Years ago, one Christmas I realised that I had never made a pie from scratch so for our New Year celebration I made a whole raft of them – pecan, pumpkin, an impossible (no pastry) pie, you name it! Since then I have often made pies at New Year, just because we can, but also tried something new in the kitchen, just because we can.
This year I was at a bit of a loss – 2019 has had a lot of demoralising news around the world, and we are in the middle of a dreadful smoke-induced reality: air quality is highly hazardous, everything has an ashy aftertaste, and, a great deal worse, we continue to watch neighbouring communities battle a breath-taking run of bushfires the like of which I have never seen though I have lived in Australia all my life.
Then just at almost the 11th hour, a friend mentioned she was looking for a really good recipe for honey sponge cake – where it is all about the honey and not cinnamon or other spices that are commonly added in.
So 2020 got off to a flying start with two honey cakes – a humble version and one that is a whole lot more of a hootin’ honey experience!
The great news is that the humble version is a pleasant tea cake kind of result, and takes only three ingredients. The method takes some effort, but it is not particularly complicated to make, and it is also a no-added-sugar deal. I would say it is a two-spoon rating due to the method, and it also rates as ‘cupboard cooking’ since most cupboards will usually have eggs, flour, and honey in them – or could without too much drama!
The hootin’ honey cake is rather more of a treat – loads of butter for a start, and this needs to be the real stuff not a politically correct alternative. The added sugar is muscovado – I have this on hand, but, then again, my cupboard has 9 types of sugar in it for a start, as well as treacle, molasses, golden syrup, rice bran syrup, coconut sugar (which is actually the dried nectar of the coconut flower, not really sugar), … you get the idea. But if you are in for a treat, this is the recipe for you, although I would rate it at 3 poons because messing with hot sugary liquid is a job for grown up cooks.
Happy new year to all, and let me know if there is a recipe you are looking for!