Russian honey cake is notorious for being a pain to make. You can't just pour it into a pan and bake, the cake layer's really more like a dough than a batter, each cake calls for 6~8 layers, and you have to roll out and bake layer by layer. If you're feeding a crowd that is.
This cake gets its signature caramel color from the reaction between baking soda and honey. We don't normally think of honey as acidic, but this is the cornerstone of this cake, both in flavor and structure. The reaction both creates leavening in what would otherwise be a heavy dough, and give the cake its unique toasted honey flavor. Be sure to heat your honey in deep enough of a pan to account from the rise from the baking soda bubbling!
- 1/2 stick butter (~60g)
- 1/3 cup sugar (~70g)
- 1/4 cup honey (~80g)
- 2 eggs, cold & beaten
- 1tsp baking soda (~5g)
- 2 cups flour, loosely packed (~250g)
- 1/3 cup sour cream (~80g)
- 1 cup heavy cream (~240g)
- 1/4 cup sugar (~50g)
- Combine butter, honey, sugar. Heat until melted and bubbling.
- Add baking soda. Cook until darkened.
- Whisk in beaten eggs.
- Mix in the flour, half at a time.
- Transfer dough to a baking sheet.
- Roll into one large rectangular dough sheet.
- Poke with a fork and bake at 375F for 7min.
- Whip up sour cream, heavy cream, and sugar, into stiff peak.
- Cut dough sheet in half, stack it over the other half; trim them even.
- Cut the double sheet into 3rds, so that you have a total of 6 layers; trim them even.
- Cut up the trimming and toss them back into the oven for 5 more min, or until crispy.
- Spread the 6 layers into 1 single sheet; frost with whipped cream.
- Pick up the layers one at a time, and stack them up.
- Frost the sides with more whipped cream.
- (optional) grind the crispy trimming in a food processor. stick the crumbs onto the sides, or use as a topping.
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