Age: 1 years +
Until recently, my favorite cakes were with chocolate and cocoa. Otherwise I somehow couldn’t fully appreciate them. Then my daughter was born. When I started to introduce solid foods to her, I had to come up with ideas for desserts mostly with fruit and without white sugar, or with a suitable substitute: first dates, then coconut sugar, maple syrup, etc. So I discovered a whole new universe of wonderful flavors to combine and unexpectedly good recipes for gorgeous desserts. At the beginning of July my daughter turned 2 years old. For this special occasion, I indulged in another culinary experiment: the preparation of the classic Medovik cake (or Russian honey cake with improvements) . This cake was meant for the celebration with my daughter friends, and for the one with the grandparents I made another one: summer cake with elderflower syrup (you can check the recipe for this one here). Both cakes turned out to be fantastic in taste, extremely light and spectacular, but I may be more proud with the Medovik cake. First: because it is more complicated, and second: because it disappeared in seconds and I barely managed to take a picture.
I won`t mislead you – the preparation of the Medovik cake is really time consuming, but you can help yourself, as I did. I baked the cake layers a week or two earlier and froze them. One day before the birthday, I removed them from the fridge and allowed them to thaw at room temperature for 2-3 hours. Meanwhile, I prepared the cream.
I made the cake layers by following the classic recipe (somewhat), but with the cream and the decoration I followed my imagination. The only change in the recipe I made regarding the cake layers is that I replaced the honey with maple syrup and the white sugar with coconut sugar – simply because when I cook desserts for my daughter, I always use coconut sugar, and lately I avoid cooking with honey (when processed at high temperature it loses its nutritional benefits). The cake layers tasted just as good, but you can follow the classic white sugar and honey recipe if you wish.
And don`t be alarmed: the Medovik cake may be more tricky to prepare, but with a little more effort and some time management you can prepare it easily at home, too. Try it – you won`t regret it!
What you`ll need (for a 26-28 cm cake):
For the cake layers
400 g flour
150 g coconut sugar (or white or brown)
200 ml milk
2 tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
50 g butter, melted and cooled
2 tsp soda
pinch of salt
For between the cake layers
200 g walnuts, grounded
For the cream
800 g strained yogurt
250 g mascarpone
100 g honey
2 tbsp elderflower syrup (or lemon juice)
raspberries, blackberries, blueberries
How to cook it:
For the cake layers: in a deep saucepan, whisk the egg, add the sugar and whisk again. Start slowly to add the milk, maple syrup (or honey), baking soda and butter. Put the pan on the stove on low heat and cook for about 20 minutes while constantly stirring. The sugar has to dissolve and the mixture should get a deep caramel color, but it depends on your stove how long it will take (it took me about 15 minutes). Keep in mind that thanks to the baking soda the mixture will increase its volume and be careful not to boil it – therefore you will need a deeper saucepan. When done, remove from the stove and allow to cool slightly for 2-3 minutes. Then add the flour and mix with a spoon until a soft dough is obtained.
Flour your workspace and transfer the dough on it. Knead with your hands and divide it into 7 equal-sized balls. Use a kitchen scale to measure with accuracy – one ball should weigh about 100-110 g.
Roll a round and thin crust of 26-28 cm in diameter from each ball. Use a cake ring to outline to the desired diameter, even above it, because the cake layers will shrink a little from the backing. Don`t worry if they become uneven – you will cut them using the ring after baking. Transfer to a baking tray covered with baking paper and cook for about 4 minutes in a preheated to 170°C oven each. Be careful not to overcook them: the cake layers must be soft and brittle in order not to break and the cream to soak in them nicely. Remove and transfer to a grill to cool. While baking one cake layer, prepare the other.
Once the cake layers are baked and cooled, cut the excess edges with the help of a cake ring fixed at 26 or 28 cm: place the ring on one cake layer, press lightly with your hands and form an exact circle with a knife. Repeat with the remaining cake layers.
For the cream: in a large bowl mix the strained yogurt, mascarpone, honey and elderflower syrup (or lemon juice) and mix until the mixture is thick and fluffy.
Assembling the cake: put just a little of the cream on the cake pad, which you will use, and spread with a few movements. Set the first cake layer on top and gently press with your hands so it stays firmly on place. Put a layer of cream and spread evenly using a long pallet knife. If you have a rotating cake stand, it will be much easier for you. Sprinkle nuts and blueberries on top. Cover with a second cake layer and apply again with cream, walnuts and blueberries. Repeat with the remaining cake layers. Plaster the last cake layer only with cream – on top and slightly on the cake sides. Keep some cream and walnuts and store the cake in the fridge for half an hour.
Remove the cake from the fridge and apply the remaining cream on top and on the sides, smoothing out the bumps with a long pallet knife or other suitable tool. Use your hands to spread theremaining walnuts on the cake sides so they stick well. Decorate with fresh fruits on top – I used raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Store the Medovik cake in the fridge for at least one night before serving. Enjoy!