Updated: Apr 17, 2022
I wasn't really fond of baking initially. It actually took me quite a while to fall in love with baking; all the steps and measurements have to be precise which I like. I am a bit OCD so that explains right? Lol! Absolutely not. It is magical to watch raw ingredients come together into something incredible.
This marvelous Russian Honey Cake took me 2 attempts to get it right. Well, to be honest, I am far from right. I was dealing with the intense humidity in my kitchen and my whipped sour cream concoction instantly melted as soon as I started to spread it onto the cake layers.
I thought replacing sour cream was a good idea. But it doesn't really spread well enuff for the frosting layers to be visible. There are lots of what I shouldn't and should've done and I am 100% sure I will revisit and revamp this recipe again.
As for the origin of this cake, it was created in the 19th century in the Russian Empire by a young chef who wanna impress Empress Elizabeth Alexeievna (who happened to be the wife of Alexander I). The empress couldn't stand honey.
Despite that, that young chef unknowingly baked a new cake with honey and thick sour cream. Surprisingly, and unaware of the honey ingredient, Empress Elizabeth immediately fell in love with it.
For now, let's indulge in this Russian Honey Cake. Stay tuned for version 2.
(Make one 6 inch cake)
High Quality Honey Preferably Wildflower or Clover, 100g
Unsalted Butter, 113g
Granulated Sugar, 100g
Eggs Lightly Beaten, 3
Baking Soda, 12g
Unbleached All Purpose Flour, 500g
Cream Cheese Softened, 125g
Heavy Whipping Cream, 375g
High Quality Honey Preferably Wildflower or Clover, 40g
Dulce de Leche, 40g
Cream Cheese Softened, 85g
Unsalted Butter Softened, 20g
Icing Sugar, 20g
Pure Vanilla Paste, A Dash
Fresh Orange Zest, 1/2 Orange
6" Pastry Ring
Stand / Hand Mixer
Piping Bag with Star Tip
Rotating Cake Stand
Please visit my"How To Make Dulce de Leche" page for the recipe.
Prepare the cake layers.
Add honey and 20g of water into a sauce pot over medium heat.
Stir to combine well.
Once the mixture starts to foam up, keep a close eye on it.
As soon as the color turns to dark amber, remove from heat and transfer onto a double boiler.
Add butter and sugar onto the double boiler as well.
Turn the heat up to medium-low.
Stir to combine well and until the butter has completely melted.
Add a couple of scoops of this butter mixture into the beaten eggs to temper.
Whisk until well combined.
Gradually pour the egg mixture into the butter mixture while still whisking.
Continue whisking until fully incorporated.
Add in baking soda and continue whisking.
It will give off a soapy aroma.
Remove from heat and sieve and fold in the flour, 1/3 portion at a time.
The mixture will get too stiff to fold.
Knead everything by hand inside the bowl, picking up all the nooks and crannies, until it comes together into a dough.
The dough should be smooth and elastic.
Preheat the oven to 190 degree celsius or 375 fahrenheit.
Pinch a piece of dough and place it on a lightly floured surface.
*Keep the rest of the dough covered with a kitchen towel to prevent the dough from drying out.*
Roll the dough into a large disc (it doesn't have to be a perfect circle) with a thickness of roughly 1/4".
You can judge the size of the disc with a 6" pastry ring.
Prick some holes with a fork to prevent the dough from rising too much during the baking process.
Transfer onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Wack into the oven and bake for 4 to 5 mins or until it is dark amber brown.
Remove from the oven and immediately cut out a 6" disc with the pastry ring.
*Reserve the scraps.*
Rest on a wire cooling rack to cool off completely.
Repeat the steps for the remaining dough.
I managed to get 10 slices.
Turn the temperature of the oven down to 120 degree celsius or 250 fahrenheit.
Transfer the scaps onto a baking tray and bake for 15 mins.
*This is to draw out more moisture from the cookies.*
Remove from the oven and blitz the scraps in a food processor into fine powder.
Prepare the frosting.
In a large bowl, add cream cheese.
Using a hand or stand mixer, whip cream cheese until creamy.
Add in whipping cream and whip until soft peaks.
Add in honey and dulce de leche and fold until well combined.
Add a small dollop of the frosting in the middle of a rotating cake stand.
To prevent any mess, place a piece of parchment paper on top of the dollop.
And to prevent the cake from moving, add another small dollop of the frosting in the middle and place a slice of the cake layer on top.
Place a scoop of the frosting onto the cake slice.
Use an offset spatula and spread it out evenly as you rotate.
Repeat the steps for the remaining cake layers and frosting.
Even out the sides of the cake with more frosting and a spatula while rotating.
Chill the cake in the fridge for at least 1 hr.
After 1 hr, dust the cookie powder on the sides of the cake until the cake is fully covered with the powder.
Chill the fridge to set.
*If the frosting of the cake starts to melt, chill in the fridge again to firm up.*
Prepare the ganache.
In a large bowl, whip cream cheese and butter until light and creamy.
Add in sugar, vanilla and orange zest.
Continue whipping until well combined.
Transfer into a piping bag with a star tip.
Pipe little stars on top of the cake.
Chill the fridge overnight.
Next day, slice and serve.
I managed to get 10 layers...
Lots of improvement to be done...