Every year for Eurovision I like to bake something from the host country. Last year Sweden hosted, and I made Ostkaka and Kladdaka (see here for the recipes). This year, Ukraine were the hosts and when searching for something to bake, this layered honey cake came up time and again.
In truth there's no sponge in this cake. It's more like 8 layers of honey biscuit, sandwiched with creamy but light filling. It has to be left overnight after forming, which softens the biscuit to be like a beautifully soft sponge.
I was skeptical when I started baking this cake, assuming mine would end up looking a mess.
However, it was really straightforward, and only took 90 minutes to prepare, bake and assemble! We tried it the next day and wowzerz it's tasty :) It looks really impressive so I'd highly recommend anyone try out this recipe.
I topped the cake off with some almond brittle, which is entirely optional, but gives the cake a nice final touch :)
Makes one 23cm cake
For the cake:
- 4 tbsp honey
- 165g (3/4 cup) golden caster sugar
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 660g (3 cups) plain flour
For the frosting:
- 160ml (2/3 cup) double cream
- 600ml (2 & 1/2 cups) soured cream
- 135g (1 & 1/3 cup) icing sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
For the almond brittle:
- 75g (1/2 cup) flaked almonds
- 100g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp water
1. Preheat your oven to 180c (160c fan)/350f/gas mark 4. Grease two baking trays.
2. Heat the honey, sugar and butter together in a saucepan, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar has dissolved, take the saucepan off the heat and beat in the eggs.
3. Sift the bicarbonate of soda and plain flour into a large bowl. Pour the flour into the saucepan and beat with a wooden spoon until all of the flour has been incorporated. The dough should be firm enough to be able to form into a ball.
4. Place the dough on a floured surface and shape into a flat circle. Divide into 8 pieces (like a pizza).
5. Place a sheet of baking paper on your surface and lightly dust with flour. Add 1/8 of the dough to the paper, and roll out to 2-3mm thick. Use the base of a 23cm cake tin to cut the dough to the 23cm size. Keep the trimmings (they are used to cover the cake later).
6. Transfer the dough (stuck to the baking paper) to the greased oven tray and bake for 3-4 minutes, until browned. Once cooked, you can slide the baking paper +layer off the tray onto a wire rack, and bake the next layer (with a new sheet of baking paper).
7. Once all of the layers have cooked, roll out the trimmings to an even thickness, and bake for 4-5 minutes until browned. Set aside to cool, then blend to a fine crumb in a food processor.
8. Make the frosting by sifting the icing sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add the soured cream and cinnamon and beat until smooth.
9. Beat the double cream with a whisk until stiff peaks form. Fold this cream into the rest of the frosting. Refridgerate until ready to use.
10. To make the almond brittle, heat the granulated sugar and water together in a saucepan. DO NOT STIR IT, but you can swirl the pan from time to time. Keep an eye on it - after about 5 minutes it should turn a nice amber colour. Meanwhile, pour the flaked almonds evenly onto a sheet of baking paper (in a baking tray).
11. Once amber, pour the caramel over the almonds. Tilt the pan to evenly distribute the caramel. Leave to set for 10-15 minutes until cooled and firm. Break into shards.
12. To assemble the cake, place the first layer onto the serving plate. Place 4-5 tbsp of the frosting on the layer, and spread evenly over the cake. Top with the next layer of sponge.
13. Repeat with the remaining layers. Use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake - a large palette knife or dough scraper will give you the smoothest result, but a round knife will also work.
14. Pour the cake dough crumbs all over the cake. I don't know an easy way to do this - I just sprinkled it over the top of the cake (easy enough) then patted the crumbs onto the sides - a messy job but it worked.
15. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 10 hours.
16. Top with almond brittle shards, and enjoy!