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Thursday, May 3, 2007

Honey Cakes for Mother's Day!

by Jennifer Oakley

In the ancient times honey cake was baked to celebrate the mother goddess deities. In modern times we only enjoy it in Rosh Hashanah or Sukkot -- that's why Mother's Day is a great excuse to bake honey cake so mothers and the whole family can enjoy.

Mother's Day is just around the corner and the best way to remember the times you've spent together in childhood is to bake together. A lot of us have baked cookies since we were kids and we all like our mother's best pudding or carrot cake. Something you might want to try baking together or make for your mother this Mother's Day is honey cake.

Normally we have to wait for Rosh Hashanah or Sukkot in order for us to have honey cake but Mother's Day is a good excuse to bake and have one too! During the ancient times honey cakes were made in Asia Minor in honor of a mother deity that the ancients celebrated. You might want to make is a day or so before Mother's Day though because the flavors in honey cake tends to deepen. The following recipe makes 8-10 servings.

To make honey cake this Mother's Day you'll need the following ingredients:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup honey (preferably buckwheat)

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup freshly brewed strong coffee, cooled

2 large eggs

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons whiskey or bourbon


You'll need the following utensils:

A 9x5x3 inch loaf pan

An oven

An electric mixer

2 small bowls

1 large bowl (or the bowl the comes with the electric mixer)

1 rubber spatula

1 wooden pick or skewer

1 knife


Here are the direction for your Mother's Day honey cake: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 350°F. Oil loaf pan well and dust with flour, knock out any excess. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and ginger in a small bowl. In another bowl whisk together honey, oil, and coffee until they're mixed well.

In a large bowl beat together eggs and brown sugar with an electric mixer at high speed for 3 minutes. Afterwards, reduce speed to low, and add honey mixture and whiskey and mix until blended. It'll be about 1 minute. Add flour mixture and mix until they're just combined. Finish mixing batter with a rubber spatula -- make sure you scrape the bottom of bowl.

Pour batter into the loaf pan (don't worry because the batter will be thin). Bake for 30 minutes and cover the top loosely with foil. Continue to bake until the cake begins to pull away from sides of pan and the wooden pick or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean -- that's about 30 minutes more. Once that's done, cool on a rack for 1 hour. Run a knife around side of cake, then invert rack over pan and invert cake onto rack. Turn cake right side up and cool completely. If you keep the cake tightly in plastic wrap or in an airtight container at room temperature it'll last for about a week.

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