The classic version of the cake in our understanding is a dessert of a round or square shape, decorated with cream or mastic, and complemented by various decorations. But there are completely unusual options, such as, for example, shakotis cake - the national delicacy of Poles and Lithuanians. Its main feature is that it is prepared on an open fire and has the shape of a Christmas tree. Let's find out if you can make it at home.
Loaf or cookies?
Despite the fact that the shakotis is officially called the cake, those who are lucky enough to try it, point out the similarity with the cookies, and even the loaf. By tradition, such pastries are usually prepared for the wedding table, in which case it is additionally decorated with flowers and other decorations. And also it is a kind of souvenir, which tourists are happy to buy.
Representatives of the Lithuanian and Polish peoples have been “fighting” for the right to be called the authors of this dessert. True, the Poles had a delicacy initially with a slightly different, smoother form, while numerous “branches” brought fame to shakotis.
How to cook such an unusual delicacy? Here is a list of required products:
- eggs - 50 pcs.,
- flour - 1 kg,
- sugar - 800-900 g,
- butter - 1 kg,
- citric acid - 10 g,
- Cognac - 100 g
To make the dessert really tasty, the dough must be quite thin. All ingredients are thoroughly mixed until homogeneous, and then baked using a special wooden skewer, which is watered with a certain frequency, resulting mass, which drains, instantly hardens. That is how the famous branches are made.
Repeating the same at home is unlikely to work, but for those who really want to make such a dessert, bakers recommend reducing the proportions of the main recipe 10 times, and pouring the dough into small cupcake trays, with a hole inside. You need to bake it in the oven at high temperature.
In Lithuania, they believe that the higher the “tower” of shakotis, the greater the love of the newlyweds. Therefore, many couples often compete in the size of the national delicacy. Well, for those traveling in Latvia, just look in one of the shops, there is sure to find a souvenir sweetness. Enjoy your meal!
One of the main features of the Shakotis cake is that it is cooked with a lot of chicken eggs. From 30 to 50 pieces for one kilogram of flour. At the same time they bake it on a wooden spit, which is dipped in dough and turned on an open fire. As a result, the dough during dripping and takes the form of numerous twigs.
It resembles a fancy sandy yellow dough tree. The cut cake is very similar to saw cut with characteristic annual rings. There are even special ovens for baking this cake. The main thing is that the principle of cooking Lithuanian cake "Shakotis" remains unchanged: when draining and sinking, the dough takes a very unusual shape. It is believed that the longer and thicker these "twigs", the more talented the mistress who prepared it. On the Christmas table, such a cake looks especially attractive, as it looks like a Christmas tree.
Such an unusual dessert, of course, should have its own history. It is believed that the cake "Shakotis" appeared in the XV century. There are several versions of how he appeared, they all agree on only one thing: for the first time he was cooked completely by accident.
The recipe for the Shakotis cake originated in the years of the existence of the Lithuanian-Polish alliance, and therefore became widespread in two countries. According to one version, for the first time it was baked by a young cook named Yozas. It was supposed to be a treat for Queen Barbara. As a reward for his invention, he received a rich decoration, which he presented to his beloved. Most likely, the cake "Shakotis" turned out at the chef by accident, when he spilled a tender dough on a spit, spinning over the fire.
According to another version, Jozas participated in the culinary competition, organized by Barbara. The grand feast was held at the castle in Trakai. The cook was in love with one beautiful woman who denied to all the suitors. He decided to definitely win the competition, because the winner could ask for anything he wanted. He decided to give her a gift, hoping that in this case, the beauty's heart would melt.
Having learned that the queen loves sweets, he decided to make cookies for her in butter and with a lot of eggs. Preparing pastry dough, he baked beautiful cookies in the form of amazing colors, covered with multi-colored glaze. But when he came to the feast, he saw that on the royal table a large number of various vases with cupcakes, cookies and chocolates of different shapes.
Then he decided to bake the dough on an open fire. Yozas began to pour the mixture on the red-hot iron spit, it began to bake, forming fancy patterns. As a result, the cake-cookies turned into a branchy spruce. All were so delighted that the queen admitted "Shakotis" the dainty of the evening. For the victory, Yozas asked Barbara for a ring with her hands and a pearl necklace to bring it all to her lover. It is said that amazed not only by his talent, but also by selflessness, the queen visited his wedding. As a token of gratitude, the cook has come up with another dish dedicated to the ruler. Yozas called it "Queen's Necklace", and prepared it from swan eggs. After this event, Šakotis became her favorite delicacy and obligatory table decoration at all Lithuanian weddings.
Finally, there is the most prosaic version. If you believe her, the first mention of "Shakotis" is found in 1692 in the cookbook of confectioners from the German city of Kiel. The need for an unusual dessert arose from the fact that parishioners brought a large number of eggs to the temple at Easter.
The largest "Shakotis"
The largest "Shakotis" in history was prepared in 2008. Lithuanian pastry chefs spent about 1,200 eggs and 160 kilograms of dough on it.
As a result, “Shakotis” turned out to be two meters 30 centimeters high, and its weight was 73 kilograms and 800 grams.
For five hours, three cooks tirelessly twisted a spit, and their assistants, women bakers, poured dough.
The classic recipe of the Lithuanian cake "Shakotis" is well known nowadays. In order to cook it, you need to take:
- 50 chicken eggs
- 1 kg of 250 g of butter,
- 1 kg of 250 g of wheat flour
- 800 grams of sugar,
- 10 g of lemon essence,
- 6 glasses of cream with fat content of 20%
- 100 grams of brandy.
According to ancient traditions
If you follow the ancient traditions of the ancestors, then prepare "Shakotis" should be as follows.
Sugar and butter are ground to a homogeneous fluffy mass, which must be whipped thoroughly. Gradually add chicken eggs (1-2 pieces). Finally pour the flour, pour cream, lemon essence and brandy.
Classic Shakotis is baked in a special oven. If there is none, then it will be possible to cook it in the most ordinary kitchen. How to make a cake "Shakotis" at home, we will tell in this article.
In order to prepare "Shakotis" at home, you need the exact same list of ingredients that was described in this material. Due to the fact that you will not be preparing a cake in a special oven, but in your kitchen, the number of products will not change. Keep in mind that one cake is for 20 servings.
Separately, it is worth noting that the dough that turns out should be yellow, liquid and tasty. On an industrial scale, this dessert is baked in special rooms at the bakery, where there are spits, which the confectioner pours with the dough so that it flows beautifully and stiffens.
In Lithuania, it is noted that there is no special need to prepare Shakotis at home, as you can buy such a cake without any problems at any grocery store. By the way, in this country since Soviet times it was decided to insert a bottle of champagne into a hole in the cake and to go to a wedding or New Year celebration with such a present.
But if you are still far from Lithuania, and you really want to try a unique royal dessert, we will tell you how to make it in your kitchen.
Cooking cake "Shakotis" at home begin with making dough. Carefully rub the butter with sugar until a fluffy foam forms. Add to the mixture a couple of eggs, continuing to beat it. After we send there all the other ingredients.
The dough should turn out to be liquid so that it is convenient and easy to pour on the skewer.
Ideally, the dough should be watered with a special spit, which at the same time slowly rotates. It is in the process of running off the dough that the cake acquires such a unique shape.
What can replace the spit
According to the recipe for the Shakotis cake, at home there are several options for how to replace this special skewer. If the area and the device of the house allow and you have a fireplace, then you can arrange a special device near the source of fire. Only in this case, you definitely need a pan into which the dough will flow.
Another option, which is recommended to use the Lithuanian chefs, is to reduce the amount of all ingredients ten times and cook "Shakotis" in a regular oven in his kitchen. To do this, the resulting dough must be poured into molds for muffins with a characteristic hole inside, without which Shakotis cannot be imagined. In this case, the cake is baked in the oven at high temperature.
In Lithuania, this cake, as already mentioned, is customary to cook for a wedding. In this case, it is believed that the higher the so-called tower of this dessert, the more love the newlyweds will have in life together. So many couples even nowadays are competing with each other in the size and height of this national delicacy.
Now you know for sure that you just have to try "Shakotis". Therefore, if you are not ready for culinary experiments in your kitchen, be sure to go to any grocery store or bakery when you find yourself in Lithuania to buy this amazingly tasty and very original looking dessert.
Interestingly, in some European kitchens there are analogues of this amazing cake. For example, in Germany they prepare special pastries, known as baumkuchen.
The cut of this amazing cake also resembles a tree cut with characteristic annual rings, as mentioned earlier. This unusual effect can be achieved through a unique technology, which assumes the following: a special wooden roller is repeatedly dipped into the batter, waiting for it to brown.
Description: Shakotis in Lithuania have been baked for many centuries. But even now, when new equipment and technologies came to the aid of confectioners, a delicious cake just won't work out. This process requires a great deal of experience, knowledge of the subtleties, and most importantly - the love of his work. Expand completely ... Nowadays such original culinary products are especially appreciated. Therefore, the wedding cake “Shakotis” is guarded by the Lithuanian National Culinary Heritage Foundation.
A cake is not a cake, a cake is not a cake, but it doesn’t look like gingerbread at all ... After all, gingerbread implies the presence of spices by definition: cinnamon or cloves, ginger or cardamom, allspice, finally. In the shakotis, there are no such delights. There are many other things. Magic ... You open the packaging and ... Spirit. Smell. But we will continue. So what is “shakotis”? Cake? Indeed, in Lithuania it is often called that. Sand Cake? Perhaps this definition fits him best. But although shakotis is also stored for a long time, the dough in its recipe is not really shortcake. Maybe it's a loaf?
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Sakotis - traditional Lithuanian cake
Shakotis cake is a unique Lithuanian dessert that every guest of this country should taste. The peculiarity of the cake is its unusual shape, resembling a stately tree with branches extending from it. It is because of the appearance that the delicacy got its name: in Lithuanian, “shakotis” means “branched”. Cake baked on:
- New Year and Christmas holidays.
Traditionally, Shakotis is cooked on an open fire. Dough is applied on a metal or cardboard base layer by layer. Flowing drops of dough freeze to form peculiar twigs or needles. Often, the preparation of the cake takes a whole day, but the result is worth it: the bright aroma and amazing taste of the dessert leaves no one indifferent. Thanks to the many layers of dough, the cut of the Shakotis resembles a tree frame, dotted with annual rings.
A distinctive feature of any Shakotis is its composition: for example, up to 50 eggs are added to one kilogram of flour bakers! They make the cake quite expensive, so it is considered an exclusively festive dish.
The legend of the appearance of the cake Shakotis
On the territory of modern Lithuania, Shakotis cake has been baked for several centuries. He owes his appearance to the resourceful cook, a young man named Jozas. A red-haired young man worked as an assistant to the cook at Pan Oginsky. Pan had a beautiful daughter who denied all aspirants to her hand and heart. Yozas, like the others, was in love with an inaccessible beauty.
One day, Jozas had the opportunity to impress his beloved. In the palace of the Lithuanian Queen Barbara, there was a cookery competition, where Jozas was sent instead of the ill chef. First of all, the young man served on the royal table an aromatic vegetable salad with a secret sauce. He decorated it with flowers cut from fruit. However, the dish was lost in the abundance of other dishes.
After talking with the chefs, Yozas found out that the queen loves sweets. Then he made a dough with a lot of eggs and baked a cookie melting in his mouth. But even this delicacy was not noticed by Queen Barbara.
Having lost hope, the young cook sat in the kitchen and thoughtfully rotated the remnants of dough on an iron skewer over the fire. Soon the dough began to bake, forming branches and growths. Inspired by Jozas, he added all new dough layers until the spit dish resembled a beautiful tree. The cake, exuding a magical flavor, was placed in the very center of the dining table.
At the end of the meal, the winner of the cook competition was announced. He was resourceful Yozas. The queen told the young man that he has the right to demand everything that his soul wishes. Yozas knew that he could ask for land, horses and gold. But instead, he pointed to a pearl necklace around the neck of the queen, which he decided to bring as a gift to his beloved.
Queen Barbara was impressed by the sincere act of Jozas. For his purity and good thoughts, she granted him the post of royal chef. The beautiful daughter of Pan became the wife of a young man, and the queen herself attended their luxurious wedding.
Shakotis Cake: Modern Traditions
Thanks to the beautiful, romantic legend of its origin, the Shakotis cake has become a traditional wedding cake. The eggs that make up the treat are associated with fertility and family happiness.
Shakotis symbolizes the high feelings of the beloved. It is believed that the higher the cake, the stronger and stronger love of the newlyweds. Today, the wedding Shakotis is decorated:
- Oil cream
- Fresh flowers.
- Sugar icing.
It is also often put on the Christmas and New Year's table.
How to cook shakotis
To cook Shakotis by all the rules, you will need open fire. According to this technology, the cake is still being prepared in small family businesses. In large-scale production, where the production of Shakotis is delivered to the stream, special furnaces with rotating elements are used.
The standard recipe for Shakotis includes:
- 50 eggs
- 1.25 kg of flour
- 1.25 kg butter
- 800 g sugar
- 6 glasses of heavy cream
- 10 g of lemon essence
- 100 g of brandy
Dough kneading is carried out in strict order. Сначала масло тщательно взбивают с сахаром и сливками. В получившуюся смесь постепенно вводят по одному-два яйца. Затем приходит черед муки и ароматических добавок.
В домашних условиях тесто для Шакотиса можно запечь в обычной форме для кекса. Such a sponge cake, although it will not have spectacular growths, will delight guests with a rich taste and wonderful aroma.
Where can I buy Shakotis cake?
Arriving in Lithuania, you should definitely appreciate the unique taste of Shakotis cake. You can buy this dessert almost everywhere.
Industrial Shakotis in its original packaging is sold in every major supermarket in Vilnius, Klapeyda and Kaunas. A large selection of cakes can be found in Rimi stores and in Maxima supermarkets.
Authentic handmade Shakotis find harder. Such cakes are much more expensive and are sold in some private bakeries. In the old part of Vilnius, Šakotis can be tasted at EKOLOGIŠKI PRODUKTAI, a network of ecological little shops. Natural and high-quality cake is offered to visitors of “Senamiešcio krautuvė” at Literatu, 5.
The average cost of Shakotis - from 10 euros per kilogram
Today, Shakotis is protected by the Lithuanian National Cultural Heritage Foundation. They say that real gourmets can easily determine how Shakotis was cooked: on a fire or in a factory oven. However, experienced chefs say: the most important thing is the love of their work.
- Egg 50 Pieces
- Flour 1.25 Kilogram
- Butter 1.25 Kilogram
- Sugar 800 Grams
- Cream 20% 6 Glasses
- Lemon Essence 10 Grams
- Cognac 100 Grams
Oil grind with sugar in a lush foam.
Add one by one - two eggs, continuing to beat.
Add all other ingredients. The dough turns liquid, it pours on the skewer.
The dough is poured on a special spit, which slowly rotates. It is this dripping that gives such a beautiful cake shape.
You can make a fixture by the fireplace and you definitely need a pan to which the dough will flow.
Shakotis cake is made in different sizes.
The finished cake is removed from the skewer.