Old-fashioned cake made of Russian gingerbread treats (RECIPE)

This homemade cake uses the famous Russian gingerbread, and is bursting with honey flavor, as well as filled with cream.

This homemade cake uses the famous Russian gingerbread, and is bursting with honey flavor, as well as filled with cream.

Olga Brovkina
Vintage cakes are making a glorious comeback! This time we’re going to use the best of Russian pryaniki to make a honey cake.

Pryaniki, a Russian version of gingerbread, is the brown colored confection that is intricately decorated with lovely swirls and ornate letters and words. In ancient Rus’ pryaniki were called “honey bread”. Moreover, they were associated with celebrations – these decorated cookies with honey or heated sugar were considered a noble gift. I was surprised to find out that many centuries ago it was believed that pryaniki helped to cleanse a heart as well as a soul if placed on the chest. Even today this sweet treat is revered in every family, especially by children.

Now, can you imagine such a tempting sweet treat in combination with something equally delicious like a cake, for example? That’s exactly what we’re going to do today – cake “Pryanik box” – homemade, honey, soft and tender! 

In winter people offered each other gingerbread boxes full of pryaniki inside (like a gingerbread house with a lid instead of a roof). I was surprised to find on the Internet a cake with the same name that can be baked any time of the year. This is the recipe that I want to share with you.

Ingredients:

For the custard cream:

  • 500 ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 120 g sugar
  • 30 g powdered sugar
  • 50 g butter
  • 50 g flour
  • 250 ml heavy cream 33-35%
  • 10 g vanilla sugar
  • 10 g gelatin
  • 70 ml water

For the chocolate cream:

  • 250 ml heavy cream 33-35%
  • 90 g chocolate 70%
  • 50 g of chocolate for decorating pryaniki

For sponges:

  • 400 g flour
  • 200 g sugar
  • 110 g honey
  • 50 g butter
  • 20 g cocoa powder
  • 70 ml milk
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda

Preparation of cream

It’s easier to begin the cooking process with the cream as it will need additional time to cool down and harden. Our cake will have two types of cream - a custard and a chocolate one.

1. For the chocolate cream, measure out 250 ml of cream, and put the remaining cream in the fridge so that when it’s cold it will easily turn into whipped cream.

2. Gently melt the chocolate, heat the cream to a very hot condition, but don’t boil it. Pour it into the chocolate and stir thoroughly so that the chocolate is completely dispersed and then put it in the fridge for 3-4 hours.

3. For the custard base, mix the flour and about half the amount of sugar (60g); then mix with cold milk until the mass resembles thick pancake dough. Try not to leave large lumps in the dough.

4. Lightly beat the eggs with the remaining sugar and combine it all with the flour mixture.

5. Pour the remaining milk into a saucepan, add vanilla sugar and heat to almost boil. Gently pour hot milk into the egg-flour mass, mix and pour back into the saucepan and cook on a low heat with constant stirring until it thickens. After the cream starts to boil, continue stirring and cook for another minute, then turn off the heat and add the butter.

6. Pour the cream into a bowl, cover it with cling wrap and let it cool completely.

Baking sponges

1. Melt the butter, heat the milk almost to a boil and mix the cocoa with hot milk.

2. Gently heat the honey until hot, but do not boil it. Add soda and stir. As a result, you’ll have a delicate, tasty, honey foam.

3. Lightly beat the egg with sugar, then stir in melted butter, honey froth, cocoa with milk. Gradually add flour and mix until you have dough that is a bit sticky and soft, but holds its form.

4. Divide the dough into 8 parts, and roll out the first ball directly on a baking paper.

5. Roll it out thinly, use a lid to make an even circle (the diameter of my lid is 26 cm), pierce it with a fork and bake at 170-180°C for about 7 minutes.

6. Bake all 8 circles in the same way.

7. The remaining cuttings are used for decoration. You can use any cookie cutter shape, but it’s preferable to make flowers and hearts.

8. Bake them and after they cool decorate with melted chocolate and sprinkles.

Making custard cream

1. Dissolve gelatin in water, and let it swell. Warm up the gelatin a little bit and add to the custard cream; then beat it with an electric mixer.

2. Whip the cold heavy cream with powdered sugar to medium peaks. You should get an airy and delicate cream. 

3. Gently mix the whipped cream with the custard cream.

Assemblage

1. In a confectionery ring, evenly spread the cream between all 8 layers and put the cake in the fridge for 3 hours.

2. After some time has passed, carefully take it out of the form.

3. Take out the chocolate cream and beat it until you get stable peaks, just like the white cream.

4. Cover the sides of the cake and the top with this cream. Deliciously decorate the cake with gingerbread.

5. Our cake is ready - moderately sweet, moderately honey and moderately chocolate with the best texture. It’s a bit crunchy because of the pryaniki, and the fragrant flavor of honey makes it absolutely irresistible!

READ MORE: Smetannik: Discover the cake that Russian villagers love most (RECIPE)

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