The recipes that we are going to share with you in this article are not from a Michelin star chef or a reminder of an exotic holiday. Still, they have a long tradition and history behind them.
“Grandma’s cake” – Bábovka/Gugelhupf
If you have been invited for a visit to a Czech family, the chances are, you have been offered Bábovka cake. It is probably the most traditional cake in Central Europe. It’s also usually the first one young women learn to bake as it’s quite easy and fast. If you get a phone call that an unexpected visit is on the way, this cake will save you. It’s suitable for any occasion, breakfast, or coffee. As my cousin said, when I once visited her: “I quickly made Bábovka so that I could give you something more than just my hand.” Children grow up with this cake and then pass it on. There are many variations of it, and it’s not rare that family has their own recipe. It can be made with raisins, nuts or cocoa, and even alcohol. The cake is traditionally baked in a distinctive circular Bundt mold.
Below is our recipe for a very easy version. The measurements are counted on cups. We like to use whole wheat flour and brown sugar for a healthier version.
- 3 cups of flour
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 baking powder
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup of oil
- 3 eggs
- raisins, walnuts
- (for healthier version, you can use whole wheat flour and brown sugar, like we did)
Mix flour, sugar, and baking powder together. Add milk, oil, and three yolks. Whisk the egg whites and add them too. When the batter is smooth, add raisins and walnuts. Grease and flour the bundt pan before pouring the batter. Bake 15min on 200°C and another 30min on 170°C. Remove from a bundt pan when cold. Dust with powder sugar.
Potato cakes have been children’s favorite in Central Europe for centuries. The older generation in today’s Czech Republic would call it “food of poor.” After WWII, when there was a lack of food, women had to cook from what was available, mostly without meat. You might hear stories of how someone’s grandmother would make potato cakes, and children from the neighborhood would be standing under the window to get one.
Today, potato cakes are more like a treat for both children and adults.
Potato cakes are made of boiled potato, often when there is some leftover potato from a previous meal. The recipe is easy and the taste satisfying.
- boiled potatoes (cca 6)
- 1 egg
Boil the potatoes or use leftover potatoes. Mash the potatoes, add one egg, salt and mix it together. Put flour on a flat surface and mix it with the potato mixture. Add more flour until you create potato dough which is not sticky. Create small cakes by hand. Frie on oil until ready.