Babka is the name of a cake in Polish – or rather it refers to its shape – the name means grandma or little old lady – the shape is round and dumpy.
It can be a yeast cake or a sponge type cake. I will go into detail about these later in the year.
A small bun or fairy cake can be called a babeczka (babeczki is the plural).
I have also seen the word mufinka now in Poland!
Using my various poppy seed recipes I have tried out some variations to make some babeczki.
These I made with a yeast pastry & poppy seed filling for Wigilia – Christmas Eve – a couple of years ago – using a different yeast pastry to the one in the traditional poppy seed roll.
I used a simple sponge mixture to make 2 other types of poppy seed buns.
I have used paper cases – I am not sure if these are available or used in Poland but they are so useful and make the buns very portable and easy to eat.
You can use a basic Victoria sponge mixture made using 2 eggs, butter or margarine, caster sugar and self-raising – the recipe method and amounts such as in the Be-Ro recipe book will work well.
This mixture should make about 12 buns.
I use a method which I will write about in more detail later in the year, in this the eggs are weighed in their shells and each of the other ingredients is then that same weight.
Buns – 1 – Using dry roasted poppy seeds To the sponge mixture you add dry roasted poppy seeds. The dry roasting gives them a more nutty flavour. Note – Lemon zest is not used in this recipe.
To dry roast poppy seeds It is best to make this first before mixing up the sponge cake. Weigh out the required amount of poppy seeds – in this case 40 – 50g for a 2 egg cake mixture.
In a small dry frying pan (ie without any oil or butter) fry the seeds for 5 minutes – stirring them with a wooden spoon or spatula – being careful not to burn them.
Tip the hot seeds into a bowl containing some cold milk. Once cool, pour the mixture into a fine sieve to separate the seeds from the milk.
Leave the sieve over an empty bowl, press down on the seed a few times to remove as much milk as possible.
Buns -2 – Using the traditional poppy seed filling
Making the filling is time consuming but only a small amount is needed to make 12 buns. So what I do is to make in the full amount with 200g of poppy seeds as in an earlier post Poppy Seed Cakes and Yeast Cakes in advance and then portion this up into 2 or 3 portions and freeze them.
Put the bun cases into the bun tray.
Now the next it is a bit fiddly and you have to judge the quantities by eye.
The idea is to:
- put a spoonful of cake mixture into each bun case
- followed by a spoonful of poppy seed mixture
- followed by a covering amount of cake mixture.
I have found it easier to do each step for all 12 buns at a time – that is :
- cake mixture into all the cases
- then the poppy seed filling
- then final cake mixture.
Bake the buns in the usual way – GM5 – 190°C – for around 15 to 20 minutes.