I am spending this Fourth of July alone, day off from work and all that; plus The Horn Player is AT work. So I'm busying about doing menial tasks that will give me a jump start on my weekend cleaning. But along with this day of freedom (forgive me) I have an urge to bake. So over my morning coffee, I perused my cookbook, The Red Plate. And in it I found a recipe I haven't thought of in quite a while.
I love local products...really love 'um. And honey is a food that is definitely on my list of favorites. So versatile, honey. It can be used in almost everything from savory dishes to desserts and even beverages. There's nothing like a good cup of Earl Grey with a healthy drip of honey and a spritz of bright lemon to send the blues down the road. I feel so homey and comforted by that cuppa during the winter months. A nice cup of tea and a Honey Cake. Hmmm...
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour creme
1/2 cup Mascarpone
1 cup local honey
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon baking soda
Nutmeg (freshly ground ~ to your taste)
I know this is going to sound crazy, but if it works, I don't fix it. I might tweek it, but I don't fix it. Here goes!
Add every last ingredient in the list above to the bowl of your mixer. Just tip them in and adjust the speed to stir. When the ingredients have come together fairly well, stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Then increase your speed and mix for a minute or so. Remove the bowl and stir by hand, scraping the bottom to incorporate and smooth the batter. Just don't over mix.
Place the batter into a loaf pan that's been buttered/floured (or use the baking spray like I did) and bake at 350 degrees until the top is golden and springs back when lightly touched. Cool and frost if you like. I like.
Note: Today I wanted to use this recipe, but I also wanted cupcakes so that's what I made, sort of. I have a pan that makes little rectangular cakes and another that I've had since my son was a baby that makes heart shaped cakes. So, there you have it. Little Honey Cakes. Oh and by-the-way, round cupcake liners will work for odd shaped pans. Just mold them to the sides and they actually fit.
Honey (for brushing over the warm cakes)
1/2 stick butter
1-8 ounce package creme cheese
3 or so cups confectioner's sugar
Disaronna (Italian liqueur ~ I chose this for it's note of honey and almond)
Almond slices (for garnish)
Brush the tops of the warm cakes with a bit of honey. This adds to the flavor of the cake, but also helps retain its moistness.
Soften the butter and creme cheese and blend well with your mixer. Add the confectioner's sugar, more if you want it really sugary or less if you want it more creamy. I go with the latter. Mix until it comes together in a rather dry consistency and add a splash of liqueur and vanilla extract. Adjust the consistency with more liqueur, if needed.
Note: You can add cold milk if you would prefer.
Mix the frosting until it's very creamy and spreadable. Frost the tops of the cakes and adorn with almond slices.
|Golden stream of delicious honey|
|First mixing of the batter|
|Smooth batter is a beautiful thing|
|Ready to bake|
|Brushing with golden honey|
|Ready for the frosting|
|Little individual cakes, Honey|