter pouring sauce to go with the cake.

Ingredients

  • 100g of yoghourt cheese or cream cheese
  • 100g of icing sugar
  • Grated rind of 2 lemons
  • Juice from 1 lemon.

 

Method

  • Mix all the ingredients together to give a smooth sauce.

The contrast between the sauce and the rich cake is super.

Served on Royal Doulton  – Counterpoint tea plates – 1973 – 1987

 

Not Quite a Cheesecake – version 2

I posted Not Quite a Cheesecake in July of 2018.

I have made it several times since as a larger version when I have had lots of my own yoghurt cheese. For this version I used Morello cherries from a jar.

You can  use twaróg, curd cheese, cream cheese or yoghurt cheese, it is a bit different from my usual Polish baked cheesecake. as it does not have a cake/biscuit type base. Because of this you do need a one piece cake liner for your loose bottomed tin.

Ingredients

  • 200g Butter
  • 200g Caster sugar
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 3 tablespoons of potato flour or cornflour
  • 150g Ground almonds
  • 400 – 450g Twaróg , Curd cheese or Yoghurt Cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • Pinch of salt
  • Morello cherries from a 460g net weight jar
  • Optional Topping
  • Juice from the cherries
  • 1 tablespoon of potato or cornflour to thicken the juice.

Method

  • Line a 22cm diameter loose bottomed cake tin with a bought paper cake liner.

 

 

 

 

  • Preheat the oven to GM5 190°C
  • Drain the cherries from the juice – keep the juice for the topping.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until they are soft and fluffy.
  • Add the egg yolks one by one until you have a smooth mixture.
  • Add the vanilla essence and the salt and mix in.
  • Add the cornflour, ground almonds and the yoghurt cheese and mix together thoroughly.
  • Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff.
  • Fold the egg whites into the cake mixture.
  • Put the cake mixture into the lined tin.
  • Place around half the cherries on top of the mixture.
  • Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
  • Turn the oven down to GM2 – 150°C and bake for around another 30 minutes.
  • Switch off the oven but leave the cake in there until it is cool.
  • Keep the cake in the refrigerator but bring to room temperature for serving.
  • Dust with icing sugar
  • ***
  • Make a runny sauce from the juice heated with a tablespoon of potato flour.
  • Serve portions with a few cherries on the side and some of the sauce poured on or next to it.

     

    Served here on tea plates from a coffee service by Midwinter – Queensbury from the 1970s.

Semi French? Ciasto pȯłfrancuskie 2

There are two similarly named pastries in Polish cookery:

  • Ciasto francuskie  – translates as French pastry – this is puff pastry.
  • Ciasto pȯłfrancuskie  – translates as half or  semi French pastry.

I have seen ciasto pȯłfrancuskie described as rough  puff pastry  – but it  is not – rough puff is a slightly easier and quicker version of puff pastry.

I have seen many different recipes for this semi-French pastry and they fall into three broad categories:

  • ciasto pȯłfrancuskie – śmietanowe – dough  made with some soured cream. 
  • ciasto pȯłfrancuskie – serowe  –  dough made with twaróg – curd cheese.
  • ciasto pȯłfrancuskie – drożdźowe – dough made with yeast.

Ciasto  pȯłfrancuskie 2 – with curd cheese – twaróg

Ingredients

  • 225g plain flour
  • 225g butter
  • 225g twaróg – curd cheese or yoghurt cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of soured cream – maybe needed – depends on dampness of the cheese

Note as you use equal parts of the three main ingredients, you can make an amount suited to you needs – I usually go by how much yoghurt cheese I have.

Method

  • Preheat the oven to GM7 – 220ºC
  • Grease several baking sheets.
  • You need to get the curd cheese as dry as possible, if you are using homemade then allow this to strain as long as possible.
  • Put the flour into a large bowl.
  • Add the butter and with a knife chop it up roughly.
  • Then with your finger tips rub the butter in until you have fine breadcrumbs.
  • Mix in the curd cheese and bring the dough together, adding as much soured cream as is needed.
  • When using my own yoghurt cheese I often do not need any soured cream.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and leave in a cool place for 20 – 30 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 4 and work with each quarter at a time, leaving the rest in a cool place .
  • Roll the dough out thinly
  • Cut into  circles using a 7cm cutter.
  • Add around a teaspoon of filling* see below and fold the circle into half.
  • Pinch the edges together carefully.
  • Place the pastries on the greased baking sheets.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden.
  • For ones with sweet fillings dust with icing sugar whilst still warm.

Fillings

You can use lots of savoury or sweet fillings – here are a few suggestions:

  • Date
  • Poppy seed mixture
  • Walnut
  • Hazelnut

All filling must be cool before using.

Date

  • Chop 200g of dried dates.
  • Place in a small saucepan and cover with water (and you can add a little lemon juice).
  • Heat gently and stir.
  • Cook until you have a soft pulp.

 

Poppy Seed Mixture

 

See instructions in an earlier post – ciasto pȯłfrancuskie 1

Walnut

  • Grind 100g of chopped walnuts.
  • Add the nuts to around 3 tablespoons of apricot jam.
  • Mix well together.

 

You can do the same with hazelnuts.