Friday, August 30, 2013

Honey Fruit Cake

This cake has an identity problem-it isn't honeycake, and it isn't fruitcake. It is however, really delicious after a couple days of mellowing, so I'll go ahead and post the recipe. I omitted the nuts in the recipe, and added some chopped, crystalised ginger to the fruit. Danny took a look at the ingredients, noted the lack of spices, and decided it would be insipid (yes, he used the word insipid, I'm going to have to punish him for being smarter than his parents). I thought he might have a point, hence the ginger. Your call. I don't think a bit of cinnamon, or mixed spice would hurt.

The recipe comes from a cookbook I find generally reliable for kosher recipes. Keep in mind, because of the dietary laws, you can't mix milk and meat at the same meal, so many desserts are made with oil or margarine to keep them flexible. We never bought butter at home, opting instead for the gigantic yellow tub of oleo, which was fine as we didn't have anything to compare it to. My parents didn't keep kosher (mum loved her bacon sandwiches too much for that) but somehow buying butter was unacceptable. Like pork. Yes, I know it comes from the same animal, but she wouldn't buy pork because it was too trayief but bacon was OK. I think butter somehow fell into that strange ordering of her universe. Let's not talk about prawn cocktail. Anyway, my point is (yeah, hang on, I've got one, I was just coming to it) you could probably use butter if you prefer, though it will go stale quicker than a cake baked with vegetable shortening.

From Kosher Cookery, Classic and Contemporary by, Frances r. AvRutick

You Will Need:

A 10 inch tube pan (I used several small loaf pans without any problem)
2 tablespoons solid white vegetable shortening
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
4 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons bicarb
3/4 cup warm brewed coffee
1 1/4 cups honey plus and extra 1/3 cup for glazing later
3/4 cup chopped nuts (I omitted these)
3/4 cup chopped candied fruit (I tossed in some raisins as well)
Blanched slivered almonds for topping (skipped those too)

Grease the pan and set aside. preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Cream the shortening and sugar together (it will look like damp sand-mine didn't really cream in the way cooks would expect). Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each. Blend in the orange juice. Sift the dry ingredients together. Combine the homey and coffee. Add, alternating to the creamed mixture. Toss the fruit with 2 teaspoons flour, and fold into the batter along with the nuts. Pour into pan and bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully drizzle the 1/3 cup honey over the cake. Arrange almonds if using them on top. return to oven and bake another 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out dry. Cool before removing from pan.

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