Monday, January 7, 2013

Russian Christmas Celebration and Medovnik Honey Cake Recipe

One of my dearest and oldest friends, Christina, invited us over for a Russian Christmas Celebration yesterday.

Yay for good friends!

We both served church missions in Russia and Belarus--she in Novosibersk, and I in Moscow and Minsk. We had taken Russian together in high school and often worked together on projects and competitions.

The best parts of the party were:

1. All the other people who had also lived/served missions in Russia at the party (Christina's brother and sister-in-law, a neighbor, an old mission companion, and Lee);

Christina and her brother and sister-in-law

2. Two young ladies who were recently called on church missions to Novosibersk (congrats!). We had fun telling them and their families what it was like in the Motherland; and

They were listening so intently!

3. Eating Russian food. Because we were trying to tell them what it was like in the Motherland, we had to make and bring a lot of Russian food to share that I haven't had for so long! Borscht, pelmini, blini, zimni salat, gretchka, and the best juices you'll ever have.

Looks very pink, but it's so good!

I wanted to bring a dessert to this little party, but I'm not a big fan of most Russian desserts since most things end up dry and not terribly favorable. The only one I loved was the Medovnik Tort or the Honey Cake. It's a multi-layer, honey cake that is actually moist because it has soaked up all that delicious creamy frosting between each layer, and is encrusted with crumbs and walnuts. 

So I made it and it was pretty close to what I remember.

It was so yummy! 

Look at all those layers! I got 8, but you can go up to 15 layers.

Lee did a great job slicing each layer

Russian Medovnik Tort (8-layers)
(adapted from Atlantic Kitchen)

Honey Dough:
3 large eggs
Pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp honey
2 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cups (550 gm) flour

1/2 lb sour cream
2 c heavy whipping cream
3/4 c powdered sugar

1/2 c walnuts
14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Beat eggs with salt and sugar until creamy in a stand mixer. On stove top or microwave, melt honey and butter together. Cool this mixture, then add to egg mixture, beating till incorporated. Add baking soda and mix thoroughly. On low speed, add flour in batches until a thick and soft dough.

Cover a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Spread the dough evenly and to the corners of the pan if able. Occasionally wet your hands/fingers with water during spreading. This will prevent the dough sticking. Bake this layer for about 12-15 minutes, till golden brown.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in pan. Lift the layer out of the pan using the edges of aluminum foil, and allow to cool completely on a rack. When cooled, peel off aluminum foil.

Beat whipping cream with powdered sugar till you have stiff peaks. Fold in gently the sour cream till incorporated. Refrigerate till assembly.

On a large cutting board, lay out your layer of cake and trim the edges so they are straight. Save the edges. You will be making rectangular shaped cake, so cut into fourths in a cross pattern so you have 4 large pieces. Being very careful, slice each layer horizontally, in half with a long, serrated knife. Each original piece will yield 2 layers, giving you a total of 8 thin pieces.

Place the first layer of cake on a serving tray. Spread a spoonful of sweetened condensed milk over this layer. Next layer a spoonful or two of the cream/sour cream mixture and spread over the cake. Place another layer of cake atop this and repeat the cake, condensed milk, cream layers. After placing the top cake layer, do not put a layer of condensed milk. Frost the top and sides of cake.

In a food processor, coarsely chop the trimmed cake edges and walnuts. Cover the top and sides of cake with this mixture.

Tent and cover the cake with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 6 hours; for best results, refrigerate overnight.


1 comment:

  1. Zima, you are the best! Just isn't a party without you. And I'm pretty sure there IS no Russian cake better than that one! Loved it! Thanks for sharing! See you for Chinese New Year!


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