Russian Oven: Prague chocolate cake

If you are looking for an unhacked chocolate cake recipe, the USSR-born "Prague" is for you: a deliciously eloquent classic dessert with a hint of Soviet posh.

Despite the geographical reference in its name, this cake has nothing to do with the Czech Republic. The famous chocolate dessert was invented by Soviet confectioner Vladimir Guralnik. In the 1970s he was a pastry chef at the illustrious Praga (Prague) Restaurant in central Moscow. The restaurant, whose splendid interior and affluent menu card were meant to symbolize the pinnacle of Soviet glamor, was also the country’s top culinary “laboratory”. “Prague” cake was among its most famous creations.

Chocolate, creamy and luscious, “Prague” resembles the renowned Viennese Sachertorte. But, unlike its elder Central European cousin, it features an original sauce based on butter and condensed milk. 

So, if you are ready for a new culinary experience, let's begin!

Make sure you have:

  • 7 eggs
  • 150 g (0.75 cup) sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
  • 115 g (0.9 cup) flour
  • 35 g (0.3 cup) cocoa powder
  • 340 g (1.5 cup) butter
  • 120 g (0.39 cup) condensed milk
  • 6 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 100 g (3.5 oz.) bitter chocolate

 

The dough:

  • Take 6 eggs, separate the whites from the yolks
  • Beat the whites till stiff. While whipping, add 75 g (0.375 cup) sugar
  • Beat the egg yolks with 75g (0.375 cup) sugar
  • Mix the flour and 25 g (0.2 cup) cocoa powder, pour the blend gradually into the egg yolks mix, then add the whipped egg whites
  • Mix the dough with 40 g (0.15 cup) melted butter
  • Spread out the dough in the baking pan (if your pan is not silicone, oil it with butter)
  • Preheat the oven to 200 C (392 F), bake for 30 minutes
  • Leave the dough to cool for 8 hours, then cut laterally into 3 layers

 

The sauce:

  • Mix one egg yolk with 20 ml (0.7 fl.oz.) water, add 120 g condensed milk and 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
  • Cook the blend in a double boiler till thick syrup. Constantly stir while boiling
  • Leave to cool. Continue stirring
  • Beat 200 g (0.9 cup) butter, gradually add the syrup, and then add 10 g (0.1 cup) cocoa powder.
  • Grease the layers with the sauce
  • Put warm apricot jam on top of the cake

 

The topping

  • Melt 100 g (3.5 oz.) bitter chocolate and 100 g (0.45 cup) butter in the double boiler, stir the blend
  • Cover the cake with the topping
  • Put the cake in the fridge for 2 hours

The last stage is the tasting. Enjoy!

Russian oven is a new video series devoted to Russian pastries, featuring traditional age-old pies and cakes, inventive cookies and tarts of recent years, plus Soviet classics and much more. Stay tuned!

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

Read more