POLISH EASTER CAKE (MAZUREK) RECIPE by Orla Drummond

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These are the quantities Orla uses for a 20 by 20cm tin and a few extra small shapes. For larger tins, scale up the ingredients accordingly but do not add more egg white, just additional yolks.

Preparation time: 2 hours • Cooking time: 1 hour • Serves 2

Ingredients

For the toppings

  • 2 thick-skinned oranges
  • 250g caster or granulated sugar
  • 100g milk chocolate, chopped
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 50g unsalted or lightly salted butter, cubed
  • Mix of roughly chopped nuts (I use almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts) plus extra for decoration

For the dough

  • 250g plain flour
  • 50g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 50g cold margarine or baking spread (such as Stork)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk

Method

For the toppings

You can make these a few hours or a day ahead. Wash the oranges, put them in a pan and completely cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then lower the temperature and cook for about 45 minutes or until the oranges are soft. Drain off the water and leave to cool. Slice the oranges into 2-3mm rings on a plate to catch the juice. Don’t worry if they fall apart but try to keep the skin in long strings if you can. Put the oranges and juice back into the pan on the heat, add the sugar and 1 to 2 tablespoons of water, then stir gently until sugar dissolves. Simmer for a good 30 minutes, or until the liquid turns into a thick syrup. Transfer to a bowl, cover and set aside at room temperature.

For the dough

Combine the dry ingredients and then grate in the margarine or add in small cubes. Stir in the whole egg and yolk, then mix until you have a crumbly dough. Add a bit more flour or a splash of water if required. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 160-180°c. Roll out the chilled dough directly on a sheet of baking paper, to fit the dimensions of your tin at about 5-7mm thickness. Transfer the sheet to the tin and use a rolling pin or your fingers to flatten out any remaining bits of dough, then cut out some Easter shapes. Bake the base and extra biscuits in the preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden. Meanwhile, put the prepared oranges in a sieve over a bowl and leave them to drain. Keep the syrup. Melt the chopped chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until smooth, then take off the heat and add chopped nuts to taste. Once the pastry base has cooled down, start adding the toppings. Arrange the oranges into a single layer about 1cm deep in ring shapes or strips. Once the whole base is covered with orange peel, you can drizzle some syrup on top, but not too much, as otherwise the pastry will turn soggy. Cover the oranges with a layer of the nutty chocolate glaze about 5-7mm deep, then decorate with the extra nuts. Decorate the extra pastry shapes and refrigerate any remaining oranges and syrup