Monday, September 15, 2008

Honey Almond Cakes

Sun 14 Sept 2008

Back to baking! Hooray!

My eye was caught by a recipe for wholemeal honey cake in Saturday's Guardian, but (as usual) circumstances prevented me from following the recipe exactly. I was also a little put off by the large quantities involved, so I scaled it down to produce a tray of cupcakes. Perfect for work lunches!

Preheat the oven to 160C (fan).

I started by creaming together about 175g of unsalted butter and 130g of caster sugar. I wasn't able to buy golden/unrefined, and while I agree that the golden caster sugar does seem to taste better (I wonder if that's just psychological though ...) using the white stuff makes little difference in the baking process. I followed this with 2 eggs, 75g of ground almonds, 75g of (white) self raising flour and a teaspoon of baking powder.

A taste test revealed something a little lacking so I added a teaspoon of vanilla extract and gave the mix a final blast. I know cake recipes like this always encourage you to "gently fold" this and that, but I find that, unless I'm dealing with whisked egg whites, you can let your food processor of choice (in my case, a Magimix) do the work. Not only does it reduce preparation time, but it also reduces the washing up!

This amount of mixture filled perfectly my 12 muffin/cup cake silicon baking tray. I'd lightly brushed the holes with some oil but (for reasons to come clear) I'd recommend using paper cup cake liners.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a knife in the centre comes out clean.

With the little cakes still hot, stab a few holes in the top of each one and drizzle over some runny honey. I used just under a teaspoonful for each cake. My honey was slightly crystallised and this has given the cakes a slightly sweet crunch - delicious!

Of course - the honey works its way through the little cakes and makes them reluctant to pop out of the baking tray. Three of mine wouldn't budge at all, but after leaving them to cool completely the remainder more or less behaved. Still, paper liners next time!

The cakes themselves are gorgeous: moist, sticky, sweet, slightly dense. I'm not sure I'd want to use wholemeal flour - especially for cup cakes, as it might weigh them down a tad too much.

As far as we were concerned, my take on this recipe was just right! They'll definitely be made again!

other good cakes on Eating Leeds: apple & blackberry, plain almond, plum, chocolate & beetroot, chocolate & coke, and (if you've got plenty of time) Gâteau Opéra.

These cakes are also my contribution to this month's Root Source Challenge at CookThink!

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Blogger Andrew said...

ANOTHER one to try... ;-)

5:06 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

Oh you so do too! They're lovely!

7:58 pm  

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