Honey Cake

 

Rosh Hashona is honey cake time. Francine Price's version is a Jewish-style fruitcake -- but somewhat different. Toasted sesame seeds give it an unexpected crunch. Fruit juice concentrate and wheat germ coax extra sweetness. Folded-in beaten egg whites lighten the chewy texture. Recipe is for 2 loaves; one to eat as soon as it cools, and one for holiday giving.

 

3 1/4 cups unbleached flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

1 cup honey (type of honey will affect taste of the cake)

3 Tablespoons unsulphured molasses

1/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate

3/4 cup strong brewed coffee

 

4 large eggs (use 2 yolks and 4 whites)

2 teaspoons finely minced orange zest from navel orange

3/4 cup dark brown suger, firmly packed

 

1/2 cup Italian olive oil or peanut oil

1/4 cup regular wheat germ

3/4 cup dark seedless raisins

1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds or walnuts

1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted (preferably unhulled)

2 Tablespoons brandy or cognac (or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla)

 

confectioners' sugar (optional)

 

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Sift first 7 ingredients into a bowl. In another bowl, combine honey with molasses, juice concentrate and coffee.

 

2. Drop 2 whole eggs into a mixing machine bowl. Combine with orange zest and sugar until well blended. On low speed, beat in oil. Add sifted ingredients and wheat germ alternately with coffee mixture. Add raisins, nuts, seeds and liqour or vanilla to batter and blend.

 

3. Put remaining 2 egg whites into a mixing bowl and beat until firm peaks form. Do not overbeat. Fold into batter.

 

4.  Grease two 8-inch loaf pans with sweet butter/margarine blend. Divide batter between the pans. Bake in center section of oven for 50 minutes. COver loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil to prevent tops from over-browning. Return to oven for 10 minutes. Fully baked cake will begin to come away from sides of pan, and when metal tester is inserted in center, it should come out clean. Place pans on cooling rack for 10 minutes. Loosen around sides with blunt knife and carefully invert; then set loaves upright on rack and cool completely. Sprinkle, if desired, with confectioners' sugar before slicing.

 

Yield: 2 loaves

 

 

source: Francine Price's New Jewish Cuisine

Putnam / New York / 1991