In the USSR, the period of the mid-50s was marked by the heyday of the confectionery industry. The main assortment at that time was represented by biscuit products, which quickly became scarce goods. Other confectionery options were available in limited quantities, despite the growing demand and popularity of such products. A pleasant surprise for consumers was the appearance on the shelves of sand cakes, which soon received well-deserved recognition. It’s called the Russian Royal Cake due to the fact that, at that time, shortbread cakes were only affordable by the royal families.
Confectioners from Leningrad decided to go for an experiment and made a culinary masterpiece based on a shortbread pastry. The recipe for a new product was approved in early 1960. Since this year, on the shelves of domestic stores and in cooking, a cake with the name “Leningradsky” appeared.
The novelty was named in order to compete with branded products of the Kiev factory named after Karl Marx, producing confectionery with the brand “Kiev”. In Leningrad, the product was manufactured in a new, approved GOST (a regional standard to be applied on many fields, including food and beverages). In the photo in past year’s culinary magazines, shown on the pages of the Internet, ready-made goodies are displayed, the visiting card of which was the inscription “Leningrad”. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to meet such a product today, domestic confectioners have stopped producing cakes with the same name to make products that only resembled the well-known Leningradsky Cake dessert recipe.
The Leningradsky Cake recipe according to GOST
For the shortcakes, you need
- 320 g of flour
- 130 g of fine sugar
- 190 g of butter (soft, room temperature)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon soda
- 1/4 teaspoon of ammonium (can be replaced with 1 tsp of baking powder)
- a few drops of vanilla essence (can be replaced with 2 tsp of vanilla sugar)
- For cake, you need to use a square template, 18 cm on each side
- 200 g butter (soft, room temperature)
- 180 g sugar
- 120 ml milk
- 1 small chicken egg
- 1 tbsp of cognac (added light rum)
- 8 g of cocoa powder
- a few drops of vanilla essence
- 50 g of chocolate
- 30 g of butter
As and addition, under the glaze, you can spread acid sweet apricot jam. To decorate the cake, use coarsely ground roasted peanuts.
The Steps – Cake
1. Mix the butter with icing and vanilla sugar (30 seconds with an electric mixer). In a cup, lightly beat the egg and salt with a fork and then pour into the butter mixture (beat for another 2 minutes). Mix flour with baking powder, pour into the butter and egg mixture, and then knead the dough.
2. Divide the dough into 4 parts and refrigerate; 3 parts should be the same size, and the fourth is slightly larger. After half an hour, take one dough out, roll out most of it on baking paper, attach the template and cut the excess dough with a pizza roller (very convenient) or with a knife. The thickness of the dough is 3-4 mm. Bake in the oven that has been preheated to 210. Bake each cake for exactly 8 minutes.
3. While the cake is baking, roll the next one, adding the remaining dough from the previous cake to the piece of dough. And so with each portion of the layer – add the leftovers from the previous one.
4. The remaining dough from the last cake, roll it out in any form, bake, cool and knead with your hands. It will be a sprinkle for the sides of the cake.
Important! Remove cakes from paper when they are completely cool, otherwise the cake will break.
The Steps – Cream
1. Pour sugar, vanilla sugar into a saucepan, add milk, bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 2 minutes at medium boil.
2. In another container with a mixer, beat the egg for a couple of seconds and gradually add milk syrup to it with a thin stream. When approximately a third of the syrup is introduced into the egg, the rest of the syrup can be administered more heavily.
3. Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan and stir with vigorous stirring with good heating of the stove, bring to a boil.
4. To cool the custard base of the cream, put the saucepan on ice and mix the contents. It takes about 5-7 minutes. It is advised to prepare the custard base at the very beginning of the preparation of the cake, or maybe even earlier.
5. Beat the butter until light and lush. Then you need to add a tablespoon of custard to this mixture, carefully whipping each new portion.
6. Add rum and cocoa to the cream, mix with a mixer until smooth.
Assembling the Cake
1. Spread each layer with cream about 4-5 mm wide. Coat the surface of the last cake with jam. Spread cream on the sides of the cake and sprinkle on the sides. Put the cake in the refrigerator.
2. At this time, prepare the icing. Break the chocolate into small pieces and add the butter. Put in the microwave or use the double boiler technique. Stir every now and then until the whole chocolate is melted. Make sure no drops of water get into the mixture.
3. Cover the cake with icing and put for five minutes in the refrigerator.
4. Then fill a piping bag with the cream and decorate the cake with cream and peanuts. Voila!
This cake is still very popular today in Russia although they can hardly be found ready at bakeries or delis. People make Leningradsky Cake for special occasions, mostly. People who had gone through the Soviet era would definitely taste the nostalgia on every bite of this legendary cake. It is very sweet, though. So, eat responsibly.