Recipe for Hungarian Honey Slice (Mézes Zserbó)
This recipe for Hungarian honey slice or Mézes Zserbó, is a delicately honey flavoured, soft pastry slice, filled with a rich, vanilla custard butter cream topped with chocolate. This cake is my husband’s favourite, so I learned to bake it, after a few goes of trialling and tweeking a recipe, we are both happy with this result! This cake needs to be baked and assembled at least one whole day before it is served, in order for the cream to soften the pastry so it becomes more cake like. This Hungarian honey slice freezes well too.
Recipe Makes 28 slices
4 cups plain flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sifted pure icing sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter
2 beaten eggs
¼ cup honey
½ cup sour cream
750mL full cream milk
75g vanilla custard powder
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sifted icing sugar (to taste, you may need more or less)
1/8 cup meringue powder
180g Dark cooking chocolate
75g softened butter
To make pastry:
Sift flour, baking powder and icing sugar into a large bowl. Add butter, rubbing it into the flour mixture until it resembles crumbs (alternatively use a food processor). Make a well in the centre of the mix and add honey, eggs and sour cream, kneading the mixture together and incorporating it well to make a dough.
Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees.
Shape the dough into a stumpy roll shape, divide into four equal pieces. Flour the surface and roll out each piece of dough to between ½ cm to 1cm thick. To get an even shape, draw the shape of your baking tray on the baking paper, add another sheet on top which will be your baking sheet. Put the pastry on top, and cut to shape- this way you won’t have too much wastage of cake when you trim the slice edges after assembly.
Bake each layer separately to ensure even cooking, for around 10-15 minutes or until a light golden colour, and the dough is firm to touch.
To make Cream filling:
In a small saucepan, add half the milk and heat on a low setting. Mix custard powder, cornflour and remaining milk together to a paste, add to heating milk. Stir continuously until the custard is very thick and porridge-like. Remove from the heat, cover custard directly with baking paper and allow to cool completely. Cream butter, vanilla, icing sugar and meringue powder with electric beaters until soft and fluffy, add enough icing sugar to make it sweet to your taste. When custard is cool add a large spoonful at a time to the butter mix, beating slowly after each addition, until all incorporated. Place covered in fridge until ready to assemble cake.
Melt chocolate, stir in softened butter until completed mixed.
Place a layer of cold pastry on a board, spread evenly with 1/3 of the butter custard cream. Place the next layer of pastry and repeat until all pastry is used. Pour chocolate on top, spreading evenly-I like to swirl a pattern through it. Put in a covered container in the fridge for over 24 hours to set and soften.
Trim edges of cake to make it straight, slice the cake into small rectangles-remember it’s a very rich slice, don’t make the pieces too big. Keep refridgerated.