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Russian Honey Cake (Medovik)

Serves 2 x 9cm cakes
  • Steps
  • Ingredients

Steps

  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • For the Honeycomb, line a 20cm x 13cm loaf tin with baking paper so that extends up the sides and set aside.
  • Place the caster sugar, glucose syrup, honey and water into a medium saucepan and place over a medium heat. Gently shake the pan until the sugar dissolves. Cook until the mixture reaches 160C and a rich golden caramel is formed. Remove from the heat.
  • Carefully add the bicarb soda and whisk quickly but gently. Quickly pour into the lined loaf tin and set aside for 1 hour to cool and harden. Using a serrated knife, cut the honeycomb into shards. Store in an airtight container until required.
  • For the Custard Cream, place gelatine into a small bowl, cover with cold water and set aside to soften. Place milk and vanilla bean halves into a small saucepan. Bring to just below boiling point then remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Place egg yolks, brown sugar, honey and cornflour into a medium bowl and mix with electric hand beaters until light and fluffy.
  • Remove the vanilla bean halves from the saucepan and discard. Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture while mixing continuously until well combined.
  • Return the mixture to the saucepan and place over a low heat. Stir continuously with a spatula until mixture thickens and reaches 84C. Immediately remove from the heat.
  • Drain gelatine and squeeze out excess water. Add gelatine the saucepan and stir until gelatine has dissolved. Strain the custard through fine sieve into a shallow dish and place in freezer until set but not frozen.
  • Meanwhile, place the cream into a medium bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form. Set aside in the fridge.
  • Remove custard from the freezer and transfer to a medium bowl. Whisk custard until soft and smooth. Gently fold in the whipped cream and mix until just combined. Transfer to a piping bag and set aside.
  • For the Honey Sponge, bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Line a 40cm x 25cm shallow baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
  • Place sugar, butter and honey into a mixing bowl and place over the saucepan of simmering water and stir until mixture is melted and sugar has dissolved.
  • Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan and stir over low heat until the mixture changes colour and caramelises. Remove from the heat and add half of the bicarb soda. Whisk until combined then return the mixture to the mixing bowl. Add eggs and remaining bicarb soda and whisk until combined.
  • Place bowl over the saucepan of simmering water. Whisk the egg mixture until pale and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Add the flour and gently fold through until combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tray and spread out thinly to cover the tray. Bake until golden and fully cooked, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  • For the Honey Thyme Syrup, place ingredients along with 30g water into a small frypan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  • To assemble the cakes, use a 9cm round cutter to cut 8 discs from the cooled Honey Sponge. Brush each disc with a little cooled Honey Thyme Syrup.
  • Place two 9cm round x 6cm high pastry rings onto a serving plate. Pipe a small amount of Custard Cream onto the plate in the middle of the ring. Place one layer of the Honey Sponge into the ring and pipe a layer of Custard Cream over the top.
  • Repeat layering with the remaining sponge discs and Custard Cream, finishing with a layer of Honey Sponge. Carefully slide the rings off the cakes and place the cakes in the fridge to set for about 30 minutes.
  • To serve, sprinkle each cake with finely grated toasted walnuts and top with Honeycomb shards.

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