Monastyrska Izba (Monastic Hut Cake)
If you are a fan of cherries, you will go crazy about the traditional Ukrainian Monastic Hut cake. This shortbread triangular dessert indeed tastes just as fantastic as it looks. Its win-win
For the dough:
- 8 oz butter
- 1 lb flour
- ½ pint sour cream
- 1 tbs vanilla sugar
For the cream:
- 1 ¼ pint sour cream
- ½ lb powdered sugar
- ½ lb butter
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
For cherries in their own juice:
- 2 lb ripe cherries pitted
- ½ lb sugar
- 2 oz water
- 2 tbs starch
How to Make the Shortbread Dough:
Mix the flour with the softened butter. Add the cream and knead thoroughly.
Add the vanilla sugar and knead further. The dough should get sticky, but not runny.
Spread the dough on a plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
How to Make the Cream:
Put the cream on a piece of cheesecloth. Squeeze out the excess liquid. Leave in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.
Whisk the cream with the powdered sugar.
Add the butter, warmed to room temperature. Mix in the lemon juice. Whisk thoroughly to achieve a thick texture.
Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes
How to Prepare the Cherrries in their own juice:
Wash and pit the cherries.
Cover them with sugar, add 2 oz water, and bring to a boil.
Add the starch and keep cooking over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
Strain the cooked cherries and leave to cool.
Tip: Mix the cherries with a wooden spatula to avoid oxidation and loss of vitamins.
How to Make the Tubes:
Roll out the cooled dough, making it 0.2-inch thick. Cut it into long stripes of 2.2x8 inch.
Place the cherries onto the strips and roll them up and seal them. Prepare 15 such tubes.
Place the tubes on the parchment paper, leaving with 1 inch between them.
Pierce the tubes with a toothpick or fork before baking.
Bake for 10 minutes at 360 ℉. Cool the tubes.
How to Assemble the Cake:
Spread the bottom of the dish with the sour cream.
Place 5 tubes as the first layer, 4 tubes as the second layer, 3 tubes as the third layer, 2 tubes as the fourth layer, and 1 tube as the top layer.
Spread the previously prepared cream over each layer.
Let the cake sit for 10-12 hours before serving.
Serve with mint leaves and a few cherries on top.