Thursday, 21 February 2008

Easter Lamb Cake

Velikonocni beranek - Easter Lambkin Cake

I was given an old Czech pottery cake mould in the form of a rather thin lamb. It's in two parts and sits on hand formed feet, the fingerprints still visible in the clay. The moulds are still sold but the modern lambs are fatter with fewer details in the modelling.
This is a traditional yeasted recipe from Jana, who seems to know by instinct or long experience what to do - there's no advice how long it will take to cook or at what temperature. I used my baking lambkin mould to make a rich sponge cake which worked well and took about 40 minutes. There are three grades of flour in Czech cuisine, the one mentioned is 'half coarse' but our regular soft cake flour will do.

500g 'polohrube' flour
120g butter
120g sugar
pinch salt
30g fresh yeast
500ml warm milk
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla essence
zest of 1/2 lemon
handful raisins
handful slivered or chopped almonds

butter to grease the form
breadcrumbs for lining the form

Mix 1/2 cup of the milk, teaspoonful sugar and the yeast . Leave in a warm place to go frothy.
Pre-heat the oven to a moderate temperature - about 180 C/ gas 4
Beat the butter, sugar and yolks until pale.
Add vanilla, lemon zest and salt.
Beat in the frothy yeast mixture with spoonsful of the flour and as much milk to make a pliable dough. Knead this dough until smooth and glossy.
Lastly add the raisins and almonds.
Thoroughly grease the baking form, dust with the breadcrumbs (or caster sugar and flour) tap the form to loosen any excess .
Place in the dough in the bottom half and allow to rise untilit reaches the top of the form. Place the lid on top
Bake in a moderate oven, and turn the form half-way throughbaking.
When baked gently release from the form, (the steam from the hot cake should help loosen it. If not, going at it with a knife might leave you with something you'd rather the children didn't witness) dust with icing sugar and add raisins for eyes.

Then you have to decide which end to slice from. I haven't worked out what that choice says about a person or whether it has any effect on the year to come.

Dobrou chut'

No comments: