Tarts "Penyochki" (Russian mini tree stump cakes)
Creamy, delicate and heavenly delicious are the Russian tarts "Penyochki", which were so popular during the Soviet era. With their fairy-tale appearance, they are also an eye-catcher on any dining table and are perfect for a party. You can make the mini tree stump cakes yourself using this recipe. It's much easier than you might think at first.
Servings 9 pieces
for the dough
- 3 eggs (room temperature)
- 90 g sugar
- 90 g flour
- 1 pinch of salt
for the cream
- 250 g butter (room temperature)
- 150 ml milk
- 170 g sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp rum or cognac
for the sugar syrup
- 65 ml water
- 65 g sugar
- 1 tbsp rum or cognac
- 100 g of any nuts (roasted and chopped)
- some cocoa powder
- green food coloring
Preparation of the dough
Separate egg whites from yolks. Beat egg whites, sugar, vanilla and salt until stiff.
Add egg yolks one at a time, beating briefly each time to form a homogeneous fluffy mixture.
Fold flour into the egg-sugar mixture to make a fluffy, thick batter.
Fill a small amount of dough into the piping bag with the round hole nozzle and place approx. 30 very small round cookies on a baking tray lined with baking paper, leaving a little space between each cookie. Bake the cookies, which will later represent mushroom caps on the tarts, in a preheated oven at 180 °C top and bottom heat for about 3 - 5 minutes and let them cool.
Spread the remaining batter evenly on another baking sheet lined with baking paper, bake in a preheated oven at 180 °C top and bottom heat for about 7 minutes until the sponge gets a light yellow color and let it cool. Then place the sponge on a clean sheet of baking paper and remove the baking paper on which it was baked.
Cut off about 0.5 cm from each side of the sponge cake and crumble it. Mix the crumbs with roasted and finely chopped nuts.
Preparation of the sugar syrup
Put sugar and water together in a small saucepan, boil briefly while stirring constantly so that the sugar dissolves before it boils, and let the sugar syrup cool.
Add rum or cognac and stir.
Preparation of the cream
Mix egg with milk in a saucepan with a thick bottom.
Add sugar and mix until a homogeneous mass. Put it on the stove, bring it to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, and then continue to boil it over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes, until the mixture has thickened a bit. Then take it off the heat and let it cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Beat softened butter for about 3 - 4 minutes until fluffy and white.
Add vanilla as well as in small portions the cooled cooked mass to the butter and beat it each time to a homogeneous airy cream.
Add rum or cognac and whip again briefly to a homogeneous cream.
Preparation of the tarts
Soak the sponge cake with the sugar syrup.
Pour about 1/3 of the cream into a clean container and set aside for the time being.
Spread the remaining cream evenly on the sponge and roll it up from the longer side.
Spread the roll very thinly on all sides with a small amount of the cream set aside, rolling it back and forth on the baking paper. Refrigerate the leftover cream, you will need it later for decorating.
Sprinkle the crumbs-nuts mixture on the baking paper lengthwise next to the roll (leave some of it and put it aside for now) and roll the roll back and forth until it is completely rolled in the crumbs-nuts mixture. Then wrap the roll in baking paper and then in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
Remove the plastic wrap and baking paper from the roll and cut it into 9 slices about 3 inches thick.
Roll each slice from one of the cut sides in the crumb-nut mixture set aside and spread the tarts, rolled side down, on a flat plate or cutting board.
Decorating the tarts
Put some of the cream you left for decorating in a clean small bowl, add some cocoa powder and mix it to a homogeneous chocolate cream. Pour the chocolate cream into the piping bag with the closed star nozzle and place a border of chocolate cream on the surface of each tart.
Pour some of the white cream into the piping bag with the round nozzle and place three mushroom stalks next to each other on the surface in the center of each tart. Carefully place a mushroom cap on each mushroom stem (small cookies that you made from the sponge dough beforehand).
Color the remaining cream with green food coloring, fill it into the piping bag with the leaf piping nozzle and place three leaves between the mushrooms on each tart.
Refrigerate the tarts "Penyochki" for about 1 hour.
- Do not leave the "mushroom caps" unattended in the oven, because they are ready quickly and could otherwise burn.
- Do not bake the sponge longer than necessary, otherwise it could crack when rolled up. It should have a light yellow color after baking. To check if the sponge cake is done baking, gently press its surface with a finger briefly about the center. If it springs back after being pressed, and no marks remain visible, it is done.
- Alcohol in the cream and sugar syrup is alternative.
- The roll can be made a day ahead and placed in the refrigerator overnight. The next day it is then cut into tarts, and the tarts are decorated.
- Note the detailed tips and tricks for making the tarts "Penyochki" above in the post.