Despite the name, this cake has very little to do with Prague. Originally dreamed up by a prominent Soviet patisserie developer, his recipe was even more elaborate than the one I am giving here, involving three types of cream and four types of alcohol! This is a sumptuous dessert – a little bit with coffee is perfect.
5 eggs, fresh and cold 1
50g (5oz) caster sugar
80g (3oz) butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing (optional)
175g (6oz) flour
?30g (1oz) cocoa powder
5 tablespoons caster sugar
50ml (2fl oz) Cognac
1 tablespoon water
4 egg yolks
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
200g (7oz) slightly salted butter, softened
240g (73?4oz) condensed milk
1. Place a medium metal bowl in the freezer, for making the filling later on.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4, and prep a 23cm (9 inch) round springform cake tin with a removable base by buttering it or lining it with baking parchment.
3. For the sponge, beat the eggs and sugar together in a bowl with an electric whisk for at least 5 minutes until very thick, pale and foamy. Trickle in the melted butter. Sift the flour and cocoa together and then gently fold into the batter with a spatula. Try not to knock any air out of the sponge – there is no raising agent, so air is all you’ve got to help it rise.
4. Pour the cake batter gently into the prepared tin and bake for 25 minutes. Test it by gently touching the top with your finger – it should spring right back. Switch the oven off and leave the cake in the oven but with the door open.
5. Once the cake is cool, open the tin but not completely. To cut the cake into 3 equal discs, do the following: place the base of the tin on something stable and tall (like a large jar) and push the cake out by two-thirds, then slice it in half horizontally with a bread knife. Push the cake up out of the tin a little more and cut across the cake again, making sure that the next disc is the same thickness as the first. You should end up with 3 discs of the same thickness.
These images were taken by Kris Kirkham and are from Mamushka by Olia Hercules, published by Hachette Australia. Hardback RRP $39.99, Ebook $19.99
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