Russian Honey-Bunny Cake

The Russian honey cake, called Medovik in Russian, is very similar to the American icebox cake. It is layers of wafers or cookies sandwiching layers of cream. In the case of Medovik, you use honey-infused cookie dough, made by caramelizing honey, whipping that into eggs and butter, and slowly adding in the flour, little by little, until it forms a dough, which you then roll, punch out into evenly sized layers, and bake. To make this a honey-bunny cake, I took the liberty of infusing carrots into my dough. For the filling, the traditional cream is sour cream, but in the case for this recipe, I used a mixture of homemade mascarpone, goat cheese, and cream cheese, just to give another homage to carrot cake. I also seasoned the dessert with bee pollen, just to further accentuate those honey notes, and I used the carrot greens to create a powder that mimics grass in color, a white carrot gelee to resemble the bunnies, and rolled up, dehydrated rainbow carrots to resemble the flowers in the garden.

Overall, the dessert took me basically two days to make; Friday night to create the cheese and dough, Saturday to prepare the carrot green powder, the cheese filling, dehydrating the carrot flowers, and the gelee, as well as layering the entire thing, and after an entire day of refrigeration, it was ready to serve by Sunday. I think that this dessert is perfect for Easter, but you can really eat it whenever and wherever you want, especially if you’re not religious like me, and therefore Easter is just another day. Personally, it tested my patience, because of how long it took; on average, most of my cake recipes take only 2-3 hours, depending on how fast in the pastry kitchen you are, so a recipe that takes longer than that is really fucking frustrating. But it was very much worth it, because the end result was a 16-layered carrot cake-icebox cake-honey cake hybrid that was really delicious, and let’s be real here, looks really adorable. So without further ado, here is probably the most time-consuming recipe I have ever made.

 

 

 

 

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16 motherfucking layers. 

For the honey cake dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup for rolling
3 eggs
1 stick unsalted butter; browned
1/3 cup finely grated carrot
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon bee pollen
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt

Simmer the honey, water, carrot, and sugar together with bee pollen. Combine eggs with brown butter and whip. Once the carrot mixture is reduced down to a thick syrup, pour into the eggs and continue whipping. Combine salt, baking powder, and flour together and sift. Add in the flour, 1/4 cup flour at a time, continually mixing until it forms a dough. Split the dough into 16 equal parts. Roll out as thin as possible, using flour, and cut out 16 6 inch disks. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes. With the scraps, bake those off separately, as 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Blitz until they form a fine crumb, sieving to separate the rougher crumbs from the finer ones. Reserve both crumbs, as you will be using them for different parts of the cake.

Three cheese mousse:
8 oz. mascarpone
8 oz goat cheese
12 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine water and sugar and bring to a simmer, reducing until it forms a syrup. Whip together the three cheeses and add in the simple syrup, salt, and vanilla. Continue whipping until it forms a smooth, homogenous mixture. The ideal consistency will be like a soft whipped cream. It is okay for the mixture to be thin, as it will be used to soak the layers of cake as well.

Rainbow carrot flowers:
Rainbow carrots; shaved using a vegetable peeler
a pinch of salt

Roll up the carrots, alternating with different colors, season with salt, and bake at 225 degrees F for 2 hours. Keep in oven until it is time to assemble.

White carrot-honey gelee:
1/2 cup chopped up white carrots
1/2 cup coconut or soy milk
1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons honey
a pinch of salt
3 tablespoons agar agar

Simmer the carrots in coconut milk, honey, and salt. Puree. Reduce the liquid down to about 3/4 cups of liquid. Blend in the mascarpone and agar agar. Set in a slightly oiled loaf tin.

Brown butter-carrot green powder
1 cup rinsed, blanched, and shocked carrot greens
1 stick unsalted butter; browned
3 1/2 cups tapioca maltodextrin
2 tablespoons honey
a pinch of salt

Puree the honey, salt, butter, and carrot greens into a pesto-like texture. Mix in the tapioca until it forms a solid mixture. Freeze solid.

Assembly:
Alternate between layers of the honey cake and cheese mousse. Set for 2 hours in the fridge. Remove, and cover the entire cake in a smooth layer of the remaining cheese mousse. Cover the edges of the cake with the finer crumbs. Top the cake with the courser crumbs, and grate the carrot green powder block over until the top of the cake resembles moss or grass. Top the cake with the gelee and carrot flowers.

 

 

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