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Poteca Cake

The recipe for this 16th century Slavic dish features in the earliest book printed in Slovenian language.

All important holidays were celebrated with this traditional cake; a buttery yeast-based dish with savoury or sweet fillings. Many households follow a recipe handed down through their ancestors, rather than resort to cookbooks. The range of recipes, with over 40 different fillings, reflected historic social status, where wealthier families would use more expensive ingredients like cream and walnut, and poorer families used herbs and lovage (hard bits of fat). Nowadays I guess the gentry would opt for the herbs!

The cool- rise dough means it is fridges overnight so you can bake and have fresh cake with morning coffee.

Poteca Cake

Ingredients: For the dough: 300g plain flour 240g unsalted butter 120ml milk 60ml warm water 15g sugar 14g dry yeast 3 egg yolks ¼ tsp salt

For the filling: 280g chopped dates 210g ground walnuts 45g + 200g sugar 100ml milk 3 egg whites ½ tsp ground cinnamon Icing sugar to dust

Method: Grease a 10” round cake tin.

In a saucepan melt the butter and milk, allow to cool and then mix in the egg yolks. In a jug mix the yeast with the warm water. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar and salt, then add the butter and yeast mixtures.

Beat for a few mins. You will end up with a sticky dough. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 170c.

In a suacepan mix the dates, walnuts, milk, 45g sugar and cinnamon on a medium heat until you have a paste like consistency.

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then gradually add in the remaining 200g sugar while beating the eggs, then beat on high until stiff peaks form.

Fold this into the nut mixture.

Divide the dough in half, roll one piece out on a lightly floured work surface until you have a 20” x 15” rectangle. Spread half the filling over the dough and then roll it up keeping the length 20”. Place this seam side up in the cake tin.

Repeat with other half of dough, but put this on top seam side down. Place in the oven and bake for appx 70 mins.

When ready, the top will be golden brown and hard to touch. Allow to cool slightly and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool fully. Dust with icing sugar if desired.


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