Home made Slovenian Food, delicious, diverse, interesting, healthy.

Monday, 12 June 2017


Slovenian best known and most famous festive cake around the world is "Potica" - traditional rolled cake. It is made of sweet yeast dough and different fillings - such as walnut, cottage cheese or cream with tarragon filling and many more. There are even savoury varieties. Mostly it is made for big celebrations and important holidays like Christmas and Easter.

Potica with walnuts and raisins filling.

Potica was first mentioned by Primož Trubar, Slovenian Protestant Reformer in 16th century.
In 17th century J.V. Valvasor thoroughly described this cake in "The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola".

It is basically made of sweet yeast dough and nut filling. We usually use different nuts to make the filling. Mostly that would be walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, poppy seeds, coconut, etc. Instead of nuts, the filling can be made of cottage cheese, cream, tarragon etc. Like always, it is up to imagination of the cook and the occasion that is made for.

The recipe:

Ingredients for the sweet yeast dough:
600 g of soft wheat flour
1 tsp of salt
30 g of yeast - fresh or dried for that amount of flour
60 to 100 g of sugar
100 g of butter
3 egg yolks
500 ml of lukewarm milk - approximately 
grated lemon zest
2 tbsp of rum
2 tbsp of sour cream

All the ingredients should be room temperature, 20 degrees C or more.

If you have fresh yeast you should first make a mixture of 50 ml of lukewarm milk, 1 tsp of sugar and 1 tsp of flour. Keep it in a warm place for a few minutes to rise. 

Put sifted flour in a bowl for kneading the dough. On one side put salt so that it will not come in a direct contact with yeast. In the middle of the bowl, on the flour, put all the other ingredients, except for milk. If you have dried yeast put it there too.

Put all the ingredients
into a kneading bowl.
Add the risen yeast and knead
the dough with adding the milk.
Knead the dough. Slowly add the milk and knead to get nice and soft dough. The dough is ready when it doesn't stick to your hands and to the bowl anymore. You can also knead the dough with a blender or food processor. 
When you finish kneading, cover the dough with cotton and put to rest and rise - at least 1 hour, better more than less. It has to double in volume. 

Dough should be nicely soft.
Risen dough, ready to work further.
While you are waiting for the dough to rise, you can prepare the filling - walnuts paste. 

Ingredients for walnuts paste:
400 to 600 g of walnuts
150 g of sugar or/and honey
1/2 tbsp of good coffee powder - optional
3 tbsp of rum
100 g of melted butter
250 g of milk - approximately 
1 egg
3 egg whites - left from making the dough
cinnamon powder to taste - optional
ground cloves to taste - optional
vanilla to taste - optional
few tbsp of bread crumbs to thicken the paste if needed

100 g of raisins - optional

The amount of nuts depends on how rich - thick optic you would like. The unwritten rule is that the amount of nuts and flour should match.

Grind the walnuts and add all the ingredients except egg whites. Mix well and keep aside to thicken - for at least 30minutes. Before spreading the paste on the dough add whipped egg whites. 

Making the walnuts paste - adding  bitten egg whites
just before spreading paste on a dough 
The paste should be not too thick and not too soft. If the paste is too thick the cake will be too dry. If it is too soft the cake will be too soft and sticky. So work carefully and do not be afraid. As they say with exercise and experience, comes the excellence. 

When the dough is ready, roll it out as thin as you want. The thinner it will be the thinner you can spread the paste and vice versa. The pattern of the roll will vary accordingly. 

Roll out the dough 
Spread the walnuts paste evenly

If you want you you can sprinkle the raisins over the filling. Now roll the cake as close as possible. 

Raisins on the top of walnuts paste
Potica cake close rolled in
Real Potica cake have to be baked in round shaped model with a hole in the middle. Those models can be made of clay or metal. Especially today metal and even silicon ones are used. For many cooks it is easier to bake it in usual rectangular baking tray, but in that case it should be called Povitica. The difference is only in a shape of the cake. 

Round shaped models, originally made of clay.
Cut of the edges of the rolled cake and put it into a greased and floured model very carefully. Make holes into cake with a thin needle. Cover it with cotton and let it rise again - approximately 30 minutes. 

Rolled potica in a round model
with a hole in the middle.
Make holes with a thin needle.

Brush with egg before putting it into the hot oven, 220 degrees C. After a few minutes lower the temperature and bake it for about an hour at 180 degrees C. Check with a needle if it is baked. 
When baked, leave it in a model for few more minutes. 

Leave the baked cake in a model for few more minutes.
Then carefully turn it and take it out on a wooden plate. Brush with oil or butter and cover with paper and cotton to slowly cool down. 

Cover the hot cake to cool down slowly.
Before serving, put it on a serving plate and sprinkle with sugar powder. 

Sprinkle with icing sugar 

and serve! 

Enjoy your (first) Traditional Slovenian cake - POTICA.

See more photos on this LINK!

1 comment:

  1. Looks good, grandma made cc/ raisin, this recipe Cannot be followed, no idea what mil and other metric measurements are vs cups and ounces etc.