Thursday, August 13, 2009

Recipe: Vasina Torta (A Scrumptuous Bosnian Cake Modified in America)

This is a great cake recipe from Alma in Sarajevo, Bosnia! There are 3 separate parts to it: the cake, the nut filling, and the meringue frosting. I like to double the nuts layer and make the whole cake really impressive and taller. When I have time, I will rewrite the recipe to make the amounts more obvious, and easier for non-metric cooks (like me).

9 eggs
25 Tbs sugar
22 Tbs ground walnuts/pecans
200 grams butter
1 Dl milk
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
2 Tbs flour
4 Tbs water

Preheat oven to 220 ° C.

5 eggs separated.
Add 5 spoons sugar to yolks.
Beat whites until stiff.
Beat yolks and sugar until light and fluffy.

To yolk mixture, add:
6 spoons ground nuts
2 spoons flour

Carefully fold in beaten whites

I sasuti in pouljen and bobrasnen mold for the cake.

Bake for about 20 minutes.

Combine in the top of a double boiler:
1 dl milk
8 Tbs sugar
2 squares semi-sweet Baker's chocolate

When all are combined, move top of double boiler directly over another burner and very carefully heat to boiling, stirring constantly, not allowing mixture to scorch.

Once heated to boiling for a few moments, replace pan back on top of double boiler and when no longer boiling, stir in and combine very well:

14 Tbs ground nuts
4 egg yolks
200 grams butter

Cool the mixture (in the freezer/fridge if necessary, stirring every few minutes) until it is semi-solid, then spread it like a second layer on top of the cake (don't spread it on the sides of the cake).

8 Tbs sugar
4 Tbs water
Dissolve sugar and bring to a boil in a small saucepan:

(Have ready):
Beat 4 egg whites
When well beaten, add 4 Tbs sugar and continue to beat until stiff and shining.

Beating constantly, dribble the sugar syrup into the egg whites. Continue beating for several minutes until mixture has cooled and thickened considerably.

Frost the cake (remember to have added the nuts layer first), and cool in the fridge before serving.


  1. well, this cake is actualy from the small tawn of Paracin in Serbia. Vasa is a nickname for Vasilije, the name of the husband of a housewife who first made this cake.
    The recipe is great.

  2. Thanks, glad you like the recipe. Lovely and delicious versions of Vasina Torta recipes abound. This one is my own modification of a version from Sarajevo. Maybe I should call it Bostona Torta. :-)

  3. It is not Bosnian cake. It was created for a gentleman named Vasa Čokrljan from Paraćina, by his mother in law in 1908.

  4. Thanks, anonymous reader, you are not the first to note that you believe the origins of Vasina Torta to be traced to Serbia, although you have a different version of the first anonymous commenter's story.

    As I mentioned above, my family-modified recipe is from Sarajevo, Bosnia, and thus, my recipe is Bosnian.

    Astute chefs will notice that the meringue called for in the recipe is in fact the Italian version of a French concoction, popular for hundreds of years before the "gentleman Čokrljan" was born. I await the Italian or French objection to my recipe's description, but suspect those people have better things to do with their time.

  5. I can only attest that it is not a bosnian recipe/cake, and you should not call it that.
    You should know that it is a matter of pride for people from ex Yugoslavia to have everything, cakes too, labelled correctly.
    Anything labelled as 'bosnian' has a muslim connotation in the Western World, and Serbs are definitelly not Bosnian nor is their culture, (however similar). That is why the annonymus reader had to correct you in your incorrect labelling of this cake.
    And, as you probably know, all big things always start as small.

  6. ...and I'm still waiting for anyone to get worked up about the frosting portion of this recipe, which is neither Serbian, nor Bosnian. Hey, let's boycott blogs that have recipes for "Italian pasta" since it's a matter of historical record that pasta originated in China.

    Are you really telling me what I should or should not do on my own blog? If this bothers you, you should sort out your own recipe for Vasina Torta, post it on your own blog, and call it a Serbian Cake, for heaven's sake.

    As you said, you associate your ethnic pride with correct cake-labeling. Personally, I am more attached to my freedom of expression than to worrying about people's religious backgrounds. And as I have said to each poster, this recipe is not the original by a long shot. It has been liberally adjusted to suit my own taste and cooking style, and this version of the recipe was developed in Sarajevo and Boston.

    The anonymous poster didn't *have* to "correct" me. He or she just couldn't let it go that someone out on the internet was calling a recipe for Vasina Torta "Bosnian." What a scandal! That is what this is about, after all--disliking Bosnians so much that one can't stand someone thousands of miles away saying "Bosnian" when you feel it should be "Serbian."

    And what the heck is "big things always start small" supposed to mean? Are you hoping that this matter of dessert-naming becomes an international incident, or something? Are you going to call out the correct-cake forces to invade my kitchen? Jeez!

    To sum up, get a grip; it's a freakin' cake.

  7. OMG..I TOALLY AGREE! GREW UP IN CANADA, RAISED FOR 4.5 Years in Bosna, My father is from Sarajevo..and it seems like a delicious cake!Who cares WHAT It is called. Really? its a cake, not POLITICS! AS an Non Serv, Non Bosnian said" A rose by any other name , would smell just as sweet:.....If you dont like what you read , dont read the blog...FREEDOM, IS IT NOT GRAND?

  8. Thanks, Romana. I'm happy someone shares my opinion about the most important aspect of cake: DELICIOUSNESS (and not name). I should've guessed it would take a Canadian to inject some common sense into this thread. :)