“You gotta know when to be lazy. Done correctly, it’s an art form that benefits everyone.” Nicholas Sparks
There are many recipes that are easy, simple, requiring only little effort from the maker, transforming them into the perfect post-festivity bakes and cakes. Majority of them, however, will not look impressive enough for any self-respecting kitchen goddess to serve with their signature on, and even if preparing something new, something more, something fancy will use the last energy of the tired feeder-entertainer, many risk the New Year fatigue just for a last proof of their skills, in the same time making it look embarrasingly easy. My mother-in-law is one of these talented women. She is gorgeous, kind, strictly relegious and hard-working…the legacy of the old time housewife. She is a real Eastern European woman from before the feminism, who was nurtured to hope for and look forward to marriage, family and a home of her own. She spent long years learning to use her carefully collected, special dowry, to cook, to tidy and to take care of the home of her family. She has always worked hard. She dressed nicely, she cleaned, baked, cooked, saved, shopped and created a warm environment. She respected others and admired, followed the love of her life, making all his wishes happen. In her life, all things had their parts and she took great pride in her work, her life.
Her vintage-looking, rustic cake is qiuck and uncomplicated to make, creating the perfect balance between enjoying the afterlife of a festive season, whilst leaving enough time to be charming and to look amazing. Following my mother-in-law’s advice makes me act like she did in her old days, that instantly brings out the gentleman from my love. It makes him protecting, caring and genuine, and, ultimately, it makes me a good wife.
“Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.” Robert A. Heinlein
3 × 150 ml soured cream
3 × 1 egg
3 × 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 × 5 tbsp flour
3 × 5 tbsp caster sugar
5 tbsp cocoa powder
5 tbsp ground poppy seed
5 tbsp ground walnut
1 l milk
8 tbsp semolina
2 tsp vanilla extract
250 g butter
250 g icing sugar
For the first pastry layer whisk 1 egg with 5 tbsp caster sugar. Add 150 ml soured cream, 5 tbsp flour, 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda. Gently mix until smooth, then add ground walnut. Pour the batter into lined baking tray and bake in preheated, 170 degrees C oven until inserted probe comes out clean. Whilst it is baking, prepare the second layer, and finally repeat the process with the third. Let layer cool completely.
To make the filling boil milk and add semolina whilst continuously stirring until thick. Let it cool. Whisk butter and icing sugar then add semolina. To make the filling a little cheeky, add a good splash of preferred booze.
To assemble divide the filling into three equal portion and stick layer together following the order of chocolate – walnut-poppy seed. To decorate smooth the third portion of filling on the top and grate dark chocolate over it.
“I’ve heard that hard work never killed anyone, but I say why take the chance?” Ronald Reagan