Breaded Aubergines

  • I went to my favourite restaurant in the area, which is very near to where I live.
  • It is called Healds Hall .
  • They had a new starter on the menu, which was delicious.
  • I decided to recreate this at home.
  • I used Polish honey from the Mazurian Lakes, which was delicious.
  • The Polish word for aubergine is bakłażan and it comes from the Persian – badigan. 
  • Americans call aubergines – egg plant.

Ingredients

  • 1 Aubergine
  • Plain flour
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dried breadcrumbs
  • *
  • Sunflower oil to fry
  • *
  • To serve
  • *
  • Runny honey
  • Yoghurt cheese or cream cheese

Method

  • Slice the aubergine into 1 – 1.5cm circles.
  • Sprinkle them with salt and put them into a colander over a bowl.
  • Leave for around 30 minutes.
  • Dry the slices with kitchen roll.
  • Sprinkle with a little pepper.
  • Have ready dishes of flour, beaten egg and dried breadcrumbs.
  • Dip each slice of aubergine first into the flour, then the beaten egg and lastly the dried breadcrumbs.
  • In a frying pan heat up the oil.
  • Fry the slices gently on both sides till golden.
  • Remove from the oil, place onto kitchen roll to remove some of the oil.
  • Serve with yoghurt cheese or cream cheese with runny honey on top.

Tort Melba – Fat Free Sponge

  • This tort – layer cake – mimics  a pêche melbapeach melba dessert .
  • It is a recipe for a fat free sponge cake, sandwiched with a filling made from yoghurt cheese or cream cheese and puréed tinned peaches plus a thick raspberry sauce.
  • I used an English quick style version of the sponge cake.

Ingredients -Fat Free sponge

  • 4 eggs
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder

Method – Fat Free sponge

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C
  • Grease and line the base of  two 18cm diameter baking tins.
  • In a bowl whisk the eggs and caster sugar until they are pale and creamy.
  • Sift the flour and the baking powder together.
  • Gently fold in the flour.
  • Pour the mixture into the tins and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.
  • Leave to cool completely.

Ingredients -Filling

  • Tin of peaches
  • 200g of yoghurt cheese or cream cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons of icing sugar

Method – Filling

  • Drain the peaches from the juice/syrup.
  • Save the juice.
  • Chop the peaches and then purée them.
  • Mix together the yoghurt cheese and the puréed peaches.
  • Add the sugar – do not make it too sweet.

Ingredients – Raspberry Sauce

  • 100g of raspberry jam
  • 50ml of water

Method – Raspberry Sauce

  • Put the jam and water into a small saucepan.
  • Heat gently and stir with a wooden spoon.
  • Heat until the sauce is thick and smooth.
  • Leave to cool.

Assembling the cake

  • Place one of the cakes onto a serving plate or stand.
  • Prick the cake with a wooden skewer.
  • Sprinkle half the peach juice over the cake.
  • *
  • Spread half the raspberry sauce over the cake.
  • Spread the peach filling on the cake. (You might not need all of it)
  • Drizzle the rest of the raspberry sauce on the filling.
  • *
  • Prick the other cake with a wooden skewer.
  • Place the second cake on top.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the peach juice over the cake.
  • *
  • Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Note

  • There is more than enough filling with this size cake.
  • You might try using some to slightly cover the sides of the cake as well.
  • This modern spreading of the icing is called “semi-naked”.

Tort Melba – Meringue

  • A Polish lady that I had not seen for many years came to visit me.
  • We sat in the garden chatting over coffee and cake.
  • She mentioned a cake she had not had for many years – Tort Melba.
  • She told me it was based around Pêche Melba – Peach Melba.
  • However she could not remember the recipe.
  • I said I would look the recipe up and make it for her.
  • *
  • Recipes used peaches, raspberry sauce and instead of vanilla ice cream a vanilla flavoured yoghurt cheese or cream cheese.
  • *
  • I found there are 3 types:
  • *
  • A meringue version –  tort bezowyrecipe below.
  • *
  • Several versions used two rounds of meringue sandwiched together.
  • It is easier to make a nest (Pavlova style) and place the fillings in that.
  • *
  • A sponge cake version –  2 will be posted soon.
  • A layered jelly version – I tried several versions but was not happy with any of the results.

Ingredients – Meringue

  • 4 egg whites
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of potato flour or cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
  • 2-3 drops of vanilla essence

Method

  • Use the loose base of a baking tin 24cm in diameter.
  • Lightly grease the circle.
  • Cut a 24cm circle of greaseproof and stick it on the metal circle.
  • Place the circle on a large baking tray – one without sides is best.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM1 – 140°C.
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
  • Add the sugar and whisk again till stiff.
  • Fold in the potato or corn flour, the vinegar and vanilla essence.
  • Using up to ½ of the mixture cover the circle on the tin.
  • Using the rest of the meringue put spoonfuls around the edge.
  • Bake for 80 minutes.
  • Turn off the oven and leave the meringue inside for 20 minutes.
  • Take out and leave to cool completely before filling.
  • *
  • Place the yoghurt cheese filling in the centre of the meringue nest.
  • Add the chopped peaches.
  • Drizzle the raspberry sauce over the top. 

Ingredient – Filling

  • 200g yoghurt cheese, curd cheese or cream cheese
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of icing sugar
  • 2-3 drops of vanilla essence
  • *
  • 1 tin of peaches, drained and chopped
  • *
  • Raspberry sauce made with 4 tablespoons of raspberry jam and 1 tablespoon of water – heated together for a few minutes and cooled.

Royal Doulton – Counterpoint tea plates – 1973 – 1987

Twaróg Dessert

  • This dessert is one I make when I do not wish or have time to to make a layered torcik
  • The jelly and twaróg mixture is left to set in a bowl and scoops are then put into individual serving dishes.
  • The more twaróg you use the softer will be the mixture.
  • As I do not really like to drink milk using twaróg ensures I get calcium in my diet.
  • The flavours and fruits used here are just an example – use the flavours of jellies that you like as well as the fruit.

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of lemon jelly
  • 250 – 400g of twaróg , yoghurt cheese or cream cheese
  • Juice and rind of 1 lemon
  • *
  • Toppings
  • Bottled blackcurrants – drained
  • Grated chocolate or chocolate flake

Method

  • Make up 500ml of jelly as per the packet instructions.
  • Add the lemon juice and rind.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Whisk in the twaróg and mix till all  is blended in.
  • Pour into a large bowl.
  • Leave to set in the fridge.
  • Put scoops into individual glasses.
  • Add the toppings.

Salmon Spread

  • There are many recipes in my Polish cookery books for a variety of spreads using cooked meat or fish.
  • In Polish this would be called pasta – a paste or a spread.
  • This recipe was given to me by my late cousin who lived near Durham.

Ingredients

  • Small tin of pink salmon
  • 200g of cream cheese or yoghurt cheese
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • *
  • A little soured cream- optional
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Drain the salmon from the liquid in the tin.
  • Remove the skin and any bones.
  • Mash the salmon up with a fork.
  • Add the cheese and the lemon juice.
  • Mix it all together to a smooth paste.
  • Add some soured cream to make a softer spread.
  • Season to taste.
  • Put into a bowl to serve or into individual little pots.
  • *
  • Serve with bread, toast or crackers and green salad.
  • Or use as a dip with crudities.

 

Served on an oval plate by Johnson Brothers – Snowhite – 1960-1979

Note

You can use some left over poached fresh salmon instead.

 

Lemon Torcik

  • This is such an easy way to make the lemon and cheese mixture.
  • It is adapted from a recipe on a tin of condensed milk.
  • The bottom layer is made from a biscuit base – I have made a chocolate one.
  • You can adapt this base using different biscuits or omitting the chocolate.* see footnote photos
  • I used a little chocolate to decorate the top and this was enough for me.
  • You could add fruit and syrups or many other options.

Ingredients – Biscuit Base

  • 150g of Petit Beurre(morning coffee or similar) biscuits
  • 75g of butter
  • 50g – 75g of dark chocolate

Method

  • Grease a spring-form or loose bottomed tin with melted butter. (Use a 20cm or 22cm diameter tin).
  • Crush the biscuits in a bowl.
  • Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat then add the chocolate and let it melt.
  • Add the butter & chocolate mix to the biscuits and mix them all together.
  • Press the mixture into the base of the tin and leave it to cool completely.
  • Once cool you can put it in the tin and into the fridge for several hours.
  • You can leave this overnight if you wish.

Ingredients – Lemon Cheese

  • 300g of yoghurt cheese or cream cheese
  • 1 tin of condensed milk (397g weight).
  • Juice and fine grated rind of 2 large lemons
  • *
  • Chocolate flake or grated chocolate to decorate.
  • Lemon rind strands from 1 lemon to decorate.

Method

  • If using your own yoghurt cheese, a good idea is to leave it overnight in a large sieve over a bowl to get rid of excess whey.
  • Put the yoghurt cheese, the condensed milk, the juice and rind of the lemons in a big bowl.
  • Whisk the contents together.
  • Spoon the mixture over the base and smooth the top.
  • Leave in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
  • *
  • Put long strands of lemon rind in around a tablespoon of granulated sugar.
  • Leave for around an hour.
  • *
  • 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.
  • *
  • Decorate the edges and the centre with chocolate flake and lemon rind.

Served on tea plates by Greenway Hostess by John Russell –  1960-1979

*The following photos are from a version made  without the chocolate in the base and a fluted loose bottomed tin was used.

 

  • Served on Royal Doulton – Counterpoint tea-plates 1973 – 1987
  • Portmeirion Crazy Daisy cake forks by Sophie Conran from 2009.

Pulpety – Meat & Cheese

  • I came across this version of pulpety  (Polish meatballs) recently and thought I would give these a try as I always have lots of yoghurt cheese.
  • Both beef and pork are used in this recipe and I often do mix these two meat minces together.
  • Dried breadcrumbs are not used in this recipe.
  • The bread is not moistened with milk.
  • The following amounts made 30 pulpety.

Ingredients

  • 200g minced beef
  • 200g minced pork
  • 200g twaróg(curd cheese) or yoghurt cheese (well drained)
  • 2 small onions diced (I might wiz them up in a mini-chopper next time)
  • 2 teaspoons of Italian herbs
  • Fresh white breadcrumbs from a slice of white bread or a roll.
  • 1 egg
  • Salt & pepper
  • *
  • 500ml of chicken stock – can be from a cube or concentrate
  • *
  • 500ml of a sauce of your choice – I used a simple tomato sauce

Method

  • Mix all the ingredients together to a uniform mixture.
  • Hands are best at the end – the mixture is quite sticky.
  • Pinch off small bits of the meat mixture and roll the piece between your hands to make small round balls and place these onto a floured board or tray whilst you make them all.
  • Leave these to chill in a cool place or in the fridge for an hour or so.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4-180°C.
  • Heat the chicken stock in a deep wide frying pan.
  • Add some of the pulpety and simmer with a lid for around 5 minutes.
  • Have a large ovenproof dish ready with your sauce.
  • Remove the pulpety with a slotted spoon and add to the sauce.
  • Repeat with the rest of the pulpety.
  • Put a lid on the dish.
  • Cook in the oven for at least 1 hour.
  • You can lower the heat and cook for longer.

Sauces

The varieties here are endless – make one of your favourite sauces for example mushroom or tomato.

You can then serve them with potatoes, pasta, rice or to be very Polish – buckwheat or pearl barley.

 

Served in Royal Doulton – Burgundy – 1959-1981

 

 

Sernik – Simple Version

  • At the end of 2020 I looked at the statistics for my blog.
  • I found that over the five and a half years  – sernikbaked cheesecake is my most looked at post and has been for a few years.
  • As today is The Epiphany – The Three Kings – I thought another version of a Polish Classic would be good.
  • Recently I got this recipe from my cousin in Wembley.
  • This is  a simple version – not very different from my mama’s but does not have any added butter or soured cream.
  • The original recipe was on a packet of bought twaróg.
  • The original recipe used 1 kilogram of  twaróg and as you can imagine it was large!
  • I have cut down the amount of ingredients to make a more manageable sernik.
  • I have adjusted some of the other ingredients as my own yoghourt cheese is always a little “wetter” than the bought twaróg.
  • There is no cake base at all in this recipe – but of course you can add one.
  • Be aware that the cake rises and then collapses on cooling.

Royal Grafton – Woodside – 1940-1959

Ingredients

  • 500g twaróg – yoghurt cheese or cream cheese
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 140g icing sugar & 2 tablespoons & extra for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon of semolina
  • 2 tablespoons of potato flour (cornflour should be okay)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence or rum

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM3 – 160°C
  • Use a cake liner to line a loose bottomed 20cm or 22cm cake tin.
  • Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until the mixture is pale and creamy.
  • Add the twaróg or yoghurt cheese and the vanilla essence or rum and whisk all together.
  • Fold in the semolina and the potato flour.
  • In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites till they are stiff.
  • Add the 2 tablespoons of icing sugar and whisk again till stiff.
  • Fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture.
  • Spoon the mixture into the lined cake tin.
  • Bake in the oven for  60 – 70 minutes.
  • Check earlier and cover if it is starting to catch.
  • When the cake is ready switch off the oven and leave it in there for at least 40 minutes.
  • Take out the cake to cool in the tin.
  • Once it is cold – take the cake out of the tin by loosening the outer ring or placing the cake tin with the loose bottom on a tin can and sliding the cake tin down.
    *
  • Dust the cake with icing sugar before serving.
  • *
  • I think this cake is best made the day before you want to serve it – so it is well cooled and set.

Options

  • You can use this basic mix with a number of variations:
  • Chocolate drizzle on top.
  • Mixed peel added to the mixture.
  • Different cake bases.
  • Fruit in thickened syrups served with it.
  • and so on ….

Served on a Vintage glass cake stand and Paragon – hand painted tea plates with a sauce made from thinned down raspberry jam.

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