I received a wonderful box of infused maple syrup from Runamok Maple this weekend. It came as a surprise because with everything going on with the Corona virus, I wasn't sure if our packages would be affected. In this lovely package were 5 different kinds of maple syrup - cardamom, cocoa bean, hibiscus, cinnamon and vanilla, and my personal favorite - ginger root. Since I had my family in town, we decided to make a fun night of tasting these flavors. I cooked up some ricotta pancakes and we all sat around the table, tasting each flavor. After every bite, you would hear unanimously, "Mmmm" or "Wow". My husband, who is not easily impressed, said that he would literally buy every flavor that we were sent and cannot wait to try others!
Runamok Maple is a sustainable maple syrup company in Fairfax, VT that specializes in producing infused, smoked and barrel-aged maple syrup, as well as pure maple syrup, also known as "Sugarmaker's Cut". They have a huge array of flavors and offer pairing boxes, recipes on how to cook with/use their maple syrups, and also beautiful gift boxes that make the perfect birthday/anniversary/just because gifts! To highlight the flavors sent to me, I decided to come up with an awesome recipe which far exceeded my expectations. After sitting and tasting the maple flavors, I decided to work with the ginger root syrup. Because the flavor is a bit more strong, which I love, I decided to pair it with poached pears - something a bit more subtle but still bright and tasty. I have found that ginger and pear really compliment each other and wanted to marry the two in a cake - but not just any cake. A Russian honey cake.
As always, I love putting my own spin on things because I think that it makes it more fun. I swapped out some of the honey used for the ginger root maple syrup and the rest was history! This is easily one of my greatest creations - it's a decadent recipe but the pear really lifts the cake and makes it light. This cake takes about 2-3 hours to make and has to rest in the fridge overnight. It's so tempting to cut into it early but so worth that labor and the wait! Promise! If the pictures aren't enticing enough to make this recipe, let the flavors woo you into giving this a try! 🙂
¾ cup honey
¼ cup water
2 bosc pears (For Poaching: 2 cups of water, 1 tsp allspice, 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, 1 cup sugar, 2 tsp nutmeg, pinch of salt)
8 oz butter
2 cups powdered sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
2 tbsps brown sugar
2 tbsps heavy cream
½ cup of honey
¼ cup of Runamok Ginger root maple syrup
1 tbsp + 1 tsp ginger
¼ cup burnt honey
2 sticks of butter
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 ½ tsps baking soda
¾ tsp salt
3 ¾ cup all purpose flour, sifted
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
- Begin by pealing the pears and boiling 2 cups of water with the spices mentioned above. When the water comes to a boil, add the pears and allow them to poach for 30 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool for later.
- Let's make the burnt honey - in a saucepan, add honey and bring to a bubbly boil. Once bubbles form, reduce the heat to medium until the honey turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat and slowly add ¼ cup of water. Set aside.
- In a double boiler, add butter, sugar, honey, maple syrup, and ¼ cup of the burnt honey. Whisk together until all of the ingredients become blended and smooth. Add ginger, salt, and baking soda and continue to whisk until completely dissolved. Do not allow this mixture to become hot! This should be kept at warm throughout this process.
- Crack eggs into a separate container and beat the eggs. Add to the double boiler mixture and remove from the heat. Continue whisking until eggs have been completely incorporated into the mixture. (Cheat: At time point, because the batter was so heavy, I added this to the stand mixture so ensure all of the ingredients mixed properly)
- Allow batter to cool and preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Using a salad plate, trace the plate face down on a piece of parchment paper so that you have a shape by which the cake layers should form. (A lot of people use a silpat or silicone baking mat for this step, but I don't have one. The parchment paper worked just fine)
- Once the batter has cooled, use just over ⅓ cup of the batter to pour into the circle drawn to shape your cake layer. Smooth it out with a non-stick spatula to ensure the cake fits the shape of the circle. (If you have multiple baking sheets, I highly recommend baking more than one cake at a time, or else it will become pretty time consuming). This batter should yield around 9 cake layers.
- Bake each layer for about 5-6 minutes, until the cake is golden brown. Allow the layers to cool before removing them from the parchment paper. Do not stack them on top of each other at this point or else they will stick together.
- You will have leftover batter once 9 layers are fully cooked, use the last bit of batter to make another layer to form the crumb that will go on top of the cake.
- While the cakes are cooling, let's make the filling. Grab the pears and add them to a food processor along with butter, powdered sugar, brown sugar, salt, and heavy cream. The texture of this cream is a bit like cottage cheese, don't worry. We will be refrigerating this cake overnight and the ingredients come together nicely.
- On a plate/cake stand, add the first layer and spoon enough of the mixture to cover the cake layer completely. Do not inundate the cake with filling, just enough so that it is coated. Do this for the remaining layers, leaving the top layer bare.
- Icing - add heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla to a stand mixer and whip until stiff peaks are formed. Cover the cake with this icing completely.
- Add last layer of the cake to a food processor and pulverize until the crumbs resemble bread crumbs and are uniform. Sprinkle these crumbs over the cake - feel free to be creative and decorate however you please 😉
- Refrigerate overnight!