Russian Honey CakeBaking partners challenge for this month is a special cake. It is celebration time for the members of the baking partners group- first anniversary. It has been a wonderful journey so far gaining better insights into the techniques of baking With each challenge we have learned and shared something new. Congrats to Swathi and all the members for making this group a success.
For this months challenge there were two cake recipes suggested by two members of the group Humi and Saraswathi. I selected the one suggested by Humi of Gheza-e-shiriin Russian Honey cake. Medovnik or honey cake has beautiful impressive thin layer and is more like a cookie cake. The technique of making this cake is not like a regular cake but similar to cookies. The filling is made with with sour cream or condensed milk/Dulce de leche.It is the oldest and most popular cake in Central, North and east Europe.The original recipe was a nine inch cake, but I made a smaller 5 inch cake. Thanks Humi for sharing this wonderful recipe.
Recipe adapted from azcookbook
For the Dough:
Flour- 2 cups
Honey - 3 tbs
( the orginal recipe has 3 cup flour and one cup of sugar and honey.
I did not use sugar to make the layers. But if you like it sweet you can add 1/2 cup sugar)
Butter - 2 oz/ 4 tbs
Baking soda- 1 tsp
For the Filling: Dulce de leche (Can be prepared in advance)
1 Can Dulce de leche
(check notes for home made dulce de leche)
Unsalted butter- 4 tbs
For the frosting
Sour cream- 15 oz can
Put the butter in a mixing bowl. With a mixer, beat until the butter is fluffy and light. Continue to beat, gradually add Dulce de leche and beat until you obtain a smooth cream. Do not overbeat or the cream will curdle. Place the cream in the refrigerator while you prepare the dough
(Note: I used the store brought dulce de leche. You can also make this at home. In a heavy bottom pan add enough water to cover the can and simmer in medium heat for about two hours.Add more water as required. After two hours drain off the water and let the can come to room temperature and then open with a can opener. DO NOT OPEN THE CAN WHEN HOT AS THE CONTENTS CAN EXPLODE)
To make the frosting
Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy,mix in the sour cream and put in refrigerator to set and thicken.
To make the cake layers
Put the eggs ( if you are adding sugar add at this stage) in a heat-proof mixing bowl (or the top of a double boiler). Stir to mix. Add the honey and butter. Cook this mixture stirring continuously with a whisk
until the ingredients are well blended and the mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes.Add the baking soda, and cook, stirring constantly, for another half a minute. The mixture will somewhat whiten and increase in bulk. Remove the bowl from the heat.Gradually add 2 cups of the flour to the mixture, mixing with a spoon with each addition, until you obtain dough that is somewhat sticky but comes together. Do not be tempted to add more flour as the dough will harden as it cools off.Cover with cling wrap and allow it to cool.
Divide the dough into equal part and shape into balls( I got 8 balls).
Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).
Take each ball and flatten on to a greased cookie sheet and press and flatten into 5 inch circle. You can also use a rolling pin to get even circles. If you do not get perfect circles you can trim the edges onced it is baked. The excess crumbs can be used for garnish.
Bake each biscuit layer on the middle rack of the oven for 4-5 minutes, until it is light golden on top. The dough will slightly puff up, but will not rise like a regular cake. Do not overbake. Remove from the oven, gently run a spatula underneath the biscuit to loosen it, then remove from the baking sheet.Repeat the process for all layers.
Assemble the cake
Spread a generous amount of dulce de leche cream onto one biscuit, then top with another. Continue in this manner - stacking the layers on top of one another and spreading some cream in-between.Spread the sour cream frosting on the top.Finely grind the baked trim-offs. Sprinkle the crumbs generously on top of the cake and lightly press some around it and garnish with nuts or cherries.
Leave the cake aside to soften at room temperature for 6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. The biscuits will have absorbed the cream and the cake will be soft and perfect for slicing.
Hope you will all enjoy!