Sunday, 16 November 2008

Babka cake

This cake is Polish in origin and seems to be one of those recipes that has many variations – each family would have their own version. Sometimes the cake is made with yeast, but the recipe I am using contains self raising flour.


Babka is Polish for “grandma”, and who doesn’t love their dear old granny? Stereotypical grannies are always depicted knitting or baking cakes. I don’t recall ever eating a cake baked by either of my grandmas but don’t feel sorry for me...both my grannies were utterly brilliant. No one on earth will ever think you quite so gifted and wonderful as your grandma does!


This is a very simple cake. It looks pretty when sliced and is perfect with a cup of tea. By using a slightly smaller tin than usual you obtain more height.

Ingredients:
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
275g caster sugar
4 eggs
275g self raising flour
2-4 dessert spoons single cream (start with 2 and add more if the batter is dry)
3 teaspoons cocoa powder

How to make:

- Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan oven 140°C/315°F/Gas mark 2-3.
- Line an 18cm loose bottomed tin with baking paper.
- Start by beating together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Slowly beat in the eggs and 2 dessertspoons of cream.
- Fold in the flour. If the mix feels too dry add 2 more dessertspoons of cream.
- Spoon 1/3 of the cake batter into the prepared tin and level the surface. Put to one side.
- Spoon half of the remaining cake mix into a dish. Put to one side.
- Add the cocoa to the half left in the bowl and stir gently until the batter is a nice even brown.
- Spoon the cocoa batter into the tin and level the surface.
- Spoon the remaining plain batter into the tin and level the surface.
- Bake in the over for approximately 1 hour or until a skewer comes out cleanly. Mine took 1 hour 5 minutes.
- Leave to cool completely in the tin, on a wire rack.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.

8 comments:

anudivya said...

That does look very unique and pretty too. And not to add "huge"!

Margaret said...

I've never heard of this cake before. It's very similar to our marble cake isn't it? I love the chocolate centre.

Cakelaw said...

I love the height on your babka. I have always wondered what a babka was - there is a famous bakery in Fitzroy of the same name.

Rosie said...

Oh this does look good! Gosh and soooo tall. I've never heard of this cake before thanks for sharing with us!

Rosie x

Mike of Mike's Table said...

That's a great looking babka--I can't remember the last time I've had one. I like the poofy height you got on it, too. lol, every time I hear babka, I can't help but think of the Seinfeld episode and stealing the last babka...

Anonymous said...

hi CC,
i made your Babka cake last night for today's morning tea. it was gorgeous! i love the texture! it got very good reviews from my morning tea friends, even though it sunk in the middle.
yours is so high and firm looking in the middle - any ideas why mine might've sunk?
cait.

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Cait

I think cakes sinking can sometimes be down to the squidgy cake mix - such as flourless chocolate cakes etc, but in this instance it probably isn't. It could be down to oven temperatures and it might be worth using an oven thermometer to test whether your oven actually is the temp the dial says. It can also be caused by inconsistent heat or because the cake isn't quite cooked enough so sinks on cooling.
Did you cake only sink when you took it out to cool? It could even be atmospherics.
I'm sure it didn't alter the yummy taste though, and I'm glad you and your friends enjoyed it

The Caked Crusader

Anonymous said...

thanks for your reply CC.
i think the cake started to sink after i stuck the cake skewer in to test if it was done. and yes, i am not at all convinced my oven is the temperature the dial claims it is, so i will take your advice and get an oven thermometer to test it.
and yes again, the cinking had no effect on the taste which was excellent. :)
keep on crusading! cait.