Polish Almond Tort Migdalowy Recipe

Almonds are popular throughout Eastern Europe, used in savoury and sweet dishes, particularly in Poland.  This rich cake is a wonderful afternoon tea treat.  Traditionally it should be made with three layers of sponge but it is realistically a lot easier to make just two layers.

Ingredients (serves 8)

75g ground almonds

225g soft butter

225g caster sugar

4 beaten eggs

150g self-raising flour

For the icing:

175g blanched almonds

9 tbsp fresh ground coffee brewed in 5 tbsp near-boiling water

150g caster sugar

90ml water

3 egg yolks

225g soft butter


Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius

Lightly grease and line two 7-inch round cake tins

Cream butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy

Gradually add the eggs

Fold in ground almonds and flour, best to do this with a metal spoon

Divide mixture between two tins

Bake for 25 minutes until risen, firm to touch

Cool on wire rack

For the icing:

Put the blanched almonds in a bowl, pour over enough boiling water to cover, leave until cool, drain and roast for 6 to 8 minutes in oven on baking sheet until lightly browned

Make the coffee

Gently heat sugar and 90ml water in a heavy-based pan until dissolved

Simmer for 3 minutes until temperature reaches 107 degrees Celsius on a sugar thermometer

Put the egg yolks into a bowl and pour over the syrup

Whisk until very thick

Cream the butter until soft and gradually beat egg mixture into it

Strain coffee and beat into the icing

Use icing to sandwich cakes together and ice top

Press almonds onto top to decorate


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Hungarian Chocolate Cake Recipe

Hungarian Chocolate Cake
Hungarian Chocolate Cake

I made a promise to some of my colleagues at Glam that I would bake them a cake and as one of my colleagues is Hungarian I took inspiration from the Hapsburg’s traditional confectionary.  I am not particularly artistic so my efforts are always going to be rustic rather than looking as if it has been picked up at a patisserie but at least it gives it a real homemade feel.  This chocolate cake is a simple chocolate sponge with a mocha buttercream filling and a chocolate and brandy icing topping.  I have made this cake once previously and I made the icing on top a lot thiner so it literally ran off the spoon and covered the whole cake and sides but this time I made it thicker  and piled it on the top.  Depsite the sugar and butter content of the cake, it contains no preservatives or artificial colourings or flavourings and is surprisingly light and not sickly, making it the perfect little treat for your family or friends!


For the cake

125g soft butter or margarine

125g caster superfine sugar

125g self-raising flour (or plain flour plus 1 tsp baking powder)

2 eggs

2 tbsp drinking chocolate

2 tbsp cocoa

1 tbsp cold milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the buttercream filling

75g butter

1 egg yolk

175g icing sugar

1 1/2 tbsp cocoa

2 tbsp strong espresso coffee made with 1/1/2 tbsp hot water

1 tsp brandy

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the chocolate icing

125g plain dessert chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

15g butter

2tbsp water

225g sifted icing sugar

1 tsp brandy

1 tsp vanilla extract


For the cake

Preheat oven to Gas No. 4 or 180 degrees Celsius

Lightly grease two 7-inch sandwich tins

Put all the ingredients into a bowl


Beat by mixer or wooden spoon until smooth and creamy


Divide the mixture between the tins, smooth level with a spatula

Bake the sandwiches for 25 minutes until springy to touch

Allow to cool on a cooling rack


For the buttercream

Cream the butter until creamy in texture and light in colour


Beat in the egg yolk

Sift together the sugar and cocoa and beat into the butter alternating with the coffee

Add the brandy and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and easy to spread


When the two cakes are cool spoon the buttercream spread over the top of one and place the other on top of that


Place in refrigerator to set the buttercream slightly

For the chocolate icing

Break up the chocolate and place in small thick-bottomed pan with the butter


Add the water and warm over a gentle heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until a smooth cream is formed

Gradually stir in the icing sugar, adding more water if necessary to achieve the thickness of the icing you desire


Stir in the brandy and vanilla extract

Hungarian Chocolate Cake
Hungarian Chocolate Cake

Take cake from refrigerator and ice the top of the cake and sides if desired

Place in refrigerator for 1 hour to set icing

Store in an airtight container in a cool place

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