Cakes

Mouldy

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Behold, Mouldy in full glory!

Let me introduce you to an all time favourite casual Polish cake – Mouldy.

Its unfortunate name is a result of the vividly creative Polish imagination… or rather, lack thereof. Though I admit, the name is apt and the cake looks kinda mouldy.

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Mouldy squares are best with afternoon tea and shared with friends.

But let me assure you, the cake is not mouldy. In fact, its taste is very characteristic with 3 layers of dough laced with tarty jam/fruit and sweet meringue. This cake is very easy to make and great for beginners. In addition, it gives you a lot of control over the tartness-sweetness proportions so you can make is as tarty or sweet as you like by varying the proportion of jam : fresh fruit. I like my deserts more tart and so in this recipe I add quite a bit of fresh black currants. This is not necessary and  the cake will be just as good if you use jam only. In this recipe I use my home-made black currant jam!

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The most tricky part is the fragile meringue – mine collapsed in some parts of the cake. Follow instructions closely!

Ingredients

  • 200 g cold butter
  • 4 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1,5 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup + 2 tbs sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbs cocoa
  • 250 g black currant jam + 250 g fresh black currants; these can be replaced with other jams/fruit. Good substitutes are sour berries and berry jams or cherries.

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Procedure

Place the following in a food processor (can be done by hand): cold butter, flour, baking powder, 2 Tbs sugar, salt and 4 yolks. Process until loose, take out and divide into 3 equal parts. Add cocoa to 1 part and knead into a ball and flatten it. Wrap the ball into plastic wrap and pop into the fridge. Repeat with the other 2 parts: knead, flatten, wrap into plastic and refrigerate. Cool in the fridge for 1 hour or more. When cooled, grate each dough on the biggest grating slots and keep them in separate containers. Refrigerate while preparing meringue.

To make meringue, beat the 4 egg whites until stiff. Add the 2/3 cup of sugar while beating; do this very slowly, table spoon by table spoon and beat very well after each addition. Take your time doing this. The result should be very thick and shiny meringue.

Line a cake form (24 x 32 cm) with parchment paper. Take out the one part of the grated light dough and distribute it evenly in the form. Spread your jam thick over the dough and add your fruit. Next, take the grated chocolate dough and distribute evenly over the jam/fruit. Now it time for meringue, spread it over the dark dough. Finish your cake by distributing the last part of the grated light dough over the meringue.

Bake at 180º C for ~ 45 minutes. Try not to move the cake while it’s baking to minimize the chance of the meringue flopping. The cake should be cooled in the over with its door cracked open. This will ensure that the meringue doesn’t deflate. Don’t worry it it does, it won’t change the taste, just the look. Mine flopped but it was still delicious. Cut after the cake is cooled completely.

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Food processor makes a baker’s life easy.
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Divide your dough into 3 equal part and add cocoa to one. Work your doughs into balls.
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Time to chill.
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Grated dough.
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Meringue, stiff and shiny.
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First layer: grated light dough.
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Second layer: jam with fruit.
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Third layer: grated chocolate dough.
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Fourth layer: meringue.
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Fifth layer: grated light dough. Done!
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