The queen of Christmas desserts combines the oldest ingredients found in Ukrainian cooking; honey, poppy seeds, and nuts. The rum butter cream and white icing marry very well with the heavier poppy seed sponge. Decorating tortes is a specialty in itself. Some cooks lay out elaborate folkloric designs and motifs from Ukrainian embroidery or tapestry patterns, using jellied candies or even multicolored hard candy. The white icing serves as a fine background. The only limit to one's imagination is that decorations should be edible.
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- 1/2 cup poppy seed
- 1/2 cup honey
- 7 extra large eggs
- 1/2 cup blanched grated almonds
- 1 lemon, zest of, grated
RUM BUTTER FILLING Rumova masa
- 1/2 lb unsalted butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar (icing)
- 2 tablespoons rum or 1/4 teaspoon rum extract
- 1 -2 teaspoon heavy cream (whipping cream)
WHITE ICING Bila Shklytsia
- 1FOR THE CAKE: Pour boiling water over seeds, let stand for 5 minutes, pour off water and repeat.
- 2Drain well.
- 3Grind with steel blade in processor until seeds release milk and turn white.
- 4Butter a 9 inch springform pan and dust it with ground almonds. (This may be done in advance.) Best to butter parchment paper to cover bottom of pan and sprinkle with ground almonds.
- 5Place poppy seeds and honey in a large bowl.
- 6Separate eggs.
- 7Add room-temperature yolks, one by one, to the mix, beating until thick.
- 8Stir in grated almonds and lemon zest.
- 9Beat egg whites until satiny but no dry.
- 10Fold a little into the mixture, then fold in the rest, until no white shows.
- 11Pour mixture into pan, rapping it gently to release air pockets, and smooth the top with a spatula.
- 12Bake on the middle rack of a preheated 350°F oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
- 13Do not open oven door or disturb the cake while baking.
- 14Cool slowly, not in a draft.
- 15Run a sharp knife around the sides, then slowly release the spring.
- 16Run a knife under the bottom and cool on rack.
- 17TO FILL CAKE: Cover work surface with double sheets of wax paper.
- 18With a sharp knife, make a small incision around the torte to mark where it should be cut in half.
- 19Make horizontal cuts at four equidistant points, then gently pull a long thread through the cake to cut it into two layers.
- 20Sprinkle bottom layer with 2 or 3 tablespoons of rum, and evenly spread rum butter filling about 3/4 inch thick.
- 21Cover with top layer and press gently.
- 22Cover the sides with the rest of the filling.
- 23Refrigerate overnight wrapped in foil.
- 24TO ICE CAKE, cover work surface or a lazy susan with wide double-strength foil.
- 25Apply a third of the icing to sides with a spatula, pulling from the bottom up.
- 26Wipe spatula occasionally to avoid pulling crumbs, and dip in hot water to smooth out ridges.
- 27With the rest of the icing, smoothly cover the top.
- 28Refrigerate for at least 2 days.
- 29Run a sharp knife around bottom to release icing from paper.
- 30Slide the torte onto one hand, pull off the remaining paper and gently place torte on serving platter, taking care not to crack the icing.
- 31Yields about 20 slices.
- 32Keeps well in refrigerator.
- 33Serve at room temperature.
- 34RUM BUTTER FILLING: (Rumova masa) This is an excellent cream, the base of which may be used with different flavors.
- 35Here, rum is used.
- 36It is used as a filling for the poppy seed torte.
- 37This filling can also be used as icing.
- 38Cream butter until light, add sugar a little at a time, rum, and cream.
- 39Beat until very fluffy.
- 40WHITE ICING: Bila Shklytsia.
- 41This hard icing dries quickly and forms a lovely cover for a torte.
- 42It cures hard, not fluffy.
- 43Place 2 cups sugar in a bowl and add cream and vanilla.
- 44Mix well, gradually adding the rest of the sugar.
- 45Add a little more cream if too stiff.
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Nutritional Facts for Ukrainian Christmas Poppy Seed Rum Cake Makovyi Torte
Serving Size: 1 (141 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 12
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 551.6
- Calories from Fat 237
- Total Fat 26.4 g
- Saturated Fat 12.5 g
- Cholesterol 191.1 mg
- Sodium 73.4 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 74.3 g
- Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
- Sugars 71.7 g
- Protein 6.9 g
The following items or measurements are not included:
lemons, zest of