Slovene Orehove Rezine / Walnut Syrup Cake Recipe

There is something about delicious, moist, cake which makes me reminisce of summer holidays spent in Kranjska Gora.  The first time I arrived, Mira, the Grandmother, had created possibly the most intricate and exquisite cake in honour of my arrival.  I was quite blown away but I was soon to realise that cake is a longstanding tradition of the region.  The Slovenes certainly put our fairy cakes to shame!  This festive period I decided to do a little baking of my own and in honour of the Detela family I baked a Orehove Rezine, a walnut cake with a superbly sticky syrup.  I must say though, I thoroughly cheated by using a mixer but you can use a mixing bowl and wooden spoon and do it the old fashioned way too!

Orehove Rezine

Here’s the recipe…


175g walnut pieces, broken up

150g butter

150g soft light brown sugar

60ml set honey

3 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

50g plain flour

50g wholemeal flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

65g polenta

75ml milk

For the syrup

90g golden caster sugar

60ml set honey

120ml water

For serving

Sour cream

Lemon rind


Heat oven to 180°C

Place walnut pieces on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes

Put butter, sugar, honey, eggs, vanilla extract, flours (including bran pieces) polenta, nuts and milk into mixer and mix until a smooth consistency is achieved

Grease and line a cake tin

Fill the cake tin with the cake mixture

Orehove Rezine

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes

To make the syrup,

To make the syrup, put the sugar, honey and water into a pan, gently heat until the sugar has dissolved and then simmer for five minutes

Turn off the heat and when the cake is ready drizzle over the cake

Orehove Rezine

Serve with a dash of sour cream topped with lemon rind

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Almond Jewish Kipferl Biscuits

This biscuit recipe is one of my tried and tested favourites.  I took a particular interest in Jewish history and Judaism while at school after visiting the Synagogue in Reading.  I studied Religious Studies after school as an extra GCSE and during the year in which we looked at Judaism, Joe Perl and his wife Sylvia who were Holocaust survivors, would come in and tell us about their beliefs and feed us scrumptious food that they would normally eat over festivals or holy days such as the Sabbath.  A year or so after I left school I came across a giant Jewish cookery book.  I’ve used it so much and its dessert recipes are usually good.  This is my adaptation of the traditional Jewish Kipferl biscuits which originated and continue to be popular in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire states.  They make great presents when tied up in some cellophane, and I usually hand them out, somewhat ironically, at Christmas time.  I suppose I should really call them my Hanukkah gifts!

Almond Jewish Kipferl Biscuits
Almond Jewish Kipferl Biscuits

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Struckli, Zagreb Airport

Baked Savoury Struckli
Baked Savoury Struckli

Struckli is a real comfort food for me but something one can really only enjoy when in Croatia or Slovenia.  Naturally, I am of the opinion that the best Struckli is made by Mira, my friend’s Grandmother on stormy summer nights in Kranjska Gora.  There is nothing better than eating some struckli, doused in some sugar, playing Slovene Rumi, or Tarock and watching the thunder and listening to the lightening.

However, last summer in Zagreb I enjoyed a hot, steamy dish of savoury struckli at a lovely slastičarna.  Unfortunately, on my trip to Zagreb this trip, I ran out of meals to eat any but I was lucky to stumble upon it at the airport!  I decided to make the most of the time waiting for the plane back to Gatwick and ordered a baked savoury struckli.  (Warning: Struckli takes 40 minutes to prepare/cook so if you are in a hurry for your plane, best not to order it just in case).

Struckli is often described as a boiled version of strudel but I do not think that really does it justice.

Štajerska (Baked Struckli) Ingredients

For the pastry

500g flour

1 egg


1 tbsp oil

A little luke warm water

Ingredients for filling

225ml cream

375g cottage cheese

1 1/2 eggs

100g sugar

Handful of breadcrumbs (to thicken the filling)


Make the filo pastry dough by combining the flour, egg, oil, salt and water

Allow the pastry to rest for 30 minutes

Prepare the filling by mashing cottage cheese, adding cream, egg yolks and breadcrumbs

Whisk the egg whites and sugar and fold carefully into the filling

Roll out and stretch the dough across across a board and roll out on floured cloth

Spread filling over dough, if the filling is too thin, add more breadcrumbs

Use the cloth to roll the struckli into a roulade

Lift struckli onto greased baking tray

Cook in oven on moderate heat (200 degrees Celsius) for 40 minutes

It may need to be covered half-way through cooking process

Good accompanying wines include Chardonnay, Renski Rizling, Sauvignon

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