Russian Honey Cake with Macerated Blackberries
By Annie Christianson - Winter 2017 Issue
This version of Russian Honey Cake, adapted from Smitten Kitchen, has a beautiful honey flavor, and the sweetened lemon-sour-cream frosting soaks into the layers making it super soft and flavorful.
Recipe Detail Serves: 12 90 mins. plus overnight rest Prep Time, 45 mins. Cook Time
Make the Cake Layers:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Set aside two cookie sheets. Tear off 4 sheets of parchment paper and draw a 9-inch circle on them by tracing the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan, if you have one. Whisk together the flour and the baking soda, set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the honey, butter, and sugar over medium heat. Stir occasionally to combine. Once the mixture is simmering, cook 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs. Very slowly, while whisking vigorously, drizzle in a few spoonfuls of the honey mixture to temper the eggs (i.e., to keep them from scrambling). Then very, very slowly while whisking constantly, drizzle the egg mixture into the honey mixture. Stir in the salt and vanilla. Mix in 3 cups of the flour mixture. Add the last half-cup of flour mixture 1/4 cup at a time until no white streaks remain. The dough will be stiff.
Divide the warm dough into 8 equal pieces (I used a kitchen scale, but you can just eyeball it). Place a section of dough between two pieces of parchment paper, and use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a slightly larger than 9-inch circle. Remove the top piece of parchment and use a knife to trim the dough into an even 9-inch circle. Leave the dough on the bottom piece of parchment paper and transfer it to the cookie sheet. Bake for about 6 minutes until the edges are just slightly darker. Remove from the oven and transfer the cake to a cooling rack.
While one cake layer is baking, roll out another layer and place it on the second cookie sheet so it is ready to go in the oven as soon as the first layer comes out. Repeat this process until all of the layers are baked. Set aside to cool completely.
Make the Frosting:
Whisk the sour cream, sweetened condensed milk, lemon extract and lemon zest together until smooth.
Assemble the Cake:
Tear a few strips of parchment paper and place them around the edges of a cake plate (it doesn’t have to be neat; these will be removed before serving). Place a layer of cake on the plate so the layer overlaps the parchment paper but doesn’t cover it completely. The parchment will catch any frosting that drips onto the plate.
Spoon about 3/4 cup of frosting into the center of the cake. Use the back of a spoon to spread the frosting to within an inch of the edge of the cake. Top with another layer of cake and another 3/4 cup of frosting. Repeat this process until the final layer. After adding the final layer, pour the remaining frosting over the top, allowing some to drip down the sides. Refrigerate the cake for at least 12 hours to allow the frosting to soak into the cake and make it soft and delicious.
About an hour prior to serving, combine the blackberries and sugar in a bowl, and allow the berries to macerate (soften).
Gently pull out the pieces of parchment paper from under the cake. Serve the cake with a generous scoop of berries. Leftovers can be stored for several days.