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Medovik, Russian honey cake


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#31 Tri2Cook

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 03:40 PM

Hmmm. Well, thanks for tracking that down. This thread has captured my curiosity. So many new things to play around with.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#32 Franci

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 08:14 PM

No mention of the DDL layers - I had that same thought about the restaurant using it as a twist as it appears most of the other recipes mentioned only talk about a sour cream layer too.


In this one I already linked there is dulce de leche

http://www.olgasflav...ney-layer-cake/

I'll make it for Sunday, for my daughter BD's party and let you know.

#33 jmacnaughtan

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 02:52 AM

Thanks Kerry, that looks like a good recipe.  I wonder why the baking soda is cooked out first?

 

Looking forward to hearing about your effort with the DDL filling, Franci.  Keep us up to date with the results :)

 

My next attempt will come this weekend, I think I'll try the Russian one Kerry posted.  Just have to find a decent cup-metric converter...

 

By the way, can anyone tell me whether margarine has the same water content as butter?  I hate baking with the stuff, so I'd like to be able to swap it out without adding or removing too much water.

 

Thanks,

 

James


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#34 Kerry Beal

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 06:03 AM

I think adding the soda to the honey is like adding it to the molasses in gingerbread - works with the acidity.

 

I'd sub butter directly for margarine.  Do you use a scale?  I'd use 140 grams per cup of flour so 455 grams of flour and 500 grams of sour cream.



#35 jmacnaughtan

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 09:43 AM

Thanks a lot for that, Kerry.  I hate cup conversions, and tend to avoid most US-based recipes because of that.

 

Electronic gram scales all the way for me :)



#36 Kerry Beal

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 05:10 PM

Rob's latest input -  

 

So I made my uncle's friend's recipe today and noted all of my changes:

 

63 g                 Honey – the bolder the flavor the better

6.5 g                Baking soda

200 g               Butter flavored Crisco (haven’t tried butter yet*)

260 g               Sugar

2                      Eggs

530 g               AP Flour

 

In sauce pan, warm the honey and soda.  Once dissolved add the Crisco and warm til fully melted.  Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.  Transfer to the bowl of a mixer and when at room temp add eggs one at a time paddling just until incorporated.  Add the flour gradually and paddle just until homogenous.

 

Divide dough into seven equal portions of 160 g each, cover with saran.

 

On silpat or parchment, rollout each dough to desired shape (it doesn’t have to be perfect because the cake will expand as it bakes.  I did three rectangles of 4”x10” on each baking sheet.  Cover the dough with a second Silpat or parchment and set a second baking sheet on top to weigh them down – this will give you uniform flat cake layers.  Bake at 350º for about 10 minutes until lightly browned.  When all six layers are baked and cooled to room temp, bake the final dough darker than the first about 18 minutes.  Pulse that into decorative crumb.

 

260 g               Superfine sugar

500 g               Sour cream

 

Combine both in mixer and whisk on high until soft peaks.  Spread 125 g of cream mixture on each layer and top with next layer of dough, repeating until stacked finished with the cream.  Sprinkle the decorative crumbs on the top layer.  Rest all in fridge overnight to allow soaking.

 

 

*My concern with butter is that margarine or Crisco will leave the cake softer than butter, and I’m not yet sure how much soaking from the filling will effect the dough.

 

**My variations – a splash of vodka in the cream; fresh blueberries


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#37 Kerry Beal

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 09:35 AM

Rob's experiments indicate that underbaking is best - the overbaked layers do not absorb the cream as well and are more likely to be dry.  And that a little citrus flavour would be lovely!



#38 Franci

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 01:42 PM

I made the recipe I linked. I like the dough. It was easier to roll the dough warm, so I divided my dough in ten pieces, 90 g each. Before rolling I warmed up each single piece covered in microwave for 30 seconds, power 3.
For me was also easier to cut right outside the oven.
Will make the cream tomorrow and assemble on Saturday to eat Sunday. I already made my dulce de leche in PC.
image.jpg
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#39 DianaM

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 08:09 PM

I made the recipe I linked. I like the dough. It was easier to roll the dough warm, so I divided my dough in ten pieces, 90 g each. Before rolling I warmed up each single piece covered in microwave for 30 seconds, power 3.
For me was also easier to cut right outside the oven.
Will make the cream tomorrow and assemble on Saturday to eat Sunday. I already made my dulce de leche in PC.


Those layers look great! Compared to your ten layers, the cake from Café Pouchkine seems almost lazy, lol.
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#40 jmacnaughtan

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 07:45 AM

So, attempt n°2.

 

Finished 2.0.jpg  Cut 2.0.jpg

 

I used gfron1's recipe for the biscuit (halved, for a 14cm biscuit), made a chantilly (250g double cream, 100g crème fraîche, 35g honey, 1 vanilla bean and 3g gelatin) and used confiture de lait (dulce de leche) straight from the jar.

 

The layers cooked well, with a baking sheet on top they stayed flat, but there was even less honey flavor than before, even using stronger miel de sapin.  I got 7 layers of biscuit in the 4.5cm high cake, I think any more would be pushing it.  Maybe I could get 8.

 

The layers were biscuit - ddl - biscuit - chantilly - biscuit etc.  You can hardly see the chantilly layers, the biscuit absorbed it all :(

 

The texture was fairly dense and fudgy, not really what I was after.  It needed the cream within the layers to keep it moist, I think, and when absorbed it was a little too dry.

 

I subbed out a lot of the crème fraîche for double cream to try and eliminate the mushroom aftertaste, but it lost almost all the acidity.  I'll work on that...   And the ddl could have done with a pinch of fleur de sel to balance the sweetness.  Overall, the cake was too sweet.

 

The biscuit near the edge is much softer, moister and more pleasant than in the center in this one as well.  What I'll try with the next one is making a soaking syrup from honey and milk.  Has anyone made a soaking syrup with dairy before?  I figure this might help with the texture and help retain the integrity of the layers.

 

I'm happy with the presentation though.  For the final one, I'll probably make a honey tuile, but for now I love the brown velvet effect.


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#41 annabelle

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 01:41 PM

Well done!



#42 Tri2Cook

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 02:59 PM

Looks good and it sounds like your closing in on the texture and flavor you want.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#43 Franci

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 07:56 AM

I'm also here to report back. Like jmacnaughtan, although his looks so much better (!),  I found my cake very dense and almost all my cream disappeared. Also, it was assembled 2 days ago and served yesterday. I didn't like it at all. I recognized I made some mistakes, I used a pastry cream (with 500 ml milk and 3 egg yolks) cut with 250 ml whipped cream. I whipped the cream too much and overall the filling was too stiff. Needed definitely something runnier. Although today the taste really improved A LOT. Didn't notice a different texture on the edge of the biscuit  and in the centre, it was soft the same.

 

166fxqp.jpg


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#44 Tri2Cook

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 02:10 PM

Looks good to me. Since the disappearing cream thing seems to be a common problem, a syrup soak might be the way to go.


I'm wondering if something honey based to replace the dulce de leche might be worth investigating at some point just to see what a boost to the honey flavor does for the end result. A honey caramel or a honey cream or something similar.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#45 jmacnaughtan

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 02:26 PM

Looks good, Franci.  I like how you've got the layers very fine, it works well.

 

Try2cook, I was thinking the same thing.  You could probably make a honey dulce de leche using unsweetened evaporated milk and honey, combined in a jar and cooked as normal.  I'm not sure I'm willing to go that far though, I have nightmare visions of trying to scrape scalding honey-scented goop of the walls, ceiling and my skin.

 

I'll give it another try this weekend, using a syrup.



#46 Kerry Beal

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:25 PM

Looks good to me. Since the disappearing cream thing seems to be a common problem, a syrup soak might be the way to go.


I'm wondering if something honey based to replace the dulce de leche might be worth investigating at some point just to see what a boost to the honey flavor does for the end result. A honey caramel or a honey cream or something similar.

Or a honey syrup for the soak!


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#47 djyee100

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:39 PM

Fascinating thread, even for those of us with no plans to try making this cake.

jmacnaughtan, I wonder what kind of cake your clients are expecting. It seems that there are so many variations of this cake, as well as issues about wet biscuits, too dense texture, insufficient honey flavor, etc. I don't have a fix on what the traditional cake is supposed to be like. Will "improvements" in accord with our Western tastes actually be welcome to your clients? Or are they expecting a traditional cake like babushka used to make? Just wondering.



#48 jmacnaughtan

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 03:38 AM

Fascinating thread, even for those of us with no plans to try making this cake.

jmacnaughtan, I wonder what kind of cake your clients are expecting. It seems that there are so many variations of this cake, as well as issues about wet biscuits, too dense texture, insufficient honey flavor, etc. I don't have a fix on what the traditional cake is supposed to be like. Will "improvements" in accord with our Western tastes actually be welcome to your clients? Or are they expecting a traditional cake like babushka used to make? Just wondering.

 

Good point.  The people I'm making it for are generally not Russians, so I don't think tradition is much of an issue.  And anyway, my benchmark is the Café Pouchkine version, created by a French pastry chef in Moscow.  I've never tried an "authentic" home-made Medovik, but I figure that if I can get it to a point where I'm happy with it, other people will be happy with it too.  Even if it's not what babushka makes.



#49 jmacnaughtan

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 09:50 AM

Third attempt, getting a little closer to what I wanted.

 

Finished 3.0.jpg

 

Cut 3.0.jpg

 

This time:

 

  • The layers were rolled much thinner.  It turns out that it's pretty much impossible to roll them too thin between two layers of baking paper.  I could see daylight through them.  I ended up using eleven layers of biscuit in a 4.5cm high cake.
  • The layers were soaked with a honey syrup.  This meant (at last) that the cake actually had some honey flavour and was moist.  Unfortunately, it also made sure that the cake was overly sweet, the cut was sloppy, and you could still see almost no white cream layers.  My thoughts are to use fewer layers, maybe 8, with a thicker layer of cream, and add either some alcohol (vodka, to stay with the Russian theme) or acid to the syrup to balance it out (It was 110g honey-100g water).
  • The cream was 250g crème fraîche, 100g double cream, 25g honey, 3g gelatin and a vanilla pod.  It was too sweet- I'm thinking of using entirely crème fraîche next time, and cutting the honey by at least half
  • The ddl was seasoned with a little salt.  It was still overly sweet- I'll probably incorporate some butter and up the salt a little to balance it out.

 

Any input is welcome- especially on coating the cake with the crumb.  It's a pain and takes a long time.  Maybe brushing with neutral glaze then just rolling it in it would work?



#50 DianaM

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 08:33 PM

Any input is welcome- especially on coating the cake with the crumb.  It's a pain and takes a long time.  Maybe brushing with neutral glaze then just rolling it in it would work?


I cannot help with your question, but as soon as I saw the first pic, I wanted to comment on how even and beautiful that golden crumb coating looks. My two pence: you have put a lot of effort in perfecting this cake, wouldn't it be a shame to skimp on this final step? :)

#51 jmacnaughtan

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 03:24 AM

 

Any input is welcome- especially on coating the cake with the crumb.  It's a pain and takes a long time.  Maybe brushing with neutral glaze then just rolling it in it would work?


I cannot help with your question, but as soon as I saw the first pic, I wanted to comment on how even and beautiful that golden crumb coating looks. My two pence: you have put a lot of effort in perfecting this cake, wouldn't it be a shame to skimp on this final step? :)

 

 

Thanks, I like it too :)

 

You're right, but I was just thinking of something that would help the crumb stick better- for these ones I took it out the freezer, let the outside thaw for 10 minutes, slowly and painstakingly pat crumb up the sides over and over to get it even...  

 

I'm just wondering if there's a simpler, faster way to get the same result.



#52 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 07:07 AM

I'm wondering if the gelatin in the cream layer inhibits the absorption of the cream into the cake layers.   Surely the gelatin wouldn't have been traditional.  Just a thought. 



#53 jmacnaughtan

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 08:27 AM

I'm wondering if the gelatin in the cream layer inhibits the absorption of the cream into the cake layers.   Surely the gelatin wouldn't have been traditional.  Just a thought. 

 

It may do, but it doesn't seem to retain a sharp, distinct layer.  That's what I'm aiming for.

 

The gelatin isn't traditional.  I use it because it helps the cream hold together better without splitting, it gives a great texture, it helps the cake retain its form and means it's freeze-thaw stable (I assemble the cake, freeze it, then coat it while frozen so it holds it's shape and is much easier to work with).

 

All in all, as there are so many variations and recipes, I'm not worried about using traditional techniques.  I just want to make a good looking and tasting medovik.



#54 Tri2Cook

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 10:21 AM

Since you're not worrying over being strictly traditional, you could probably get away with making the cream more like a heavy mousse or something. With the syrup soak, you don't need it to provide moisture to the biscuit and that should stand up to collapsing or being absorbed better than a cream. You'll still get the creaminess from the DDL.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#55 jmacnaughtan

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 12:33 AM

So, after 3 trials I made the Medovik for the party.  It was a success, and thanks to everybody for their input, especially for the biscuit recipes.

 

Here's the final version.  The decoration's simply tempered white chocolate with Medovik crumbs sieved over the surface before it set, then cut and rolled up to make petals.  I really should have taken more time over it, but I like the effect.  Unfortunately no photos of the interior, but I got what I wanted- using fewer layers of biscuit and a thicker layer of denser chantilly, the layers were clearly visible.

 

Finished 4.0 sharik.jpg

Finished 4.0 top.jpg

 

As soon as I've got time, I'll post the full recipe on recipegullet.  It's a really nice cake to make.


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#56 Tri2Cook

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 07:39 AM

Very nice! I look forward to seeing the recipe for the final version.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#57 alfiewood

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 03:24 AM

This cake looks very yummy. I have never heard about this cake. Thanks others for sharing the wonderful recipie. I will definitely try it at my wedding anniversary.

__________________________________

 

http://www.chocholk....ies/rich-cakes/



#58 jmacnaughtan

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 09:00 AM

As promised, here's the recipe.

 

If anyone makes it for themselves, I'd like to hear about it.



#59 Kerry Beal

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 06:13 AM

Check out what I found at the Punjab Market (which handles everything european) yesterday - 

 

IMG_1163.jpg

 

Vacuum sealed layers of cake for various projects including dobas torte.  



#60 jmacnaughtan

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 02:47 AM

Check out what I found at the Punjab Market (which handles everything european) yesterday - 

 

attachicon.gifIMG_1163.jpg

 

Vacuum sealed layers of cake for various projects including dobas torte.  

I wonder how that affects the texture and aeration in sponge cakes...  A bakery I used to work in used pre-prepared frozen sheets of génoise and joconde, but I've never seen them vacuum packed before.

 

Have you tried these?