Honey Cakes, No. 1
Posted by bakinghistory on September 11, 2007
Honey cake is one of the traditional sweets served on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. This recipe is one of the best versions ever: it produces a moist, mildly spiced, golden cake with a deep honey flavor. It is best made one day ahead and it just improves over time.
From the original recipe by Florence Kreisler Greenbaum
In “The International Jewish Cook Book” 1919-USA
1 lb (1-1/3 cup–454 g) honey
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tbsp (6 g) ground allspice (see note)
3 tbsp salad oil + extra for the cake pan
4 cups (1 lb–454 g) all-purpose flour
3 tsp (15 g) baking powder
Preheat the oven at 350°F (180°C). Generously oil a cake pan (I used a traditional Bundt® pan–if you prefer you can use two 5.4 x 9.1-inches loaf pans (13.6 x 23.2 cm).
Pour the honey in a pan, and warm it up, on low heat, taking care not to let it boil.
Beat the eggs with the granulated sugar at medium-high speed for 20 minutes, until light and pale yellow in color. Add the oil and beat until well incorporated.
Sift the flour with the ground allspice and the baking powder, then add the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Finally add the warm honey and beat well.
The batter will be creamy and glossy and golden in color. Pour it delicately into the prepared mold(s) and bake for about 1 hour–a toothpick must come out clean when the cake is ready. Take care not to bake the cake at too high a temperature (not above 350F–180C) or it will brown too quickly on the outside and remain raw inside.
Let the cake cool in the pan placed on a rack for about 10 minutes. Then take it out of the pan(s) and let it finish cooling on the rack. When completely cold, wrap it in aluminum foil (not plastic wrap) or place it in an airtight container for one day before serving. It lasts a long time and improves.
Note: if possible, it is best to use whole allspice berries. Toast them lightly in a pan (not non-stick) on low heat stirring with a wooden spatula until the fragrance rises. Take immediately off the heat and let cool. When cold, grind the allspice berries in a spice or coffee grinder, then sift the spice powder into the flour using a fine strainer.