Thursday, 7 February 2013

Fat Thursday

It's definitely one of the best days in a year - diets are completely out of the question and it's actually required to eat doughnuts and other goodies. With time, this has lead to various competition, like eating as many doughnuts as you can - to time limits etc., which may not necessarily be the best idea. However, the concept of enjoying sweeties for a day is certainly down my street!

Apart from doughnuts, snot her traditional treat are faworki, aka 'brushwood' or Angel Wings, as they are brittle and apparently resemble wooden twigs that were used to heat houses. Popular in Poland, Lithuania and Germany, they are traditionally eaten during the Carnival, on Fat Thursday and on Mardi Grass, the Tuesday preceding the Ash Wednesday. The name comes from the medieval period when women would give a ribbon "favour" to their favourite knight. 

They're neither as difficult, nor time-consuming to prepare as they may seem, but they do disappear from the plates nearly as soon as they are placed on them.

You need:
500 gram of plain, all purpose flour
2 spoons of icing sugar
3-4 spoons of sour cream
1 large spoon of alcohol (e..g vodka)
5 yokes
1 spoon of soft, creamy butter
1 kilo of lard for frying
icing sugar, to sprinkle on faworki when they are ready

Mix flour, icing sugar, cream, alcohol and make a dough. When the ingredients have blended add the yokes and knead the dough again. If it is too stiff add the butter to loosen it a bit. Place the dough on the table and beat it well with a rolling pin until it is smooth and shiny and there are air bubbles inside (you can see them when you cut the dough). Place the dough in a bowl and cover it with a tea towel. Cut of small portion and roll them with the rolling pin as thin as possible. Then cut them into long stripes, about 3 centimetres wide.
Make an incision lengthwise, in the middle, so as you can pull one end through it, in order to give the pastry a bow-like shape.
                         
  When all faworkis are ready heat the lard in a frying pan and fry them on both sides until they're golden.
Serve sprinkled with icing sugar. Eat up quickly, before teh others clean the plate! ;-)

The same dough can be used for making carnival roses - instead of cutting long stripes of the pastry , cut 3 different sized circles, and make small incisions around (they'll turn up during frying and create petals). Place the circles on top of each other (make sure that they stick well, otherwise they may fall apart while frying). Fry the roses in small groups, ina  large amount of lard, gently turn them upside-down so as both sides are gold, then carefully take them off the pan. Sprinkle the roses with icing sugar and place a bit of jam on top, in the middle of each rose.

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