Mini-Glazed Polish Cocoa Cakes (“Murzynek”)

In Polish cooking, this cocoa cake ranks as the easiest baked dessert.  I had to laugh out loud when I heard that from my Polish relatives.  It is definitely not a mug or all-in-one bowl cake, so that means that it’s already a step above “easy,” at least in my book.  For this cake, you have to make up some sort of cocoa, butter, and milk sauce, and, while that is cooling, separate the eggs, whip the whites separately, and carefully fold the whites into the batter.  I’ll give it a medium difficulty ranking–at least.

Some call this cake the Polish equivalent of the American brownie.  I have to vehemently disagree.  The American brownie is a rich chocolate, fudge-like bar cookie.  Here are the ingredients for my favorite American brownie recipe to date:

½ pound unsalted butter (1 cup or 2 sticks), room temperature

1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 ½ granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar, packed

4 large eggs, lightly beaten with a fork

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

The Polish version has more flour, less sugar, more baking powder, and only a few tablespoons of cocoa.  It is a light cake that is on the dry side and has only a subtle chocolate flavor.  It is, nevertheless, delicious.

When I visited my family in Poland many years ago, my aunt served this cake with a sprinkling of shredded coconut on top.  Ah, it was delicious!  In this version, I wanted to ramp up the chocolate power of the cake.  For starters, I sprinkled semi-sweet chocolate chips over the top before baking.

Then, I cut up the baked sheet cake into serving pieces and glazed the top and sides of each with dark chocolate glaze.  For the final touch, I drizzled white chocolate designs over top.  They are like little parcels of cake that would be cool to serve at a potluck or party.  They are too big to call petit fours, but “mini-cakes” maybe?!

 

Print Recipe
Mini-Glazed Polish Cocoa Cakes ("Murzynek")
Copyright © 2017 HollyTrail.com
Course Dessert
Cuisine Polish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
individual cakes
Ingredients
For the cake
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (250 g)
  • 1 cup sugar (215 g)
  • 1/2 cup milk (120 ml)
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted (20 g)
  • 1 rounded teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (230 g)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the glaze
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (semi-sweet chocolate chips may be used)
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped (2/3 cup white chocolate chips may be used)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Polish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
individual cakes
Ingredients
For the cake
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (250 g)
  • 1 cup sugar (215 g)
  • 1/2 cup milk (120 ml)
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted (20 g)
  • 1 rounded teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (230 g)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the glaze
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (semi-sweet chocolate chips may be used)
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped (2/3 cup white chocolate chips may be used)
Instructions
Make the Cake
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and then stir in the milk and sugar. Heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Mix in cocoa powder and espresso powder and heat an additional minute. Remove from heat and pour 2/3 cup of the sauce into a small bowl for later use. Let remaining sauce cool about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350⁰F. Grease and flour 9 x 13 x 2 inch baking pan.
  3. Pour cocoa sauce into a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer while adding in egg yolks and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix flour and baking powder. Gradually add flour mixture to cocoa-egg mixture until well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. With a spatula, fold the beaten egg whites into the batter. Spread batter into prepared baking pan and bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Remove from oven, Randomly prick holes into the cake with the cake tester or toothpick. Pour reserved cocoa sauce over the cake while still hot. Spread with a spatula if necessary. Let cake cook completely on a rack.
Make the Chocolate Glaze
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir butter, water, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
  2. Add the chocolate all at once, and stir vigorously until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth and shiny. Transfer to a bowl and let cool slightly before spreading on cake.
Assemble the Cake
  1. Cut cooled cake into squares. With a small spatula, spread a thin layer of chocolate glaze on the top and sides of each square. Place on rack to let any chocolate drip down. Place on tray and refrigerate until set, about 1/2 hour.
  2. Heat white chocolate in the microwave for 20 seconds. Stir. At 50 % power, microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until most of the chocolate has melted (approximately 2 minutes). In the alternative, melt white chocolate in a bowl set over simmering water. Be careful to not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. After heating using either method, continue stirring until the chocolate has completed melted. If chocolate is too thick to pipe, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and vigorously mix into the white chocolate until smooth. Using a parchment cone or Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off, pipe thin stripes or other designs on each cake. Let the chocolate set in the refrigerator before serving (about 20 minutes).
Recipe Notes

A traditional Murzynek does not include the chocolate chips or the extra glaze in this recipe.  The cake is complete after the reserved cocoa/butter/milk sauce is poured over the cake.  Actually, many home bakers sprinkle 2/3 cup shredded coconut over the cake immediately after pouring the cocoa sauce.  If this step is taken, do not glaze.  Let the cake cool and cut into squares for serving.

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