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12 Nov

Brač traditional cakes

Brač local joke on themselves about preparing cakes: How does every Brač cake recipe start? – Could I borrow two eggs from you, please!

Though in reality things are different: as you set your foot on Brač, kind hosts shall start lavishing you with dried figs, carobs and almonds, traditional Brač treats that are essential part of every Brač table. Every day cakes ingredients are simple and modest and grandeur of these specialities sets it pace during holiday’s season. Easter time brings along sirnica and garitula, with Christmas come cakes makarana or hrapoćuša, these two garnish the table also during big family feasts like baptising or wedding. Brač housewives are skilful in preparing medenjaci and fritule, and take pride in Brač rožata prepared exclusively of fresh home-grown eggs.

Also called Brač or Dol cake, hence genuine Bonkulovići stick to the traditional title hrapoćuša – deriving, as the legend says, from similarity with rough cave walls and karst sinkholes Dol is rich with. Interesting thing about this delicacy is even though it is island speciality, it is hard to find exact recipe: old women of Dol say ‘it is foolish to write the recipe down, the one who knows it by heart, knows what to do, how to do it by following the hunch’. Let’s just say the recipe we share here with you is the most exact one we could get – of course any suggestion regarding such is welcome. First mix twelve (borrowed!) egg yolks, four egg whites and twelve spoons of sugar, add four spoons of hot water, twelve spoons of flour, some rum, vanillin sugar and grated lemon zest. Bake it in a baking pan. Put in a pot half a kilo of sugar, 3/4 kg of walnuts and eight egg whites. When it turns light brown, pour it on top of the cool cake layer and smear it all over the cake. Put it back into oven to dry a bit.

Drinks, before and after meal
Flavoured brandy, with grape brandy as base, of enhanced herbs, figs or island walnuts aroma are obligatory aperitif before lunch. That ritual also expresses a welcoming toast to the guest, though it also serves as a good appetizer. Something milder is also an option like šepurika (rose hip), maginje (bearberries) or even black olives liquor, which also uses grape brandy as base, ripe olives, sugar, lemon, orange and grapefruit zest, and a few cloves. Brač is abundant in vineyards; therefore wine is most wanted and most favourable drink. Old proverb from Venetian times has survived till today for a reason and it goes ‘ the only thing better then my love could only be a glass of Dalmatian wine’. South slopes above Bol, Murvica and Plaža give birth to exquisite plavac mali, and ambitious wine makers create intriguing blends of different wine sorts – so we can taste famous coupage Stina.

Main ingredients of this traditional Dalmatian delicacy are milk, eggs, sugar and vanillin sugar. Boil milk, whisk eggs, mix everything together and put in a ramekin, than in a water bath - put in oven, 180 degrees, for 20 minutes. While this pudding is in the oven, prepare caramel sauce – boil a few drops of water and some sugar in a pot, pour the caramel sauce on a small plate, put a slice of rožata on top and cover it with the rest of caramel sauce.

extracted from Yachts Croatia magazine