Learning As I Chop

Apples and Honey Make the Year Sweet!

Posted in Baking/Cooking by R @ Learning As I Chop on September 10, 2010

Not the most photogenic loaf I've baked...

Happy New Year to all! For those who don’t know, yesterday was Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year. In honor of this special day, Jews eat all kinds of special things, including honey to begin the year with sweetness! Kind of similar to how many Americans eat black eyed peas on January 1st. It’s auspicious. My mother always makes a honey loaf on the New Year, so I thought I’d try one myself.

At first I looked to my usual J of C for a recipe but theirs included coffee. H doesn’t drink any caffeine so that was nixed.  Then I turned to my back-up – Epicurious – and decided on this one:

Honey and Spice Loaf Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and flour 9x5x3-inch metal loaf pan. Whisk first 6 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat honey, sugar, oil and eggs in large bowl until blended, about 3 minutes. Beat in dry ingredients in 2 additions. Beat in 1/2 cup boiling water. Stir in raisins. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until cake is brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack; cool completely. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap cake and store at room temperature.)

Here’s a nice prep pic

I found this mix to be especially exciting since it called for some of my favorite Fall spices- ground cloves, ginger and cinnamon. Smelled so good, smelled like home. This recipe also called for 1/2 cup boiling water. I included it but have no idea what it adds to the batter. Do you know?

70 minutes and the loaf was done. Some kind of weird puff popped up in the middle, but I I didn’t care. We’re not going for any beauty contests here. This was more about tradition than baking perfection.

We started dinner with a slice of the honey loaf and some apples dipped in honey. The cake was very tasty but a teensy bit dry. I’m not sure if it’s because I left it uncovered for about 2 hours or there’s a flaw in the recipe. Next year I might add a little bit of applesauce for moisture. A trick I discovered while baking these treats. H suggested a slice would be perfect for breakfast, topped with a nice pad of butter. I’m thinking he’s on to something there….

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