A traditional dessert in Romania, Easter wouldn’t be the same without Cozonac. It is really delicious, and although it might take a little time to prepare it, it is definitely worth the trouble. If you can call baking a trouble. If you ask me, there is nothing more relaxing and enjoyable than baking. Plus, the aroma of freshly-baked cozonac is so lovely, the whole house smells of Easter.
It is the first time I bake this wonderful sweet loaf, it is usually my grandmother who is in charge of baking it. She is amazing, never uses any measurements, yet her baking is always fantastic. I guess it takes years of experience, but still. I dare say that my cozonac does not look too bad though, I was quite happy with the result.
The quantities are enough for one big loaf, so just double up in case you want to make more. They will not last long, that is for sure. Everyone will ask for a second slice. It is ideal with a cup of tea or coffee, if you fancy it for breakfast, or even a glass of red wine, if having it after lunch. Do give it a try!
Ingredients: (for the dough)
- 300 gr flour
- 100 ml luke-warm milk
- 50 g sugar
- 1/2 sachet of dried yeast
- 40 g soft butter
- 1 egg
- lemon zest
- lemon extract
(for the filling)
- 1 egg white
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 50 g chopped walnuts
- 20 g sultanas
- vanilla extract
- 1 egg yolk for glazing
- In a large bowl, sift the flour and add the dried yeast, sugar and milk.
- Beat the eggs slightly and add them together with the lemon zest, lemon extract and butter. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it’s no longer sticky. Leave it to rise for at least 3 hours until the dough has doubled the size. Ideally, the room should be a bit warm, as this will speed up the process.
- When the dough has doubled in size, knead it again for a minute or two and then transfer it to a working surface, making sure you sprinkle some flour on top of it, as this will prevent the dough from sticking.
- Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough to a rectangular shape of approximately 1 cm.
- To make the filling, beat the egg white until it is nice and stiff. Add the sugar and beat until completely dissolved. You can now add the cocoa powder, walnuts, sultanas and the vanilla extract.
- Spread the filling on top of the dough and roll it .
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Butter a cake tin, which has a rectangular shape and transfer the roll. Beat the egg yolk lightly and brush the roll. Allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes before you transfer it to the oven.
- Make sure you place the tin in the middle of the oven, as the size will double again.
- Bake it for approximately an hour.
- Once it comes out of the oven, it is important to cover it with a clean tea towel and allow it to cool completely.