Cozonacul – Romanian Delight
The Romanian Christmas and Easter meals are sweetened with the traditional cozonac, something between Stollen (German Christmas cake) or the sponge cake.
Cozonacul is a Romanian delight, a sweet bread with nuts, poppy seeds or rahat morsels (Turkish sweets). It takes time to make this Romanian desert, but the “result” tastes fantastic.
The ingredients are: flour, yeast, yolks, sugar, butter, 1 tablespoon of rum, 1 teaspoon of salt, milk, sugar, water, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, lemon/orange peels, cinnamon and rahat, nuts or poppy seeds. The ingredients may differ depending on the Romanian areas (Oltenia, Moldova, Muntenia etc.), but the basic recipe is common. In terms of form, cozonacii can be straight or round, plain or braided. In terms of filling, they can be plain or filled.
It is complicated to make cozonac because you will have to spend approximately 45 minutes only to beat the dough (after mixing the basic ingredients and then stirring them with yeast). 2 or 3 hours must pass for the dough to grow in a warm place. When it is about to “crack”, you must put the stuffing on top (boiling the water with sugar and then adding vanilla extract, cinnamon and the other ingredients for “decoration”, as the poppy seeds). The cozonac is put in a tray covered with butter and must stay in a warm place to grow until the tray is full. Then, you must grease the sweet bread with egg, put it in a moderate fire for 1 hour and, when it is done, take it out of the tray after 20 minutes and let it chill in a warm place.
At the end, you will taste one of the most popular and special sweet dishes from Romania!
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