Heaven on a plate–worth every      minute

We both love cooking—two different styles—mine very Mediterranean, no measuring, the other very precise with careful preparation. We NEVER work in the same kitchen—there would be war. During lockdown we watched a lot of cooking channels and came across this recipe on the Food Wishes channel which looked spectacular. I was told derisively “You’ll never do that.” If there is one word I hate it is “never.” So I set about to do it. Looks a bit of a schlep but it is a piece of old cake (ha ha –I was locked in too long.) And guess what? None of your friends have made it I bet. The aroma of honey caramel pervades the house, bringing back a flood of childhood memories, of honeycomb, and summers long gone by. Fabyɘlɘs—da!! You bet.

Russian Burnt Honey Cake

Ingredients

  • For the Burnt Honey:
  • 3/4 cup (wildflower if you can get) honey
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • For the Cake Layers:
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into slices
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup wildflower honey
  • 6 large cold eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda (Bicarbonate of Soda)
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • For the Frosting:
  • 4 cups cold heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup sour cream

Directions

  1. Pour honey into a deep pot over medium heat. Boil on medium heat until a shade darker and caramel-like in aroma, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat remove from plate and whisk in cold water – leave to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Cut baking paper into 9 sheets sized to be slightly larger than a dinner plate. With a pencil draw the edge of the plate on each of the baking paper sheets.
  3. Place a mixing bowl and a whisk in the refrigerator.
  4. Place a large metal bowl over the lowest heat setting on the stovetop. Add butter, sugar, 1/4 cup of the burnt honey, and regular wildflower honey. Let sit until butter melts, 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, combine baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  6. Whisk butter mixture and let sit until very warm to the touch. Whisk in eggs. Keep mixture over low heat until it gets very warm again (not hot – only warm enough not to burn your finger); whisk in baking soda mixture. Remove from heat. Sift in flour in 2 or 3 additions, stirring well after each, until batter is easily spreadable.
  7. Put1/2 cup batter  onto the middle of the marked baking paper (make sure the pencil line side is the underside of the baking paper). Spread into circle using an offset spatula
  8. Bake each sheet in the preheated oven until lightly browned, 6 to 7 minutes – be careful and time it as it easily gets overdone. Remove baked layer from pan and let cake layer continue cooling until firm enough to remove, 6 to 7 minutes.
  9. Repeat until you have a total of 8 cake layers, letting each cool on the baking paper.
  10. Spread remaining batter onto the lined baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until edges are dry – very dry, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cut into small pieces; toss with reserved cake scraps.
  11. Return to the oven and continue to bake until browned, 7 to 10 minutes more. Let cool completely, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a resealable bag and beat or crush into fairly fine crumbs using a rolling pin. Set aside.
  12. Remove the bowl and whisk from the refrigerator. Pour in heavy cream. Whisk until soft peaks form. Add remaining burnt honey and sour cream; continue whisking until stiff peaks form.
  13. Place a cake layer on a parchment paper round on top of a pizza pan or serving plate. Spread a cup of frosting evenly on top, almost to the edge. Repeat with cake layers and frosting, pressing the layers in smooth-side down. Place last cake layer smooth-side up. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Cover with crumbs; clean any excess crumbs around base.
  14. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours, to overnight. Transfer to a cake stand using 2 spatulas. Cut and serve.
  15. Step 14 is non-negotiable and if not done the cake will not be moist and super delicious!