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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Medovyi pirog - Russian Honey Cake

For my Russian culture class, we had FOOD DAY today! (I have been looking forward to this day for months!) We were instructed to bring in anything we liked as long as it was actually Russian. I made медовый пирог (pronounced medovyi pirog... kind of) or, honey cake. It takes a while just because the process requires some cooling periods, etc, but it's really not that hard. I tried to include pictures all the way through because there are times when you wont think it looks like there's any force on this planet that could make it look the way it should in the end, but it will.

Cake -
2 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
1 t. baking soda
1 T. honey (warm)
7 T. butter
2 c. flour

Filling and Icing -
3 1/4 c. sour cream (about 720 g)
1/2 c. sugar (it's to taste, but it comes out to about 1/2 c. Too much and it loses it's tanginess)
1 T. honey
ground/finely chopped walnuts
crushed plain sweet biscuit crumbs*

1. Beat eggs and sugar together well. Add soda and honey.
2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add the eggs/sugar mixture. (Don't let butter burn.)
3. Turn the saucepan to low, add the flour while mixing. Mix until smooth. (It will be very thick and hard to stir.) Remove from heat and allow to cool. It will look like there's no way on earth you will be able to "dip" the dough in anything, but it's actually much more
formed than it looks.

4. Preheat oven to 355 F.
5. Dip the dough in flour, divide, roll each layer
very thin (conversions from metric say .02-.04 of an inch). see picture at left

6. Cut circles as round as possible, about 7 inches in diameter. (I used my 6-inch spring-form pan frame to do this.) Bake on parchment or wax paper-covered cookie sheets for 2-4 minutes. (Watch the first couple carefully to see how your oven does it.) see picture at left
7. Cool completely before assembling.

8. Beat sour cream, sugar, and honey until the sugar dissolves. The mixture will be fairly liquid.
9. Coat each layer with a generous layer of cream. Assemble the cake, coat the finished assembly with cream and sprinkle top and sides with crumbs and walnuts. Allow to set at least 6 hours before eating.

Ta-da! It looks extremely Russian on my blue-and-white plates too! (And you all thought that was strictly a Dutch thing.) Everyone loved it! It has a great balance between tangy and sweet. The Russians love sour cream, and this cake is a testimony to how talented they are with it.

*About the crumbs, I am fairly certain that
whoever translated this either was British or learned British English as opposed to American, which means I wasn't entirely sure what they meant by "sweet biscuit crumbs." I thought they might mean cookies, like Nilla waffers, which would probably work, but frankly, I was too cheap to buy Nilla waffers for the sake of a cake that I knew would taste excellent with just a TON of nuts on top, and it was already too hot in my house to bother baking "sweet biscuits." So I scrapped it.


ML said...

That looks and sounds delicious!

Olga Paulescu said...

Hello, I found this recipe today and wanted to comment about the sweet buscuits crumbs. It's actually the left over crumbs from the layers you use for the cake. Most of the time the case is made into a rectangular shape, so you cut the enges off and get some leftovers that you make into crumbs. That is what you use to "stick" to the outside of the cake. So next time try using one of the layers for the cake. It's actually very tasty that way. Great photos along with the recipe. I bet it tasted very good.


Mal said...

Thank you Olga! That's good to know. I had never seen this cake before, so I hadn't any idea it was made rectangularly. I'll give that a try.

Sana Hurzuk said...

I had this cake over a year ago for the first time and have been wanting to make it ever since. The first time I googled, I got just two links. But now there are so many;that too with pictures!! Thank you!