Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sticky Honey Cake

As Arthur traveled through the lower house, in Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom: Mister Monday, he came upon quite a predicament. He was stuck, surrounded by coal, with no light except what shone from his key. He had few choices, one of them being to find the Old One and ask him for his advice. He found the Old One, and while recounting his story, they ate honey cakes.

“Sweet cakes of almond meal, sticky with honey, A dozen piled on a platter of woven straw. A pitcher of wine from the sun-kissed hills, Flavored with resin from the crack-barked pine.”

It sounded absolutely delicious, so I hunted down a recipe for honey cake. Thanks to BBC Good Food, I found one. I had to change the measurements into cups, so the recipe I used is below. You can find the original here.

For the Cake

¾ c plain flour, sifted
¾ c butter, softened
¾ c light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 medium free-range eggs
2 tbsp runny honey

For the Syrup:
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp runny honey

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 20cm loaf tin, or a bundt pan (whichever you have).
  2. Start by creaming together the butter and the sugar in a free-standing electric mixer with the paddle attachment, if possible, or cream by hand by mixing together in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, until it is light and fluffy (should take about 3 minutes).
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until everything is well incorporated. Don't worry if the mixture looks curdled.
  4. Stir in the flour, gradually, to avoid getting any lumps and add the baking powder. Stir until the mixture is smooth and lump-free, and add the honey. Pour into the greased loaf tin and bake for 25 minutes in the pre-heated oven. Remove from the oven and cover in baking parchment to stop the top from burning. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the syrup. Whisk together the honey and the lemon juice. Once the cake has been removed from the oven, prick it all over with a skewer and pour over the syrup. The syrup will run down into the holes in the cake and make it wonderfully moist. Leave to cool, cut into slices and serve hot or cold.

The verdict is in. They are both delightfully moist and pleasingly sticky. How did your sticky honey cake turn out? Let me know!

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