I can proudly say, that this is family recipe! My aunt has given it to me years and years ago, and for some reason I never forgot it since the first ever time I’ve made this cake. The name of it in Russian is ” Damskii caprice” . If you try to translate it will sound something like ” ladies fancy” , but the real meaning would be a bit lost. Caprice is the word!
So here it is!
250 g – butter or margarine
100 g – sugar
150 ml – honey
700 g – 800 g – white all purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon of Bicarbonate of soda
500 ml – crème fraîche
100 g – sugar
100 ml – honey
Buttercream for decoration:
• 4 egg whites
• 140 g castor sugar
• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
• pinch of salt
• 200 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1.Melt 250 g of butter 100g of sugar and 150 g of honey in a deep pan, carefully add bicarbonate of soda. The mixture should make a lot of bubbles and foam will try to escape from the pan, this is why you need a very deep one.
Once it stopped bubbling, leave it to cool down to body temperature, so when you add the eggs, they will not cook. Add the eggs and mix all well. Then add flour. The dough should be quiet short.
Wrap the dough in a clingfilm and leave in the fridge for 2 hours.
2. Mix creme fraiche with honey and sugar until sugar dissolved and leave it in the fridge.
3. Meanwhile , prepare the cream for decoration – it could me anything you like. I chose Swiss meringue buttercream
Slowly whisk egg whites and sugar with hand whisk in the deep bowl over a pan with simmering water ( bain Marie), making sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl. Keep stiring until the mixture reaches 70°C ( 160°F) and sugar stopped being grainy (you can check by rubbing a bit of the mixture between your fingers. Do not overheat it too much.
Remove from heat. Using a hand-held or a free stand mixer, beat the warm mixture until the meringue holds stiff peaks and has cooled to room temperature. At some point add a pinch of salt.
Beat in vanilla extract. Add little by little softened butter, whisking really well after each addition.
Some say, that the mixture could look like it separates, but I never experienced that.If it happens, just continue whisking until it comes back together and become of smooth and silky texture.
Put the buttercream in the airtight container and leave in the fridge until needed ( you can freeze it, if not used straight away). Once needed take it out of the fridge, leave aside to get it to a room temperature, then re-whisk it to get it smooth again and ready to be used.
4. Preheat oven to 180°C
After the dough has rested in the fridge for 2 hours, take it out and divide into 8 to 10 equal pieces. The dough should be very short and crumbly, so to roll it out we must work it by hands to warm slightly.
5. Then put one piece between 2 sheets of clingfim and roll out to about size of the cake, it should not take more than a couple of minutes to roll each layer. So while one layer is baking in the oven the other can be rolled out .
Arrange the ready rolled dough on the flat tray and cut out the shape and size of your cake.
Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes or until it just becoming light golden colour.
6. Take out of the oven, put on the serving tray and generously spread prepared crème fraîche while the dough is still hot. The crème will become liquidy, but don’t worry, it will soak into the cake.
Repeat step 5 and 6, only arranging baked layer on the top of the previous one.
Repeat with all layers until the cake has been assembled.
Spread the rest of the crème fraîche on the top and leave to cool completely , then put in the fridge for at least 2 hours, better overnight before decorate it with the buttercream.