by Victoria Prever, food editor of the Jewish Chronicle
This simple honey cake, also known as ‘lekach’, is a must-have sweet treat when celebrating the Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashanah – it signifies a sweet year ahead.
It’s best made a few days ahead, as the spicing and texture improve as it matures. Leave the top plain or shower with flaked almonds just before baking to brighten up an otherwise simple-looking bake. You could also throw a handful of raisins into the cake mixture if you wish.
Time needed: Prep: 30 mins. Cooking: 35-40 mins, including cooling
Difficulty of recipe: Easy
Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line the base and sides of a 20cm square baking tin. Warm the oil, golden syrup, honey and sugar in a small pan to dissolve the sugar. Stir to combine, then leave to cool. Add the tea and beaten eggs.
Lightly whisk the flour, baking powder, spices and a pinch of salt in a large bowl to combine. Make a well in the dry ingredients and mix in the wet ingredients, using a whisk or wooden spoon, until combined and lump-free.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and scatter with the almonds, if using. Bake for 35-40 mins, or until the cake springs back when gently pressed and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Check after 35 mins – if it’s not set in the middle, bake for the remaining
5 mins. Don’t open the oven door for the first 30 mins of baking!
Leave to cool completely in the tin on a wire rack. Wrap well and keep for three to four days before eating, so the flavour can improve. Cut into nine squares to serve. Enjoy!
Happy New Year!
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