Potica comes in as many variations as the country it originated in – Slovenia. Between the Alps and the Adriatic coast, there are rumoured to be about 80 different fillings for the cake, including quark, pear, lard and tarragon. At Christmas potica is traditionally baked with nuts.
- 1kg all purpose flour
- 300 ml milk
- 30 g fresh yeast
- 2 dessert spoons granulated sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 120 g butter
- 1 pinch salt
- 600 -700 g walnuts
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 200 g honey
- 100 - 200 ml milk
- 1 egg
- 1 dessert spoon cinnamon
- 1 shot glass rum
For the dough, mix the flour and the salt. Mix the yeast with the sugar, 2 dessert spoons flour and 50 ml lukewarm milk. Stir until the yeast is dissolved. Make a hollow in the middle of the flour and pour in the yeast solution.
Beat the eggs and add them. Melt the butter and let it cool until it is lukewarm. Then add it to the mixing bowl with the sugar. Add the milk gradually. Mix everything thoroughly for 15 minutes until little air bubbles form in the dough. As soon as the dough no long sticks to the edge of the bowl, sprinkle it with flour. Form the dough into a round ball, cover and leave in a warm place to rise.
For the filling, warm the milk in a pot and dissolve the sugar in it. Add the chopped nuts. Heat the honey in a separate pot until it is liquid and then add to the nut and milk mixture along with the cinnamon. Let the filling cool slightly and then carefully add the egg.
Roll out the dough into a rectangle as thick as your finger and spread the filling on the dough. Starting from one edge of the dough, roll it up tightly jellyroll style. Place in a round baking tin or cake ring. Leave to rise for another hour. Beat egg and paint the top of the potica.
Bake for 1 hour at 180°C to 200°C depending on the diameter of your potica. Leave to cool down in the oven and sprinkle with sugar if so desired.
Slovenia – a thumbnail sketch
Population: 2.1 million
EU member since: 2004
Famous Slovenian Europeans: Fritz Pregl, Nobel Prize Laureate for Chemistry; Alma Karlin, writer and globe-trotter
Interesting facts: Slovenia is exceptionally densely forested: 63 per cent of its surface area is covered by forests.