Honey Cake

honey cake!
honey cake!

I’ve had a cold for the past few days (probably picked up some gunk on the plane ride back), so we pushed our Rosh Hashanah celebratory meal to tonight. A little Braisin’ History—I made honey cake for the first time in 2012, from a recipe on smitten kitchen. It tuned out well that year, but I had moved by the time Rosh Hashanah rolled around in 2013, and I was not yet familiar with how my new oven worked—or rather, how it didn’t. That apartment had a terrible oven. It was at least 75 degrees off, and it would shut off whenever it felt it was approaching a workable temperature. So I baked the cake for the specified amount of time, and then it was raw. As I attempted to get it to a less-gooey state, I managed to burn the edges. I took the failure into work the next day in the hopes that someone would eat it. I ended up throwing most of it away at lunch.

This is not that honey cake, however! This turned out lovely! This is a new recipe I got from the New York Times. It calls for a lot of red wine, olive oil, and (of course) honey. The plum and thyme garnish is really something. I altered a couple things slightly from Melissa Clark’s recipe.

2 1/2 cups AP flour (300 grams)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp table salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ground ginger
3 large eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cups olive oil
1 cup honey
3/4 cup red wine
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
Baker’s Joy or nonstick spray+flour, to prep the bundt pan

3 plums
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
pinch lemon zest

Heat oven to 350, and prep the bundt pan with Baker’s Joy or grease+flour combo.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

In another large bowl, whisk eggs until frothy. Whisk in sugar, oil, honey, wine, and the fresh ginger until well combined. Stir in dry ingredients and mix until just combined (no pockets of flour remaining, but don’t overwork the batter).

Pour batter into pan and bake until springy to the touch and a cake tester comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool for about 20 minutes, then unmold the cake (be brave!) and let cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, make the garnish. Chop up the plums and mix with the honey, thyme, and lemon zest. Macerate for at least 30 minutes.

Slice cake, top with garnish.

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