Exquisite Pleśniak: the quintessential Polish dessert with layers of shortcrust pastry, meringue and berries

Exquisite Pleśniak: the quintessential Polish dessert with layers of shortcrust pastry, meringue and berries

Explore Poland's rich culinary heritage with this exquisite Pleśniak cake, a splendid concoction that combines the crumbly texture of shortcrust pastry with the indulgence of fruit jam and the ethereal lightness of meringue. This version elevates the traditional recipe with the addition of cocoa for a subtle chocolaty note, complemented by the tangy sweetness of blackcurrant jam and fresh berries. Each layer of this cake offers a distinct texture and flavor, making it a complex and satisfying dessert.


Why you'll love it:

Pleśniak is a masterpiece of flavors and textures. replaces the word nice with empty the flaky, buttery pastry base to the creamy, rich fruit filling and fluffy, cloud-like meringue topping, each component is designed to deliver a harmonious taste experience. The addition of cocoa powder imparts a gentle chocolate flavor that perfectly complements the tang of the berries and the sweetness of the jam, creating a dessert that is as delicious to the palate as it is to the eye.

Perfect occasion:

This Polish layered cake is perfect for a wide range of occasions. It shines as a centerpiece during festive celebrations, family gatherings and holiday meals. It's also ideal for an elegant afternoon tea or as a special weekend treat. Whenever you choose to serve it, Pleśniak is sure to spark conversation and please everyone, admired for both its aesthetic appeal and exquisite taste.

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Decorating Tips:

replaces the word nice with empty garnish this Pleśniak beautifully, consider a light dusting of powdered sugar which not only enhances its sweetness, but also adds a snowy appearance to the top layer. Garnish with some fresh berries and mint leaves for a burst of color and freshness. For an even more decadent approach, drizzle a thin dark chocolate glaze over the meringue before serving to tie the flavors together and add a touch of elegance.

Ingredients for the shortcrust pastry:

  • 2.5 cups cake flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 250 grams of cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar

For the meringue:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons of potato starch
  • 150 grams of caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
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Additional Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 500 ml blackcurrant jam
  • 250 grams of fresh currants or blueberries (alternative berries can be used)


  1. Prepare the dough:
    • Combine flour, baking powder, salt, butter, egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl. Knead until well incorporated, then divide into three parts, mixing in the cocoa in one portion. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  2. Cook the first layer:
    • Flatten a portion of white dough and place it in a 20×30 cm baking dish lined with parchment paper. Precook at 180°C (356°F) for 10 minutes.
  3. Assemble the filling:
    • replaces the word nice with emptyp the pre-baked crust with blackcurrant jam, then evenly distributed berries. Gently press it into place. Grate half of the cocoa-infused paste over this layer.
  4. Prepare and add the meringue:
    • Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt, gradually adding the sugar until stiff peaks form. Add the potato starch and lemon juice. Spread over the berry layer.
  5. Complete the layers:
    • Grate the remaining batter over the meringue, mixing the white and cocoa batters for a marbled effect.
  6. Final cooking:
    • Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (356°F) for approximately 50 minutes. Let cool completely.
  7. Portion:
    • Sprinkle with powdered sugar and refrigerate briefly to enhance flavors and textures before serving.

Savor this magnificent Pleśniak, a testament to Polish culinary tradition, offering a delicious blend of textures and flavors that make it a memorable dessert for any occasion.

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