Smtfrkage

Made with a light, flaky yeast pastry, Snwrkage (smeur-kair) is rich in butter and flavoured with cinnamon with icing dribbled over the top. Break the cake apart and serve with tea or freshly percolated coffee

1 oz. fresh yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

5 fl. oz. lukewarm milk

1 lb. flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

2 oz. castor sugar

10 oz. butter

2 eggs, well beaten

2 oz. butter, softened

4 oz. castor sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 egg, lightly beaten

12 oz. icing sugar mixed with

3 tablespoons hot water

Crumble the yeast into a small bowl and mash in the sugar with a kitchen fork. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the milk and cream the milk and yeast together to form a smooth paste. Set the bowl aside in a warm, draught-free place for 15 to 20 minutes or until the mixture is puffed up and frothy.

Sift the flour, salt, cardamom and sugar into a large bowl. Add 2 ounces of the butter and cut it into small pieces with a table knife. With your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in the yeast mixture, the remaining milk and the eggs. Using your fingers or a spatula, mix the liquids together, gradually drawing in the flour mixture. The dough should be fairly soft, so add a little more milk if necessary. Cover the bowl with a cloth and chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Place the remaining butter between two sheets of greaseproof or waxed paper and, using the back of a spoon, beat it into a rectangle about 9- by 5-inches.

Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and turn the dough out on to a floured board. Knead it lightly until it is smooth and elastic. Roll it out into a rectangle about 12- by 8-inches. Peel off the paper from the butter and place the butter in the centre of the dough. Fold the edges of the dough over to completely enclose the butter. Roll out the dough to a strip about 5- by 15-inches. Fold the bottom third up and the top third down. Wrap the dough in greaseproof or waxed paper and place it in the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and repeat the rolling process twice more. Wrap the dough in greaseproof or waxed paper and place it in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, using glace’ icing. a wooden spoon, cream the butter and sugar together until they are thoroughly combined. Beat in the vanilla essence, cinnamon and allspice. Set aside.

Remove the dough from the refriger-ator. Break off one-third of the dough and place it on a lightly floured working surface. Set the remaining dough aside. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into a circle large enough to line the bottom of a 9-inch loose-bottomed cake tin. Lift the dough circle on to the rolling pin and place it on the bottom of the tin, pressing it down gently. f c

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Roll the remaining dough out into a square approximately 18- by 18-inches. Spread the butter filling over one-half of the square and fold the other half over, pressing the edges together to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 9 equal strips. Roll up each strip Swiss roll style. Place 8 of the rolls around the edge of the dough in the tin to make a circle and place the remaining roll in the middle. Using a pastry brush, brush the dough with half of the beaten egg. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400°F (Gas Mark 6, 200°C).

Brush the dough again with the remaining egg. Place the tin in the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until the cake is crisp and golden brown.

Remove the tin from the oven. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the tin and place it on a serving dish.

Using a spoon, dribble the icing over the top. Either serve the cake warm or allow to cool completely before serving.

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