Rosalind Brodsky's Time Travelling Cookery Show

Episode 1: Polish Pierogi from a German Black Forest Cake

Duration: 7:00
Date: 1998
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In episode one of the Cookery Show Brodsky makes a dish of cherry and chocolate Polish pierogi from the disassembled ingredients of a German Black Forest cake, a symbolic translation of a German into a Polish dessert, which she originally invented to take on a time travelling trip to try and rescue her Polish Jewish grandparents from the Holocaust.


Rosalind Brodsky:

Greetings, and welcome to the latest episode of my time travelling cookery show.

Today's recipe is a traditional dish of Polish pierogi with a chocolate and cherry filling. I have to admit I've eaten a lot of these pierogi on my time travelling trips to Poland throughout the twentieth century but I don't suppose the Poles have ever used the recipe I'm going to give you today.

All you will need for this delicious dessert is one Black Forest Cake, shop bought if you like, and a modicum of cultural and historical transgression, or call it what you will.

The first thing we need to do is disassemble the cake. We'll start by taking the cherries from the top of the cake and placing them on a plate.

Then remove the dollops of cream that the cherries are on.

And now we'll remove and place into a bowl the grated chocolate from around of the cake and push them backwards through the grater until they form a bar of unsweetened baking chocolate.

Then we'll remove the cream from the top and sides of the cake.

Now carefully remove the top layer of the cake, take off the cherries, scrape off the buttercream, placing each in a separate bowl.

You have to repeat this process for every layer of the cake until it is completely disassembled.

And now to separate the filling.

First we have to extract the kirsch from the buttercream. Now beat the mixture backwards to extract the egg yolk and reduce its volume, about 3-5 minutes.

Beat the sugar out of the butter and put them to one side.

Now for the syrup.

First take all three cake layers and slip the syrup from them back into a small hot pan.

Remove the kirsch from the syrup back into the bottle and cool down the mixture until the water and sugar separate, stirring all the time.

Then place the sugar back into a cup and the water into a glass.

So now, to separate the sponge mixture place the cake layers on racks until they heat up, then place them in 8 inch cake pans until they reach 350F.

Now we're ready to put them in an oven at the same temperature. After about 10-15 minutes remove the cake pans from the oven and pour the batter back into a bowl.

Alternately unfold the chocolate and flour from the batter until only the egg mixture is left. And then beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla for about 5-10 minutes until they separate.

Stage 2

You should now have in front of you all the necessary ingredients for the Pierogi.

First we have to mix together the four cups of flour, two of the eggs, a half a cup of sour cream and two thirds of a cup of warm water, a little at a time. The knead dough until it's firm and elastic.

I originally invented this recipe for a time travelling journey to try and rescue my Polish grandparents from the Holocaust.

Had I found them dragging their possessions along a country road, or starving to death in a camp, I would have been able, whilst transporting them back with me to the 21st century, to feed them this dish, a symbolic translation of a German into a Polish dessert.

Unfortunately so far I've been unable to locate them, but I'm still looking.

Now we'll cover the dough up with a cloth and let it rest for ten minutes.

While we're waiting let's make the chocolate and cherry filling.

First melt the large lumps of unsweetened baking chocolate in a double boiler and prod around until it melts and then add the two ounces of butter and four ounces of sugar, stirring constantly.

Now we can remove it from the heat and beat in the two egg yolks until it's light and fluffy, mmmm.

Now let's take the plate of sour cherries and add it to the mixture.

Don't forget to save the cherry juice for later on.

Oh great, the dough should be ready by now.

Just divide it up into three parts and on a floured surface roll dough to about four millimetres thick and cut it into eight centimetre rounds with a glass.

Now we can place a small spoonful of the filling in the centre of each round, just add a little water on one side of the dough and fold and press the edges together firmly to seal them up. Don't they look lovely?

Now let's get the cherry juice and bring it up to a simmer in a pan with some extra water.

Now simply drop in the pierogi and keep them simmering for 15 minutes,

stirring gently all the while to prevent them from sticking together.

Ok they should be ready by now so I'll just remove them with a slotted spoon.

All we have to do is put a few on each plate and serve them up with a good dollop of sour cream.

Mmmm, I can't wait to get started on these. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

See you next time.