Sunday, March 6, 2011

Russian Birds' Milk Cake

I'm taking ballroom dancing lessons.  As a dancer, I'm a really good baker.  No, I think I'm progressing pretty well....I did get an "Awesome" on my Bolero, but to see some of these great people dance, I've a long way to go.  I always thought I was a pretty good know:  weddings, birthday parties, etc.  John and I even won three Twist competitions...we have the t-shirts to prove it.

My instructor, Nazar Norov and his wife, Irina Kudryashova are champion dancers.  All of the instructors at Modern Steps in Naples, FL are accomplished dancers, writers, business owners, etc.  It's such fun to be in the presence of this talent and all of the enthusiastic students.  

A few month's back, Irina found out that I bake, and she asked for a Russian Birds' Milk Cake.  What??? This was new to me.  Irina and Nazar described the marshmallow-like filling in between "biscuit" layers of cake, then covered in a thin layer of chocolate.  Sounded really great!  So, to the internet I turned in my quest of said cake.

Easier said than done.  There are a few recipes out there; some with vague ingredients; some with ingredients that didn't sound anything like Irina and Nazar's description of their beloved cake from Russia.  Well, I combined a few and they were pretty pleased with the result.  I'm baking another today....actually, two.

One cake will be constructed of two, very thin chocolate sponge-cakes layered between the filling; the other will have two vanilla layers; two chocolate; filling in between all.  The "Birds' Milk" name originated with a fable told of a princess seeking the "man of her dreams" who of course needed him to be worthy of her.  All the suitors were sent out into the forest...the world...wherever life took them in order to bring her the one thing she didn't have:  Birds' Milk.  This fable somehow prompted a candy in the 1970's; then was copied into a now favorite cake.

I'll bring both to Irina and Nazar this week and see whether or not I get a "10" from the Russian judges.  

Modern Steps