Those who are older remember well the taste of Prague cake. According to GOST, it was also very tasty, and it was inexpensive - so you could afford to enjoy a chocolate and creamy dessert any time you want. However, on the eve of holidays it was necessary to run around the grocery stores for cakes and stand in line, and attempts to buy a deficit for the festive table were not always successful.
That's when our inventive housewives began to be interested in the recipes of their favorite cakes, to try, to experiment. It also turned out very tasty, but the requirements of GOST for Soviet housewives existed, as a kind of parallel category of preparation technology, where the order of work on the cake was observed, but at the same time it was believed that home baking should have as much baking: cream, chocolate, and soaking more, and saving on the prestige and glory of the best housewives was not accepted.
If according to the GOST recipe, it was necessary to soak the cake with ordinary sugar syrup with the addition of essences, then in the home kitchen the sponge cake had to be necessarily soaked with the best brandy, liqueur or rum. As now, in Soviet times, the requirements of GOST were strictly regulated by economic expediency. At home craftswomen, the requirements for home-made dessert have always been and remain much higher, and therefore the abbreviation “GOST” is relevant only for one recipe of Prague cake or any other Soviet-era confectionery product that is on the honorable list of sweets subject to mandatory state standardization.
By the way, the confectioner of the Moscow restaurant “Prague”, who developed the cake recipe, could not register his invention in its original form due to the requirements of GOST - the recipe was changed for mass production so that only the name and some external similarity remained from the cake. During the absence of the Internet, finding the right recipe was not easy, and each culinary invention was retold and transmitted, like a work of oral folk art, in due time; professional pastry chefs were not very willing to share the secrets of the companies in which they worked, and therefore there are different versions for almost every cake created in the Soviet era. Consider several options for its preparation. Who knows, maybe someone will be able to come up with another, more advanced cake "Prague". Creative thought can not be limited to either GOST or other frameworks of dull monotony.
Cake "Prague" according to GOST - the basic technological principles
At the heart of the preparation of each confectionery are rules that can not be circumvented, because, stepping away from them a step, you can just spoil the product. These rules are not governed by GOST, but by the laws of biochemistry and physics. If the recipe says that the biscuit dough increases in volume when whisking, then it is impossible to retreat from this rule. This is an example. But at certain stages of cooking, you can still make your own ideas and corrections, when there is confidence that they will not affect the quality of the product badly. Now go to the basics of cooking cake "Prague".
In each version of the recipe of the cake “Prague” there is a similarity. Each cake consists of a base — a cake, an impregnation — a syrup that gives the cake moisture and aroma, a cream — they are joined together by the cake, and icing, fudge or cream (sometimes jelly, fruit, nuts, etc.) that decorate cake surface. That is, the preparation of conditionally divided into four stages. Since each stage is not technologically related to others, for example, chocolate fudge can be made for chocolate fudge instead of glaze, or the syrup recipe can be replaced for impregnation. It is important that during the preparation of the cake should not be broken:
main technological requirements - the use of necessary utensils, compliance with the temperature regime, the rules of mechanical and heat treatment;
requirements for the quality of products - for the manufacture of certain types of confectionery products it is very important to use only fresh products of the highest quality, and replacing them with cheaper components leads to damage to the product;
the proportions of the components were strictly observed - humidity, fat content, density, taste of the dough play a crucial role in the final product. The basis of the cake "Prague" according to GOST - oil biscuit. If flour, sugar and eggs are part of the usual biscuit dough, then butter is added to the dough for butter biscuit, respectively. In addition, there are recipes for sponge dough on water, with the addition of starch, cocoa (chocolate sponge), zest, vanilla, various fruit essences, dried fruits, nuts.
If the requirements of GOST are not fundamental, then at the stage of making biscuit dough, you can save the chocolate look and taste of biscuit, try the option of a lush biscuit dough on starch, replacing them with some flour. If the biscuit dough is prepared on water, then accordingly, the number of eggs added to the dough should be reduced.
The butter in the biscuit dough not only increases the fat content and calorie content, but also makes it more tender, retains moisture, and therefore the butter biscuit does not get stale for a long time. But too much oil makes the biscuit crumbly.
When observing the recipe of biscuit dough, it is also important to pay attention to whipping, during which the dough increases significantly in volume. It is saturated with air bubbles during mechanical action (beating). At the same time, the chemical processes taking place in it are also important, and they, in turn, depend on the gluten content in flour, its moisture, freshness and temperature of egg white, the amount of sugar and oil introduced.
The next, no less important stage - baking. The temperature and time of baking depends on the thickness of the biscuit layer, the humidity of the dough, which is not always possible to measure. Therefore, in the recipes always indicate the average temperature and duration of baking. At this stage, experience is an indispensable thing, when a pastry chef can determine readiness by the appearance of sponge dough.
Place the biscuit dough in the center of the oven to ensure even heating. The temperature should be average, so that the surface of the cake will not clot before the moisture from the middle of the formation has time to evaporate. It is strictly impossible to shake the finished dough, open the oven door in the first 15-20 minutes of baking, until you see a uniformly baked surface through the glass of the door. At the sight of the light brown surface of the biscuit, you can open the cabinet and check the readiness of the cake with a wooden stick, skewer, toothpick or a match. The finished sponge cake is placed on the grill (!) Until it cools completely. Why it is necessary to put on the grid? The bottom of the form should also cool evenly so that the bottom of the cake will not become wet due to the formation of condensate, if not ensure the bottom of the hot form air access.
The cooled cake is cut into three identical layers and soaked with syrup. After the layers are collected and glued with cream. The top of the cake is covered with jam. This is done in order to level the upper layer, as well as to prevent the fudge or chocolate icing from flowing until it is completely set. The final touch is the decoration of the cake.
We now turn to the recipes in order to practice the skills of the pastry chef in practice and find out what pastry techniques and tricks can be used in the preparation of the Prague cake.
1. Original cake “Prague” according to GOST
For chocolate-butter biscuit:
Eggs (1 cat.) 680 g (10 pieces without shell)
Sugar 278 g
Oil (“Extra”) 76 g
Crystal vanilla powder, 1.5 g
Flour 232 g
Cocoa (100%) 46 g
For impregnation (*):
Sugar syrup 15 g
Cognac essence 10 mg
Oil (82.5%) 400 g
Condensed milk (8.5%) 240 g
Yolks (1 category) 72 g (4 pcs.)
Water 72 ml
Cocoa powder (99.9%) 20 g
For chocolate fudge:
Sugar, refined 160 g
Water 54 ml
Lemon juice (*) or citric acid solution (15%) 5 mg
Cocoa (for fondant powder) 10 g
Apricot jam 75 g - to lubricate the top cake under the fondant
Biscuit crumb for powder sides - 100 g (+/- 25 g)
(*) - optional components. In the recipe according to the requirements of GOST, components marked with an asterisk are absent, since they significantly increase the cost of the finished product. The food industry in the USSR, and especially the bakery, bakery and confectionery industry, received subsidies from the state budget, and therefore budget savings were one of the main tasks of state standardization. Lemon juice in this recipe is indicated for comparative determination of acidity, and impregnation is used to improve the quality of the biscuit in the finished product. In the recipe of the cake “Prague”, invented by the restaurant's pastry chef, originally cognac and syrup were indicated as impregnation, but the first and original recipe was simplified for the reasons already mentioned. GOST in the times of the USSR also served as a kind of patent office, with the right to dictate to the author of the invention, what changes need to be made to his discovery, so that it would later be introduced into production.
Preheat the oven to 180 ° C and cook a round detachable shape, brushing it with cooking oil. Line the bottom of the form with bold parchment paper.
Divide cooled eggs into yolks and whites. Pound half the sugar for the dough with white yolks. In a clean and dry bowl, beat the whites to a stable foam, adding sugar to the end of the whipping. Continue to beat the whites until the sugar has dissolved. Put the finished protein mass in a bowl of yolks, one spoonful, gently stirring the egg mass with a wooden or silicone spatula.
Take another clean bowl and whip the softened butter in it. Transfer it just as carefully into a bowl of eggs.
Sift flour and cocoa. Add vanillin to the dry mixture, and then pour it into the total mass. Sift through a sieve, mix gently so as not to form lumps and the dough does not settle.
Smoothly put the dough into the mold, taking care not to make any sudden movements. Immediately put in the oven.
After 30-35 minutes, you can check the readiness of the biscuit, without getting it. Open the door slightly and pierce the cake with a wooden stick. If it turns out to be dry, then the biscuit is ready. Put the form with the finished cake on the grid. The perfect biscuit should last 8-10 hours. After it is removed from the mold, the parchment is removed, cut into three identical layers, horizontally.
Sugar or syrup syrup is mixed with brandy, water in a ratio of 2: 1: 1 for impregnation of cake layers. Cake after sprinkling with syrup, soak on the desktop a couple of hours, spreading them separately.
Preparation of the cream "Prague": In a bowl, combine the yolks with the same amount of water. Add condensed milk, mix and boil (better - in a water bath) to the consistency of sour cream. After cooling the mass, add oil to it, whisk until stable peaks, add sifted cocoa powder and vanillin.
Collect the cake, evenly smearing each layer of biscuit cream, dividing the cream into 3 parts. Leave one part of the cream to lubricate the side surface of the cake and design the border pattern on the top layer.
Cook sugar, cocoa and water fudge. In hot water, dissolve the sugar combined with cocoa, and boil the syrup, adding acid at the end of cooking to avoid sugar fudge.
Continue assembling and decorating the cake:
Grease the sides of the cake with cream.
Sprinkle them with biscuit crumb over the cream.
Cover the top cake with a thin layer of jam.
Lubricate the surface with warm fudge and sprinkle it with cocoa powder. To distribute the cocoa layer evenly, use a strainer.
Drop a curb from the pastry bag along the edge of the cake using an asterisk. To do this, place the cake on a rotating stand and squeeze the cream, making wave-like movements with your right hand, while simultaneously rotating the stand with your left hand. On the center of the surface write the name of the cake.
Ready cake should stand, at least 5-6 hours before consumption.
2. Cake “Prague” in accordance with GOST: a variant of changing the butter in a biscuit
If for some reason you want to change the composition of the biscuit, while maintaining its maximum similarity with the original recipe, then for the preparation of biscuit, you can use the following composition of products:
For sponge cake:
Eggs 8 pcs.
Flour 260 g
Cocoa (powder) 50 g
Spread 60% 125 g
Sugar 250 g
Vanillin 2.5 g
Ingredients for cream and fudge - prescription number 1
Separate half of the taken sugar to whip the spread. Considering that instead of the highest-grade butter in this biscuit, a spread is used, with less fat and a higher moisture content, you need to reduce the number of eggs and add flour to make the dough to balance the dry and wet ingredients. Reducing the content of eggs in the dough, also need to proportionally reduce the amount of sugar. Further order of cooking - according to the recipe number 1.
3. Cake "Prague" in accordance with GOST: a quick way of cooking
You can cook your favorite dessert even when there is almost no time left for guests to arrive. Fortunately, each supermarket sells biscuit semi-finished products, which, like the cakes, are made according to GOST. There you can buy the rest of the workpiece.
Chocolate sponge cake 500 g
Custard (dry mix of “Shalott” type) 100 g
Oil “Extra” 200 g
Milk 300 ml
Cocoa 10 g
Sweet and syrup for impregnation - according to the recipe №1
Crumb, Biscuit, Powder
Soak the finished sponge cake with syrup, dividing it into three layers. Pour custard into a bowl, dilute with milk and boil. Follow the instructions, but if you want, you can add cognac and vanillin at the end of cooking to enhance the flavor. To the cooled cream, add the softened butter and whisk.
Collect the cake as described in the basic recipe (see above).
4. Cake “Prague” according to GOST: how to replace condensed milk in a cream?
It sometimes happens that work is in full swing, but suddenly it turns out that the necessary ingredient is not available. Difficulties harden the character, therefore, without losing, we prepare condensed milk for cream, choosing the easiest way. In order not to lose a lot of time, we combine the preparation of condensed milk, smoothly moving to the cream.
So, the replacement of ingredients in the cream without violating the requirements of GOST:
Water 250 ml
Powdered milk or cream (10%) 180 g
Sugar 150 g
The amount of butter, yolks, vanilla and cocoa for cream remains unchanged (see recipe number 1). The technology of preparation of the cream varies somewhat:
Combine sugar, cocoa and powdered milk;
To the mixture, add 180 ml of water, whisk;
Whisk the rest of the water with the yolks. Continuing whipping, combine the egg and milk mass;
Cook in a water bath until thick. At the end of cooking, add vanilla and leave the cream to cool. Beat the chilled, custard and butter until tender.
You can also replace condensed milk in cream with whole milk (180 ml) with added sugar (150 g).
5. Cake "Prague" in accordance with GOST: dry mix for biscuit
It is no secret that dry mixes have long been used in large-scale confectionery production, which make it possible to increase productivity and more effectively address issues related to sanitary requirements.
Dry egg powder can often be found at retail, and in some cases, such a purchase is useful. Moreover, egg powder meets health standards more than fresh eggs. When used in biscuit dough, a more stable foam is obtained.
Try to make biscuit dough using egg powder.
For sponge cake:
Egg white dry (albumin) 22 g
Dry yolk 74 g
Water 154 ml (for protein) + 95 ml (for yolk)
For the cake on the basis of dry egg powder, all the other ingredients of the sponge cake for the Prague cake are taken in accordance with GOST in the same quantity as indicated in the first recipe.
Albumin is dissolved in cold water, left to swell, and then beat with a mixer at high speed until a foam is formed, adding 1/3 of the sieved powder to the end. Dried egg yolk is dissolved in warm water (its quantity is indicated in the list of ingredients separately). Temperature - 25-30 ° C. Then dry powder is also whipped, adding powder. Further preparation - according to GOST technology.
6. Cake “Prague” in accordance with GOST: decoration options
One of the decoration options is described in the first recipe, but there are also other methods using chocolate coating. Minor deviations from the standard requirements in terms of the design of the Prague cake are allowed by the State Standard, but the drawing on the surface is still in the chocolate range. For the second design option, chocolate icing is required: it is less complicated to prepare than fudge, and therefore, homemade pastry chefs can use the simplest recipe for decorating Prague cake before gaining experience. For chocolate icing:
Milk (3.2%) 150 ml
Oil (82.5%) 75 g
Sugar 220 g
Cocoa (99.9%) 50 g
Cognac 35 ml
Mix the sugar and cocoa powder, pour in the milk and bring the mixture to a boil. Next, boil until thickened on a slow fire, and so that the chocolate does not burn, put the pan in a water bath. In order not to form a crust, put the oil. Stir the chocolate from time to time. Before removing it from the stove, add vanilla powder. Beat with a spatula. When whisking, add brandy to the gloss and flavor of the glaze.
Please note that milk with sugar and cocoa should be boiled down to the syrup density, so that the chocolate icing is well frozen on the surface of the cake.
To apply the pattern, a warm glaze is placed in a cornet made of parchment, and a chocolate net is painted over the fondant layer.
The second option: the surface is covered with chocolate icing, on a layer of apricot jam. Cake for the icing of the glaze is placed in the refrigerator, and then the chocolate pattern is applied with the same icing, they make the inscription: “Prague”.
The third option: a pattern is applied on the back of the parchment. Parchment is laid out on a metal sheet (dish or baking sheet). From the cornet the pattern is applied with a glaze according to the pattern, which is visible through a transparent sheet of paper. It is better to pre-cool the metal tray in the freezer so that the design does not spread. After drawing the pattern, transfer the tray back to cold, and when the chocolate hardens, carefully separate the pattern from the paper and place it on the cake.
Cake "Prague" in accordance with GOST - useful tips and tricks.
Cooking a cake takes a long time, especially when there is not enough experience. Divide the whole process into separate stages:
Prepare a sponge cake in one day - this work will take no more than an hour, including baking time. Ready cake should be aged for 8-10 hours, as has been said. It can be cooked the night before. Ready biscuit cakes, sealed and without cream, can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days, without loss of quality. Cooked chocolate fudge perfectly retains its qualities in the bank, on the shelf of the refrigerator for a month, if you do not eat it before, preparing sandwiches for tea.
You can also prepare chocolate icing in advance, but it should be stored at moderate humidity and temperature.
The cream is the only component of the cake that cannot be stored for more than 36 hours. That is, on the day when you need to serve a cake to the table, it will be enough to cook the cream and collect it.