Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Honey, honey, doo doo, doo doo, doo doo, sugar, sugar...

I don't know if that's how the song really goes, but that's how it goes in my head. That song could have been written about this cake which marks a sweet introduction to the Jewish New Year, making use of a loooot of honey and sugar.

I'm happy to be BACK after a couple of weeks away from phylliscaroline with a nasty virus. I was sorry I missed the apple pie and Scandinavian spicy biscuits (pepparkakors). But the Honey Cake for a Sweet New Year from The Baking Bible is a quick and easy cake to get me back into Alpha Baker mode.

This cake is moist and soft, sweet, aromatic and spicy; and I served it with cream. Although I cut down the sugar in this cake slightly, I still found it had a sweet after-taste. Other people didn't find this a problem.

This was a wild success at work. Reports from the kitchen included enthusiastic proclamations of 'that was soooo delicious! I feel somewhat of a fraud since I was just following someone else's (quite easy) recipe. So Rose, please take a bow. (the blemishes on the cake are all my responsibility)

This must be an easy cake to make because making it yesterday evening, I was tired and had a slight headache, so measuring out the ingredients was approximate to say the least (another time I was really glad Rose couldn't see me in my kitchen). I also discovered that the jar of honey I knew was in the fridge was a lot smaller than I had remembered. So this is a half honey/half golden syrup cake. I also noticed, as an aside, that the volume of honey is very different to the weight of honey - unlike many other liquids. Of course that makes sense since honey is very dense. (Feel free to correct me if I've said something scientifically ridiculous inaccurate.)

The liquid ingredients are first whisked together and although it was a strange combination it smelled deliciously of coffee and that wonderful whisky we discovered a few weeks ago. This also has orange juice and oil and white sugar and muscovado sugar (lumps of which left blemishes on my finished cake) and four eggs. It's a big cake. 

After hearing that some other Alpha Bakers found this too sweet, I cut down the white sugar by about 75g (I think).  This cake has lovely spices of cinnamon, cloves and ginger which combine with the dark sugar and coffee to make a highly aromatic batter.

The honey (and golden syrup) take it up a notch further. In fact there are so many strong flavours in this recipe, when you're making it, it's hard to imagine that they will combine and harmonise. Mine was a fairly liquid batter and I wondered if that was a result of my late evening approach to weighing, although Rose did mention it would be runny. 

I disregarded all the careful instructions Rose had for preparing the cake tin and sprayed it liberally with oil.  It is a fairly solid non-stick tin so I hoped that would be enough. 

I'm not sure if my oven was too hot since the cake rose like billy-o. It came out of the oven with an escarpment and crazed crater round the middle. I resisted the temptation to immediately cut off the crunchy escarpment and eat it. The good news is that apparently there IS a limit to my greediness.

Rose has a rather long set of instructions about how (once the cake has cooled) to carefully prise the cake out of the (carefully lined and greased) baking tin. The reality was me, tired and ready for bed at 10.30 pm, jiggling the just-out-of-the-oven cake tin over the baking rack until it fell out.  Well most of it did. A thin sliver of the inside stayed put which I promptly taste-tested (a reward from the gods for my previous restraint perhaps?). Delicious.

Leaving a cake out on the bench is just not an option in tropical, insect-ridden Darwin so, desperate to get to bed, I slid the hot cake onto a plate and put it straight in the fridge. Luckily this cake seems to be indestructible and only a slight stodgy bit on the bottom (the flattened escarpment) told the tale of the cake's misadventures of the previous evening.

So a Happy and Sweet Jewish New Year to those who celebrate it.

Next week the Alpha Bakers are making: Mud Turtle Pie. Judging by the name I would guess that this is another dessert from the South?


  1. Quite lovely in your bundt pan! It's so fun when people especially enjoy one of the Alpha baking treats.
    I often get a song stuck in my head when baking out of TBB. The latest one was Sugar by Maroon 5. Now lest you think I am up on the current songs, my daughter showed me the video on youtube.

  2. I can't see where the cake cracked. Looks good to me! Delicious actually.

  3. welcome back! and what a cake, came out so nice...mine was bit crumbly...well thank you for your wishes and have a wonderful week!

  4. I hope you have fully recovered! What a brave act baking a cake whilst still sick. Your cake is beautiful!

  5. it looks great! i hope nothing in your fridge deteriorated from the hot cake!