On my friend Phil's lovely blog, As Strong as Soup, [http://asstrongassoup.blogspot.com] he writes about Nonnettes and using honey. I haven't tried his recipe yet, but my Polish dil also gave me her recipe for a Polish Honey cake. Every time I visit a farmer's market I always buy a jar of local honey, so have plenty to use in both recipes.
I decided that I needed a large cake to take to a meeting yesterday, so made the Polish honey cake. It's called Piernik in Polish. There seem to be many varying recipes for this cake, but they all contain a mixture of ground spices.
The recipe said to use a 22cm tin, but I don't have one this size, so used a 23 cm tin and it turned out fine.
500g plain flour, 2 tspn baking powder, 1/2 tspn ginger, 1/2 tspn cinnamon, 1/2 tspn cloves. 1/2 tspn allspice, grated zest of 1/2 orange, 25g chopped walnuts, 25g seedless raisins, 25g chopped figs, 300g honey, 90g caster sugar, 90g butter, 4 egg yolks, 2 tspn instant coffee dissolves in a tspn hot water and 4 egg whites, apricot preserve [opt], dark chocolate [opt]
Preheat oven 180C/gas4 Grease and line a 22cm cake tin
In a big bowl, sift the flour, spices and baking powder together. add the orange zest, walnuts, raisins and figs and mix in.
Put the honey, butter and sugar into a pan and melt over a low heat. Cool slightly then add to the flour mixture together with the egg yolks and coffee. Whisk the egg whites till stiff then fold into the batter.
Pour into the cake tin and bake for about an hour. Cool on a wire rack.
You can eat the cake as is, or slice in half and sandwich together with apricot preserve and decorate the top with a thick layer of melted chocolate, or a ganache if you prefer [which is what I did].
I know it has quite a long list of ingredients, but it's well worth the effort. It's an unusual cake. It has a soft crumb, and I love the mixture of spices and the different textures - the crunchy walnuts, soft figs and raisins, the hint of orange and the lovely honey flavour which permeates the cake. Next time I'll leave this unadorned, as it's perfect with a cuppa or a coffee.
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