Homemade Milk Chocolate – Why did Poles Started Making it?
Easter is a particular time in Poland, also when it comes to food. Last year I posted a recipe for a gluten-free Pistachio Mazurek that I started baking only some time ago. This year I would like to share with you details about another Easter cake – Homemade Chocolate Fudge Cake. This treat brings a lot of memories for me.
Part of my childhood and teenage years fell on hard times of the last gasps of communism and the martial law in Poland. Despite other repercussions (political and social), getting food was also a big problem. Polish shops were pretty empty most of the time and deliveries happened very infrequently. When they did, massive queues formed and you had to wait for hours to get anything. And, unfortunately, there was no guarantee that at the end you will be able to buy anything. The party leaders decided to even the odds for everybody, and they introduced monthly food ration cards. They entitled us to purchase a certain amount of specific products, like e.g. butter, sugar or different types of meat.
It is not surprising then that chocolate was scarce so for some time it was also rationed. But very few people can imagine life without it. Thus, Poles started preparing homemade milk chocolate with cocoa powder, butter, milk, sugar and powdered milk. Sometimes we also added broken plain biscuits, raisins and nuts and then we called this homemade chocolate fudge blok because it looked like a big block of chocolate.
Homemade Chocolate Fudge Cake – The Best Easter Cake
I started making it in my early teens, long before the beginning of my adventure with baking. My whole family loved blok a lot. That’s why when I eventually started baking and made my first Mazurek, I also filled it with this homemade chocolate fudge.
These days the only problem you can have with buying chocolate in Poland is which one to choose. So I don’t make blok anymore as it was yummy but extremely calorific. But I still prepare my Mazurek with Homemade Milk Chocolate because the thin layer of the homemade chocolate compliments the almost-savoury shortcrust pastry exceptionally well.
Homemade Chocolate Fudge Cake
A thin layer of a shortcrust pastry topped with a homemade milk chocolate fudge.
Servings 20 pieces
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Place all the pastry ingredients in a food processor and process until they resemble fine crumbs; form them into a flattened ball, cover in foil and put into the fridge for 1 hour.
Prepare a 20cm x 30cm baking tin by placing a piece of parchment paper in it so it covers the bottom and the longer sides of the tin (you can see it on one of the photos).
Roll the pastry and transfer it to the tin. Arrange it, so it covers the bottom and 2-3 cm of all the sides of the tin. Place it in the fridge for 30 – 60 minutes.
Preheat an oven to 200C (top and bottom heating).
Pierce the base of the cake with a fork and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.
Put to a saucepan all the ingredients for the chocolate fudge (except for powdered milk) and cook stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Take it off the heat and add the sieved powdered milk. Stir it very well until everything is combined. If you can still see lumps of powdered milk, you can press the mixture through the sieve.
Take the base out from the oven and spread the fudge. Decorate with chocolate eggs or nuts.
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