11.8.11

white cake

The White Cake (Bijela pita) was always one of my grandma's easy solutions. It doesn't need lots of ingredients and keeps for up to a week. The only downside, for us kids, was that it really needs to sit until the next day, so that it gets moist throughout, but from a cook's point of view it's not a bad thing at all because it makes it into one of those dishes you can make in advance, like cookies and stews.

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Ingredients

for the dough
400 g plain flour
10 g baking powder
150 g butter
100 g sugar
1 egg
6 serving tablespoons milk
zest of one lemon

for the fill
500 ml milk
5 serving tablespoons strong flour
250 g butter
200 g icing sugar
1 tablespoon of rum (optional)

Preparation:

Combine the ingredients for the dough, first the dry then add the wet, and make what looks like fairly short pastry. It should be quite soft and easy to roll out.
Divide into 3 equal parts, and if too soft, put in the fridge (wrapped in cling film) for about 20 minutes.
Roll out the sheet the size of the bottom of the baking sheet, on reverse side. It should be about 0.5 - 1 cmm thick.
You bake it such that you turn the baking sheet upside down, place some baking paper on the bottom, and then put the pastry sheet on it. Pierce with a fork all over and bake in 180 C oven for about 15 minutes.
Repeat with the other 2 dough balls, and when all is done, leave the 3 sheets of pastry to cool.

To make the filling, place a deep saucepan with milk on medium hot stove and add the flower to the milk slowly, whisking the whole time, until you get perfectly smooth and thick cream.
Allow it to cool to room temperature.
In the mean time, whisk room temperature butter with icing sugar until you get a perfecty homogenous, smooth mass. To it, add the milk and flour mixture and whisk some more until well combined.

To assemble the cake, spread a third of the cream onto one sheet of pastry, cover with another, spread another layer of cream, cover with the third sheet and cover the top of the cake with leftover cream.
Grate some fine dark chocolate on top, and allow to sit for about 24 hours until the cake becomes moist and easy to cut.
This cake is incredibly flavourful and quite sweet, so it's best to serve it as small squares.

Bon appétit!

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