Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Zlevanka - A Dessert Cornbread from Croatia

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Every so often, I feel the need to escape what's become familiar in my kitchen and give something completely different a try. Several weeks ago, I bookmarked a dessert recipe I found on a site called Kitchen Nostalgia, and I had the opportunity to give it a try last weekend. The recipe was for an unusual sweet and dairy rich cornbread that originally came from Croatia. It sounded offbeat enough to be interesting, so I pulled out my bowls and whisk and gave it a try. I liked it and I think some of you will, too. I did make some minor changes to the recipe because, despite a google search, I was not able to verify that cornstarch and corn flour are the same thing. I just couldn't imagine making a cake with that much cornstarch, so, I took the coward's way out and decided to use a really finely ground cornmeal instead. I also have a suggestion to make regarding its preparation. This is a very moist cake and the next time I make it, I will let in cool in the pan for the standard 10 minutes, but then turn it out to cool on a rack, so the bottom has a chance to dry. I try not to do this kind of recipe too often because I know not all you share my passion for the different and unusual. That aside, I hope some of you will give this simple recipe a try. I  think you'll be pleasantly surprised. It is a great way to end a barbecue and it would not be out of place on a brunch table. Here is how the cake is made.

Zlevanka - Dessert Cornbread...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Kitchen Nostalgia

3 whole eggs
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups polenta or corn meal
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sour cream
1 cup canola oil
1 cup milk
2-1/2 cups cottage cheese

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2) Mix eggs, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until well-combined.
3) Stir in polenta, flour, baking powder, sour cream, oil, milk and cottage cheese. Mix to combine. Pour into prepared pan.
4) Bake for 45 minutes, or until edges are lightly brown and toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Yield 10 to 12 servings.

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Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger (大哥) said...

That looks real nice and moist - just how I like my desserts!

Duncan In Kuantan

We Are Not Martha said...

Yum! I've never had a cornbread with cottage cheese in it, but I bet that does awesome things for the consistency!


bellini said...

Another reason for wanting to visit Croatia !!!!

Jamie said...

This is very intriguing and I would love to try this. A couple of questions, though, Mary. What could I replace cottage cheese with? Like a curdled quark? And polenta - corn meal. You mean the grainy meal, right, not corn flour? Thanks!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Jamie, a curdled quark should be fine, but the type of flour used can be tricky. If you have access to true corn flour - not cornstarch - it can be used. Polenta or a fine grained cornmeal can also be used. I made my cake with cornmeal because that's what I had in the larder. I really like the flavor of this cake/bread and I suspect the texture changes with the type of corn product used.

Mojca said...

I first saw your blog, when I was browsing the internet for mushroom soup. It was your recipe for Slovenian mushroom soup. I'm happy to see another recipe from this part of Europe. Zlevanka is also known desert in Slovenia, mostly eastern part, which borders with Croatia. Here it is made with quark (wikipedia explains difference from cottage cheese) and cornflour, not polenta.

David said...

Mary, Very interesting and it sounds good too! Nice change of pace... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

DemelzaPoldark said...

Mary, I just wanted to clarify if the cottage cheese is creamed or dry curd, as that will make a difference to the finished cake.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Demelza, I used a creamed cottage cheese that I drained slightly because that was all I had available. Mary

DemelzaPoldark said...

Thanks Mary. I would imagine dry curd would reduce the moisture & the need to remove the cake from the pan.

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