A Pillow Book

I wanted a blog to reflect my life and, as with most people, I do and am many things, decided to create a Pillow Book. It will have thoughts, ideas, observations and little snippets of my day to day life. So, thank you Empress Consort Teishi....... I bow to you and your great work and hope, in some small way, mine might be great too.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Babca...a family recipe.....

I have been reading Molly Weizenberg's book 'A Homemade Life, stories and recipes from my kitchen table'...a good companion to Two Greedy Italians, and it has got me thinking of my own family recipes.....
Molly's recipe for pound cake reminded me of Babka, my families version of pound cake. My dad was not a great cake eater, he loved meat, and apple pie, his mums cinnamon buns but he did love this cake. I have not made it for many years, probably since he died, it is a plain cake and my children like chocolate cakes, cookies and brownies, so there has been no need, until now. It is made in a bundt tin and has a lot of eggs, sugar, butter, flour and milk, but what of quantities? Then I remembered an old diary of mine and that I had written down Cioca Ania's recipe. Amazingly I found the diary (amongst my recipe books) had a giggle at some of the entries (boys, discos) felt saddened at the weight loss grid that showed the 7 and a half stone girl was trying to get down to 6.5! Finally the recipe, well recipe of sorts....
I had written all the ingredients down, plus a method, but no oven temperature or timings......first I needed a tin, I
I remember it needing a large pan, Cioca had an American bundt tin, last time I cooked it I had used a regular spring form tin but ended up with a lot of batter left over, so, last weekend I made a little trip to TKMax and lo and behold there it was, sitting on the reduced shelf....fate indeed! I have had such a busy week I didn't have time to bake, finally after much running around today I had a few hours at home and off I went!
Everything was going ok until the ingredients said 'a glass of milk'

How big is a glass?? I decided on using a cup measure and in fact added slightly less than the full cup.
I ended up with a nice soft batter that almost filled my pan, I had no oven temperature written down so checked out Bundt recipes on the Internet, it took about an hour, or just a smidgen over....Babca!

Ready for the oven...............


Eating....... can you tell I LOVE all things spotty......
It is a moist cake, plain and buttery, would be great with a little glace icing on top, or with fruit and creme fraiche for dessert, but best of all with coffee and conversation with family or friends.....
I took a big chunk up to Winchester to sustain my boyfriend, Pau,l for his busy meeting filled rushing around days and half was sent to Cornwall in a box of goodies for my daughter who is homesick and stressed at end of term exams....it travels well and housemates loved it!!

8oz caster sugar
8oz butter (at room temperature)
6 eggs
1 llb Self raising flour
1 glass of milk
half teaspoon of baking powder

Bundt tin (buttered and floured)
oven temp 350 deg F 180 deg C (fan 160)

Cream butter and sugar, until light and fluffy, add eggs one at a time, add milk and flour in thirds.
Place in tin and bake for about an hour.

As I said I used just under a cup of milk and it was fine. I also added some vanilla essence, my aunt often used Polish vanilla sugar sachets.
Additions to the recipe:- chocolate powder, a jar of jam and raisins????? I have not made this combination yet! Will re post if I do!!!

Note: in my 1980's recipe no mention was made of egg sizes, in fact I don't recall anyone ever mentioning the size of eggs, most Polish people kept chickens, so I guess they came in the size laid!! Also the original recipe said 'marg' something I would never use now but everyone did back in the day!

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