Russian Cakes-Desserts

If you’ve had the pleasure of being invited into a Russian home then undoubtedly your hosts have served traditional Russian tea.  I often describe Russian tea (чай) as both a noun and a verb because Russian hospitality brings new meaning to the phrase “having tea.”

In most cases your hosts will present something to eat with the tea.  Sometimes it’s fruit jam.  Place a tiny portion jam on a small spoon and then sip the tea immediately after the jam has been placed on the tongue.  A guest should ALWAYS bring a token gift when visiting a Russian home and perhaps your host will serve the box of chocolates you brought along.

Someday, if you’re very lucky, your host will serve Tort Napoleon.  That is a treat adopted to Russian kitchens from the French.  Its delicious!  The Russian word торт (thats ‘tort’ in English) means pie or even cake in some circumstances.  By the way, a good guest will tell your Russian hosts that the Tort Napoleon was “very tasty” (Очень вкусный! as in ‘OH-chen KOU-snee’).

Napoleon Pie/Cake (Tort ‘Napoleon’)

Pastry Layers
4 tbsp butter.
1 tbsp sugar.
2 egg whites stiffly beaten.
1 cup sour cream.
1 tbsp vodka.
pinch of salt.
2 cups flour (approximately).

Custard Filling
10 egg yolks.
1 egg white.
2 1/2 cups sugar.
6 tbsp flour.
6 cups milk.
1 tbsp vanilla essence.
250gm butter.

Pastry Layers
Beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites, sour cream and vodka. Add salt and fold in flour a spoonful at a time until the dough is soft and pliable. Chill for an hour or two to make it easier to roll out.

Butter an baking tray and dust with flour. Divide the cake dough into 12. Set the oven to heat to 190 degrees C.

Roll or press out each portion to an 8 inch circle on the baking form making each circle is of even thickness as thin areas will cook quicker and may stick to the tray before the rest of the dough is cooked.

Bake each layer until golden brown, approximately 6-10 minutes. If dough blisters as it cooks, puncture blisters with a fork. As each layer is cooked, remove from the tray and set aside to cool.

Custard Filling
Pour the milk into a large saucepan and heat on the stove without boiling.

Beating the egg yolks, egg white and sugar until creamy. Mix well with the flour. Pour this mixture into the saucepan of milk and continue stirring until thick and creamy. Add the vanilla and butter and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Stir frequently as the mixture cools.

Cooks Tip
To prevent the custard catching on the bottom of the pot use a SimmerMat, but be sure to turn the heat down to low before using, and follow the manufacturers instructions.

Preparation and Serving
Place one layer of the cooked dough in the bottom of an 8 inch spring form cake tin and cover evenly with a layer of filling. Continue to build up the cake in this way, layering the custard on top of the pastry, finishing with the 11th pastry layer. Crumble the remaining pastry layer on the top.

Refrigerate for 5-6 hours. The flavour improves after 12 hours of refrigeration when the custard takes on a stronger caramel flavour.

When ready to serve, carefully remove the cake from the tin. Decorate with chocolate shaving and walnuts or slivered almonds, slice and serve. Goes nicely with a dollop of cream.

The best way to cut the cake and retain the layered shape is to use an electric knife.


Next up is a delicious Cranberry Mousse from our friend Tamara, an excellent cook and teacher of Russian language. Her website is:

Tamara's delicious Cranberry Mousse!

This cranberry mousse if one of my fondest memories from early childhood when I tasted it at our dacha/country house for the first time.

You will need:
– One and a half cups fresh cranberries
– Two and a half cups plus 1/3 cup of water
– 1/4 cup uncooked cream of wheat (not instant)
– 1/2 cup sugar
– lingonberry preserve for topping
– whipped cream for topping

Step 1:
Place the cranberries in a medium-size saucepan, add the 1/3/ cup of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until cranberries pop open, 8-10 minutes.

Step 2:
Remove from the heat, let cool, then mash the cranberries thoroughly. Pass them through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan. Add the 2 and a half cups water and bring to a boil.

Step 3:
Reduce heat to low and gradually add cream of wheat and sugar, stirring constantly. Simmer stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved and mixture has thickened, 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool.

Step 4:
Put the mixture in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer set on the highest speed until the mousse doubles in size, 7-10 minutes. Transfer to individual serving bowls and refrigerate until chilled. Serve with lingonberry preserve and whipped cream.

Typical kitchen in Eastern Europe.

Crumbly Apricot Cake (Рассыпчатый абрикосовый торт)

1 kg ripe apricots
300 g of flour plus 1 tbsp. l.
150 g of sugar
150 grams of butter plus a little more for greasing
4 eggs
2 tsp Vanilla Sugar
150 ml of milk
100 ml cream 33% fat

Servings: 6-8
Preparation: 1 hour 20 minutes.
Preparation of 35-40 min.

Crumbly Apricot Cake

Method of preparation:
A. Remove the seeds from the apricots. Chop the cold butter.

Two. Mix 3/4 flour, butter, 1/3 of sugar and half the vanilla. Chop the mixture with a knife so that it turned into crumbs. Add 1 egg. 2 tbsp. l. ice water and a pinch of salt.

Three. Quickly knead the dough, but do not overdo it – do not fold too long, just until smooth. Roll the dough ball. Wrap in foil and place in refrigerator for 1 hour

4. Meanwhile, in blender break the remaining eggs, pour the milk, Stir in remaining sugar, cream, remaining 1 tbsp. l. flour and vanilla sugar. Whisk until smooth.

Quickly roll out the dough 5 and place it in a baking pan greased with butter as well. got to the bottom with high bumpers. Pinhole of the dough with a fork, put it on the apricot mixture and pour in a blender.

6. Sprinkle a little sugar on top and place in preheated 180 ° oven for 35-40 minutes. Serve chilled or slightly cooled down.

When baked apricots are usually given acidity. If you want to remove it or reduce roast apricots with 100 g of honey in nonstick skillet and flip on the screen before you spread on the dough. If desired, apricots can be replaced by other ripe fruits: cherries, plums, peaches, pears.

1 кг спелых абрикосов
300 г муки плюс 1 ст. л.
150 г сахара
150 г сливочного масла плюс еще немного для смазывания
4 яйца
2 ч.л. ванильного сахара
150 мл молока
100 мл сливок жирностью 33%

Порций: 6-8
Подготовка: 1 ч. 20 мин.
Приготовление 35-40 мин.

Способ приготовления:
1. Выньте косточки из абрикосов. Мелко нарежьте холодное сливочное масло.

2. Смешайте 3/4 муки, сливочное масло, 1/3 обычного сахара и половину ванильного. Порубите смесь ножом так, чтобы она превратилась в крошки. Добавьте 1 яйцо. 2 ст. л. ледяной воды и щепотку соли.

3. Быстро замесите тесто, но не перестарайтесь – не вымешивайте слишком долго, просто до однородности. Скатайте из теста шар. заверните в пленку и положите в холодильник на 1 ч.

4. Тем временем в блендер разбейте оставшиеся яйца, влейте молоко, всыпьте оставшийся сахар, сливки, оставшуюся 1 ст. л. муки и ванильный сахар. Взбейте до однородности.

5 Быстро раскатайте тесто и выложите его в форму для пирога, смазанную сливочным маслом, так. чтобы получилось дно с высокими бортиками. Наколите тесто вилкой, выложите на него абрикосы и залейте смесью из блендера.

6. Сверху чуть присыпьте сахаром и поставьте в разогретую до 180 °С духовку на 35-40 мин. Подавайте остывшим или слегка охлажденным.

При запекании абрикосы обычно дают кислинку. Если хотите ее убрать или уменьшить, поджарьте абрикосы со 100 г меда на антипригарной сковороде и откиньте на сито, прежде чем выкладывать на тесто. При желании абрикосы можно заменить другими спелыми фруктами: вишней, сливами, персиками, грушами.

Next is the recipe for a delicious Mocha cake!

Mocha Cake

Mocha Cake (Торт Мокко)

6 eggs, which is separated from the yolk protein,
1 cup sugar or sugar substitute
2 tablespoons lemon juice,
1 teaspoon lemon zest,
1 teaspoon instant coffee
2 tablespoons hot water
½ cup flour
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
nuts (optional) for decoration.

– Beat the egg yolks and gradually blend in sugar, lemon juice and zest.
– Coffee dissolved in hot water, and add to the yolks.
– In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt in small portions, and stir into the egg mixture.
– Separately whip proteins in thick foam, and then add the batter carefully so as not to lose the volume.
– After that, we spread into a greased form (diameter approximately 22 cm) and bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes.
– Once dough is formed cool for at least 10 minutes.
– Prepare icing for which we need:
½ cup sugar
¼ cup very strong coffee (1/4 cup water + 1 tbsp of coffee)
¼ cup coffee liqueur,
3 egg yolks,
155 g of oil.

– Mix in saucepan sugar, coffee and liqueur and heat the over medium heat until the consistency of thick syrup.
– Beat the egg yolks and gradually introduce them to the hot syrup.
– Separately, we shall pound butter, until it becomes air, and gradually add the eggs and coffee mixture.

Optional: on top decorate the cake with nuts.

Для теста нам понадобится:
6 яиц, у которых желток отделен от белка,
1 стакан сахара,
2 столовые ложки сока лимона,
1 чайная ложка лимонной цедры,
1 чайная ложка растворимого кофе,
2 столовые ложки горячей воды,
½ стакана муки,
¼ ч.ложки соли,
2 ч.ложки разрыхлителя,
орехи(на выбор) для украшения.

Взбиваем яичные желтки и постепенно вводим в них сахар, лимонный сок и цедру.
Кофе растворяем в горячей воде и добавляем к желткам.
В отдельной посуде просеем муку, разрыхлитель и соль и небольшими порциями введем в яичную смесь.
Отдельно взобьем белки в густую пену, а затем добавим в тесто и аккуратно, чтобы не потерять объем, перемешаем.
После этого выкладываем в смазанную жиром форму(диаметр примерно 22 см) и выпекаем при температуре 180 градусов 20 минут.
Перед тем, как достать выпечку из формы, охлаждаем ее не менее 10 минут.
Затем разрезаем на 4-5 коржей и каждый смазываем глазурью, для которой нам потребуется:
½ стакана сахара,
¼ стакана очень крепкого кофе(1/4 стакана воды+ 1 ст.ложка кофе),
¼ стакана кофейного ликера,
3 яичных желтка,
155 г масла.
Смешаем в кастрюле сахар, кофе и ликер и нагреем на небольшом огне до консистенции густого сиропа.
Взбиваем яичные желтки и постепенно вводим в них горячий сироп.
Отдельно разотрем масло, пока оно не станет воздушным и постепенно добавим в яично-кофейную смесь.
Сверху украшаем торт «Мокко» орехами.


2 thoughts on “Russian Cakes-Desserts

  1. Pingback: A taste of Russia with Andrew Zimmern of the Travel Channel « The Mendeleyev Journal

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s