At almost the end of the first month, some of you may be calculating the likelihood of my having 80 afternoon tea experiences by the time I get home.
Even with my enthusiastic consumption this is indeed unlikely.
Fortunately, my eating of cake is not only confined to afternoon tea and, to be honest, I’m not finding a great deal of actual cake at afternoon tea. It’s mostly mousse and ganache.
So, from Moscow to Ulan-ude, a roundup of Russian cake.
Moscow – Cartouche Cake
I’d be inclined to describe this as a truffle rather than a cake – a small offering but packed with richness. More could not be eaten. Stovolaya 57 – Soviet style self service canteen – there can be no misunderstandings with food orders. Verdict: 7/10
Moscow – Honey Cake
This was very good: a moist sponge and not too overly enthusiastic with the cream filling. Did it taste of honey. Yes, and it smelled of honey. It was light and not at all sickly (as I sometimes find honey cake to be) or over filling. Stovolaya 57 Verdict: 10/10
Vladimir – Chocolate Cake
The Russians know how to make chocolate. That is all. Bakery Verdict: 10/10
On the train – Cinnamon Bun
Russian baking includes a lot of the unexpected. You get more than you bargained for, though if I could read Russian maybe I wouldn’t have been surprised.
On the outside this looked like a cinnamon bun (or cinnabon in Sweden) – a wheel of a bun infused with cinnamon. When I bit into it, I found it was filled with marinaded raisins, not a handful of dried ones, but packed with sweet and juicy raisins. Again courtesy of the Bakery in Vladimir. Verdict: 11/10
Yekaterinburg – Sweet Curd
More pudding than cake, this is baked sweetened cheese, served warm with a sweet milk sauce. Only small servings are needed.
This came from Factory Kitchen – a Soviet style canteen with table service.
Things can be very much misunderstood with table service, and my food ordering resulted in three bowls of pelmeni accompanying this to the table.
When I say ‘bowls’, I mean pasta bowls with silver domes over each of them. I was mortified when this mountain of food arrived, clearly just for me. Good thing I was hungry. Verdict: 8/10.
Irkutsk – Chocolate Cheesecake
It had been one week since I had last had any cake. One week.
Concerns would be being voiced, so I stopped off for cappuccino and a slice of cheesecake, continuing the sweetened cheese theme. Chocolate, caramel and white chocolate cheesecake to be exact.
The cheesecake element was excellent. The sponge base was a little disappointing as I was expecting crunchy biscuit but still enjoyable. Courtesy of Good Mind Coffeeshop in Irkutsk. Verdict: 9/10
Ulan-Ude – Chocolate Gateau
This little gem came from another self-service style canteen.
What impressed me most, here, was when I made my usual opening gambit of: “I don’t understand Russian – I’m English”, the girl on the checkout immediately, and I do mean immediately, reached for a teabag and a cup already containing milk.
I have found my people.
Oh, and the cake was great too. Venue: Appetito. Verdict: 9/10
Featured Photo: Cherry Pie in Tyumen. It’s not cake which is why it isn’t featured in the roundup, but it was good. Yes, neither is a pudding (sweet curd) – mybround up, my rules. Which fluctuate.
Interesting to read about the cakes. Not necessarily a cake person myself but you described them so well that one wants to travel to Russia just to eat cake! I am enjoying following your journey, Fiona. Thank you.!
That’s very kind of you. It started out as a joke with my friends because I regularly post on FB pictures of the cake I’m eating. And then someone said I should do Afternoon Tea around the world… and I thought that was a great idea.
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