06 October 2016

Crumble cake

Thursday, October 06, 2016 0 Comments
Ciasto drozdzowe z kruszonka

In Poland, we call it "ciasto drożdżowe", which literally means "yeast cake". It's often made with variety of seasonal fruit, but the simplest version is a bread-style cake, simply topped with sweet crumble. For some reason I was craving it the other day, so I had a go at making it.

There are plenty of recipes for this online, but I used one from my 1980s "Contemporary Polish cuisine" cookbook, that I took from my mum some time ago.


  • 500 g plain flour
  • 200 ml warm milk
  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 40 g fresh yeast
  • pinch of salt
Crumble: *
  • 50 g flour
  • 25 g butter
  • 25 g icing sugar

*I halved the quantities originally shown in the book, as this made way too much crumble for the cake


Place the milk, yeast and 50 g flour in a large bowl and mix well to make a leaven. Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place to prove for about an hour. 

Separate the eggs. Whisk the yolks with sugar and add to the leaven. Add the remaining flour and salt, and knead the dough. Towards the end of kneading add the melted butter - make sure you let it cool down slightly. Whisk the egg whites and gently knead together with your dough.

To prepare the crumble, knead all the ingredients together.

Place the dough in a greased baking tin, up to about half of the tin's height. Brush the top with beaten egg and sprinkle the crumble on top. Cover and leave to prove for further 30 minutes or so.

Bake in 180C for about 40 minutes.

The cake is not overly sweet, and has a bread-like texture - it's best eaten warm, and great with a spread of butter or jam.

03 October 2016

Onion syrup - natural infection fighter

Monday, October 03, 2016 1 Comments
Colder days and nights, constant temperature changes during the day... Autumn is in full swing. For many it becomes a season of infections: colds, coughs... The three of us also fell ill last week.

Now, we do use medicines to battle our colds, but always try to support these battles with natural solutions like honey, lemons, ginger...

One thing that my mum always used to make when we had colds, is onion syrup. It might not be the tastiest thing ever, but I grew to quite like it. Onions have been used to fight infections for centuries, and being rich in vitamin C they can also help improve your immunity.

To prepare a portion of syrup, simply slice a large onion and sprinkle with sugar, which will release the juices. Let it sit overnight.

In the morning you'll have a portion of clear syrup. Take a spoonful as needed for your cough and cold. 

Store it for 1-2 days, then make fresh batch if needed.

It tastes quite nice and sweet, but keep in mind it does smell and taste of onions! Adam decided he didn't like it and spat his spoonful out - you can try keeping the nose closed while drinking it.