My mum used to simply call them Košíčky (Baskets) and that’s how these dainty cakes are recorded in my old hand-written recipe book. Mum always made them for Christmas, because she knew they would be winners and none of us would make excuses to avoid helping. It was quite a lot of work, but there was always a chance to get a sneak lick of the cream or the chocolate icing when mum wasn’t looking.
I can’t remember when was the last time I baked Košíčky, but it seems long enough to dust this old classic off and give it a new twist. The good thing about Christmas Baskets is that you can bake the pastry well in advance, and do the cream and icing a couple of days before Christmas. And that’s what I did.
In the recipe below I only reduced the amount of sugar for the pastry, but changed the ingredients for the cream/filling. If you want to give it a go, make sure you have enough cake moulds. As you can see in the photos below, I used a pack of fluted tartlet pans (60 mm diameter).
Makes about 60
For the pastry:
- 100 g ground walnuts
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 250 g plain flour
- 150 g butter
- 50 g sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ sachet baking powder (about 7 g)
- flour for dusting
For the filling:
- 450 g thick yoghurt (Greek is perfect)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1½-2 tablespoons brown sugar
- jam (I used homemade blackberry jam)
- canned or fresh fruit to decorate
For the chocolate icing:
- 100 g cooking or dark chocolate
- 50 g margarine or shortening
I like to have my nuts freshly ground before baking, although they can be bought at the store these days.
To make the pastry, put all the ingredients in a large bowl and combine well until a smooth, soft dough has formed. I always knead the dough by hand, but a food processor is fine as well. Cover the bowl with a dishtowel and let the dough rest for an hour in a cool place.
Prepare the cake moulds and start filling them like this:
Preheat the oven to 180ºC and bake each batch for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool down and remove the baskets from the moulds by tilting them gently, as seen in the photo below:
Spread a little of the jam at the bottom of each basket.
To make the filling, mix the yoghurt with the sugar and the cinnamon in a bowl. Fill in each basket with the yoghurt mixture and level the surface. Put a piece of fruit in the middle. Cover with the chocolate icing.
Let the baskets rest in a cool place for at least 24 hours, in which time the pastry will have absorbed all the flavours and softened.