Monday, July 15, 2013

Medovik/ Russian Honey Cake~ Baking Partners Challenge #12

Russian Honey Cake
Baking 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
Sugar- 1/2
Sour cream- 15 oz can
butter- 3tbs

To making the filling
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.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken

Orange chicken is famous in Chinese restaurants and take out. This is a home made version. It is crispy chicken coated with a sticky citrus flavored sauce. This chicken dish is sweet and tangy with the right amount of heat from chilly garlic sauce. You can substitute chilly garlic sauce with fresh ground chilly or chilly flakes.

Chicken boneless- 1 1/2 lb
Eggs- 2
Corn starch- 4 tbs
All purpose flour- 1 tbs
Pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
Grated ginger- 1/2 tsp
Salt a pinch

For the sauce
Garlic- 3 cloves
Spring onion chopped- a hand full
Orange juice- 1/3 cup
Orange marmalade- 1 tsp
(or zest of one orange)
Honey- 2 tbs
Soya sauce- 2 tsp
Chilly garlic sauce- 1 tsp
( I used the Lee Kum Kee brand)
Chicken stock- 1/3 cup
Sugar-a pinch
Rice vinegar- 2 tsp
Corn starch- 1 tsp

Cut chicken into small bite size pieces. Marinate with pepper powder, grated ginger and salt and keep aside for 10 minutes. After ten minutes add well beaten egg, corn starch and one tbs all purpose flour and mix well.
Deep fry this in oil till it is crisp and golden. Drain and set aside.
Mix all ingredients except garlic, spring onion and corn starch and set aside.
Heat one tsp of oil and saute garlic,and spring onion. Add the sauce and simmer till it is thick and bubbly. Add the chicken and corn starch diluted in two tsp of corn starch. Allow the chicken and the sauce to coat well and thicken. Serve warm.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Kaya pola / Plantain Cake

Kaya pola / Plantain Cake

Kaya pola/Mutta marichathu is a Malabarian sweet snack which is made with eggs and plantain. It is an easy snack with a texture that resembles a fudge cake. It is slow cooked on stove top but you can also bake it in the oven.Kids will love this sweet delicacy.

Ripe plantain/Ethapazham-2
Eggs- 4-5
All purpose flour - 1 tbs (optional)
Ghee- 2 tsp
Cardamon powder- 1/2 tsp
Sugar- 1/3 cup
( according to your sweet preference)
salt- a pinch
Cashew nuts- 8-10
Raisins- 2 tbs

Peel plantains and chop them into small pieces and set aside.
Heat ghee in a non stick pan and fry raisins and cashew nuts. Drain and keep aside. In the same pan add the chopped plantains and fry till both sides are golden brown.
Meanwhile beat eggs,cardamon, and sugar till it is light and fluffy and till the egg doubles in size. Mix in the flour.
Spread the plantain evenly around the pan and pour this egg mixture on top. Cover and cook in medium for about two minutes. Garnish with raisins and cashew nuts and continue to cook covered  for another eight to ten minutes in low flame till the top sets and the sides release from the pan. If a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean it is done. Gently invert it on to a plate and allow to cool. Slice and serve with tea.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

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