Cozonac, the traditional recipe of the Romanian dessert typical of the holidays

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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Cozonac, let's discover the traditional recipe of this delicious Romanian dessert typical of the holidays, not just Christmas

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Il Cozonac it's a Romanian dessert typical of the holidays that is prepared both at Christmas and on other occasions. It has a sweet and fragrant aroma and there are many variations, handed down from family to family.

In reality it is not only widespread in Romania but also in other Eastern European countries and its origins are lost in the mists of time.

They would even go back to the ancient Egyptians, but also the ancient Greeks prepared a similar dessert based on honey, raisins and nuts, and so did the ancient Romans. 

Cozonac: the traditional Romanian recipe

The Cozonac recipe that we propose comes from the youtube channel of Meniu de weekend cu Emilia, which explains step by step how to prepare it and which ingredients to use. It takes a long time because it is quite elaborate but you will see that a lot of work will pay off with the delicious result!


For the dough

  • 2 kg of cake flour
  •  3 cubes of yeast of 25 grams each
  • 900 ml of milk (you can use the vegetable one)
  • 10 eggs
  • 500 gr of whole cane sugar
  • 3 sachets of vanilla sugar
  • 1 bottle of rum flavoring
  • 200 gr of raisins
  • orange zest (optional)
  • 400 ml of oil 

For the stuffing


  • 500 gr of ground walnuts
  • 5 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 5 tablespoons of whole brown sugar
  • 100 ml of milk (you can use the vegetable one)
  • 3 sachets of vanilla sugar
  • 1 bottle of rum flavoring
  • 500 gr of lokum, the Turkish jelly-like sweets

Method

  • Heat the milk and in the meantime crumble the yeast in a bowl, add 1 tablespoon of sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk, mixing well to obtain a cream. Add another tablespoon of flour and let the mixture rise for about twenty minutes, placing a rag over the bowl. 
  • Sift the flour and add half the hot milk to the container that contains it, stirring with a wooden ladle. 
  • Beat the egg whites and in another bowl beat the egg yolks with the sugar, adding the vanilla sugar and a little hot milk, whipping until creamy. 
  • Add the yeast, which has grown in the meantime, into the flour bowl. Also add the cream to the freshly prepared egg yolks and start kneading with your hands. Then add the oil (using it instead of butter), the raisins, the orange zest, the rum essence and the remaining milk. 
  • Add a pinch of flour on top of the dough, cover it with a rag and let it rest for an hour and a half. 
  • While the cozonac rests, add the brown sugar and vanilla sugar to the ground walnuts according to the doses indicated for the filling, as well as the cocoa and the bottle of rum flavoring. Also add the 100 ml of milk. 
  • Start rolling out the cozonac dough with a rolling pin and stuff it with the freshly prepared dough. Also add the lokums. 
  • Close the dough forming a braid and place it in an oven pan lined with baking paper. 
  • Beat 4 egg yolks with two tablespoons of water and brush the cozonac, adding a pinch of sugar. Bake at 180 degrees for about fifty minutes. 

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