Tuesday 11 May 2010

Honey cake

I'm an untidy person. I'm the first to admit this. If there's a horizontal surface I will put something down on it and when I've run out of horizontal surfaces I'll rearrange things into piles so that I can carry on putting things down rather than tidy up.

However, sometimes this has advantages. I was doing a little tidying (don't worry though, the house doesn't look any tidier than it did - I got to the getting it all out in view of tidying and then deciding I couldn't be bothered stage, so it ends up looking worse than it did when I started....) and I discovered a jar of honey sitting on my sofa arm. I don't really recall how it came to be encumbent on the sofa arm, but it is a flat surface so perhaps that's all it took. Anyway, I remembered this honey as being delicious, and it certainly deserved better than to be sitting in my living room.

I decided to make a honey cake to showcase it's flavour (and to find out if the flavour of the honey would actually come through or not...) and set about searching for a suitable recipe on the internet. Unfortunately all the recipes I came across paired the honey with multiple spices, lemon, citrus peel, dried fruit and so on. Much as I like all of the these ingredients in cakes, this time I wanted to make the honey the star so set about creating my own recipe.

My honey was a set honey, so I decided that creaming with the butter was the technique of choice here, but I'm sure that this recipe will work with any honey really.

Honey cake
60g butter
40g light muscovado sugar
40g honey (mine was tasmanian leatherwood honey)
1 large egg
80g self raising flour

Most of these ingredients were actually 2-3 g more, I aim for a whole number but tend to overshoot a little!

- Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180C. Grease and line a 6"/15cm round tin. I was using a loose based tin so did the whole base and side lining thing to try and avoid cake mix getting in the tin seams which makes it a pain to clean.
- Cream the butter, sugar and honey until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and flour and continue to beat until all well combined and light.
- Scrape into the prepared tin and spread around/level off a bit.
- Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until springy to the touch and/or a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
- Allow to cool a little then remove from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

My house smelled so deliciously of warm honey while this cake was cooking! And I'm pleased to say that the honey flavour really came through well in the final cake - it was moist and fragrant and the honey was the star of the show. Next time I make this I might try adding a touch of spice to see if that complements the honey, or if it just drowns out the flavour. I might also try it again with a more delicately flavoured honey too. So many possibilities!


Maria♥ said...

I'm the total opposite, I can't stand mess and I hate clutter.

This honey cake looks moist and delish.


Sticky Penguin said...

Why do I not find good things like jars of honey randomly on my couch? Just coffee tables strewn with cups containing an inch of cold, abandoned tea! I love the look of this cake (also your recent marzipan ones) - am in love with anything containing honey and dark sugar. If it had golden syrup as well, I might have rolled off the couch! And I love that I'm reading in Sydney about a girl in the UK cooking with Tassie honey... nice and circular...

Suelle said...

This looks lovely - many recipes for honey cakes use such a small proportion of honey, it makes me wonder how the flavour comes through.

Honey and citrus zest might be a good combination to try too. In fact, I'm wondering if honey would work in the light Guinness cake from my blog: http://mainlybaking.blogspot.com/2009/09/guinness-cake.html

Do you have any problems creaming such small amounts? I find it quite difficult with my hand held mixer - everything gets stuck round the blades.

Chele said...

Great idea - looks like a very tasty cake ;0)

Lucie said...

This looks a delicious. I am very clean, not that tidy though :)

Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial said...

I love a recipe that highlights a single flavour - it's a wonderful way to really appreciate the taste. Your cake looks and sounds simply perfect.. :)

Johanna GGG said...

It is amazing what a rich deep flavour honey can bring to cooking - I have only come to appreciate it recently - especially when a colleague brought a honey chocolate and yoghurt cake to work - I find it quite a nostalgic taste and love the simplicity of your recipe

And I love hearing about your cluttered surfaces and your habits of piling papers to tidy up - I am just the same!

Alicia Foodycat said...

I must look - there is every chance there is honey in my living room too! This is a lovely looking cake. Maybe a bit of orange zest? I'd say ground almonds to someone other than you!

Caroline said...

Maria - I'd love to be tidy, I'm just not!

Blue Penguin - I like the global aspect too - the honey's lovely!

Suelle - I was really pleased with the way the honey flavour came through. The creaming works ok, although I tend to start with the butter on its own and a fork to soften it, and then move onto the hand mixer. And I do sometimes have to push mixture off the beaters.

Chele, Lucie, Celia - thanks!

Johanna - honey chocolate yogurt cake sounds divine! I'm glad to have found a kindred messy spirit, good to know I'm not the only one!

Foodycat - I can imagine citrus working well. And ground almonds too, but as you say, not for me!

Choclette said...

I've just seen a post for honey cookies and was thinking I really fancy some honey now and then I come across this! It sounds lovely. I really like honey in cakes and even when I use quite heavy spices, the honey still comes through.


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