A Croatian Delight - Balatonske Šnitte

In between my WWC I have a few blogs that I have yet to post. I have been meaning to write this one up, but just never got around to it, but this was definitely one of best baking experiences/experiments.

I was lucky enough to have the lovely Heidi from Cloud Control to come over and teach me a few things. Despite being a talented musician she is an excellent baker and has done wedding cakes and the likes and I have a lot I can learn from her.

This baking session was more for Heidi as she wanted to re-create a cake a Croatian Grandmother had made for her once. Apparently she had been pestering her for this recipe for years and she finally wrote it down for Heidi and it then was translated. The recipe is as follows:

Balatonske Šnitte

Ingredients “A” for cake layers:
6 big tablespoons of milk
2 big tablespoons of honey
150 g of icing sugar
40 g of lard

Ingredients “B” for cake layers:
450 g flour
1 tablespoon soda bicarbonate
2 egg yolks

Mixture for cake layers:
Mix all ingredients “A” and steam heat in double saucepan* until completely dissolved.
Allow to cool down.
Add 450g flour, 1 tablespoon soda bicarbonate and 2 egg yolks.
Blend all together until a smooth and firm dough is formed.
Place on a floured surface and divide into 5 equal portions.
Use a rolling pin to flatten each portion of dough to make the pastry such as to cover a 30 cm x 24 cm baking tray.
Bake on the baking trays, but on bottom surface (i.e. tray used upside down).
Make sure to rub margarine liberally over the baking tray and then dust over with light layer of flour – shake off excess flour.
Lift pastry with rolling pin and lay down on baking tray.
Cut off excess pastry to leave a clean edge.
Bake each pastry layer taking care not to burn the pastry.

Ingredients for filling:
600 ml of milk
6 tablespoons of plain flour (or corn flour)
300g icing sugar
250g unsalted butter
Juice of one lemon.

Mixture for filling:
Bring half of the milk to boil.
In the other half of the milk mix in the flour and blend until smooth.
Add the milk/flour mixture to the boiling milk and boil for a few minutes while stirring.
Take off the heat and allow to cool.
In the meantime take 1 packet of unsalted butter and mix with the icing sugar until nice and smooth.
Add the cooled down mixture, add the juice of one lemon and mix well to a smooth cream.
Spoon the cream over the baked layers of pastry and place above one another.

Ingredients for icing:
3 egg whites
7 tablespoons of sugar
3 bars of dark cooking chocolate (each approx. 9 cm long, 2 cm wide, 1 cm thick)

Mixture for icing:
Use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites together with the sugar while steam heating in a double saucepan.
Beat until a very thick and hard meringue is formed.
When done spread the meringue evenly on top of the cake layers.
Dissolve the cooking chocolate in a double sauce pan and spread over the meringue.
Draw patterns in the chocolate surface using a fork.
When cooled down cut into squares.

Hedi's got the technique and thanks to Meg
for the amazing aprons: cat + baking = nothing better
mixing in more flour
the dough ready to be cut
cutting into 5 equal pieces
first layer
second layer
third layer
the icing goes on top
and now the chocolate
after the split

This was all we had to go on and since I had no idea what the final cake should look like I was completely out of my depth. The cake was meant to have 5 different layers, however getting the temperature right in my oven is a tricky balance and some of the layers came out slightly overcooked. I also learnt a few things about pastry and how to roll it out evenly without it splaying out to thin on one side. Heidi is a tough teacher, she would roll it all out perfectly then scrunch it into a ball and get me to roll it out all again.

After all our hard work we finally ended up with something that resemble a picture in Heidi's mind from all those years ago and we cut the cake in half and sent her on her way.

One of my favourite cakes, which actually I haven't even tried to make yet, is Tiramisu and this cake seems to have a lot of the look and textures I love about a good Tiramisu - so if anyone wants to have a good following the recipe above I'd love to see your pictures.

Thanks to Heidi for the baking session, hopefully you will come back and bake again soon. 
you can tell who's posed in front of the cameras more regularly

Happy Baking x

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