A cake masterpiece

Can you smell it?? Fabulous!

There are some things in life which at first glance look daunting, and this is particularly true in cooking. I remember making my first Cassoulet-what a production but was it fabulous!! And once mastered so one can learn where to cut corners, even better. Take Coq Au vin—the recipe I will give you next week—a breeze now. Lasagne??  Easy peasy.

Today we are doing what will probably be the most spectacular cake you will ever make—delicious, unusual, melt in the mouth, something that will earn you kudos. As a matter of fact some of our friends have asked us to make then one which they will buy from us!! Well that is the easy way out—so get out the thinking cap, the smell alone will seduce you and the flavours are everything the smell promises—even better! Do not be put off by the lengthy procedure—it is easy as making pancakes. Just a lot better. And no—we are not getting into the burnt thing—think caramelised honey and that is more like what you will get here.Enjoy!

The process of baking

Cream and honey filling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russian Burnt Honey Cake

Ingredients

  • For the Burnt Honey:
  • 3/4 cup wildflower 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. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat (such as Silpat(R)). If you do not have a silicone mat, 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. Transfer about 1/2 cup batter onto the prepared silicone baking sheet or in the middle of the marked baking paper (make sure the pencil line side is the underside of the baking paper). Spread into 200-230mm circle, or to fill tracing of the dinner plate 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 liner from the pan or paper with baked layer from pan and let cake layer continue cooling until firm enough to remove, 6 to 7 minutes. If using the silicone mat invert cake onto a piece of baking paper.
  9. Repeat until you have a total of 8 cake layers, letting each cool on an individual baking paper. If using the silicone mat method trim edges using a pizza wheel to ensure they are the same size; save scraps for crumb mixture – if you used the tracing method this is optional as the rounds should be more or less the same size.
  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!

Spectacular layers

 

 

 

 

Ready for last crunchy layer

Couldn’t you just eat that now?