Special Dish for the Week: Makowiec Poppy Seed Cake

As part of my Birthday Month celebrations, I bake myself a birthday cake as a Special Dish for the Week:

Makowiec Polish Poppy Seed Cake

Makowiec Polish Poppy Seed Cake

Makowiec Poppy Seed Cake

I use my mother’s recipe and find some ready made poppy seed filling in a local ethnic food store.

This dessert is quite sweet, so small portions are advised.

I serve it with loose leaf mint tea, which also cuts the sweetness of the makowiec.

And eating it by candlelight is highly advised simply for the ambiance factor.

Makowiec Polish Poppy Seed Cake Ingredients

Makowiec Polish Poppy Seed Cake Ingredients

The ingredients include:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 lb butter (soft)
  • 1 tbsp sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
  • 1 can of poppy seed filling, prepared with honey, raisins and candied orange peel (called “bakalie” in Polish)

I mix together the dry ingredients first, and add the liquid ingredients next (leaving the poppy seed filling for later). I kneed the shortbread-type pastry and divide it into 2 portions, refrigerating one portion for about 20 minutes.

Makowiec Polish Poppy Seed Cake Dish

Makowiec Polish Poppy Seed Cake Dish

I grease a pan adding a dusting of flour or breadcrumbs to avoid the bottom pastry from sticking to the pan.

I press the one half portion of the pastry evenly on the bottom of the baking dish, piercing it with a fork.

I bake this layer at 350oF for 10 minutes.

When partially baked, I spread the poppy seed filling evenly on the bottom crust.

I use a large grater to crumble the now chilled 2nd pastry portion on the top in an even layer.

I return the full cake to the oven and bake it at 350oF for 20-30 min until golden brown on the surface.

Special Dish for the Week: Birthday Month Dinner

This Special Dish for the Week is one of the many celebrations that I invent this year to commemorate my life, including my:

Birthday Month Dinner

Birthday Dinner Menu 2016

Birthday Dinner Menu 2016

Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie Board

I invite a friend to share in some of my favourite dishes, which in this dinner turn into a Polish-German-African fusion.

I start with a charcuterie board consisting of homemade fermented pickles, Austrian schinkenspeck, and Winnipeg sausage (“kielbasa”).

My friend supplies a lovely Pinot Gris white wine from BC’s / Lillooet Fort Berens Estate Winery, and we begin toasting the meal…and well, me!

Charcuterie Board Table

Charcuterie Board Table

Fig and Green Peppercorn Soup

Fig and Green Peppercorn Soup

For second course, I serve Fig and Green Peppercorn Soup, which my French-speaking German friend introduced to me to during my Book Writing Tour 2013. The soup is once more a hit, with its flavourful and texture combination of sweet, savoury, gritty and creamy.

My guest and I agree that a few more peppercorns would have balanced the sweetness of the figs with spice a little better. My conversion from European grams North American millilitres is not so precise unfortunately. It is still delicious with the licorice flavour.

Fig and Green Peppercorn Soup Table

Fig and Green Peppercorn Soup Table

Butternut Squash Tagine

Butternut Squash Tagine

The main course likewise is a lovely combination of spicy and sweet, in the Butternut Squash Tagine.

Having made previous tagines with chickpeas and zucchini, I return to the original recipe of squash for this dish and “Maggify” it again with shittake mushrooms.

As usual, I garnish my plates with a little greens, such as cilantro, for added colour, flavour, and nutrition.

We pair this dish with the Meritage red wine from BC’s / Lillooet Fort Berens Estate Winery, which my friend also supplies.

Butternut Squash Tagine Table

Butternut Squash Tagine Table

Makowiec Polish Poppy Seed Cake

Makowiec Polish Poppy Seed Cake

For dessert, I bake a Polish poppy seed cake (“makowiec”), which is my friend’s favourite, and as I like it too, I stretch myself once more into baking (typically not my forte, unlike cooking). It is deliciously sweet. Some Polish loose leaf mint tea goes very well with it.

And in the Polish tradition of celebrating every occasion with flowers, I shower myself with my favourites: gerberas, and my friend showers me with these unique looking purplish flowers.

Birthday Flowers

Birthday Flowers

Special Dish for the Week: Cardamom Chickpea Muffins

For this week’s second Special Dish for the Week, I decide to try my hand again at baking, having received this intriguing recipe from my Pilates instructor:

Cardamom Chickpea Muffins

Cardamom Chickpea Muffins

Cardamom Chickpea Muffins

Two hours later, perhaps needing to use a less grainy flour than the Grist Mill oat flour I have on-hand from a friend, I confirm once more that, although a good chef, a baker I am not! The cardamom taste is fabulous, though, and the chickpea base remains my fascination! Moist, but crumbly. Black sesame seeds completed these muffins’ exotic-ness.

Cardamom Chickpea Muffins for Brunch

Cardamom Chickpea Muffins for Brunch

I even tried to follow the recipe quite precisely, other than switching the flour*, adding zest from only one lemon*, not two, and cutting the sugar in half* for 1/4 cup.

I may try making these again, with proper flour, cutting out the zest fiddling, and we’ll see if the beaten egg whites survive the cut. I would also just sprinkle the tops with straight cardamom and black sesame seeds.

Ingredients from the linked recipe:

  • 1 3/4 cups chickpeas (1 15 oz. can), drained and rinsed
  • Zest from two lemons*
  • Zest from one orange
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar*
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour, sifted*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/3 cup ground almonds
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Meal ideas & recipes from http://enthusiasts.ciachef.edu/lemon-chickpea-muffins/