PIERNIK (Polish Honey Cake)

The Mazur Family Recipe:

4 cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa
8 whole eggs

1 envelope of special spices mixture for honey cake can be bought in Polish stores or make it yourself: mix ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves to make 2 tsp.

1 ˝ cup milk
250 g butter
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp liquid honey

Beat eggs with sugar, and add butter. Beat it well, then add spices, cocoa and honey, beat together. Now slowly add flour and mix so there won’t be any lumps.

If you like typical Polish honey cake, you may add up to one cup mixed BAKALIE (chopped nuts, almonds and raisins, but all this is optional.)

Use one large greased or two small loaf baking pans. Bake 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

GRACE’S VARIATION:

Slice cold honey cake in half, spread hard Polish marmalade either plum or mixed fruit on top. Polish stores have delicious marmalades unless you make one of your own. Then I pour melted chocolate over the cake. This cake can be easily frozen.

Variation of Grace’s Babcia (Grandma): “She was in charge of cooking in some manor house (in Poland). She taught me. I use sour cream, a cup of liquid honey and I make a little bit of strong coffee. I cool it and add to the mixture. I separate eggs, beat them separately, and add the whites to the mixture last. Now I mix egg whites slightly but evenly with spoon only.

My grandmother dictated to me as a joke what to put in this recipe, thinking, that it won’t maybe be any good. When I baked it, she tasted it and said that it was more tasty than the ones she makes.”