Russian Honey Cake – Food Wishes

hello this is chef john from food wishes
comm with russian honey k that’s right there are basically three different ways
you can make this amazing cake the hard way the harder way and the way we’re
gonna do it the hardest way but it’s all gonna be worth it because once you’re
finished you’re gonna be enjoying one of the most beautiful and delicious cakes
of all time so with that let’s go ahead get started
and the first thing we’re gonna need to do here comrades is burn some honey so
let’s go ahead and transfer some honey into a saucepan that we will place over
medium heat in case you’re keeping score at home I’m using a wildflower honey but
I have to think pretty much any honey’s gonna work in this and I know I just
said we’re gonna burn the honey but that’s not really true alright all we’re
really gonna do is cook this until it’s like one shade darker and sort of takes
on the aroma of caramel or as I pronounced it all my life
caramel and yes it is insane I’m using a pan this small because it is probably
gonna foam up and you do not want this boiling over on your stove so you go
ahead and use something a little deeper but anyway I went ahead and cooked mine
for about 10 minutes or so until like I said it kind of darkened up a bit and I
started smelling that distinct aroma of caramelized sugar and then once we’ve
pushed that as far as we want to go what we’ll do is turn off the heat and whisk
in a little splash of cold fresh water which will immediately stop this from
cooking any further plus make the texture a little bit thinner once it
cools and then once that set we’ll push it to the back of the stove and we’ll
place a large metal bowl over our lowest heat setting into which we will toss a
whole bunch of butter and for the record this bowl is supposed to be placed over
simmering water and not directly on the flame but just like when I make
hollandaise I like to live dangerously and as long as we have a really really
low heat setting this will be fine and then to the butter we will also add a
touch of white sugar as well as some of our recently burned honey plus some
regular honey and then what we’ll do to this is absolutely nothing we will
simply let it sit there until our butter melts and while we’re waiting what we
should do is take some baking soda not powder baking soda and add some salt to
it as well as some cinnamon because we’re going to be tossing that in in a
few minutes and then what we’ll do once our butter melts
or almost melts let’s go ahead and give this a whisk and leave it over the heat
until it’s very warm to the touch all right not super hot and not just
barely warm and then what we’ll do one set is very warm to the touch just go
ahead and add six cold eggs and we’ll go ahead and whisk those in and relax this
is not so hot that it’s gonna scramble those eggs which reminds me if your eggs
scramble it was too hot and what we’ll do once our eggs have been mixed in is
simply keep this over that very low heat setting until the entire mixture comes
back to that very warm temperature and sure a temperature would help here but
you’re not getting one you have to learn to use the force and your fingertips and
then what we’ll do as soon as that mixture does feel very warm again let’s
go ahead and stir in our baking soda cinnamon mixture and you’ll see just
after a few minutes of stirring the mixture is gonna change color and get
much lighter and we’ll sort of look thick and foamy and that’s because of
all those little tiny bubbles that the baking soda is producing and then once
that’s been stirred in and our mixture is hopefully looking a little something
like this we will remove that from the heat into some better light and we’ll go
ahead and finish this up by sifting in some all-purpose flour which we
generally don’t want to do all at once so what we’ll do is sift this in two or
three additions and as soon as one additions been stirred in we will add
the next and once all that flours been added and stirred in we should be
looking at a somewhat thick but still fairly runny and easily spreadable
batter so that is looking just about perfect right there and then what we’ll
do to form our layers of honey cake is transfer just shy of about half a cup
onto the Silpat lined baking sheet and then using ideally an offset spatula we
want to spread this out into about an eight or nine inch circle and since I
have like zero cake making utensils and tools I just spread mine out using a
rubber spatula but if you google offset spatula you’ll see what you’re supposed
to use and yes as you can tell from the dirty Silpat I actually did a few before
I filmed this one but don’t worry this one came out just as bad and then what
we’ll do once that set is give it a quick shake and then the old tap a tappa
to knock out any big air bubbles in which point we’re gonna cook this at 375
for about six to seven minutes or until it looks like this and that’s it we only
have to do that several more times which is why it’s an advantage to have
more than one pan and one Silpat and no my oven didn’t magically clean that
Silpat while was baking this was a shot from the other pan I was using and the
shot just happened to be a lot better but anyway what we want to do as soon as
that comes out of the oven is very carefully slide it off the pan and onto
the table which is gonna allow it to cool a lot faster and then after about
six or seven minutes it should be cool enough and firm enough to remove from
the mat and by the way even though the surface looks pretty smooth you’ll see
as I flip this upside down onto this piece of parchment underneath you will
have some spots where bubbles have formed but do not worry about those as
you’ll see that’s not going to cause any problem and you should be pretty shocked
if each layer does not have a few of those but anyway I went ahead and did
seven more of those stacking them up with parchment paper between the layers
as I went but I stopped stacking it three because as you can see in this
shot those first few I piled up sort of stuck to the paper because this is a
relatively sticky cake because of the honey so I stopped stacking those and
just ended up spreading them out on the table like this and then once all your
layers are totally cooled we can take a plate in my case a paper plate and trim
around them making sure they’re all the same size and not to brag but all mine
were really close but even so I did grab my pizza wheel and I went around so they
all had a beautiful nice clean edge but anyway that’s optional although if you
do it save the scraps since we can actually add those to the crumb mixture
with which we’re gonna coat our cake and if you’re wondering what crumb mixture
well the crumb mixture we’re gonna make with the extra batter since if
everything goes according to plan after you’ve done your 8 layers you should
have just about this much batter left which we will just spread out onto our
baking sheet and we will cook that for about 10 minutes at which point we’ll go
ahead and cut this up into smaller pieces and the whole reason for this is
if we left it whole I think those outside edges might get too dark and
possibly burnt and not burn honey burnt like actually burnt so by making what’s
basically cake croutons I think this is all gonna cook a lot more evenly so we
will cut toss and go ahead and pop that back in for about maybe 7 to 10 minutes
more or until fairly well Brown and by the way we can also do that with
any of our trimmings from earlier and that’s it once that’s all cooled we can
go ahead and give it the old bag and bash until we have some fairly fine
crumbs and then once that’s set we can move on to the last major component our
creamy filling slash frosting which we’re gonna make in a very cold bowl
with a very cold whisk all right keep those in the fridge until you’re ready
to use them and then into that we will pour 2 pints a very cold heavy cream
okay when your whipped cream it has to be very cold especially if you’re gonna
do by hand like I do and of course go ahead and use your electric beaters if
you want but by doing this by hand I’m gonna burn off the exact same amount of
calories as 1 slice of cake give or take 300 calories or so and what we want to
do here is whip this until we have soft peaks or what would be a more accurate
name floppy peaks and then what we’ll do once we’ve achieved those is go ahead
and add the rest of our burnt honey as well as a couple nice big spoons of sour
cream and of course the regular sour cream to cream ratio is gonna be up to
you but I’m going for a fairly light filling so I’ve like four parts cream to
one part sour cream but anyway we’ll go ahead and add that and then continue
whisking until we have fairly stiff peaks all right we don’t want to go too
far and make butter here but we do want this mixture getting fairly stiff
because it has to hold up all those layers and when I reach that stage it
look like this and that’s it once our cream is done we can start to assemble
and for this first layer I went around and trimmed off the parchment right up
to the cake which is gonna give us something to slide our spatulas under
and then we’ll go ahead and transfer around a generous cup at least of our
whipped cream and spread that out as evenly as we can almost up to the edge
all right we don’t have to go all the way because the next layer is gonna
press it down and speaking of the next layer you want a place aside that has
the divots from the air bubbles facing up that way when we spread on the cream
it’s going to fill in and of course as you’re putting these on you’re giving
them a nice gentle press but anyway we’ll continue creaming and kagan until
we have one layer of cake left and unlike the other ones this last layer I
like to put with the nice side up so maybe Savior smooth that’s best one for
last and that’s it we’ll go ahead and frost the top and if everything goes
according plan you should have just enough whipped
cream to go around the sides as well which I barely did and if you don’t
don’t worry about it just tell people you’re doing the rustic version and you
know there are so many activities involved with cooking that I find very
therapeutic and frosting a cake is way up that list all right it just feels
really good and it makes you feel really good and because of that while you’re
doing this that cake is absorbing all those good feels which is why when your
guests eat this they feel good or at least that’s what I assume happens but
anyway we’ll go ahead and spread it over the rest of our whipped cream and then
to finish our cake off we’re gonna cover it with our crumbs and for that I’m
gonna use the old Ricochet method where we let the crumbs fall against like a
bench scraper or a piece of paper like this and they basically bounce onto the
cake and stick onto the whipped cream and personally I like to go for full
coverage although you do see a lot of versions where just the top is crumbed
or just the sides are covered and the top is left white but anyway
presentations up to you I mean you are for all the Wladimir of your crumb
venire and it’s up to you to decide how you should be putting these on but
anyway like I said I like to cover the whole thing at which point we can do a
little bit of cleanup around the base and then I have some horrible news we
have to refrigerate this overnight or longer to enjoy it in all its glory and
during that time that whipped cream is going to kind of soak into the layers
and they’re gonna get even moister and more luscious so do not try to eat this
as soon as you make it although if you did it probably would still be really
good but I did go ahead and pop mine in the fridge overnight and by the way I
actually did cover in plastic I just didn’t film that since this video is so
long and then a day later I went ahead and pulled it out at which point I
performed the always terrifying maneuver of trying to transfer it onto a cake
stand with too wobbly spatulas but as you can see that went pretty well
and speaking of things going well cutting a nice neat first slice out of
one of these big cakes is not the easiest thing to do but much to my
surprise that also worked out better than expected so I grabbed a fork to go
in for a taste and please note those toasted crumbs are just not for a
garnish they really do help accentuate that caramelized honey flavor in the
cake and then as far as the cake itself go
it really is shockingly light in texture but with a very profound deep deep honey
flavor right that tiny little amount of bitterness we get from the burnt honey
step really is the secret here and then that slightly tangy whipped cream
frosting is just absolutely perfect for this since not only does it provide a
little bit of acidity and of course a lovely light texture but unlike most
frostings it is not too sweet right the only thing we use to sweeten that was
that little bit of burnt honey so to summarize I was very happy with
how this came out and I celebrated by cutting another slice so I could do a
fully food style plate and then take some pictures and more importantly some
more but anyway that’s it my take on Russian honey cake and know it’s not
easy to make and it does take a lot of time and effort but it is so so worth it
and that’s coming from someone that doesn’t even like cake so whether you’re
making this honey cake for your honey sake or you’re just in the mood for a
challenging bake I really do hope you give this a try soon so please follow
the links below to get the ingredient amounts the written recipe and much more
info as usual and as always enjoy you you

  1. Why wouldn't the rounds be baked in a round cake tin for uniformity? Lots of torte recipes call for that. I doubt I could find the tray liner you are using so I would probably need to grease some parchment paper–if I could find any parchment paper in the first place,–if I did the cake layers free form like you did?

    Also, I assume this should be eaten quickly, like at one event? Wouldn't the frosting kind of disintegrate and make a soggy mess after more than 48 hours?

  2. Chef! I really, Really, REALLY wanna support ur dream house but the link to become a member doesnt work for me! Is it not available in the UAE?

  3. Bless you Chef John, such a brilliant cake to eat. Having your recipe and lovely self to follow along with has brightened up my day. But I'm with you in having to hand whisk my cream in attempt to burn off those extra calories

  4. Do you ever wonder how recipes are invented? I find it hard to believe something like this was an accident. Who said to themselves they wanted to invent this?

  5. Don't lie, you're only whipping the frosting by hand because you gotta make up for the arm exercise lost by not being able to jack off this month.

  6. Omg, one of my favourite desserts! I was just in a mood for it recently, this might just get me to actually try to cook it myself for the first time in my life.
    (Though, it does not seem to resemble the recipe my mom uses, I'll have to question her about it.)

  7. Looking at the thumbnail I had 2 thoughts on how you got the layers – I was wrong.. I really like a whipped cream frosting.

  8. Since you've drawn the attention on the Life of Boris crowd, you should try Herring Under Fur Coat(also called Shuba, which is slightly less fun to say).

  9. Saw those layers and I was ready to divide my sponges into 2 at the most 3 layers… Little did I know 😂😩

  10. Floppy peaks😂 We dont have such cakes sold here… looks like Imma gonna have to make 1 so Im saving this video to my playlist.

  11. For an easier version: my grandma uses store-bought cake layers and makes filling herself. Maybe it's not that good and honey as fully homemade, but far better then the one from the store (though the best cake I tried was in a fancy restaurant)

  12. think you could have used the batter and just made pancakes and stacked them? heh .. that would save so much time :o)

  13. I wish I had this recipe and measurements earlier, because my cake dough came out stiff. You think as more flour you add the more dough you will have, but not in this case. Also I would not add any cinnamon in, just not to mask the honey aroma.. but some fruit garnish like raspberry, would do some magic..

  14. You should make a chiffon so you can say, "You are, after all, the Chef John of your chiffon".

    I thought that was clever ASF…..

  15. I prefer when you speak with a normal voice. Your "presentation" voice makes me a little sea sick, and it sounds cheesy/ salesy. Personally, I much prefer your normal speaking voice.

  16. You are missing berries and Russian tea, or coffee. I'm not Russian, but I think it is illegal not to serve this with tea or coffee

  17. This is not russian recipe you uneducated fuck.
    This is "Marlenka" recipe, which is recipe from Czech company founded not much long ago.

    Original recipe for "medovník" is slavic at best but surely not russian 👿👿

  18. If we were cake eaters this would definitely be one I'd try as it doesn't look so sweet. Now bread is a whole other matter! My husband could eat nothing but fresh-baked bread all day long every day for the rest of his life and he would die a very happy man!

  19. I love honey.
    Like, I'm not a sweet or sugar lover: I'll pick chips or popcorn over chocolate any day.
    But honey is my weakness.
    I can eat it by the jar nonstop.

    I added some extra honey to the frosting and it came out so moist and sweet and omg… I live alone with my girl, and she's really small, yet the cake didn'take it through the night.

  20. Is there any particular reason why it has to be 8 layers? I mean, you could always make it 10 layers high or only 5 layers!
    It looks delicious, so thank you for an interesting recipe!

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