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I have recently finished reading what is by far my most recommended book of the year to date, ‘Kiss Of The Butterfly’ by James Lyon (review to follow soon). Given its Balkan location and protagonists, there was the inevitable mention of local food, several in fact. Many of the dishes were discussed in previous posts, when James kindly visited Fiction Books and chatted to several commenters, some of whom came from the Balkan region. Whilst reading on though, I did come across a couple more local dishes, which I had to check out and it is these that I thought to share with you today.
The Esterhazy Cake or Torte, was thought to have been named after the Hungarian Prince Magnate Paul III Anton Esterházy de Galantha, who was in the service of the Austrian Hungarian Habsburg Emperor in the 19th Century.
The Original Torte has five layers and is filled with a buttercream filling. The “spider web” icing design is known as the Esterhazy pattern.
There are several different recipe variations, depending on which region within the Balkans you visit. Some recipes call for the buttercream filling to be sandwiched between layers of sponge cake, whilst others use layers of meringue for a more crunchy finish.
This is one of the nicest looking cakes I came across. The recipe was posted by Helene, over at ‘Masala Herb‘. There are several individual ingredients needed and it is not a particularly quick cake to make and bake, however Helene has clear step-by-step instructions, both written and pictorial and I am sure you will agree that the end result does look ‘scrummy’!
Palatschinke (pl. Palatschinken) is the Austrian name of a thin, crêpe-like variety of pancake common in Central and Eastern Europe and known variously as palačinka (Bosnian, Croatian, Czech, Serbian, Slovene), palacsinta (Hungarian), and similar ethnic derivations.
Central European pancakes are thin pancakes similar to the French crêpe. The main difference between the French and Slavic version of the dish is that the mixture for palatschinken can be used straight away unlike that of crepes which is suggested to be left at rest for several hours. Palatschinken are made by creating a runny dough from eggs, wheat flour, milk and salt and frying it in a pan with butter or oil.
Unlike thicker types of pancakes, palatschinken are usually served with different types of fillings and eaten for lunch or dinner, either with a sweet filling as a dessert, or unsweetened with meat and or vegetables as a main course.
This chocolate palicinke has the addition of walnuts and just a dash of rum, for that little extra decadence and with the amount of calories already stacked on the plate, who is going to be counting the cost of a large dollop of thick cream!!
The mouth watering recipe for this feast of naughtiness, can be found over at Lidia’s Italy, together with comprehensive baking method and instructions. You can also check out Lidia’s books and DVD’s in her online shop.
I’ll leave you with one last thought for the week …
Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.
Harriet Van Horne (1920-1998) … American newspaper columnist and film/television critic. She was a writer for many years at the New York World-Telegram and its successors.