Saturday, October 27, 2007

A recipe for meekook aka Estonian honey cake

Here's my entry for the 10th installment of Waiter, there is something in my ... (WTISIM) foodblogging event, a brainchild of three fabulous British foodbloggers Johanna, Jeanne and Andrew. This month's edition is hosted by Andrew, who has asked us to send in our recipes for LAYERED CAKES.

I decided to try meekook or a layered honey cake that is available in most cake shops and is a popular birthday table option. It consists of six thin cake layers and six simple sweetened sour cream layers. Our layers were slightly thicker than we expected them to be, but the taste was exactly right.


MEEKOOK aka Estonian Honey Cake*
Serves 12-16

Honey cake layers:
3 Tbsp honey

200 g (250 ml/1 cup) caster sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp baking soda/bicarbonate of soda
360 g plain flour (600 ml)

Between layers:
1 kg sour cream
85 g (100 ml) caster sugar

Whisk eggs until pale and thick.
Heat honey and sugar in a large saucepan. When it's about to boil, remove from the heat and add the whisked eggs, stirring until combined. Add baking soda and stir again.
Add flour gradually, mixing until combined. Put aside to cool completely!
Divide the dough into six equal parts (it's easiest to do it by rolling it into a cylinder and then cutting into six pieces).
Take six sheets of baking/parchment paper, dust very slightly with flour.
On a slightly floured parchment paper, form each piece of dough into a ball and then roll out into a 24 cm circles.
Bake one dough circle at the time for 5 minutes in the middle of a 225 C oven until dark golden. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking paper.

Layer five baked circles with the sour cream on a cake stand, covering also the top cake circle.
Crush the sixth cake circle in a food processor and sprinkle on the top layer of sour cream.
Place into the fridge for 6 hours or overnight.

Here are links to my previous Waiter there is something in my ... entries:
September 2007 (SAVOURY PRESERVE): Gooseberry Chutney
August 2007 (MEATLESS BBQ):
Roasted onions with blue cheese.
July 2007 (SAUCES):
Munakaste alias my grandma Senta's egg & smoked ham sauce.
June 2007 (DUMPLINGS):
Vareniki dumplings with curd cheese filling, served with home-made apricot jam & pistachios.
Stuffed tomatoes with two types of salad - cod liver salad & cucumber and wild garlic salad.
April 2007 (BREAD): a traditional Estonian quick mushroom bread,
March 2007 (EASTER BASKET): a selection of various
Easter delights.
February 2007 (PIE): a great Russian puff pastry and fish pie,
Salmon Kulebyaka.
January 2007 (STEW): my version (in collaboration with Anthony Bourdain:) of the French classic
Boeuf Bourguignon.


Gloria Baker said...

Pille, this cake looks wonderful and I love the cakes with honey.Nice recipe Gloria

Anonymous said...

Hi, I cant remember when i discovered your blog (even before its revamp) and while i have yet to make something from it, i look at it ever so often and wish i could just get into the kitchen and get down to it...very frustrating let me tell you, when you are stuck in a office, officially "working" ;)) However, the oppt may be round the corner. I have only recently ventured into savoury tarts and i would like to try your Salmon kulebyaka. However, i wonder if it's possible to use the pastry crust from your beetroot and potato crust (which i found unusual cos there's so little butter involved! Im cooking for pp who have to watch their diet) and wonder if i can substitute that in the salmon kulebyaka instead of pate feuiletee? Or even a normal quiche-like base?

Sorry, for hijacking this post on honey cake to ask you this...should i have gone to the older post to post this question? But your honey cake DOES look browned, golden, i can just imagine the mix of sweet and tart.. you're a most talented cook, keep up the good work!

Lissie said...

hi pille, i would like to have a piece of your cake... it looks so tempting!
i have sent my entry for WHB to you.

Alanna Kellogg said...

How simple yet spectacular! Question: is it a cake to devour on the spot or does it keep? PS That K, he's something!!

K and S said...

mmm this sounds wonderful, and not many ingredients involved too :)

Annemarie said...

This. Looks. Wonderful. I love it Pille - it's officially on the list of things to try. :)

Chris said...

This looks divine! Yummmmmm....

thepassionatecook said...

amazing... i wante to make something which looks almost exactly the same (no honey involved, though) - the dobostorte out of my(your) kaffeehaus cookbook. simply ran out of time. we'll bake it together next time you come!

Mariajaan said...

I swear to you all that this is the most delicious cake ever. I tasted it first in 1995 when I had just arrived to Estonia and so far nothing even gets close to it. No cake in Austria, no dessert from the best restaurants of the US, UK, France, Germany or elsewhere I have been to so far. Recommended, recommended. Thank you for posting the recipe.

Jeanne said...

Well, now we know what K stands for: keeper!! Because he certainyl is one :) The cake looks and sounds amazing. Pity you can't post us a slice...

Evelin said...

Hah, tead, mis on naljakas? Ma mõtlesin,et sa KINDLASTI teed meekooki:)
väga-väga võluv näeb välja - täitsa päris! mul oli ka täitsa plaan sel korral osaleda, aga...jah - sport-sport-sport:D

Shayne said...

for some reason I was so excited to see this post and I am hoping to be able to try this out in the next few days

Andrew said...

Another reason to go to Estonia... looks wounderful.

Pille said...

Gloria – thank you so much! Honey gives a wonderful flavour to this cake!

Anon. – yes, I think this pastry would work for salmon kulebyaka as well. I wouldn’t try with normal quiche pastry – it’s too crumbly.

Lissie – thank you! I guess you’ve seen the WHB # 106 round-up now?

Alanna – it keeps for a few days in the fridge – and the flavour is actually best on the second and third day. The cream is just sour cream, so it doesn’t go off so quickly. A good one, isn’t it? And yes, K. definitely is something. Something very good :)

K&S – yep, it’s quite easy!

Annemarie – thank you! Go ahead – and please let me know what you thought of it. PS You’ll find good-quality sour cream in the Polish shops (ask for smetana, we used 20% one). The Tesco sour cream is also fine, but Sainsbury’s was weird.

Chris – thank you!

Johanna – I’ve bookmarked the Dobos torte recipe in Kaffeehaus, too! And I’m off to Budapest next week, so I hope to be able to try some of the ‘real’ stuff :)

SalulaidSolarte – that’s quite a compliment :) Well, it’s definitely a delicious cake, and now you’ve got the recipe, too!

Jeanne - yes, K. stands for a keeper J The cake is delicious – I’ll make it for you if you ever come to visit!

Evelin – no ma pidin ju midagi eestilikku serveerima :) See kook oli ka kandidaat (perekondlik lemmik), aga lõpuks otsustasin ikka meekoogi kasuks :)

Shayne – I like the sound of that feeling. Hope you’ll have a chance to make it!

Andrew – thanks!

Katie said...

Wow! I ahve never seen a cake like that before. It sounds delicious though. I'm intreged that there is no fat in the cake layers.

Anonymous said...

This cake was absolutely delicious! I decided to surprise my mother by making it (she's Estonian). The cake layers themselves were a bit difficult to roll out, but other than that, the rest of the preparation couldn't have been simpler.

I'm so glad I found your blog, and I will definitely be trying many more of your recipes :)

Tanan vaga!!

~Linda in Chicago~

Anonymous said...

I'm a little confused about the recipe -- it says to whisk the eggs with the sugar, then it says to heat the honey and the sugar. Are there two different amounts of sugar in the list of cake ingredients (and one might be missing?) or does it mean to just heat only the honey?

Pille said...

Anon. - so sorry, it was my error. Whisk eggs, heat sugar & honey, then just continue..

Anonymous said...

'katie' above said there was no fat in the cake layers... There is fat in the eggs!

I made an Estonian Honey cake and the recipe was between this and another. I chose the other and made a 15 layer cake. It has been requested to grace the table again. So if you've never tried such a cake... do!

Thanks to the writer for sharing.

Victor Chisholm said...

Pille, this looks FANTASTIC and I want to try it but first I have a question for you. The success of honeycakes like this often depends on the honey used. Would you recommend something light (clover honey), medium (wildflower), dark (buckwheat), or extra-dark (chestnut)? Or would you recommend trying each of them in succession, and baking Meekook for the next few weeks, ha ha!

Seriously, though, what kind of honey would you use?

Pille said...

Victor, I've been using a rather mild local honey - but indeed, you could try anything that's not too bitter or strong. Let me know which one worked best :)

Anne Shepherd said...

I made this cake for an Estonian friend as a surprise, and as it turned out, Meekok is her favourite cake! So there was a lot of pressure when she tried her first bite, (I was very nervous!) but she declared that it was even "better than perfect!" (she is a very honest person too!) It was such a beautiful, moist cake, and I loved the use of sour cream in between the layers. The recipe was easy to follow and I think it might now be my favourite cake too! The day after cooking it was even better. But there wasn't much left!

Pille said...

Anne - thank you so much for the feedback - I'm thrilled to bits to hear that your friend loved it!!!

Anonymous said...

I just tried to make this and my dough was so sticky! I wasn't sure when my eggs were 'pale and thick' so perhaps that was the problem? I beat about 5 minutes, though they became more frothy than thick. I am baking the layers now, but there was no way to roll the dough- I just spread it as best I could. Any ideas on where I went wrong?

Unknown said...

Mulle tundub,et olen midagi valesti teinud,taigen tundub vedel?hästi kleepuv,tegin kõik täpselt nagu Teil siin kirjas,aga mina tainast käsitleda ei saa,kui just rohkem jahu ei pane

Pille said...

Dagne, kas jahutasid taina korralikult maha, soovitatavalt külmkapis? Nami-Nami eestikeelsel lehel soovitab keegi õliste käte ja õlise tainarulliga rullida:

Klaradal Swede Thoughts by Sue said...

Just find your's great! I'm Looking for help! I promised my husband (1st generation Estonian American) I would bake an Estonian cake or pastry for an event at the Estonian House in New York. I saw your honey cake and thought I would try it but I will not be able to refrigerate before the event. (Wr are traveling and our hotel won't have a refrigerator) Is that ok? Is there another cake you'd suggest? Thanks!!!

Pille said...

Dear Sue, for some reason I only got a notification of this question now. It's probably too late to give advise about the cake, or is it not? This cake is best when kept cool before the serving, as there is sour cream in the cake. However, if it's a matter of a few hours, then a cool larder or the truck of your car will also work.