Sunday, September 08, 2013

Rosh Hashanah Honey Cake

 
I came across this recipe quite accidentally on Tuesday evening.  The recipe sounded very interesting.  And I was just thinking of something to bake.  It was a perfect timing, if I pull it through for Wednesday's Rosh Hashanah, I thought.  
 Based on the ingredients listed, it sounded like a very heavy dense cake with 2-1/2 C of flour, vege oil, 1 C of honey, and coffee liquid.  To make sure that it does not fail.   I decided to use my Chiffon Cake mixing technique.  The cake turned out light and tasty.
 The recipe is found at http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/holidays/highholydays/honey-cake/recipes/food/views/Honey-Cake-367189

Ingredients are:

For cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon - Use Ceylon Cinnamon - "Not Saigon Cinnamon"
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • Divide 1 cup sugar ---> 1/4 C for egg mixture and 3/4 C for Egg White Meringue
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup pure honey
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm coffee (brewed, or instant dissolved in water)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons packed grated orange zest
  • 3 large eggs - separated
For chocolate glaze:
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons well-stirred canned unsweetened coconut milk (not light)
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 4 ounces bittersweet (60% cacao) chocolate, finely chopped
MY CHIFFON TECHNIQUE:
Mix first 7 ingredients and shift them 4 times.  Remeasure 2-1/2 C into a mixing bowl.  Do NOT Pack down the flour into the measuring cup.  Just scoop and flat off at the top. Some extra flour... about 1/4+ cup remains and use it to coat the Bundt cake pan.   Grease the full size Bundt cake pan all around including the center tube - and add 1/4 C of extra flour mixture you saved.  Tap the cake pan firmly to remove excess by letting flour fall into the shifted flour mixture.
Separate eggs.
Hand whisk eggs yolks with sugar. 
Mix vegetable oil, pure honey, coffee, and orange zest together.  Add to egg mixture.  

TO PREVENT FLOUR LUMPS IN THE BATTER:
Then, "Slowly" start adding some liquidy egg mixture into a large size bowl with about 1/2 C of shifted flour to make slurry like mixture.   This is to keep the flour to form into lumps if you add liquid mixture all at one time.   Lumps can be minimized when you add think slurry like mixture.

Now this time, Add the rest of the shifted flour "slowly" into the thickened egg mixture all the while stirring to assure that all flour and liquid is combined without forming flour lumps.  Set aside with a cover to keep it from drying.

Start Preheating oven to 350'F. 

Whip egg whites.  When it starts to form good white foam (about 2 minutes) start adding sugar in a steady stream while the mixer is going.  Whip to firm meringue. (Total of about 8 min - but it will depend on the power of your mixer and whip attachment design.)
Fold meringue into batter mixture 1/3 at a time.  Mix until the batter is smooth and shiny without Meringue cloud.    Add to bundt cake pan.
 
 

Give firm Taps of the Bundt cake pan on a foam pad or anything firm to remove air bubbles.  I tapped mine on the foam floor mat for over 30 times to remove all visible air bubbles coming up to the surface.   (Notice the air bubbles in the batter after adding batter into the cake pan. These bubbles need to be removed to prevent large holes in the cake here and there you see in a baked cake.)
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes.  Insert cake tester at 45 min.  The cake is done when the cake tester comes out dry. 
Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool.  You will notice the slight deflation of the cake by 1 cm the first 3 minutes of cooling.  But that's all it deflated with mine. 

Let it cool in the pan for 20 min.    Remove from the pan and set it aside.
 Note: Shrinkage during cooling - But Not Collapsing, is expected.
 In the meantime, prepare the Ganache.
Open a can of Coconut Cream.  Measure chocolate pistoles (my chocolates are in disc form) and rough chop them.
Warm the coconut cream and add heavy syrup.  Pour over the chocolate and let it melt for 30 seconds.  Hand mix to incorporate the rest to liquid form.  Heat in microwave, if necessary, but only for a short seconds.  Or you will end up needing to remake another batch.
Spoon Ganache over the cake.
Enjoy!


 
Note:  Depending on the type of coffee you use, I think my honey cake is a bit heavy on the coffee flavor side.  While everyone at the office liked it very much, I was expecting "honey" flavor of the special local honey I added.   Nevertheless, when I sliced into the cake, it was light, fluffy, and full of interesting flavor.  But the one slice I saved for two days turned out more tastier than the first day.  I was able to taste the cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and zest in it.  So, it's worth making this cake two days ahead in the future.


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