by Chef Foode - Friday September 8, 2017 4:09 pm
Koláče are hot stuff in the baking world. From Texas to London’s East End, this simple-looking Czech pastry is big business right now, championed by those in the know as the cake choice of the uber-cool.
It has been branded the ‘hipster donut’ and is the new snack for the discerning drinker that treads a line somewhere between bread, sweet pastry and self-contained little treat, perfect for snacking on with a good brew – be that a morning coffee or post-work Budweiser Budvar.
Yes, that’s right - this a cake you can, and should, eat with beer.
Ever on the search for the perfect food pairing to go with its Czech lager, Budweiser Budvar enlisted the help of two of the best koláče bakers in the world.
Together they went out picking wild blueberries with Edenka Brecková and Eva Tyrnerová in Borovany, just down the road from their home in the ancient brewery town of České Budějovice.
FOR THE KOLÁČE DOUGH: 1kg plain flour. 150g castor sugar. 150g unsalted butter (warmed and melted). 3-4 egg yolks. 40g fresh, live yeast or 2.5tsp instant yeast (added together with the flour). 500ml milk. Lemon zest. 1tsp salt. Fine breadcrumbs (for the blueberry tray bake koláč).
FOR THE EGG WASH: 1-2 large eggs, beaten.
FOR THE KOLÁČE CRUMBLE: 80g butter. 80g castor sugar. 100g–140g plain flour.
FOR THE CURD FILLING: 250g soft curd cheese (if the curd is too dry, add a bit of milk or cream). 50g–70g castor sugar. 1 egg yolk. Pinch of lemon zest. 1 whipped egg white. Optional extras: raisins, cranberries, dark rum, vanilla.
FOR THE POPPY SEED FILLING: 250g ground poppy seeds. 500ml milk. 100g castor sugar. 1tsp cinnamon. A dash of dark rum. Optional extras: raisins, finely chopped walnuts or hazelnuts, cocoa, ground clove, plum jam.
FURTHER FILLINGS: You can use whatever you have ready-made around, such as fruit jams, for a really easy filling.
FOR THE KOLÁČE CRUMBLE: Use good quality unsalted butter. Rub the ingredients together by hand until it achieves something like the consistency of grated Parmesan.
FOR THE CURD FILLING: Mix curd with the egg yolk, lemon zest and sugar until it has a smooth texture. Add any extra ingredients and, finally, add a whipped egg white, gently folding it in.
FOR THE POPPY SEED FILLING: Add the ground poppy seed mix to hot milk in a saucepan and simmer, but do not boil. When the mixture begins to thicken, add sugar and all the remaining ingredients. Leave to cool and use for filling.