Happy Easter to those of you celebrating the Orthodox Easter today! Romanian Easter Cake or Pasca is a traditional dessert eaten on Easter Day. There are many variations recipes for Pasca across the country, with different regions having their own traditional Easter Cake. This recipe, however, is really easy to make and very tasty.
Like Christmas, Easter is one of the most important religious celebrations in Romania, a time when families gather together and share the most mouth-watering dishes. The preparations for Easter start well ahead of the big holiday and everybody in the family, to a certain extent, gets involved. No house in the country will be without these on the table: Naturally-dyed Easter eggs, Easter meatloaf with egg and herbs, Easter Cozonac, Russian Salad or salata de boeuf. These dishes have always been part of our tradition and one cannot imagine Easter without them.
My very first attempt to make Pasca was quite successful. I love how a recipe that sounded complicated turned out to be easy peasy. I so enjoyed baking it! I found my inspiration from a Romanian website called Miremic, they have some fantastic recipe over there. I tweaked their recipe and got a delicious Easter Cake that l am very proud of. Amazing!
Romanian Easter Cake
to make the dough:
- 300 g strong white bread flour
- 150 ml milk
- 40 g caster sugar
- 75 g butter
- 7 g dried yeast (one sachet)
- 1 egg yolk
- zest of one lemon
- a pinch of salt
to make the filling:
- 150 g cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- 25 g raisins
- 2 tbsp vanilla sugar
- 40 g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- In a jug, warm up the milk in the microwave for about 10 seconds, it should not be hot to touch.
- Add the yeast, 1 tablespoon of sugar and one tablespoon of flour and set aside for 10 minutes, it will become foamy.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour and add the sugar, egg yolk, lemon zest, salt and butter, which should be at room temperature.
- Mix in the milk once the 10 minutes are gone.
- Knead everything into a dough for at least 20 minutes, the dough will become elastic and non sticky.
- Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place to prove for at least 2 hours.
- Divide the dough into two balls.
- Oil and flour a round cake tin of approximately 10 cm
- Flatten one ball out and place on the bottom of the cake tin.
- The second ball will be divided into 2 again and shape 2 strings out of it.
- Knead them together and place around the cake tin edges, so that the dough can have the shape of a well.
- The centre will be filled with a mixture of cottage cheese, egg, raisins, vanilla sugar, caster sugar, flour and lemon extract.
- Bake in the preheated oven set to 180 degrees C for at least 40 minutes or until golden brown and set.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- Top with an egg painted red, have a look at my recipe on how to paint eggs red naturally: Naturally-dyed Easter eggs.