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Expert recommendations and insider tips for first-time visitors and locals alike from ARTĚL’s founder, Karen Feldman, who has lived in Prague since 1994. Click on the links below for detailed reviews – from Feldman’s own unique perspective – of all the best that Prague has to offer...

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Dining & Drinking

A Summer Classic: Czech Bubble Cake in a Remoska

Published on June 04th, 2015 in Dining & Drinking

  • Strawberry Bubanina (photo courtesy of www.recepty-fotky.chytrazena.cz)

  • Original Remoska (photo courtesy of www.necyklopedie.wikia.com/wiki/Remoska)

  • Remoska Cookbook (photo courtesy of www.ivysehrad.cz)

  • Bublanina in a Remoska (photo courtesy of www.mkc-independence.blogspot.cz)

  • Cherry Bublanina (photo courtesy of www.gurmanka.cz)

 

A number of iconic gadgets have come out of the Czech kitchen, including Porkert meat mincers and Simax teapots. But one of them particularly stands out in my mind: the Remoska electric mini-oven.

 

But first let’s talk about cake. Summer is berry season and strawberries, cherries, and blueberries are out in full bloom in the Czech Republic from June through late August. Many Czechs retreat to the forests and countrysides for hikes and berry picking expeditions and then, like everyone else in the world, wonder What am I going to do with all of these berries?

 

The answer, of course, is bublanina or “bubble cake” a very light and incredibly easy to make summer dessert. Similar to a French clafoutis, it’s called bubble cake because the batter bubbles up around the fruit. Traditionally it’s made with cherries but strawberries or any other sturdy berry or fruit will do.

 

 

Stills from the cuketka video

 

And while you can bake it in a pan in the oven like any ordinary baked good, a number of my Czech friends have fond memories of their parents or grandparents whipping up a bublanina outdoors in the above mentioned Remoska, a portable electric cooking pan with a heating coil in the lid.

 

The Remoska was invented in the early ’50s by electronic engineer Oldřich Homuta and manufactured by the Remos company. It was a durable, energy-efficient kitchen fixture for millions throughout the Socialist era,that could be used to make everything from bread pudding to a whole chicken.

 

 

  

Stills from the cuketka video

 

Its popularity waned in the ’90s when it became fashionable to buy electronics from the West. But in recent years the Remoska has experienced a renaissance at home and abroad, even winning a Good Housekeeping Innovation award (2001) in Britain.

 

(Fascinating sidebar: The Remoska was introduced to England by the Czech-born Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines who, incredibly, also happened to be one of the 699 Jewish children who escaped from Nazi-occupied Prague aboard on the UK-bound trains organized by Sir Nicholas Winton in 1939.)

 

You don’t need a Remoska to make a bublanina. If you do want to buy an original one outside of the Czech Republic they are only available in the UK, although a similar style “Czech-cooker” can be found on Amazon. But you do need to make this very delicious cake.

 

See it done in a Remoska in this video by popular Czech food blogger pan Cuketka, followed by a recipe for bubble cake.

 

 

 

Bublanina (Bubble Cake)

 

Ingredients
4 eggs
1 2/3 cup (200 g) powdered sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) oil
1 2/3 cup (200 g) flour
5 tsp (35 g) baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 lb (500 g) summer fruit of choice

 

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 350°C/180°C.
2. Combine the eggs and sugar and beat to a foamy consistency. Gradually add the oil.
3. Add the flour, baking powder, vanilla, and mix to a smooth batter.
4. Pour a third of the mixture into a greased or parchment-lined 9-inch baking pan.
5. Sprinkle with the fruit and top with the remaining batter; bake for 30 minutes until golden.

 

 

 

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