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Fruit Cake

Fluffy Honey Walnut Brioche - Traditional 'Mucenici' - 'Martyrs'

by Feli Chic'Cuisine

These brioches (mucenici) are made from a dough similar to that of sweet French bread with a soft, tender texture and a rich, buttery flavor. They are shaped into the number eight, and baked. Afterwards, they are soaked in a syrup flavored with orange and lemon zest, and sometimes a cinnamon stick is added, or can simply be brushed with honey and sprinkled with ground nuts. Raisins or other ingredients can be added to make the flavor richer.
Phto @Feli Chic'Cuisine

These brioches (mucenici) are made from a dough similar to that of sweet French bread with a soft, tender texture and a rich, buttery flavor. They are shaped into the number eight, and baked. Afterwards, they are soaked in a syrup flavored with orange and lemon zest, and sometimes a cinnamon stick is added, or can simply be brushed with honey and sprinkled with ground nuts. Raisins or other ingredients can be added to make the flavor richer.


In addition to being a delicious dessert, 'mucenici' - martyrs - are also a symbol of the victory of faith over death and are associated with the legend of the 40 martyrs. These brioches are a traditional Romanian dessert made to celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation, which falls on March 25th, but is traditionally celebrated on March 9th and 10th.


These traditional brioches are prized for its impressive appearance. Their golden brown, shiny crust and airy interior make it a beautiful addition to any pastry display. These brioches are sure to impress with its soft, buttery texture and indulgent taste.

These brioches (mucenici) are made from a dough similar to that of sweet French bread with a soft, tender texture and a rich, buttery flavor. They are shaped into the number eight, and baked. Afterwards, they are soaked in a syrup flavored with orange and lemon zest, and sometimes a cinnamon stick is added, or can simply be brushed with honey and sprinkled with ground nuts. Raisins or other ingredients can be added to make the flavor richer.
@Feli Chic'Cuisine
The culinary history of the 'mucenici' - 'martyrs'

The tradition of making 'mucenici' - martyrs - in Romania is linked to the legend of the 40 martyrs. The story goes that during the reign of the Roman emperor Licinius, 40 Christian soldiers were forced to renounce their faith and worship pagan gods. When they refused, they were stripped of their clothes, marched across a frozen lake, and left to die in the cold.

The story continues that their bodies were found by a group of Christian women who had come to the lake to mourn their loved ones who had also been executed for their faith. The women buried the 40 martyrs and marked their graves with eight-shaped loaves of bread, symbolizing the number of survivors.


Over time, the tradition of marking the graves of the martyrs with eight-shaped loaves of bread evolved into the practice of making mucenici, a sweet bread that is shaped like the number eight and symbolizes the victory of faith over death, traditionally celebrated on March 9th.


Today


During this time, families and communities gather together to make and enjoy 'mucenici'. The dough is typically made with flour, sugar, salt, yeast, eggs, and butter, and is kneaded until it becomes smooth and elastic. The dough is then left to rise for several hours, resulting in a light and airy texture.


The dough is shaped into the number "8" to represent the forty Christian martyrs who died for their faith. Then it's boiled or baked and served with a sweet syrup made from honey, water, and orange or lemon peel. This dessert has a long history in Romanian culture and remains an important part of Romanian culinary traditions.

Today, mucenici are an important part of Romanian culinary traditions and are enjoyed by people of all ages. They are typically served with a sweet syrup made from honey, water, and orange or lemon peel, and can be topped with ground nuts or other toppings for added flavor and texture.

These brioches (mucenici) are made from a dough similar to that of sweet French bread with a soft, tender texture and a rich, buttery flavor. They are shaped into the number eight, and baked. Afterwards, they are soaked in a syrup flavored with orange and lemon zest, and sometimes a cinnamon stick is added, or can simply be brushed with honey and sprinkled with ground nuts. Raisins or other ingredients can be added to make the flavor richer.
@Feli chic'Cuisine



These brioches (mucenici) are made from a dough similar to that of sweet French bread with a soft, tender texture and a rich, buttery flavor. They are shaped into the number eight, and baked. Afterwards, they are soaked in a syrup flavored with orange and lemon zest, and sometimes a cinnamon stick is added, or can simply be brushed with honey and sprinkled with ground nuts. Raisins or other ingredients can be added to make the flavor richer.
@Feli Chic'Cuisine
 

Prep. Time: 60 min

Bake Time: 25 min

Serves: 18-20

 

Ingredients
  • 500g flour

  • 10g dry yeast

  • 2 eggs

  • 200-250 ml milk (almond milk/soy milk)

  • 150g sugar

  • 75g butter (25 ml vegetable oil)

  • 25 ml vegetable oil

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp lemon, zest

  • 1/2 tsp orange zest

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 1 egg for wash egg

To serve

  • 50 ml honey

  • 50g ground nuts


 

Method

Prepare the dough


1. In a bowl, mix the yeast with 50 ml of milk, a teaspoon of flour and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Set aside to rise, around 5-10 minutes. 2. In the meantime, In a saucepan, heat the rest of the milk together with the sugar and butter, until the sugar and butter melt. Allow to cool - lukewarm. 3. In a large bowl, or in a mixer bowl, put the sifted flour, make a nest in the middle and put the raised yeast, eggs, vanilla, orange and lemon zest, salt, then the milk. 4. Start kneading by hand or with the mixer - using the dough hook, at low speed - knead everything until you get a suitable soft dough, like a muffin dough. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for one hour.


Modeling and baking the brioches


5. After the dough has doubled in volume, transfer it to a work surface, lightly greased with oil. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, and each piece into another 8-10 pieces (see above, photo). 6. Take a piece of dough and roll it between your palms to form a long, thin 'string', about 1cm thick and about 50cm long. 7. Fold the dough 'string' in half and twist the two halves, then tie the ends together to form a circle. Make sure the knot is secure and the circle will not come apart during baking. Take the two loops of the circle and cross them to form a figure eight. Place the eighth on a tray lined with a baking sheet and continue shaping the rest of the dough pieces in the same way. 8. Cover the tray with the kitchen towel and let the brioches rest for another 20 minutes, before baking them in the oven. 9. Preheat the oven to 180°C (4 gas mark). Brush the martyrs with the egg wash and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown. 10. Brush the brioches with honey and sprinkle with ground walnut.



Enjoy!


Sweet potato fries are a delicious and healthy alternative to regular fries, with a slightly sweeter flavor and a crisp texture. When paired with mayonnaise, the dish takes on a new dimension of flavor.
Photo @Feli Chic'Cuisine
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer. - Albert Camus

*All Photographs on Feli Chic'Cuisine, signed Feli Chic'Cuisine are copyrighted.

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