MazurkasPosted: November 27, 2013
I started out working on quite a different recipe this week, but a few diversions along the way and here we are at Mazurkas!
This bake is popular on a lot of East-European/Russian food blogs, and interestingly, there also appears to be a great variation in how they turn out. The texture can be anything from a cake to a biscuit, thick or thin, sweet or plain. This is my favourite version – thin and biscuit-like, crisp, with a delicious chewiness and, best of all, an absolute doddle to prepare. If you like Florentines in theory, but find the reality too sweet and too much like hard work with the caramel, then these are the biscuits for you!
The top is a crisp layer of frothed up biscuit mixture, and the underside is rich and chewy with fruit and sugar. Fabulous for lunchboxes!
You can mix up the ingredients to suit whatever you have available, or to suit the mood/season. Here I’ve gone for a festive raisin/cranberry/apricot mix, with walnuts for crunch and orange zest/sherry/brandy flavourings. You could just as easily go with spices and lemon zest, or mix it up with both vanilla (1.5tsp) and orange zest (one of my early trial versions that rivals this one for flavour). As long as the overall weight of fruit and nuts is the same, you can pretty much do what you like.
The mixing couldn’t be easier, either. Mix dry ingredients, add wet ingredients, smoosh it out onto parchment and bake for 20 minutes as a slab. Cut into biscuits whilst warm and leave to cool. Simples!
Makes 20-30 biscuits, depending on size.
380g of raisins, cranberries, chopped apricots
80g walnuts – chopped
180g granulated sugar
80g plain flour
2tsp cream sherry
zest of 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2tsp lemon juice or white wine vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, 160°C Fan.
- In a bowl, mix the fruit, nuts, sugar and HALF the flour.
- Make a well in the middle.
- Whisk together the eggs, sherry, brandy and orange zest.
- Pour liquids into the well in the dry ingredients.
- Mix the lemon juice/vinegar and the bicarbonate of soda and stir it into the rest of the liquids as it fizzes.
- Stir the liquids and dry ingredients together until thoroughly combined, then sprinkle in the remaining flour.
- Fold everything together until well combined.
- Spread the mixture onto a sheet of baking parchment. Try and get it as flat as possible – certainly no more than 2cm high. If it is in too thick a layer, it won’t crisp up when cool.
- Slide the baking parchment onto a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes.
- Turn the baking sheet around and bake for a further 8 minutes (20 in total).
- Slide the parchment off the baking sheet onto a flat surface and cut the mixture into biscuits – I suggest either finger-sized rectangles or diamond shapes. Don’t try and remove the biscuits from the parchment at this stage, they’ll break up too easily. Wait until they are cold, when they’ll be much firmer.
- Slide a wire rack underneath the parchment and leave to cool.
- Separate the biscuits when cold and store in an airtight container.