Zora kolač – Croatian dawn cake

Zora kolač  – Croatian dawn cake

zorakolaci02Zora kolač {dawn cake} recipe

I’m not entirely sure how this cake got its name. It could be because it was started at dawn so that it was cooled, sliced and ready when it was coffee and cake time later in the morning. Or perhaps it’s because the layers of the cake abstractly resemble the colours in the sky at dawn. Who knows.

It’s as light as a feather and incredibly delicate to eat. A semi-firm shortcrust pastry forms the base, layered with jam and a fluffy topping of meringue mixed with ground chestnuts. Traditionalists may gasp at my use of chestnuts as it really ought to be walnuts. But hey, chestnut trees grow in Croatia too, you know.

My breaking of tradition doesn’t end there. I’ve also mixed vanilla through the meringue and used blueberry jam rather than apricot, because that’s how things roll in the hnf kitchen!

zorakolaci03

Zora kolač {dawn cake} recipe

Zora kolač {dawn cake} recipe

 

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Zora kolač - Croatian dawn cake
Layers of chestnut meringue, sweet jam and soft pastry base make this zora kolač a a delicious treat.
Zora kolač {dawn cake} recipe
Course Dessert
Cuisine Croatian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Base
Topping
Course Dessert
Cuisine Croatian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Base
Topping
Zora kolač {dawn cake} recipe
Instructions
  1. Place the flour, salt and 60g caster sugar into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse once or twice to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is granulated. Drop in the egg yolk and pulse until it is incorporated.
  2. Scatter the granulated pastry into a baking paper-lined and greased 23cm square cake tin, pressing it evenly into the tin. Spread the ½ cup of jam evenly over the pastry. Refrigerate while you make the topping.
  3. Preheat oven to 180°C.Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large mixing bowl until peaks form. Gradually add the 90g caster sugar, whisking continuously for another minute until incorporated. Using a spatula, very gently fold through the vanilla paste, followed by the ground chestnuts.
  4. Spread the meringue mixture over the pastry base, spreading gently and evenly to the edges. Take the extra tablespoon of jam and drop small pieces over the top of the meringue. Using the spatula, gently swirl it to smear the jam over the surface. Bake for 30 minutes, turning the cake 180 degrees to cook it evenly.
  5. Allow to cool in the tin completely before removing, using the baking paper to gently lift it from the tin. To slice, run a knife under hot running water. With each slice, wet the knife to prevent the topping from sticking to the blade. Dust with icing sugar and serve.
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