Mazurek on shortbread with Kajmak and bacon - Polish Easter flat cake
Mazurki (plural, \mə-ˈzər-ək) are very sweet, flat cakes that are baked in Poland only once a year for Easter. This recipe is my take on a classic kajmak (dulce de leche) version made from sweetened condensed milk.
There are essentially endless ways of making mazurki. And I mean endless! With all different sorts of fillings and made from different kinds of dough. However, I think that the kajmak mazurek (in English also known as dulche de leche) is the most traditional and most popular way of preparing them for Easter.
So what exactly is Kajmak?
In a nutshell, it is a very sweet mass, made when cooking milk with sugar and some butter, cream and sometimes yolk and added to desserts. However, the easier way of doing it is to cook for 2-3 hours a can of sweetened condensed milk. In Poland we call it kajmak, but more common Spanish term for it, also used in English language is dulce de leche.
When preparing kajmak make sure to let the cans cool down to a lukewarm temperature. Do not open them hot, they might pop and burn you.
You can use whatever topping you like to decorate your mazurek. Nuts, raisins, and other parts of the cooked dough. I like bacon, because it is salty and it beautifully offsets the sweetness of the dulce de leche.
The dough for this cake can be made in different ways. I love shortbread, but you can easily substitute it for dough with sour cream.
Cooking the kajmak: 2.5 h + cooling time
Making the cake: 3,5h (includes resting time for the dough and cooking time for the filling)
For the dough
3 cups of flour
1 tbsp of baking powder
1 bag of vanilla sugar (or a 1 tsp of vanilla extract and 1 tbsp of sugar)
8 oz of soft butter
1 tbsp of olive oil
For the kajmak filling
2 cans of sweetened condensed milk (12 oz each)
1/ 2 tbsp of salt
4 slices of bacon
1/2 oz of sliced almonds
1/2 oz chopped walnuts
STEP BY STEP
For the Filling:
Place the cans of condensed milk into a medium size saucepan, pour the water so that the cans are completely submerged. Cook them over a low heat for 2.5 h, making sure that the water does not evaporate.
After that time cool it down and open them then they are lukewarm.
For the Mazurek:
Sift the flour though the sifter, add baking powder, butter, vanilla, egg yolks and olive oil. Knead the dough until you can make a ball (about 10min). Rap it in a plastic and set a side in the fridge for 15- 20 min. After that time take the ball and spread it on the bottom and sides of a baking pan (I use one from Ikea 13''). It should be about 1 cm (0.3 inch) thick, and half way up on the baking pan walls.
Bake it in the oven for 15 min on the 350 F. After that time take it out and let it cool down.
While the dough is baking, slice the bacon into small pieces, and fry it on a frying pan until it is golden brown and fairly crispy. Take it out on a paper towel to soak out all the extra fat.
Open the dulche de leche cans, add the salt and mix. Spread the ready mass on the dough. Sprinkle on top of it bacon and chopped almonds and walnuts.
Other Polish Desserts: