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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Place a mixing bowl and a whisk in the refrigerator.
- 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.
- Meanwhile, combine baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Repeat until you have a total of 8 cake layers, letting each cool on the baking paper.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours, to overnight. Transfer to a cake stand using 2 spatulas. Cut and serve.
- Step 14 is non-negotiable and if not done the cake will not be moist and super delicious!