I know that we food bloggers are supposed to be ahead of the game and post recipes before our readers want to make them, but how can I tell you how it went if it hasn't went yet? And no one should eat honey cake more than once a year, not unless you want more cavities in your life.
So yes, it's the first day of Rosh Hashanah and probably many observant Jews won't even check the computer until Saturday night, at which point they will be heartily tired of honey cake. Oh well.
This is my mother's recipe, but before you sigh "awww" you should know that until this year, my 30th, I had no idea that my mother had a honey cake recipe. I didn't even realize we had a honey cake tradition. My mother told me she bought honey cake every year, but it must have been truly boring for me not to remember it. She used to make this cake from scratch before I attained sentience and then stopped as soon as I could really appreciate her efforts, probably at the same time that I became a real handful. Luckily, she suddenly remembered the cake… just as God remembered his covenant with Israel. Yuk yuk yuk.
George cooked it up this morning and it tastes nutty, mildly sweet, and on the dry side of moist—probably because I over-baked it by 13 minutes. It sure doesn't taste like he poured a full jar of honey in! (I know, I know. Deep breaths.) We enjoyed it at breakfast with fruit and then sat through morning services with an uncomfortable sugar high.
Mom would like you to know that she used to bake it at 325, not 350, and she doubled all of the spices except the nutmeg. This is George's and my version.
Mom's Alleged Honey Cake
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp plus a little more freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
3/4 cup sugar
4 tbs oil, like vegetable or canola
2 cups honey
1 1/2 cups walnut pieces
1/2 cup brewed coffee
Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Beat eggs, gradually adding sugar until thick and light in color. Add oil, honey and coffee to egg mixture. Combine with flour mixture and fold in walnuts. Pour batter into 2 greased bread loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out cleaner than it would if the cake were undercooked.
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