Citizens, I am proud to bring you the first recipe from the Czech Republic!
The Czech Republic, also known as Czechia as of May, 2016, is a nation state in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast.
The Czech Republic covers an area of 78,866 square kilometres (30,450 sq mi) and has 10.5 million inhabitants with the capital and largest city being Prague, with more than 1.2 million residents. The Czech Republic includes its historical territories of Bohemia, Moravia, and Czech Silesia.
The Czech state was formed in the late 9th century as the Duchy of Bohemia under the Great Moravian Empire. In 1004, the duchy was formally recognized as part of the Holy Roman Empire, becoming the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1212, and reaching its greatest territorial extent in the 14th century.
Besides Bohemia itself, the king of Bohemia ruled the lands of the Bohemian Crown, he had a vote in the election of the Holy Roman Emperor, and Prague was the imperial seat in periods between the 14th and 17th century.
With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the Bohemian Kingdom became part of the Austrian Empire and the Czech language experienced a revival as a consequence of widespread romantic nationalism. In the 19th century, the Czech lands became the industrial powerhouse of the monarchy and were subsequently the core of the Republic of Czechoslovakia, which was formed in 1918 following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I.
Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany in World War II, and was liberated in 1945 by the Soviet and the United States Army. Most of the German-speaking inhabitants were expelled after the war and thus the country lost its sizable minority and its bilingual character. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won the 1946 elections.
Following the 1948 coup d’état, Czechoslovakia became a one-party communist state under Soviet influence. In 1968, increasing dissatisfaction with the regime culminated in a reform movement known as the Prague Spring, which ended in a Soviet-led invasion. Czechoslovakia remained occupied until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed and a multiparty parliamentary republic was formed. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved, with its constituent states becoming the independent states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Vosi Hnizda are very traditional Czech Christmas cookies shaped like a beehive and filled with an unspeakably delicious Rum custard. In order to make these cookies, you do need the beehive cookie forms, which are easily purchased online.
Citizens, these are fantastic, rich and not difficult to make (though a bit time-consuming) – the effort is well worth it! You don’t even have to bake them, since you are using pre-made cookies for the shell and base! I have of course tweaked the recipe to my own standards, and I think it is better for it. ☺
Battle on – The Generalissimo
For the dough:
180 grams powdered sugar
120 grams of butter (unsalted)
200 grams of Nilla® Vanilla Wafers (ground)
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
4 Tablespoons dark Rum
One whole Nilla Vanilla Wafer per beehive to use as the bottom
Rum and Egg Filling:
6 egg yolks – *Citizens, please note that this recipe uses raw egg yolks! For those who are nervous or immune-compromised, you can purchase pasteurized eggs to use in the recipe (or immerse an unpasteurized egg in boiling water for 1 minute, cool immediately and then use)
5 Tablespoons of icing sugar
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
¼ cup Rum (traditional) or Captain Morgan® Original Spiced Rum (TFD preference)
Sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg
Melted dark chocolate for painting the inside and outside of the cookies
Mix all the dough ingredients by hand until you have a dough consistency.
First put a little sugar into the forms so that the dough won’t stick, then stuff the forms with the dough until shaped and pop them out. Set them aside. If you find the dough too sticky then add a little more of the ground wafers, alternatively if it’s too hard then add a little rum.
For the filling, first mix the yolks and the sugar until light in color and then drizzle in the condensed milk while mixing, also add in the rum and continue mixing.
In order for the filling to not seep into the dough or the wafer, it’s best that you brush the inside of the bee hive with melted dark chocolate, and also brush the top of the wafer with chocolate and let that dry before assembling.
To assemble, spoon the egg cognac into the beehive and brush the edge with melted chocolate and place the whole Nilla wafer cookie on top. These can be placed upside down in an empty egg carton or right side up, but allow them some time to adhere.
Once they are set, dip or paint the outside in melted dark chocolate. Make sure these are stored in a cool place or stay refrigerated due to the raw egg yolk inside.