Showing posts with label Honeycomb. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Honeycomb. Show all posts

Saturday, 7 January 2012

How you know you are addicted to baking.... Plus: Spiced Honey Cake






You know you are addicted to baking when....



  • 75% of your disposable income is spent on eggs, flour and sugar




  • Your local corner shop had started stocking baking powder...just for you


  • You plan your weekend activities around the timings for your sourdough starter


  • Your nighttime reading of the latest Cooper/Grisham/Rowling (delete as appropriate) is replaced by Oliver/Lawson/Slater (ditto). Booker Prize? What Booker Prize? Gourmand Cookbook of the Year Prize more like it




  • When you bring alcohol rather than cake to a dinner party your friends look at you aghast and immediately check your vital signs


  • You lie awake at night worrying that your oven may spontaneously combust due to over-use


  • Your Christmas list consisted solely of the Top 10 cookbooks on Amazon and a new spatula


  • You find any excuse to get in the kitchen and bake...


This bake was inspired by my recent attendance at CafeDirect Coffee and Food Matching Evening and the Spiced Vanilla and Honey Cake made by 21st Century Housewife and Rhubarb and Rose

In turn they adapted the cake from Smitten Kitchen's Majestic and Moist Honey Cake. So many reincarnations. Clark Kent, eat your heart out. 

Spiced Honey Cake

Ingredients

1¾ cups plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup vegetable oil
½  cup runny honey
¾ cups golden caster sugar
¼ cup soft brown sugar
2 medium eggs at room temperature

½ cup warm coffee or tea
¼ cup orange juice
For the icing:
half a cup icing sugar
1 tsp clear honey
1 tsp water

1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C/170C  fan
2. Grease and flour an 8” round tin.  
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and mixed spice in a large bowl and set aside
4. In a second bowl whisk together all the remaining ingredients thoroughly.
5. Add the 'wet' ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with an electric mixer on a slow speed. It should resemble a lovely thick, well-blended batter
6. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin tin and bake for 40 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean 
7. Once removed from the oven allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from the tin onto a wire rack to finish cooling
8. When completed cooled, make the icing by sifting the icing sugar into a bowl and whisking in the honey and water to create a smooth glaze. Drizzle over the cake.
Baker's notes...
  • This is a really tasty, moist cake, perfect with a cuppa. It lasts well for a few days stored in an airtight container
  • Any other symptoms of being addicted to baking? And more importantly what is the solution? Is there one?!






Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Chocolate and Honeycomb Peace Cookies


I have an update on Katescakesandbakes Celebrity Hot Spot List following on from my sighting of Nigella and my subsequent excitement-induced cardiac arrest.


I was oncall at the hospital last weekend and cycling in to work when, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted someone vaguely familiar.

It wasn't, was it?


Yes, it was.


It was Ann Widdecombe.


I have a dilemma. While Ann certainly hasn't knocked Nigella off the top spot (long reign the Domestic Goddess!) the question is, who should be Number 2?


Current stalwart, Pat Sharp, off of Fun House. Or Ann?


Keeping the thorny issue of Ann's politics out of it (we make cakes not policies on this blog), should it be Pat, who I heroworshipped as a child, being the Presenter of Officially the Best Children's TV Programme Ever? Heck, never mind the phone hacking scandal, I'm personally lobbying the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee for the nightly return of Fun House. Or should the Number 2 Spot go to Ann. Who can forget the infamous Ann-does-Kate-Winslet Titanic rumba on Strictly Come Dancing? Pure TV Comedy Gold.


I'll let you decide.


Meanwhile before the blog turns into an extension of Heat Magazine, let me give you the recipe for cookies I promised weeks ago.



I'd read about these cookies several times (infact, google it, and you get a whooping 5,110,000 results). 

They sounded magnificant. I'm a firm believer that cookie recipes ought to come from American bakers, and this recipe comes from none other than Dorie Greenspan. Dorie describes them as addictive, chewy, chocolatey french shortbread. There is nothing not to like about that description. 

I've adapted the original recipe for these cookies, known elsewhere as World Peace Cookies, adding honeycomb.


Chocolate and Honeycomb Peace Cookies
(adapted from Dorie Greenspan, Baking: From my Home to Yours)

Ingredients

175g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
Half a teaspoon baking powder
150g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
180g light brown sugar
50g caster sugar
Quarter teaspoon fine seasalt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
100g honeycomb pieces

1. Beat the butter and sugars together until soft and creamy. Add the salt and vanilla and beat for roughly a further minute
2. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder together. Add this to the butter and sugar mixture, and beat all together at a low speed until all the ingredients are completely combined
3. Add in the chocolate pieces and the honeycomb. Mix gently with a wooden spoon to incorporate
4. Turn out the dough onto your work surface and shape the dough into a log shape
5. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least a few hours, or up to three days
6. When you are ready to bake the cookies, pre-heat the oven to 325F/160C/Gas Mark 3
7. Line two baking sheets with baking paper or silicone mats 
8. Slice the logs into cookie shape rounds that are half an inch thick and place on the prepared baking sheets
9. Bake for approximately 12 minutes

Baker's notes...
  • Prior to baking these are super-crumbly cookies. I found the cookies easily fell apart when I was attempting to slice them. I just tried to stick the dough back together, which seemed to work.
  • After the twelve minutes in the oven, they may not look entirely done, and won't look firm but actually they are done. So its okay.
  • The dough can be frozen for up to two months prior to baking
  • DISCLAIMER: I'm afraid these cookies don't guarantee World Peace, but they do make the world taste just a little sweeter
  • Perfectly served with a glass of cold milk while attempting to recall Parliament from their summer recess to debate the nightly return of Fun House to our screens