Monastery Log House Cake with Cherries (Monastyrskaya Izba)

I remember this dessert from my childhood. I ate it only on special occasions because it takes a lot of time to make it, but if you taste it once, this flavor stays with you for all of your life.

I was thinking about this cake several times during the past years, but I was never brave enough to make it. Now it became one of the challenges I wanted to face during my culinary journey.

More than 30 years ago it was a very popular recipe in the Soviet Union. The main reason behind is that it doesn’t require any special ingredients. The method of preparation is easy to learn, the only problem is that it takes some time to make it. But the cake is so delicious that it is definitely worth all the time and effort. The other important quality is that it is rather huge portion so it is perfect for big companies or family gatherings.

The origin of the cake is highly disputable, yet it certainly takes after its shape that highly resembles log house or old-style monetary buildings made of wooden logs.

Ingredients:

For the pastry dough

  • 200 gr butter (room temperature)
  • 400 gr flour
  • 250 ml sour cream (25%)
  • 1 tea spoon of vanilla sugar

Fort the cream

  • 600 ml sour cream (20-25%)
  • 200 gr icing sugar
  • 200 gr butter
  • 1 table spoon of lemon juice

For the cherry filling

  • 680 gr preserved sour cherry

Instructions:

  1. For the dough: Mix the flour with the butter and add the sour cream and the vanilla sugar. Knead the dough. It should be soft and little sticky. Place it into the fridge for 30 minutes (minimum).                                                                                          
  2. For the cream: Put the sour cream into a gaze and put it into the fridge for about an hour to remove the excess liquid. It is a very important step, so please do not skip! In order to drain the sour cream, first you will have to place it into the gaze, then tie the gaze into sack-like form and tie it further to the middle of the wooden mixing spoon. Then place the mixing spoon into horizontal position, with the gaze-sack hanging, and place it on the lid of any bowl or pot that will allow the gaze to hang loose and therefore let the liquid drain freely and drip.
  3. You need to get 10 equal logs to get a good shaped log house. To get the perfect shape prepare a thin paper 6 cm by 20 cm, and cut the pastry with this template. The thickness of the pastry to be cut should be approx. 1 cm.
  4. For the cherry filling: Cherry filling should be drained, therefore placing the filling into the strainer is the best option. The remaining juice should be kept (see step 7.)
  5. Put the cherries onto the stripes, and close them up. Before baking cut some holes with a toothpick. The logs seam ought to be on top side, bake approx. 20 minutes 170 C fan until starting to brown. When ready cool them down completely.
  6. Then let’s continue with the cream – whip the stripped off sour cream with the icing sugar and add the butter (room temperature, very soft) and the lemon juice. The cream should be very light and airy.
  7. Impregnate the logs with the cherry juice (which was drained from the cherries).
  8. Before proceeding to finish the cake itself, make a first layer from the cream (3-4 table spoons). Afterwards lay the first 4 logs, and cover them with cream, followed by 3 more logs on top and more cream, until you get the triangle like shape. When done with laying the logs, (4+3+2+1), cover the whole cake with cca. 1 cm thick cream.
  9. Place the cake into the fridge for 1 night (min 12 hours).
  10. Decorate with chocolate shavings or colored sprinkles.

2 thoughts on “Monastery Log House Cake with Cherries (Monastyrskaya Izba)

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