Sunday, September 28, 2014

Chodské koláče, or when cheese didn't make something better

We were tasked this month with making Chodské koláče, or a Czech circular pastry with fresh cheese and poppy seeds. Erica and I started the day working up our appetites by taking a nice bike ride over the golden gate bridge. We were certainly loving the late September "summer" of SF. 

Next, Erica whipped up some pretty tasty dough, while I took a walk through the eastern european markets in my new neighborhood looking for "quark" -- a type of fresh, creamy cheese. The internets assured me that Russian tvorog or farmer's cheese would be close enough, so I picked up the brand we usually use for pierogis.

The pastries were easily assembled after the dough finished its rise -- you mix the cheese with butter, sugar, egg whites and seasonings (rum, vanilla and lemon), to top a circular pastry, and then make a poppy-seed paste to decorate the final product.

Despite our post-ride hunger, the final products were unfortunately not our favorite result. The pastry dough remained tasty, though relatively minor, and the poppy seeds provided an interesting kick. But the cheese was simply too cheesy when mixed together with the other sweet flavors -- none of us had more than a few bites.

As always, our artistic skills were quite impressive.

 a spiral
 some lines
 a very fancy star
oh, and a bicycle! Well done us.

I will report that a few hours later, we brought home one of the pastries to my husband, who has spent significant time in the czech republic and eastern europe. He rather liked the final product, and assured us that it tasted just like some of the pastries he'd had abroad. So perhaps it was our baking skills that lacked, but our palettes....

Until next time!

The September Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Lucie from ChezLucie. She challenged us to make a true Czech treat –Kolaches!


Ruth Ellis said...

Love the decoration - especially the bike!

Sara Stall-Ryan said...

It is funny how our American palates rebel at some of the different flavors that other cultures enjoy. My husband is ambivalent with lots of my Daring Baker creations. I love your creativity with decorating your pastries :)

Chez Lucie said...

You are so creative! Thanks you baked with me last month.