Honey Slices (Medové Rezy)

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Dough: 600g flour, 150g powdered sugar, 2 tbsp cocoa, 3 tbsp honey, 50g (~half a stick) butter, 3 eggs, 2 teaspoons baking soda
Filling: 0.5L milk, 5 tbsp corn starch, 250g butter, 1 shot rum, vanilla extract, 1 jar of jam
Topping: 200g dark chocolate, 50 g butter
Prep Time: Two or three hours of actual work

In this recipe, which comes from Varecha.sk, I show you how to make medové rezy, or honey slices. I have never made anything like this before, heck, it was just few weeks ago that I baked my first ever cake. If you had told me two years ago I will ever bake a cake of any kind, I would have told you were totally nuts. Yet here I am, making one of the most delicious Slovak rezy.

Slovakia fames itself on its many various delicious sweets, called koláče or zákusky. Koláče are generally things that your grandma would make, the simple but delicious home baked cakes and cookies. Zákusky on the other hand, are the elaborate cakes and pastries that you are more likely to find in the many cukráreň, or pastry shop. These are further subdivided into rezy (which means something like “cut-outs”) and torty) (tortes). If you ever find yourself in need of some culinary inspiration, just type in “rezy” into Slovak Google’s image search

ingredients for making medove rezy
Here are the ingredients you’ll need, nothing fancy. Just one note. You should probably use cake flour, which is more similar to the Slovak hladká múka (smooth flour) specified by the recipe. But no worries if all you have is all purpose. That’s what I used and everyone I offered the bars to loved them.

Making the wafers

mixing dough ingredients mix
Combine 600g of flour (about 5 cups of flour, from this handy flour calculator) with 150g of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of cocoa, 3 tablespoons of honey, 50g (about half a stick) of melted butter and 3 eggs. This mixture will initially look like nothing that could ever turn into dough.

making rezy dough dough cut into 4 pieces
But keep working it, and it will eventually turn into a solid block with the consistency of play dough (plastelína). Form it into a cylinder and slice into 4 equal sections.

Roll out each section into a plate slightly larger than the bottom of your baking pan (mine is 13×9). To do this, first place a section onto a wooden board, which you have dusted with flour. The board should be bigger than your baking pan. Flatten the section with the back of your hand until you get a fat circular pancake. Then use your fingers to flatten it even more, making sure to close up any tears that form along the edges. Then roll the circle slightly more than the length of your baking pan. Turn the board 90 degrees and roll out in the other direction. Then place wax paper over the plate. Carefully flip the board over to remove the dough. Place it onto a baking pan turned upside down. Use a knife to cut off the dough sticking over the edges. Also use a fork to poke the dough in few places. This is done to keep it from puffing up. I ended up with enough left overs to make fifth plate.

rolling out rezy dough dough on top of baking pan
Bake each slice for 8 minutes at 350F. I baked them one at a time.

The custard

making custard final custard
Alright, the hard part is done. To make the custard filling, combine 0.5L (about 2.1cups) milk with 5 heaping tablespoons of corn starch. At least that was the recipe. I found I had to add another two tablespoons to have it solidify (perhaps I didn’t boil off enough of the milk). Boil all this together and then combine with 250g of powdered sugar, little bit of vanilla, a shot of rum, and another 250g of butter. That’s some 2.5 sticks – I think Julia Child would approve. Use a hand held blender to whip the custard.

Fill the layers

assembling honey slices caked weighed down by flour
To assemble everything together, take one layer and spread the custard on it. Add another wafer and top this one with jam (raspberry or red currant if you can find it). Cover with the third layer and spread on the remaining custard. Then cover with the last wafer. At least that’s how it supposed to be done. I instead made WCJWJJWCJW (wafer/custard/jam/wafer and so on). Weigh the slices down with something like a sack of flour and let sit for several hours in a cool place. Initially, the wafers will be quite hard and crunchy, but will soften and taste very much like soft Graham Crackers.

Chocolate Topping

how to melt chocolate cake with chocolate spread
After the wafers have softened (such as the following day), top them them with a chocolate layer. Use a double boiler (one pot sitting in another one containing boiling water) to melt 4 squares of dark baking chocolate with half a stick of butter. I used 100% chocolate. Since this was too bitter, I added about 2 teaspoons worth of hot chocolate mix. The original recipe said to turn the cake over so you end up coating the layer that was on the bottom. I have no idea why you should do this, besides perhaps aesthetics. I ended up coating the top layer because it was more uniform.

hone slices medove rezy
Place in fridge (or freezer) to allow the chocolate to set. Serve by cutting out individual slices about inch wide and 3 inches long. You’ll end with about 50 of these. Boy, this thing was delicious!

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