Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Russian Honey cake.


     Ah now, this is probably the most impressive cakes that I've made so far. Technically and creatively challenging (For me) but I came out the other side with a cake that looked, and tasted bloomin luverly!
     This is a recipe from the wonderful Mary-Anne Boermans Time to Cook Blog where Mary-Anne has written a lot more about how the cake came about, and it's wonders. Again, pretty much like all my recipes here, Mary-Anne will show you how to make the cake properly, and the following is how I stumbled through it. It is actually good fun to make, even when you're throwing crumbs at the side of it at two o'clock in the morning! Anyway...

  • 3 Large Free Range Eggs
  • 225g Caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp Honey
  • 100g Unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp Bicarb
  • 450g Plain flour
  • 1 Litre Reduced-fat Creme fraiche
  • 3 tbsp Icing sugar.

      1. Preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan/Gas 4
      2. Weigh an empty bowl so you know roughly the final weight of mixture later on.
      3. Place a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and add the honey to the bowl.
      4. Add the eggs, butter and caster sugar and whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the mix smooth.
      5. Add the Bicarb and whisk for another minute.
      6. Grease and line with baking paper up to 4 20cm x 30cm tins. 
      7. Remove the bowl from the heat and gradually mix in the flour.The resulting mix can vary between putty and rollable dough. Mine ended up a kind of very sticky toffee (Possibly my eggs weren't large enough as not graded ones) and I struggled to spread the mix thinly enough in the tins, and as it cooled more it got thicker and I ended up spreading between 3 tins. But whatever mix you end with, aim to split the dough between 3 or 4 tins. Possibly leave the mix over the saucepan of water, but off of heat to keep it more malleable, or maybe a hot palette knife would spread it easier. 
      8. Bake for 3-4 mins (Maybe 4-5mins for a triple layer cake) until golden brown. Then tip out onto a cooling rack to cool. (If you happen to bake each tin to a slightly different colour, don't worry, you get a more colourful cake ;) )
      9. While they're cooling, put the creme fraiche into a bowl, add the icing sugar and mix well.
      10. When the cakes are cool, stack them together and trim off the sides to make them all the same shape.
      11. Put the off-cuts in a processor and blitz until crumbs.
      12. Place one layer of cake on a cooling rack and spread about a 1.5cm deep layer of the creme fraiche mix over it. Place the next cake on top and repeat, then the next...
      13. Then spread creme fraiche mix over the 4 sides of the cake so the cake is now totally covered.
      14. Place the rack and cake into a large baking tray and press cake crumbs into the sides of the cake.The way i ended up doing it was to have a handful of crumbs up to the side of the cake and push them against it with a knife or palette knife. Excess crumbs will fall into the baking tray and you can use them again. Continue this until the sides are coated. Mine ended up with some crumbs on the top as I started off throwing the crumbs at the side lol, so I added a few more on top to make it look deliberate :)
      15. Cover the cake and leave, preferably overnight, as this allows the moisture from the creme fraiche mix to soak into the sponge making it moist and tangy. So sometime later, you end up with something, like this... :)

        8th April 2012 ...and here's a little one I knocked up for my first Clandestine Cake Club meet in Coventry yesterday. Pimped up a bit for the Easter theme. I used 3 9" x 9" tins for this one, but still the same ingredients. I'll make the sponges as thin as they're meant to be one day :D

        Right, Honey cake, Honey, Honeyz, Laydeees all the laydeees (Otherwise known as female humans, or women)
        4 layers of some kick-butt all female action starting with the much underrated Call the Shots from Girls Aloud! (Oh come on, it could have been the Spice Girls :p )

        Blimey, must be hell for them living their entire lives in slow motion! Anyway, next....

        Back to the 90's for a fantastic trio from Minneapolis. Not their best song, but they're pretty thin on the ground on uToob. Jackals by Zuzu's Petals:

        Thirdly, and O.M.G!!! I just found this little rarity. Death by Crimpers - Obsessive. The world famous 5 piece from Oxford! Now, I know what you're thinking, this single version's not as good as the demo, and yes, I agree, but I was at the Jericho for this video shoot, so this will do nicely :D

        For the final layer I was going to put up Robert Palmer's Addicted to Love video, until someone pointed out there was a man in the video!?! Who knew? So I decided to end this gnarled 90's triple-play with a bit more Riot Grrrl action in the form of the magnificent, shadow-casting gloriousness of Babes in Toyland - Sweet '69

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