Happy Mother's Day to all you Moms and Fur-Moms out there.
I am coming to you with a little story as well as a honey cake recipe.
Last weekend, our family attended the Honey Festival here in the Swan Valley in WA and I came across this interesting concept of a stall.
They had had 10 entrants who all baked the same cake using the one recipe and as the public, we could pay $2 for 3 taste tasting plus voting for the best cake.
They also had a VERY CHARISMATIC US chef talking us through each cake and what he thought each entrant did wrong in their cake based on colour, shape, taste etc.
He would give us each a taste and we would give the cake we liked most a red sticker.
Very INTERESTING concept of a stall indeed!!
I remember one baker used salted butter-yuck, you could taste that straight away.
One baker, over-mixed their batter and as a result it was like eating a rock cake.
One baker cooked their cake at too high a temperature and for not enough time and as a result it tasted like raw batter in the middle.
I loved this stall!! This man was a mad scientist (aka kindred spirit) and I picked his brain a lot.
So today, I pretended I was baking for this stall and vowed to use his tips for making an excellent cake and winning all the votes.
Here is the recipe I took a picture of on the day
One thing he stressed was using good quality ingredients and when I mentioned Coles brand he lifted his eye-brow at me and I laughed out loud. Ok no- more Coles brand!
Second, he stressed ROOM TEMPERATURE ingredients. Eggs and butter must be at room temperature before we start. At room temperature they disperse better in the batter and make for a more even rising in the oven. They also trap air so they give the cake a lighter texture.
Who would have know!! I never used to do that!
You must cream the butter for at least 5 minutes!
Until it changes from yellow to almost white.
Then add the sugar (or honey).
Then add each egg at a time.
Flour MUST be sifted (yup really really) and added in batches along with a tablespoon of milk as needed.
Yes- patience and time is required when baking.
After you have made your cake batter and poured it into the prepared tin, let it sit there for a good half hour. Use this time to turn on the oven and get it to temperature. Something about relaxing the batter after all that beating!
Bake for lower for longer he kept saying.
160 or 150 for 45-50 minutes and even then it depends on your oven.
If you insert your wood pick and it seems just together then its DONE.
Take it out of the oven and let it sit for another 10-15 minutes while it finishes cooking on the inside.
Then turn it out onto a rack and let it cool completely.
This is what mine looked like as soon as I pulled it out of the oven. The fissures mean that it was just a BIT hot but it didn't dome (doming means TOO hot and that the heat is trapped and is about to erupt like lava from a volcano- I loved that analogy and will never forget it).
I might try bringing the oven temperature down to 150C next time and see if I don't get any cracks!
[Usually, i just chop off the domed or cracked part of the cake and pretend it didn't happen).
Once again, you MUST beat your butter until it is almost white- usually about 5 minutes.
For the honey, I used one I bought from The House of Honey. It is a flavoured one called "Rose Honey" and has the most subtle hint of fragrant rose. Really very delicate -picture Downton Abbey's Maggie Smith :)
And here is my cake:
Please pardon the change of mind of piping design!
I am still an amateur
Final Tip from the Chef
Never refrigerate a cake!!
The honey and the butter "seize up" (Im guessing that means solidifies) and you'll never get that light texture back.
Now Im off to give it to my Mom for Mother's Day.
So wherever you may be this Mother's Day, wishing you a blessed day and give your Mom a hug and kiss for being a mother.