Honey cakes are sweet and indulgent. The honey guarantees that the cake will be moist and firm. The honey pairs well with almonds and apples. Wholemeal flour add extra dimensions to the taste and adds a healthy touch. These cakes are never intended to be light and delicate and so adding wholemeal flour and nuts is not going to change their texture. Choose your honey well, as there are so many fabulous honey varieties with wonderful tastes and aromas inspired by bees
For the Cake
For the Cream cheese filling
For the Sugared Rosemary Stalks Topping
To make sugared rosemary stalks, first brush egg white over each stalk and drain well. Then, toss each stalk in a bowl with the caster sugar. Set aside on a plate in a single layer for several hours or overnight to dry.
Begin making the cake by half-fill a large saucepan with water. Boil the water and then reduce to a simmer. Using a bowl, just large enough to fit snugly on top of the saucepan, add the butter, eggs, sugar and honey. Whisk the ingredients while heating over the pan, for about 10 minutes, until mixture has thickened a little and is smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and set aside for 5 minutes to cool. Add the bicarbonate soda to warm mixture and add flour while mixing with a wooden spoon. Keep mixing until the batter is firm ball. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into seven equal pieces and shape each into a ball.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (390 degrees F). Take each ball of dough and press and roll into a disk about 22 cm (9 1/2 inches) round and 3 mm (1/10 inch ) thick. Place a 20 cm (9 inch) dinner plate gently over the round, and use a sharp knife to cut out 20 cm round disks. Repeat for all the balls of dough so you have seven round disks. Place the rounds on a non-stick baking tray and bake for about 5 minutes or until they are golden in color and have firmed and risen slightly. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool on a wire rack.
Make the filling by beating the cream cheese for 3 minutes using an electric mixer, until light and fluffy. Add the honey and sugar, and beat until smooth. Pour in the cream and whisk vigorously until thick and combined. The filling should be firm and have the consistency of a spread.
To assemble the cake, take each one of the rounds and spread with a thin layer of filling. Make a stack using the coated rounds, Spread the remaining filling as an icing over top and down the sides of cake. Press walnuts around all sides of cake and top with the sugared rosemary stalks. Serve warm or slightly chilled.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease the pan (loaf pan, angel cake pan or similar), and line the base with lightly greased parchment paper.
Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and spices together in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add the whisky, orange juice, coffee, vanilla, eggs, sugars, honey and oil. Mix using an electric mixer or a strong hand whisk. Transfer the mixture into the baking pan, Sprinkle the almonds over the top. Bake for 45 to 70 minutes, depending on the size and type of pan used. Test for doneness with a metal skewer inserted in the center of the cake. It is cooked when the skewer comes out clean and the cake springs back when gently pressed. When cooked remove from the oven, then let stand for 15-20 minutes before removing from the baking pan. Place on a wire rack to cool before icing or serving.
Preheat your oven to 150 degrees C (300 degrees F). Grease a 20 cm (9 inch) loose base pan with butter and line with baking paper. Put the honey, sugar and butter, cut into pieces into a medium size pan. Heat to melt the butter and cook for 1-2 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and set aside to cool for 15-20 minutes to stop the eggs cooking during the next stage.
Add the beaten eggs to the melted butter mixture and combine well using a wooden spoon. Sift the flour and a sprinkle of salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the egg and honey mixture. Mix the batter well until it is smooth and well combined. Transfer the mixture to the greased and lined tin and bake for 50-60 minutes hour, or until the cake is golden brown and springs back when pressed. Test for doneness using metal skewer pushed into the center. It will come out clean when the cake is cooked. Turn the honey cake out on a wire rack and set aside to cool. Heat 2 tablespoons of honey in a cup in the microwave and brush over the warm cake to provide a sticky glaze.
For the syrup
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch square pan (20 x 20 cm). Combine the flour, cinnamon and orange rind, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Using a large bowl, cream together 3/4 cup sugar and the butter until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well before adding the next one. Add portion of the flour mixture and some milk mixing until well incorporated, but do not over-mix. Add the walnuts and mix to combine. Transfer the batter into the greased and lined pan. Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Turn the cake out on a wire rack and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes.
To make a simple honey syrup, combine the syrup ingredients in a small pan. Bring the mixture to the boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and zest, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
Grease and line a 23 cm (9 1/4 inch) spring-form cake tin, or a 20 cm (9 inch) square cake tin. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C (330 degrees F). Using a large mixing bowl, cream the butter using a portable mixer. Add the sugar and mix thoroughly until the mixture is fluffy and light. Add one tablespoon of flour and the eggs, one at a time, beating as each egg is added. Sift the remaining flour with the baking powder into the bowl. Fold the flour into the mixture and add the ground almonds. Transfer the mixture into the prepared tin. Scatter the flaked almonds over the top and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes. Test for doneness. When a metal skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and while hot, drizzle the warmed honey over the top so that it soaks into the cake. Cool on a wire rack before serving.