Celebrating EC Bday with a Meter Cake!

meter-cake

04 Oct Celebrating EC Bday with a Meter Cake!

It is here. It is exactly one year since we had the crazy idea to eliminate our free time and start this blog. Yes, I remember very fondly the time when we were playing with templates and arguing over what are we going to publish on our blog. Our mission was and still is to introduce Central European food to the rest of the world. We try to recreate Hungarian, Slovak, and Czech recipes in an American environment (more so now that we live in California). Our mission was very successful last year, because we reached hearts, minds, and stomachs of expats, a few second-generation immigrants and people who spent some time in Central Europe and miss the awesome food. Our mission for the next year will be to introduce this food to the uninitiated: people who have never experienced Central European food. We have some strategies in mind. No, kidnapping people and force feeding them is NOT one of them. But cooking for school picnics might be.

Since we started this blog I had the chance to meet amazing people with amazing stories and recipes of their own. They should start a blog! It is not that hard to do. And in the next year, I am going to show you how. I am planning to put together a few posts on how to start a blog and how to do basic photography and maybe video. I hope I can motivate you to start your own empire.

There is one more thing I need to get off my chest. The general economical downturn has affected everyone. Therefore I am considering to put a few ads on the page. My plan was to find a sponsor and to not bother you with “random” ads, but unfortunately Central European food is a very niche market in the US and I do not think I can find an individual sponsor. I would be really happy if you would give me your input about this issue. Would ads bother you? Would it change your opinion about the blog?

So happy birthday Emperors Crumbs! How better to celebrate then with Katy’s favorite “Méteres Kalács/Meter Cake”. Celebrate with us!

Slice the cake

Slice the cake

Spread the pudding add the bannana

Spread the pudding, then add the banana

Glue the cake parts together

Glue the cake parts back together – Frankencake!

Spread the pudding on the top

Spread the pudding on top

meter cake

Top it with chocolate glaze and slice diagonally

pudding, fork, meter cake

Enjoyed with good espresso, it could take you to heaven.

Meter Cake
Serves 8
This is no fancy confection you get in Hungarian sweet shops. This is home-made goodness made with lots of heart and love (and a package of pudding mix). The chocolate disks (callets) from Trader Joe’s worked perfectly for the chocolate coating.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 1½ tsp baking powder
  3. ½ cup lukewarm water
  4. 1 cup sugar
  5. ½ cup oil
  6. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 2 Tbs cocoa powder
  8. 8 oz melting chocolate
  9. 1 package vanilla pudding
  10. 3 cups milk (to prepare pudding)
  11. 2 bananas
Instructions
  1. Make the pudding according to the directions and set it aside to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F/190° C. Grease two 9×5″ (large) loaf pans.
  3. Combine the flour and baking powder
  4. Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Add sugar, oil and the lukewarm water to the egg yolks and mix well.
  5. Beat the egg whites and incorporate into the egg yolk mixture
  6. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Divide the mixture into 2 equal parts.
  7. Add cocoa powder to the first half and vanilla extract to the second one.
  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared pans and bake them for 30 minutes.
  9. Allow the cakes to cool completely, then slice them about ½-inch thick. Spread a layer of pudding generously on each slice, reserving about 1/3 of the pudding. Place a few slices of bananas on top of the pudding, then line up the cake slices, alternating chocolate and vanilla pieces so you have sort of reconstructed the cake so it’s twice as long, with banana between each slice and plenty of pudding to “glue” it all together. Don’t worry if it looks a little uneven, the next steps take care of that!
  10. Cover the cake with the remaining pudding. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, then coat the pudding on the cake with a layer of chocolate.
  11. Allow the cake to cool and set for a couple of hours.
  12. In order to get the two-color effect, slice the cake along the diagonal.
Emperors Crumbs http://www.emperorscrumbs.com/
  • http://kristenspaintings.blogspot.com Kristen

    That looks very good. I’ll have to try it! I understand about the ads- have you tried Malev or a Eastern European travel agency. Maybe an international grocery store would give your site a try. In the San Francisco Bay Area there’s Draeger’s.

    • http://emperorscrumbs.com Valerian

      thanks for the tips. i think we are small for Malev but rest of the ideas sound good. thanx.

  • Katka

    I think most of the blogs have ads, but as I use adblocks, I’m not sure. I understand that you need to finance the site, so I have no issue with ads, if I can block them ;) Happy birthday today!

    • http://emperorscrumbs.com Valerian

      thanks katka! :) the problem with blocking adds is that then they don’t help us. we and other content providers get paid when you click on the link. the idea is that google runs adds which are similar to the topic of our site and if you like the add you click and look up the product behind it. that means $$$ for the content provider. now those $$$ are measured by cents and fractions of cents. that is why I am not sure if it is a good idea. With the recent traffic we could make maybe 10usd/month with google adds. that will not contribute to our wealth, so I do not want to risk alienate our readers. Because you are using an add block I would put you in for NO. ;) and that is ok. I just want to know what people think. thanks for the great input katka! and yes I forgot about the price… grrrr… my brain is turning into mush. Is there any chance I can send you something from CA?

  • Katka

    Well, if you are paid only if I click on the ad, you won’t win a lot with me. Maybe you could edit a small book with the recipes and histories (there are some solutions on the net for selfpublishing), when the book is printed only if somebody buys it?
    And, oh, if you want me to send anything from CA, I accept dried fruits, good chocolate, wine and any stuff you cannot buy in Europe :)

  • http://www.slovakcooking.com lubos

    Happy birthday to you guys from SlovakCooking.com! I totally relate to the “eliminate free time” part :)

  • http://www.slovakcooking.com lubos

    oh yeah one more comment, regarding ads – since I have bit of experience with this :) Some sites have these ads which are “cleverly” disguised to look like menus so people click on them accidentally. Don’t do that, it drives me nuts! But I think that ads like the ones on my site are OK, because they are pretty obvious. So people will either ignore them or block them with adblock, and those who click on them will do so because they were actually interested in that product.

    Speaking of ads, I had an ad appear on my site few weeks ago advertising printing services, which were like 4x cheaper than what my local print shop charges (this is for the recipe brochure). I visited their site (the URL showed up in the ad) and really liked their company and place the order. This was one ad that actually really helped out.

    See ya!

    • http://emperorscrumbs.com Valerian

      thanks lubos. for now I am using only google search. it searches our site and has also adds. I do not think I will go with adds for now. I don’t think it will bring enough income to justify it. I definitely do not plan to hide the adds. I found plenty of awesome deals through google adds. Even my new video camera. I am going to save $350 :)

  • http://pragmaticattic.wordpress.com Laura

    Maybe this isn’t the best place to post this question, but have you ever heard of this cookie called koshynka or koshynky (sp?). It is made in a flower mold and filled. I think the name means basket in Ukranian, but I think these cookies might also be popular in Hungary. Thanks!

  • http://www.slovakcooking.com lubos

    Hi Laura, this is lubos from slovak cooking. I have never heard of anything like this, but cookies made in molds are quite common. My favorites are “bear paws” or also called vanilla rolls. See http://www.slovakcooking.com/2010/recipes/bear-paws-medvedie-labky/. Are these anything like your “koshynka”?

  • Katka

    I’m just thinking about ‘kosicky’, a molded slovak cookie, and it means ‘basket’ also. Then you fill it with chocolate or coffee buttercream.

  • http://pragmaticattic.wordpress.com laura

    Katka, that is exactly what I am talking about!! The cookies have a coffee filling and a chocolate drizzle over that. I can’t find a recipe anywhere. Anyone have a recipe? Thanks Katka and Lubos!

    • http://emperorscrumbs.com Valerian

      Thanx Katka and Lubos helping me out here. I was cupping coffees today… And the truth is I don’t know Kosicky, but they sound great. Do you have any picture of them? We can put it in our Facebook page and ask the Slovaks…

  • Katka

    So, here’s recipe for ‘Kremove kosicky’ (Molded cookies with cream): Mix 450 g flour, 75 g sugar, 225 g butter (room temperature), 100 g grounded walnuts and 3 yolks into compact dough and refrigerate for 30 min. Then fill in the molds in basket shape, letting a shallow hole in it (where the cream will come). Bake on 175°C for 10 min (in the recipe of my mum is written: ‘bake until not done’). In the meantime cook a cream from 300 ml coffee, 3 tbs flour (the special kind of ‘hruba muka’) and 1 yolk. When chilled, add 200 g butter, 200 g powdered sugar, 1 tbs honey, 1 tbs cocoa powder and 1 tbs rhum. Fill the baked molds with the cream and drizzle with chocolate. You can put a walnut, hazelnut or smartie on the top. My mum used to this ones every christmas, it’s a classical recipe.

  • http://pragmaticattic.wordpress.com Laura

    Thanks, Katka!! I have been looking all over for this recipe! This is it exactly. I was told that you need to press down the dough in the middle of baking to keep the hole from puffing up. You don’t have to do this with this recipe? Another question: is it just melted bittersweet chocolate on top, or do you need to add butter or cream to the melted chocolate? And one more: Hruba Muka is “thick flour”? Does this mean bread flour? Or do I use Wondra flour (instant blending flour) as a substitute?
    Thanks again.

  • Katka

    Well, when you fill the mold with he dough, you press it little bit to get into the mold folds, but we never used ‘baking balls’ to maintain the pressure. The dough is not the kind of raising dough, it stays pretty the same volume. The chocolate – you can use bittersweet melted chcolate or add a little bit of butter, it’s up to you and the chocolate you have. Finally, ‘hruba muka’ means ‘thick flour’, it’s not bread flour, it a special size of grind. I don’t know what is US substitute for this, I am importing mine from slovakia (to France).

    • http://emperorscrumbs.com Valerian

      In us you don’t have grinds but protein levels. It is hard to substitute. Katka, did you ever try to substitute hruba muka with krupica (semolina)?

  • http://pragmaticattic.wordpress.com Laura

    Thanks, Katka. I am going to try this. And I am going to use the post about bear claws that Lubos posted for general guidance on how to make them. Thanks again Lubos!

  • Katka

    valerian: no, I never tried krupica at the place of hruba muka.

  • http://www.slovakcooking.com lubos

    Nothing to thank for! :) And thank you Katka for inspiration.

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