January 23, 2018
Ready to really test your baking skills? Then, you need to try out this recipe for Russian Manuka honey layer cake! The steps are many, and the challenge great, but the reward will be unlike anything you’ve accomplished previously as a baker—and it will be amazingly delicious to boot. So, let’s get started!
Ingredients for Russian Manuka Honey Cake
- 1 ½ cups of Manuka honey, divided
- 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of sugar
- ¼ cup of water
- 14 tablespoons (or 7 ounces) of unsalted butter, divided into 1/2-inch slices
- 6 eggs, large
- 1 1/4 teaspoons of fine sea salt, divided
- 2 ½ teaspoons of baking soda
- 3 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 4 ¾ cups of heavy cream, divided and chilled
- 1 ¼ cups (or one 13.4-ounce can) of dulce de leche
Directions for Russian Manuka Honey Cake
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a 9-inch cake or pie pan, trace circles onto 12 sheets of parchment paper that will fit your baking sheets. Set to the side.
- To make a water bath, fill a saucepan with about an inch of water, setting over medium heat.
- Now, place 3/4 cup of Manuka honey into a 2-quart saucepan, setting over high heat. Bring it up to a simmer before reducing the heat down to medium. Once three minutes have passed, the honey will start foam intensely. While stirring with a spoon infrequently, watch the honey closely. Cook it until it starts smoking before turning the heat off and carefully adding water. Let the honey sizzle until the bubbling stops. Whisk the mixture to combine before pouring it into a heat-proof measuring cup that has a spout. Place the measuring cup into the prepared water bath in order to keep the honey in liquid form.
- Add two inches of water to a medium saucepan, and bring it to simmer. Combine a 1/4 cup of burned Manuka honey, 3/4 cup of unburned honey, butter, and sugar in a metal mixing bowl, placing over the water.
- Crack the eggs into a smaller bowl and set to the side. In another small bowl, stir together the baking soda, cinnamon, and 3/4 teaspoon of sea salt.
- Once your butter had melted, whisk and combine the Manuka honey mixture. When the mixture is warm, add the eggs and whisk. When this mixture is back to that same warm temperature, add in the cinnamon mixture, whisking for 30 seconds. From here, the batter will start foaming and emitting an odor. Take the bowl off the heat, allowing it to cool until warm.
- Place your flour in a fine-mesh sieve, sifting over your batter in three different batches and whisking to combine the flour with each new addition until the batter is smooth. The batter spreads more easily when warm, so place half in another bowl and cover—choose a warm place like the top of your preheating oven.
- Place a sheet of parchment, traced side facing upward, onto a baking sheet before spooning in a heaping 1/3 cup of cake batter. Using a spatula, evenly spread your batter to the circle’s edges—it might not seem like enough batter, but try getting the layer perfectly circular and even. Repeat this process for the other layers until all your pans are used, and then continue the process with the remaining parchment sheets and batter on a flat surface. You should have 11 or 12 layers by the end.
- At 6-7 minutes per time, bake the cake layers, with as many in the oven as possible, until they turn a deep caramel and spring back at your touch. During the first batch, set a four-minute timer, so you can rotate pans if necessary to ensure level cooking. Check again around six minutes to avoid overbaking. When every layer has finished, slide off the parchment from the pan to prevent overbaking.
- Once they can be handled, examine each cake layer, trimming the circles’ edges if uneven. Before the layers fully cool, carefully pull them from the parchment and set them back, allowing them to completely cool for about 30 minutes.
- When you’ve finished baking all the layers, reduce your oven temp to 250. If you have 12 cake layers total, find the two least attractive ones (or one if 11 total) and return them to the baking sheet, placing in the oven for roughly 15 minutes to toast until dry and a deep red-brown. Let the layers cool before using a food processor for grinding them into fine crumbs. Set to the side, covered.
- In a medium-sized bowl, add the dulce de leche, a 1/2 cup of burned honey, and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Whisk until combined before slowly pouring in 3/4 cup of cream, mixing until combined. Chill in the fridge for around 30 minutes or until entirely cool.
- Using a standing mixer bowl with an affix whisk attachment, pour in 4 cups of heavy cream. For around six minutes, whip at medium speeds to soft peaks before adding the honey mixture and whipping the frosting into medium stiff peaks. If the mixer doesn’t hold more than 5 quarts, make the frosting in two batches and combine later.
- Now, assemble your cake on a 10-inch flat serving plate. Set one cake layer at the center of the plate, and then spoon one heaping cup of frosting onto its center. Spread frosting evenly with a spatula, leaving an unfrosted 1/4-inch ring around the edge. Set the next layer on top of the frosting, centering it and continuing like before. Be willing to manhandle the layers to make them align while stacking. After setting your 10th layer, spread on a scant cup of frosting on top. Use leftover frosting for smoothing out the cake’s sides. Sprinkle cake crumbs on the sides and top of the cake.
- Chill overnight and serve chilled at your discretion. Enjoy!