Thursday, March 15, 2018

Medovník or Pioneer Woman comes to the Czech Republic….

Medovník Honey Cake

This cake is loved in the Czech Republic. Medovník may have originated in Ukraine or Russia (in the region of Georgia).
Servings: 20 large pieces (3" x 3").
Oven temperature: 170º C. [325º F.]

Equipment and supplies needed:

Double boiler (or something you can use in place of one)

Baking pan: 30 cm x 40 cm or cookie sheet approximately 10 x 13 – This is not an exact science. NOTE: It is better if the pan does not have deep sides. The recipe can either be made in round or rectangular shape, your choice. The smaller the size the more layers you will have. Yum! The larger pan will make 4 layers of cake. I have seen online where cooks have drawn circles on the parchment paper and then spread the batter to fill in the circle. (There is a very similar recipe online at

Fold paper to fit pan
Parchment paper: 4 sheets (or more if you use a smaller pan). Tear off a piece of parchment paper larger than your pan. Put the paper into the pan and fold the sides of the paper down along the inside edges of the pan. Crease the paper and remove. Repeat this process until you have 4 or more pieces of folded paper.
(This crease is the line to which you will spread the cake batter. After spreading the batter on each paper, you will place the papers back into the pan one at a time to bake. Remove and replace all the parchment sheets until all the layers are baked.

Aluminum foil

Ingredients for cake:
250 grams or 2 sticks and a tablespoon or so of margarine or butter
300 grams or 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 tbsp. dark honey
3 eggs
400 grams or 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking soda
1½ to 3 tsp. perníkové koření or equal parts ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves or pumpkin pie spice

Ingredients for filling:
1 can sweetened condensed milk, caramelized (see instructions below for caramelizing. You can leave this step out, but I think the caramelizing is one of the things that makes this sooooo good.)
375 grams or 3 sticks softened butter

At least two to three hours ahead: prepare caramelized sweetened condensed milk. Take paper off can of milk. Put can in pan and cover completely with water. Boil for 1-1/2 hours. WARNING! Make sure the can is covered with water at all times! After 1-1/2 hours at a rolling boil, remove from the pan and cool by putting into cold water.

Preparing cake batter and making layers:
1. Preheat oven to 170º C. [325º F.]
2. Melt margarine in a double boiler over boiling water. Then turn down heat and continue to simmer. 

Add eggs
Add flour

Mix in double boiler

3. Add the rest of the cake ingredients to the melted butter one at a time in the order listed and mix well.
4. Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture for 10 minutes in the double boiler. 

After cooking 10 minutes
Spreading batter onto paper

Cooling after baking

5. Divide the cake batter evenly between the sheets of parchment paper.
6. Spread one part of the cake batter on baking paper which has been folded/creased according to the pan size. The cake batter should extend up to, but not over the crease lines. Spread it very thin, a fourth of an inch or less! Continue to spread the cake batter on the remaining sheets of paper.
7. Carefully lift or slide one of the unbaked cake-batter-covered-baking-paper-sheets onto the baking pan (cookie sheet). Bake for approximately 5 minutes.
8. Remove baked cake layer from cookie sheet, the paper will slide off easily. Put some place cool. (In the Czech households women will often place the cake layers on the cool tile floor in the storage rooms.) The cake layer will become cool and harden after about 5 minutes.
9. Repeat with the other layers of cake until they have all been baked. 

Preparing filling: 
1. Open cooled can of caramelized sweetened condensed milk and add to softened butter. With electric mixer, beat for 10 minutes. Divide the filling into 4 parts. 

Stacking and trimming the cake layers:
1. Put one layer of cake with parchment on the table. Put another layer on top of it, cake down, gently pull off the paper, then flip the cake over —right side up. Repeat the process with all the layers. All the layers should be stacked.
2. With a knife, trim through all the cake layers to make the sides even. Save the cake trimmings. 


Stacking and filling the cake layers:
1. Line a serving tray, clean baking pan, or cookie sheet with enough aluminum foil to cover the cake.
2. Place one layer of the trimmed cake on the pan with the aluminum foil.
3. Spread a thin layer of the filling on the cake layer.
4. Repeat until all layers have been added. For the last layer, remove the paper before placing it on top of the cake.
5. Spread the remaining filling on the sides of the cake and then on the top.
6. Crumble the cake trimmings. The crumbled pieces should not be too large or too small. Sprinkle the crumbles on the top and sides of the cake.
7. Cover the cake with foil. Cake should be kept in a cool place about 5º C. [40º F.] for at least two days before eating. 

More Notes: You can add finely chopped nuts to the crumbled topping, walnuts would be traditional.
I found that the longer this cake lasted the better it became. Yum!