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Request for cake or pastry recipe for an elderly Polish lady


starfish
13 Mar 2021 #1
Hi, I'd like to make a cake for an elderly Polish lady. What sort of cake would be appreciated?
jon357 67 | 16,915
13 Mar 2021 #2
You don't say where you are (and therefore what ingredients are available in your country) however a couple of possibilities are makowiec and szarlotka. There are plenty of recipes for both on the internet. I'd say that szarlotka is easier, however you do need the right kind of apples.

Sernik, a baked cheesecake, is also a possibility and again, there are plenty of recipes online.
Paulina 10 | 1,860
13 Mar 2021 #3
Not everyone may like makowiec (I don't), so I would say szarlotka would be a safer bet (everyone seems to like it). And sernik (with raisins, for example) :)
mafketis 25 | 9,324
13 Mar 2021 #4
(with raisins, for example) :)

Dear Polish people,

Raisins are not a magic ingredient that makes any dessert wonderful.

Sincerely,
Mafketis

p.s. Please, stop putting raisins in ice cream! What is wrong with you people!?
Paulina 10 | 1,860
13 Mar 2021 #5
@maf ;D
I know what you mean, I probably like sernik without raisins better and I definitely prefer "clean" ice cream too, but I think sernik with raisins is one of the more traditional recipies, so I thought an elderly person would appreciate it ;)
jon357 67 | 16,915
13 Mar 2021 #6
Raisins are not a magic ingredient that makes any dessert wonderful.

Like currants in Britain, used a lot traditionally. Even too much.

Soaked dried cranberries are a good alternative to raisins, soaked dried cherries too, although they're expensive.

The elderly Poish lady that the cake's for may have left Poland many many years ago in which case it wouldn't be nostalgic for her, however my favourite cake here is Wuzetka, a post-war creation invented in Warsaw to mark the opening of Trasa W-Z (the east-west highway).

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuzetka

Szarlotka or sernik are both good ideas, especially sernik.

If the lady's from eastern Poland, there's that very nice Easter Cake that's not baked (they make it in Ukraine too), however not everyone likes it. There's also babka, however (despite all the fancy recipes online) here. it's often something a bit like a madeira cake in a round mould.

Here's an OK sernik recipe. It's from America so they use cups (big ones? little ones?) however if the OP's from there, he/she will presumably know what sort of cup it is, otherwise it's possible to convert cups to grams or ounces on google.. There's also Krakow sernik, a bit flatter and slightly different. Both are good.
Atch 16 | 3,299
14 Mar 2021 #7
America so they use cups (big ones? little ones?)

I know, the cups business is ridiculous isn't it? Don't they know how to use a weighing scales?! I had reason to investigate this recently and discovered that apparently the cup generally referred to in USA recipes is about the same as a szklanka, which is quite handy. I've since made a few recipes on that basis and it's worked. Interestingly they were Belarussian recipes. I can highly recommend.

olgasflavorfactory.com/
mafketis 25 | 9,324
14 Mar 2021 #8
I know, the cups business is ridiculous isn't it?

A cup in American cooking is the volume of 8 oz of water.

Somewhere in my kitchen I have an American measuring set that I used to use (from teaspoon to cup). I'm usually not really a measuring kind of cook though I make a pretense when I try a recipe for the first time.

cup
jon357 67 | 16,915
14 Mar 2021 #9
A cup in American cooking is the volume of 8 oz of water.

That's handy to know. I'll try to rememebr (rather than use google each time). Mind you, After all these years in PL, I've started to think in grams.

I'm usually not really a measuring kind of cook

The same, though for some things (like cakes) it has to be precise.

We've got various measuring cups (my OH bakes all our bread) and I bet one of them is exactly an American cup size. I just use them for flour if I'm doing Yorkshires. A (very) heaped tablespoon is about an ounce though,
Atch 16 | 3,299
14 Mar 2021 #10
A (very) heaped tablespoon is about an ounce though,

When I was about thirteen, I decided to have a go at making shortbread, but having an aversion to maths in any form, I refused to use the weighing scales (nearly as bad as the Americans!). I looked in an ancient cookery book of my granny's and found the approximate measurements for the flour, sugar etc in spoons. Can't remember what I did about the butter etc. Anyway, I ended up putting so much sugar in it that I couldn't get it out of the tin, let alone cut it and my sister had to come to the rescue and smash it with a hammer! Next time I tried, I used so much butter that we could literally pour the shortbread out of the tin - and it was at that point dear reader, that I finally gave in and learned the art of reading a scales :))
OP starfish
14 Mar 2021 #11
Mafketis, I feel the same way when people can't manage to use apples without automatically adding cinnamon.

And the lady in question did leave many years ago and I think I'll make a spongy sort of cake to decorate rather than a pastry-based product.
jon357 67 | 16,915
14 Mar 2021 #12
A traditional babka cake might be nice. Dried fruit and dried lemon peel are popular in cakes here,
Lenka 3 | 2,561
14 Mar 2021 #13
That is called keks. I'm not a fan but my mom loves it.
jon357 67 | 16,915
14 Mar 2021 #14
That is called keks

I like it; it reminds me of madeira cake..

Lemon drizzle cake always goes down well here, however it's not really traditional.
johnny reb 29 | 5,412
14 Mar 2021 #15
My favorite was a honey cake with a lemon topping sprinkled with powdered sugar that my Babcia use to make me in the old days.

Our family has looked high and low for her cookbook to no avail.
(I think one of the family members has it and doesn't want to give it up.)
jon357 67 | 16,915
14 Mar 2021 #16
a spongy sort of cake

keks

This is an OK recipe for keks. There's a few others online.
journeyfromapolishkitchen.com/2017/03/18/keks/

This one looks good too, although I'd not use the grapefruit liqueur.
hollytrail.com/2018/07/07/polish-teacake-fruitcake-keks-bakaliowy/

When I first came to Poland and saw cakes in the supermarket with "keks" on the lable I was amused. In my dialect of English (South Yorkshire), keks (sometimes kegs) are men's underpants...
OP starfish
29 Mar 2021 #17
Hi, I now need a suitable babka recipe. Recommendations please?
jon357 67 | 16,915
29 Mar 2021 #18
This looks a good one:
thegreatbritishbakeoff.co.uk/recipes/all/paul-hollywood-chocolate-babka/

This is a plain one, and very close to the type made in Poland:
allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/10305/polish-babka.aspx
OP starfish
4 Apr 2021 #19
That was a nice one, and I added chopped dried apricots to it.


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