Why Honey Cake?
Also known as lekach, honey cake is a typical European holiday food, especially around Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year). Lekach in Hebrew means portion - the cake thus, is served with hope of being blessed with a ‘goodly portion’ for those who observe Jewish tradition.
Honey cake is also popular at Rosh Hashanah, as most food served is somewhat sweet (a tradition that is over 1,500 years old) representing the sweetness to be had in the New Year.
While this cake is mostly popular around Jewish New Year it is a beautiful cake for any occasion.
It is rich and moist, yet not sickly sweet as some may assume (somehow the honey adds flavour and depth as apposed to a heavy sweetness). There is a delicate balance between the sweetness and spice that makes this cake so superb. If enjoying on a holiday or any other day, honey cake is sure to make you wish for all the sweeter things in life.
500g plain flour, sifted
3 teaspoons baking powder, sifted
3 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda, sifted
200g light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1 tablespoon flaked almonds
*Kosher alternative 200ml vegetable oil instead of butter, 3 eggs instead of 2, 1cup of strong black coffee instead of milk.
Preheat oven to 190°C (170°C fan forced).
Grease and line a 25cm springform tin. Melt the butter and honey in a saucepan over a gentle heat (if using oil, heat the honey and whisk with the oil). Add the milk and allow to cool.
Put the sifted flour in a bowl along with the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, dried ginger and mixed spice. In another bowl whisk together the brown sugar and eggs.
Whisk the honey mixture and eggs together before adding it to the flour.
Whisk the mixture until smooth and pour into the greased tin. Sprinkle with almonds and place in the oven.
Bake for 1-1 1/2 hours. The cake is ready when a skewer comes out clean. The cake will sink slightly in the middle when it is cool.
Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.