Ah Jewish festivals. We’re either bingeing or we’re starving. Ok to be honest, 99% of the time we’re bingeing but either way it’s all about the food. And it’s so very very good.
Growing up, my favourite was Chanukah – the festival of the lights. What’s not to love about panfried potato pancakes, jam filled donuts and chocolate coins. It pretty much sells itself. Now that I’m older, I appreciate all of them – the cheesecake at Shavuot, the matzah French toast at Passover and the Hamantashen (poppyseed filled cookies) at Purim. But boy does it play havoc on the waste line.
This past week my friends, family, community and I welcomed in the Jewish New Year. It’s a time of celebration where we give thanks for the year that has passed and wish our love ones a happy new year filled with health, happiness and the sweetness of life. In an effort to make all these wonderful things come true, we proceed to stuff ourselves with apples dipped in honey, fish (a fish head representing the ‘head of the new year’) and of course, honey cake.
Honey cake making is a skill and my dad has this down to a fine art. Every year he produces at least one of these beauties and I have to tell you it’s delicious!! It’s moist with a fine crumb and has a delightful combination of sugar and spice with the honey lending sweetness and the cocoa powder a richness.
His recipe is unfortunately top secret but below is one from the Monday Morning Cooking Club that will give a great result. Perfect with tea or a cup of coffee. Give it a whirl to add a little sweet happiness to you life. Happy new year everyone 😀
6 eggs separated
175g caster sugar(superfine)
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup strong black tea
225g self rising flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 lemon, juiced
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). You will need an angel cake (chiffon) tin that is not non-stick and has a removable base. Do not grease
- Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add half the sugar and continue whisking until the egg whites are stiff but not dry. In a separate bowl beat the yolks and the remaining sugar until light and pale. Add the oil and keep beating for a couple of minutes until well combined.
- Sift the flour with the baking soda. Mix the honey into the hot tea. Add these to the egg yolks, alternating wet and dry, beating gently until fully combined.
- Gently fold the egg whites into the flour mixture with a metal spoon, until just mixed through. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 50 – 55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- After removing the cake from the oven, immediately invert it to cool by balancing the middle funnel onto a bottle neck. The cake will be dangling upside down.
- When completely cool, run a knife around the outside of the cake and the funnel. Lift the base out of the tin, then use the knife to ease the cake off the base.
- We have made a step-my-step video on this website on how to make our custard chiffon cake, and the method is the same.
- To make the glaze, add the lemon juice (a few drops at a time) to the icing sugar until you have a thick, smooth paste. Add the honey and stir well, adding more lemon juice if necessary, so that you have a thick but runny glaze. Pour over the cooled cake.