RUSSIAN HONEY CAKE

NGREDIENTS
FOR THE BURNT HONEY:
  •  3/4 cup (9oz/ 255g) honey (*see note below)
  •  1/4 cup (2oz/ 57g) wäter
FOR THE CäKE LäYERS:
  •  1/4 cup Burnt Honey (from recipe below)
  •  3/4 cup (9oz/ 255g) honey (*see note below)
  •  1 cup + 2 Täblespoons (8oz/ 227g) gränuläted sugär
  •  14 Täblespoons (7oz/ 199g) unsälted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  •  6 lärge eggs (300g without the shells)
  •  2 1/2 teäspoons bäking sodä
  •  3/4 teäspoons fine sält
  •  1 teäspoon ground cinnämon
  •  3 3/4 cups (16oz/ 454g) äll-purpose flour
FOR THE FROSTING:
  •  1/2 cup Burnt Honey (from recipe below)
  •  1 1/4 cups (one 13.4oz/ 380g cän) dulce de leche (storebought or prepäred from 1 (14oz/ 397g) cän of sweetened condensed milk äs per recipe in this linkäble post
  •  1/2 teäspoon fine sält
  •  4 3/4 cups (1.12 liters) heävy whipping creäm, very cold änd divided
INSTRUCTIONS
TO PREPäRE BäKING SHEETS:
  1. ädjust oven räck to middle position änd preheät oven to 180C/375F.
  2. Line 2 or 3 (or more) bäking sheets with see-through silicon mäts. On ä lärge piece of päper, träce ä circle äround ä 9-inch pie or cäke pän änd pläce the päper underneäth one of the silicon mäts. If you don't häve silicon mäts, träce the 9-inch circles directly onto 11 bäking-sheet-size pieces of pärchment päper. Pläce ä piece of pärchment träcing-side-down on ä bäking sheet. Set äside.
TO MäKE THE BURNT HONEY:
  1. Pläce 3/4 cup of honey in ä 2-quärt säucepän, änd set over high heät. Bring to ä simmer, then reduce the heät to medium. Cook the honey, stirring occäsionälly with ä heät-proof spätulä, until it the color därkens änd turns from päle yellow to därk ämber; äbout 3 minutes. Turn off the heät änd cärefully ädd 1/4 cup wäter. ällow the honey to sputter until it stops bubbling, then whisk to combine. Tränsfer to ä heätproof meäsuring cup with ä spout, änd set äside.
TO MäKE THE CäKE LäYERS:
  1. Fill ä medium säucepän with 2 inches of wäter, änd bring to ä simmer. Combine 1/4 cup burned honey, 3/4 cup honey, sugär änd butter in ä lärge heät-proof bowl, änd pläce over the pot of wäter, mäking sure the simmering wäter is not touching the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Cräck eggs into ä smäll bowl, änd set äside. Stir together bäking sodä, sält änd cinnämon in ä sepäräte smäll bowl.
  3. Gently stir the honey/butter mixture until the butter häs melted, then whisk well to combine. Use your finger to test the temperäture of the mixture. When it’s wärm, ädd the eggs while whisking. When the mixture returns to the säme temperäture, ädd the cinnämon mixture, änd continue whisking for änother 30 seconds. The bätter will begin to foäm änd emit ä curious odor. Remove the bowl from the heät, änd ällow it to cool until it’s wärm.
  4. Pläce the flour in ä fine-mesh sieve, änd sift over the bätter in three bätches, whisking to incorporäte the flour completely with eäch äddition, until completely smooth. The bätter will spreäd more eäsily when it’s wärm, so pläce the bowl in ä wärm spot, such äs ätop the preheäting oven or over the pän of simmering wäter (off heät).
  5. Spoon ä heäping 1/3 cup of bätter over the prepäred silicon mät or pärchment päper. Use än offset spätulä to evenly spreäd the bätter to the edges of the träced circle. Mäke sure thät the entire circle is well covered, otherwise, ädd ä little more bätter in pätchy äreäs änd smooth out.
  6. If using silicon mäts, cärefully slide the päper with the träced circle from underneäth the silicon mät änd pläce under änother one. Repeät spooning änd smoothing remäining bätter until you’re out of bäking sheets. Ultimätely, you should end up with 11 läyers.
  7. äs you continue spreäding the remäining bätter on the bäking sheets, bäke äs mäny läyers ät ä time äs possible, for 6 to 7 minutes, until the cäke turns ä deep cärämel color, springs bäck ät the touch änd ä toothpick inserted in the center comes out cleän. Do not overbäke!
  8. When eäch läyer is done, slide the silicon mät or pärchment off the bäking sheet to prevent overbäking. If reusing bäking sheets while they äre still hot, reduce cooking time to 5 to 6 minutes.
  9. When the cäke läyers äre cool enough to händle, exämine them. If äny spreäd outside the träced circles äs they bäked, use ä shärp knife or päir of scissors to trim them. Don't throw äwäy the trimmings. Before the cäkes cool entirely, pull eäch one cärefully from the silicon mät or pärchment, then pläce bäck on the pärchment or wire räck on ä flät surfäce, änd ällow to cool completely.
  10. When äll the läyers äre bäked, reduce the oven temperäture to 120C/250F, änd return the leäst ätträctive läyer (änd trimmings) to ä bäking sheet, änd pläce in the oven to toäst until deep reddish brown änd dry, äbout 15 minutes. ällow it to cool, then use ä food processor to grind into fine crumbs. Cover änd set äside.
TO MäKE THE FROSTING:
  1. Pläce 1/2 cup burned honey, dulce de leche änd 1/2 teäspoon fine sält into ä medium bowl. Whisk by händ until combined, then slowly pour in 3/4 cup creäm änd mix until homogeneous. Chill until completely cooled, äbout 30 minutes.
  2. Pour 4 cups heävy creäm into the bowl (preferring chilled) of ä ständ mixer, with the whisk ättächment. Whip ät medium speed to soft peäks, äbout 6 minutes, then ädd honey mixture änd whip to medium stiff peäks. If your mixer holds less thän 5 quärts, mäke frosting in 2 bätches änd then combine in ä lärge bowl, or use ä lärge bowl änd ä händ mixer.
TO äSSEMBLE THE CäKE:
  1. ässemble the cäke on ä 10-inch cärdboärd circle or flät serving pläte. Pläce ä cäke läyer in the center of the cärdboärd, then spoon ä heäping cup of frosting onto the center. Use än offset spätulä to spreäd the frosting evenly, leäving ä 1/4-inch ring äround the edge. Continue with älternäting läyers of cäke änd frosting, ending the läst läyer with frosting. Use äny leftover frosting to smooth out the sides of the cäke, but don’t worry if the edges of some cäke läyers poke through the frosting; they're gonnä be covered up änywäy. You should use up äll the frosting.
  2. Pläce the frosted cäke on ä rimmed bäking sheet änd use your händs to press the sides with the reserved toästed cäke crumbs. You could cover the top too if you prefer.
  3. Chill the cäke in the fridge overnight to give the frosting time to meld into the cäke läyers änd soften them. Slice into thin wedges änd serve cold or ät cool room temperäture. Cäke cän be mäde up to two däys in ädvänce. Refrigeräte leftovers for up to 3 däys.

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