Often if you bring up Ukrainian sweets, Kyiv Cake will be the first thing to pop into the conversation. The dessert is indeed somewhat legendary and even earned a status of the symbols of the Ukrainian capital. Kyiv Cake is made of dry pie crusts, sweet cream and nuts. The colorful top is often decorated with flowers as a finishing touch to the memorable look.
It's interesting that the official recipe is still a matter of mystery and the creation of the cake is wrapped in numerous legends. One of them states that Kyiv cake was an accident when pastry cooks forgot to put ingredients necessary for a sponge cake into the fridge. Their colleagues, Kostiantyn Petrenko and Nadezhda Chernogor, attempted to fix the mistake with covering the cake with buttercream, sprinkling with vanilla powder and putting little flower decorations on top.
However, the real story was as far as possible from the legends. Kyiv Cake is a result of meticulous calculating of two employees of Karl Marx Confectionary Factory, who first released the recipe in 1956. Nowadays the rights for Kyiv Cake are owned by Roshen confectionary and the cake still stays one of their best selling products.
Kyiv Candied Fruit
One more of the famous Ukrainian sweets born in the capital is Kyiv Candied Fruit. While it's not as tremendously popular as Kyiv Cake, the sweet's history actually dates back to as early as the 14th century. According to the historical records, Kyiv dried fruit was brought to the wedding celebration of the Lithuanian prince. It was also a beloved dessert of Empress Katherine II and was specially delivered to her from Kyiv.
The long, see-through slices of fruit boiled in sugar syrup and rolled in fine sugar were the most popular dessert in the late 18th-early 19th centuries Kyiv. Luckily, the recipe survived and is used nowadays: Київське Сухе Варення company uses the formula restored from the 1861 recipe book. The company's array of flavors includes classic apples, oranges, pears, as well as more unusual rhubarb, carrot, beetroot and lemon.
To talk about traditional Ukrainian sweets, verhuny that are also called ‘Angel Wings’ are especially renowned in Western Ukraine. The small crisp pastry has a quite simple preparation method: dough is twisted into ribbons, then deep-fried, and sprinkled with powdered sugar for extra sweetness.
Verhuny are usually prepared and sold in bulk but are best tasted when fresh and extra crispy. As for the homemade recipes, some hostesses add horilka, rum, or other spirits to make the sweet dish spicier. Traditional Ukrainian verhuny are only fried in lard. The peculiarity of the dish that makes it suitable and beloved for many is non-yeast dough: perfect for Lent, dieting, or simply a fresh sweet snack.
While originally the word 'pliatska' means any dish made from flat dough, in the West of Ukraine, especially Halychyna, pliatsky are a popular sweet dish. The dessert looks like a rectangular cake thanks to its structure: pliatsky are always multi-layer.
The sweet dish unites various kinds of pastries and ingredients: roll cake, sponge cake, homemade meringue and shortbread dough. The flavors have a wide range and usually include raisins, dried apricots, prunes, cherries, apples, chocolate, poppy seeds and nuts. Traditionally, pliatsky are cut in cubes and served in plates.
Serving pliatsky is the traditional element of any festive event in Halychyna. For instance, hosts usually prepare at least 30-50 kinds of pliatsky for weddings. The total amount can reach 300 pieces. The reason behind is that pliatsky are given to every guest and wedding staff member as a gratitude for attending the festivity.
Lviv Handmade Chocolate
Often called the best chocolate in Ukraine, Lviv Handmade Chocolate is definitely one of the most well-known brands even beyond the country's borders. The franchise has a chain of stores in different regions of Ukraine while originally coming from Lviv, as hinted in the name.
Masters of Lviv Handmade Chocolate use special formulas and technologies to create the delicious taste. Besides, all products by the brand are exclusively handmade, made from natural ingredients and are GMO-free. The product range includes more than 60 types of chocolate, caramel and crème sweets. Visitors often choose to buy sweets by piece to make a customized set in a stylish box.
To talk about healthy Ukrainian sweets, Ukrainian Marshmallow provides a local taste of the iconic sweet snack. The brand uses only natural and high- quality ingredients for their desserts, making it safe for children. All marshmallows are handmade and have various flavors starting from a classic vanilla to apple, banana, watermelon, strawberry and even bubblegum.
Moreover, the company also makes macarons and zefir - a marshmallow-like confectionery mostly known in the countries of the post-USSR. It is made from fruit and berry purée, sugar, egg whites and a gelling ingredient. Zefir by Ukrainian Marshmallow is made in the shape of colorful flower buds. You can order a set of sweets at marshmallow.com.ua.
Mr. Pops Ice Cream
Finally, the classic sweet summer dessert with various unusual flavors is brought by Mr. Pops. The company was founded in 2015 in Dnipro and nowadays is sold in numerous shops, cafes and even gyms in Kyiv. The full list of places to buy this Ukrainian ice cream can be found at the official Facebook page or Instagram of the brand.
While soft serve is the most popular kind of ice cream in Ukraine, Mr. Pops decided to produce the classic American treat - popsicles. The craft ice cream brand has an array of unique rich flavors you won't find otherwise, for instance, pineapple chili, Hibiscus tea, Dorblu cheese and salted caramel.
Sources: managerofkyiv.com, home-recipes.com.ua.
Photo sources: Facebook pages of businesses mentioned above, ida-vors.blogspot.com, depositphotos.com, unsplash.com. All images belong to their rightful authors.