Known in Hebrew as ‘ugat dvash’, or ‘lekach’ in Yiddish, honey cake is one of the symbolically significant foods traditionally eaten at Rosh Hashanah in the hope of ensuring a sweet New Year.
There is no one definitive honey cake recipe, as different communities have their own traditions. However, this moist, well-flavoured cake is always based on honey. Nuts – chopped walnuts, slivered almonds, pistachios or pine nuts – add texture, and apples – diced, grated, as juice or purée – are often considered essential (since apples are dipped in honey on Rosh Hashanah). This honey cake is a moist and flavoursome dessert, packed with textures of apples and nuts, making it a delicious Rosh Hashanah bake.
Here, the flavouring is strong coffee, but other bakers use rum or brandy and/or lemon and orange zest. It is vital to bake this cake several days in advance, since the flavours develop as it matures.
Makes 1 medium loaf cake cut into 16 pieces
|· 275g||plain flour|
|· 1 tsp||ground cinnamon|
|· 1 tsp||ground ginger|
|· 1 tsp||ground mixed spice|
|· 1 tsp||baking powder|
|· ½ tsp||bicarbonate of soda|
|· 2||medium free-range eggs, at room temperature|
|· 150g||dark muscovado sugar|
|· 250g||runny honey|
|· 125ml||good-quality vegetable or sunflower oil|
|· 125ml||hot coffee (made with 2 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in boiling water)|
|· 100g||walnut pieces|
What you need
You will need a 900g loaf tin, about 26 x 12.5 x 7.5cm, greased with butter (or non-dairy spread) and lined with greaseproof paper.