The 2018 Winter Olympics started last week. Instead of representing my country at a sport I’m going to represent another country’s dessert… yeah, that was a stretch… I know… screw it – let’s jump straight into the dessert – Honey Cake (Medovik).
This bake takes patience, precision, and tolerance for mess. Normally I don’t have any of those things, so I was probably foolish to attempt this recipe.
There is no way around it – baking the layers is pain. It involves half an hour of rolling the dough into a thin layer, cutting it into a passable circle, baking for just the right amount of time, cooling and repeating x9. This dessert would be a wonderful challenge for a cooking show (looking at you GBBO):
Presenter #1: This is a tricky one – the bakers have to roll out the dough and simultaneously bake the completed circles without letting them burn. Will they succeed?
Presenter #2: Oooh, time management. How devious.
Presenter #1: This bake is really going to separate the amateurs from the… amateurs with better multitasking abilities.
Presenter #2: The pressure is intense. No one wants to let the judges down.
If a cooking show ever does challenge the contestants to make a honey cake I want full origination credit.
After completing the baking then you get the joy of trying to layer on the most fluid frosting I have ever made. I knew it was going to be a problem from the start – the frosting poured off the spoon. How wasn’t this going to go everywhere? Well, remember I said this dessert was messy..
Messy may have been an understatement. The frosting, which is really a slightly sweetened sour cream, went everywhere. The picture above is neat compared with the mess in my fridge the next day after the frosting had set. Note to anyone trying this: build the cake on a cookie sheet with sides to contain the overflow frosting.
The Moment of Truth
This is the kind of dessert you can keep eating until hours later you look up from your tea and Netflix and are surprised that only crumbs remain. It’s not too sweet and is surprisingly light. I’m not sure I would make it again given the labor required, but I can say I am quite proud of this DessEarth.
I used followed a recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Given the complexity of the recipe I won’t copy it here, but I would suggest reading it through multiple times before beginning. I would also suggest testing out the frosting from Natasha’s Kitchen – it looks a little thicker and easier to handle.
There is a statue of a laboratory mouse in Novosibirsk, Russian commemorating the role of mice in scientific research. Having once sliced mice brains for hours on end in college research lab I think the statue is well deserved.