It is a dessert which is known for its lengthy preparation time. It consists of layers of sponge cake with a cream filling and is often covered with nuts or crumbs made from leftover cake. While the thin layers harden shortly after coming out of the oven, the moisture of the filling softens it again over time.
According to Russian tradition, the cake was created in the 18th century by a young chef who sought to impress Empress Elizabeth. However, there are few recorded references to it from before the 20th century and the modern version of the cake only became popular with the public during the Soviet era. 
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