I’m a little girl again.
It’s all going wrong but who cares. I’m covered in mud lost in the garden and having so much fun.
But no. I’m preparing Metrowiec cake with Natalia for the first time. It’s just been a messy affair.
Normally I work quickly and efficiently.
Not now. We’re blowing it, Natalia and I.
The cake mix looks all wrong. I mix the ingredients . Uh oh, I made a mistake. OK let’s change this. I’m thinking on my feet at least.
Or am I? I forgot to take out the eggs from the fridge. I can hear my grandmother’s voice. “The eggs have to be at room temperature otherwise the cake will never work.” Too late now. The eggs are already in.
What’s that smell? Something’s burning. My mixer, the motor is giving out. The mix is too thick.
I hesitate. I could use a new mixer, but no – not now. I turn off the mixer and add water and cooking oil to the mix. It’s less thick now and the mixer is doing its job.
I hear my grandmother’s voice. I see myself in her kitchen again mixing in the same direction for what seems like hours. “You have to mix in the same direction always. Never change directions” she warns me. Now it’s all motorized and the directions have been all over the place.
My grandmother also told me never to lick the mixing spoon. That’s never stopped me from doing it. Still, I find myself passing my grandmother’s superstitions to Natalia too. You don’t fight tradition wholesale. You ride and defy it in small measures. Natalia will learn this.
This cake is not going to turn out. Visions of a flat rock come to mind. I didn’t want to follow each step in the recipe literally. I always need a little freedom to improvise but it may have cost me.
Into the oven it goes. Later, lo and behold it rises. The cake turns out in spite of everything. Later I try a second version and it turns out too, minus all of the drama and mess.
You can try it too. A Polish tradition. Its name translates to “meter cake,” clearly having to do with its length. I could reccomend that you take a measured approach but I’m the last one to be telling anyone to follow the rules.
Ingredients for the cake dough
3 cups of flour
2 cups of sugar
3 teaspoons of baking powder
16 tablespoons of cooking oil
16 tablespoons of water
Preparing the dough
Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Beat the egg yolks while adding the sugar. Ensure that the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the oil and water. Then, add the flour mixed with the baking powder. Finally, add beaten egg whites. Add a pinch of salt. This will ensure that the egg white foam stays solid.
Now we have to create three pieces of cake. To the first add cacao. How much you add is your preference. I like to add one teaspoon. If you want a darker cake add more. To the second add nothing. To the third add a red jello mix of whatever flavor you prefer. You will have three different colors for the dough.
Add dough to three different cake pans and place in the oven at a 350 F. Insert a stick into the cake. If you find that no mix sticks to the stick, it’s ready.
Ingredients for the cream
2 vanilla pudding mixes. Follow ingredients to prepare the vanilla pudding.
250 g of soft butter
Preparing the cream
Cool the pudding mix. Now gently stir the butter. Add the pudding and mix.
The cream is ready. Spread the mixture on each piece of cake and then add the pieces one after the other alternating colors to complete the whole cake.