Happy Easter everyone! Wesołego Alleluja!
With Easter just around the corner, it surely is a high time for holiday baking. Having to work on Easter Sunday, nothing better to put myself in a holiday sprit than baking.
Mazurek is a Polish traditional Easter cake, very sweet and with lots of delicacies: raisins, almonds, walnuts, dried cranberry or apricot. There are many versions of mazurek, I made probably the sweetest one. Mazurek Kajmakowy, which is simply shortcake base with a layer of fudge-like, caramel layer on top. Decorated with almonds, chocolate, dried cranberries. Simple, very, very sweet treat.
MAZUREK WIELKANOCNY (POLISH EASTER CAKE)
for the shortcake base
200g icing sugar
4 egg yolks
for the fudge caramel cream
1l double cream
HOW TO MAKE?
1. Using your electric mixer, beat the butter until soft and fluffy. Add icing sugar and mix until incorporated. Add egg yolks, one at the time, mixing well after each addition.
2. Sieve the flour onto the pastry board. Add the butter-sugar-egg mixture and knead with your hands, until you get smooth dough. Form a ball from the dough, wrap it in cling film and put into the fridge for at least an hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.
4. Prepare your baking tin. Grease it with butter and line it up with a baking parchment. Take the dough out of the fridge. Roll it out on a pastry board sprinkled with flour. Move rolled out dough to the baking tin, lining it on the bottom and sides (about 1cm up). Pierce it delicately with a fork.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Take out from the oven and let it chill.
6. Prepare fudge caramel cream (masa kajmakowa). Now, in Poland we would use 36% cream, I decided to use double cream though (containing about 30% milk fat). It turned out quite nicely but it took very long time for it to thicken. If you want to get results faster, go for the 36% cream (heavy cream).
7. Now, add your cream and sugar to the saucepan (preferably thick-bottomed one) and let it simmer on low heat for about 45-50minutes. You need to stir it very often or it’ll stick to the bottom of the saucepan and burn. You will know it’s ready when it gets quite thick consistency and straw-like colour, golden caramel.
8. Easy way (for those with less free time than me): instead of making your own caramel, you can buy a tin of sweetened condensed milk and boil it (the whole tin in a pot full of water) for about 2 hours. All you have to do later is to open the tin and pour the caramel over the cake base. No stirring, no watching if it’s burning. Easy. but it won’t taste quite the same as homemade caramel ^^
9. Once your caramel is ready, pour it into the glass bowl so it’ll chill quicker. Once chilled, pour it over (chilled) cake base. Even it out with a big knife or a spatula and decorate with whatever your imagination feels like. Put the cake in the fridge, to let the cream settle. Tastes best next day after baking.