Russia's most irresistible honey trap: Medovik

The recipe of the Empress — with a modern twist!

The recipe of the Empress — with a modern twist!

Victoria Drey
Medovik is Russia's popular honey cake: super sweet, rich in taste and with an interesting story about its historical origins. You can find medovik variations in many restaurants and cafés in Russia. Here, we offer medovik's original recipe, but with a modern twist.

Medovik, honey cake, has long been one of the most popular desserts in Russia, and this sweet story begins in the early 19th century in the Imperial Palace kitchen of Emperor Alexander I. His wife, Empress Elizabeth, couldn’t stand honey, and any dish made with it drove her mad. One day, however, a young new confectioner in the Imperial kitchen didn’t know the Empress' dislike and he baked a new cake with honey and thick sour cream. Surprisingly, and unaware of the honey content, Empress Elizabeth immediatley fell in love with the delicious cake.

Ingredients for korzhi (flat cakes):

  • 300 gr. of wheat flour
  • 80-100 gr. of butter
  • 100 gr. of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
Today, there are numerous variations of medovik: with condensed milk, buttercream or custard. We recommend you taste the original with sour cream; the one that the Empress fell for. However, we offer a modern twist to the recipe:  you can cook not a single big medovik but several small cakes. This will give you more space for fun decorations.

How to make it:

Ingredients for the cream:

  • 500 gr. of sour cream
  • a splash of vanilla
  • sugar, as you wish
1. Prepare the bain-marie: place a bowl over a pot of boiling water, but not touching it. Mix butter, honey and sugar in the bowl and wait until the sugar totally dissolves. Then, add baking soda and whip the mixture into a batter.

Remove the bowl from the bain-marie and let it cool a bit. The pastry batter should stay warm. Add eggs and stir to prevent curdling.

Source: Victoria DreySource: Victoria Drey

2. Sift flour with a strainer and gradually add into the batter, which should not be too watery but not too thick.

Source: Victoria DreySource: Victoria Drey

The consistency should be like on the photo below. The batter, by the way, smells like honey heaven. Put it in a plastic bag and leave in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Now you have enough time to prepare the cream.

Source: Victoria DreySource: Victoria Drey

3. Place sour cream in a clear bowl, and add a splash of vanilla, and sugar to your taste. If you don’t want the cream to be too sweet, then 1.5-2 tablespoons of sugar will suffice.

 Source: Victoria Drey Source: Victoria Drey

Beat the cream until it becomes thick and put it in the fridge. Take the batter out of the fridge and form into round pieces.

Source: Victoria DreySource: Victoria Drey

4. Roll each piece thin: keep in mind that the batter will rise double in size when baked in the oven. Don’t forget to make small holes on the surface with a fork. This will prevent the pastry from cracking in the oven.

Then cut into circles and bake gradually for 3-5 minutes at 200 °C (400 °F).

Source: Victoria DreySource: Victoria Drey

The result will be lots of small rounded honey korzhi (flat cakes), and some extra pieces of the baked pastry. 

Source: Victoria DreySource: Victoria Drey

Don’t throw away the extra pieces! Actually, try not to eat them because they're insanely tasty. Mix them in your blender and let sit for a while. You can then use for decoration.

Source: Victoria DreySource: Victoria Drey

5. Now, all you have to do is assemble your medovik cakes. One layer of korzh, one layer of cream, and repeat.

Source: Victoria DreySource: Victoria Drey

Finally, decorate the cakes with the blended pastry pieces, as well as fruits and berries. Voilà, you have your original Russian medovik with a modern twist. Be careful not to devour all these delicious honey cakes at once!

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