Friday, 9 August 2013

Russian Honey Layered Cake - Medovik

It was one of my friend's birthday about 2 months ago but due to an unexpected unfortunate event, he's had to cancel his birthday party and fly back to Taiwan. Two months down the track and we thought we'd throw him a surprise birthday dinner celebration. 

It wasn't hard coming up with what cake to make. There are three things that he absolutely loves (well, eating) and goes mental when any of it comes into his line of vision - bread, meat and honey. So what to make this bread meat honey monster? The answer is obviously a honey flavoured cake made of bread, with meat sandwiched in between, or featuring in any part of the cake. Being the vegetarian and animal lover that I am, of course I discounted the meat fraction of the cake. And not having copious amount of time to spend making this cake, I regretfully took away the bread portion too. 

The second thing that came onto my screen when I googled honey cake was this recipe. The layers look beautiful and the ingredients are those found in my pantry, so I went with it. 

This cake is much more simple to make than I expected. The results are impressive too. Especially when you cut out the first slice of the cake and nobody expected to see that multitude of UNIFORM layering. Expect some oohs and ahs if you serve this at a dinner party. To make sure the cake pleased the honey bear, I added an extra tablespoon of honey in both the cake and icing. 

This cake is basically a blank canvas and you can paint it with whatever flavour you like. You could replace the honey with other ingredients like maple syrup or golden syrup, or add cocoa powder or chocolate into it, or give it some tang with some citrus zest, or boost the good oil content and crunchiness of the cake by adding some nuts. You could even spike it with whatever booze you have lying around and give it that extra dimension of flavour. 

[Russian honey layered cake - Medovik]

2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
50g butter
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp vinegar
3 cups flour (I ran out of plain flour so I used a mixture of wholemeal flour, semolina and ground almond)

300ml cream
1/2 can condensed milk - caramelised
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp honey
zest of 1 lemon 
2 tbsp sour cream

Prepare the condensed milk first, as this will take the longest.
1. Put the can of condensed milk in a pot. Cover the can with water.
2. Bring to boil, then turn to medium heat to simmer for 2 hours.
3. Turn off the heat and let the can sit in the water for about 10 minutes.
4. Remove can from pot and let it cool to room temperature before opening. [THIS IS IMPORTANT!!! If you open the can immediately, it will explode all over you.]

1. Beat eggs and sugar together until thick (approx. 3 minutes). 
2. In a bain marie, melt butter.(If you are improvising with a bowl and a pan, make sure the bowl does not touch the water).
3. Add honey. 
4. Add beaten eggs and sugar. Stir with a whisk until fully incorporated, (about 2 minutes). Make sure the water is only simmering, as boiling water will cook the eggs. 
5. Add the baking soda and vinegar. Stir. The mixture will bubble and double in size.
6. Remove from heat. Gradually add in the flour and mix in with a spoon or spatula. 
7. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 1 minute.
8. Divide the dough into 6. On a baking tray lined with silicon pad or baking paper, roll a piece of the dough out thinly. Place a flat plat or base of a spring-form cake tin on the rolled out dough and cut around it to make a circle. Bake for approximately 5 minutes until golden.
9. Repeat this 6 times. 
10. Bake the off-cuts for approximately 8 minutes or until crunchy. 
11. Cool all cake pieces. 

1. Beat cream and caramelised condensed milk on medium setting until incorporated.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and beat on medium setting until well mixed.
3. Beat on high speed so the mixture thickens and becomes more stiff. 

Putting it all together
1. Place icing in between each layer of cake. Make sure the cake is stacked straightly. 
2. Cover the sides and top of the cake with icing. Spread evenly. Refrigerate to harden the icing. 
3. Break the off-cuts of the cake into small pieces. Use this to decorate the cake. 
4. Leave cake for at least 6 hours or overnight so the cake absorbs the icing and soften. 
5. Serve.

Recipe adapted from

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