A Taste of Ukraine - Christmas Special
The joy of home cooked food is wonderfully celebrated by Ukarainian content creator Julia Bezman on her blog The Taste of Home. London-based Julia shares with us some her favourite 2020 Christmas recipes with an Eastern European twist.
"Next time you travel to Eastern Europe you need to try the famous layer cake. It varies in tradition and style from place to place, and while there is an amazing variety of tastes to choose from, one thing is that remains consistent is the incredible richness. Layer cakes use a series of thin dough layers to create a beautiful texture, held together with smooth creams."
Julia’s traditional layered Honey Cake or "Medovik" is a delicious and unconventional way to celebrate what has been an unusual year all round. Here she shares her normally-secret alternative Christmas cake recipe. Over to you, Julia!
Biscuits (dough) layers
100g golden caster sugar
100g butter, soft
1tsp bicarbonate soda
2 eggs, lightly whisked
350g plain flour
500ml creme fraiche (full fat)
100g golden caster sugar
1tsp vanilla paste
Handful roasted, crushed walnuts
Although this might look complicated, as long as you prepare it correctly it will be easy. Take extra care when using the bain-marie water bath.
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees/gas mark 8.
- Fill a pan with water less than halfway to the top, and boil it
- Place a heatproof bowl on top of the boiling pan with and mix in the honey, sugar and butter, stirring continuously on low heat.
- Add the bicarbonate of soda and keep stirring.
- Slowly and gradually add the eggs, continuously stirring/whisking for about 15 minutes – do not leave it!
- Take off the heat and gradually add the flour (You might need slightly less flour – add it until the mixture becomes thick and doughy)
- Place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes
- Divide the dough into 8 pieces, roll each piece into a round shape like a flat thin pancake.
- Bake each cake layer for about 3-4 mins until it turns golden.
- Now make the cream filling. Place the creme fraiche and sugar in a bowl and whisk until sugar dissolves and the cream starts to thicken, then add the vanilla and walnuts
- Spread the cream evenly on each cake layer, neatly stacking them on top of each other as you add another layer, and around the sides of the cake. For the best results leave the cake in the fridge overnight so that the layers can absorb the cream.
Traditionally Honey Cake is decorated with a layer of leftover milled biscuits, but I like to decorate mine with roasted crushed walnuts or leave it pure white with a few berries on top for a special occasion. Style with a Bodo Sperlein Blossom collection pink plate and your alternative Christmas table is ready!
Follow Julia on Instagram @thetasteofhomeblog for a daily dose of baking inspiration.