Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Few Prize-Winning Recipes From the 2017 Fair

As promised, I'll be posting some of Danny's winning recipes from time to time. Don't forget to enter your comment on the fair post for a chance to win a Sate Fair cookbook and tea towel.

Here's a few to get you started.

 Beehive Honey Layer Cake

If you don't have a beehive layer cake pan (sideways layers anyway) you can bake this in two 9 or 10 inch tins or a bundt pan.

You Will Need:

1 1/2 cups honey
1 cup strong, brewed tea
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
2 3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs 1/4 cup corn oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

4 cups icing sugar and enough water to make a thick paste.

Royal icing bees:
1 pasteurized egg white
Enough icing sugar to make a pipe-able icing
Food coloring
Make these well ahead and store in a dry place. I pipe mine out on parchment as they are easier to remove once dried.

Generously grease and flour your pans. Don't try spraying them-this is a very sticky cake. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Set the rack in the middle position.

Sift together the dry ingredients for the cake, and set aside. In a small saucepan, bring the honey to a boil (watch that it doesn't boil over). Remove from heat, stir in tea and lemon rind and cool to lukewarm.

Beat the eggs for 5 minutes on high with a hand mixer or until they are thick and have turned a pale yellow. Beat in the oil and vanilla extract. Fold in the flour in two additions alternating with honey mixture. Don't over-mix, but take care that the flour is folded in well.

Pour batter into pans and bake about 50 minutes, adjusting for the type of pans you use.

Cool 10 minutes in pans on a rack, meanwhile make the glaze by combining honey, lemon and salt in a pan and bring just to a simmer. Remove from heat.
place a sheet of wax paper under your cooling rack to catch drips. Remove cakes from tins, and immediately brush the hot cake with the honey glaze. Be generous with it, and take a second or third pass if it looks like the cake is absorbing it. Let cakes cool.

Trim layers so they are even. If you have a beehive tin, stand the cake upright and trim downward with a serrated knife (a bread knife works well for this). Make the icing by combining the icing sugar and water and mixing a thick paste. Place one layer down and ice generously-much thicker than you think it needs. this is your glue holding the hive layers together. Stand upright and push the sides together. Use the remaining icing to drizzle over the top disguising the seam between the layers. Affix your bees to the still wet icing. Let dry. Store under a dome at room temperature. the cake keeps well, and is often better a few days after baking.  

These are more a gingernut than a snap, but if you like them thin, use the bottom of a glass to flatten them.

You Will Need:

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 large egg
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Granulated sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Position racks in upper and lower thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Sift together dry ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl, cream together shortening, brown sugar, molasses and egg. Stir sifted ingredients into creamed mixture.

Form small balls about 1 teaspoon in dough. Roll the balls in sugar, then place 2 inches apart on baking sheets.

Bake 5 minutes, then rotate pans and bake another five. Cool on racks. Cookies keep well in a tightly closed tin. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

  Graham Crackers
You Will Need:

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons mild molasses
1/4 cup cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a food processor*,mix the dry ingredients (about 5 seconds). Add the butter and process until a coarse meal (10-15 seconds).
Add the rest and process until everything comes together into a ball (about a minute at high speed). You may need a few drops of additional water, but go carefully a drop at a time as you do not want the dough too wet-you will be unable to roll it out.

On a plastic cutting board (or a regular one between two pieces of waxed paper-much more difficult in my opinion) roll out half the dough until it is quite thin 1/8 inch thick. If you can't get it that thin, don't despair, it can be further rolled after it has chilled a bit.
If you can't seem to get a perfect rectangle (no one can, really) go ahead and use a sharp knife to trim it into shape and then re-work the dough into the main slab. You may need to do this a couple times, and as you aren't rolling out on flour and toughening the dough, it is OK-though you don't want to handle it to death.
Repeat on a second cutting board.

Place cutting boards (or waxed paper) on cookie sheets and set in the fridge to chill at least two hours. The longer you go, the simpler it will be to cut and lift them off the boards.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a thin knife, or a cookie cutter, cut the dough into desired shapes. Pierce with the tines of a fork. Carefully lift with a thin spatula and place on either parchment paper or silicone pads and bake 10 minutes. Turn the sheet and bake an additional 2-5 minutes or until the edges turn lightly browned.
Remove to a rack to cool. The graham crackers will crisp upon cooling.

You can make these without a food processor by cutting the butter into the dry ingredients as you would for a pie crust-then proceed mixing the rest by hand. I've done both, with the same results.

  Nurnberger Honey Cookies

These cookies are very similar to Lebkuchen, but have different spices and no molasses. Because there is so much honey in these cookies it is worth using a very good honey. A deeply flavored honey like buckwheat is nice here, but clover honey works too.

You Will Need:
A round biscuit cutter or the bottom of a glass

1 cup honey
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 3/4 cup sifted all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup chopped sultanas
Candied cherries and sultanas to decorate
Glaze (see recipe below)

Place honey in a saucepan and bring to a boil (watch it as it foams over quickly). Remove from heat and cool. Place honey in a mixing bowl and add brown sugar and egg. Beat well. Stir in lemon juice and rind. Sift together the dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients, and mix well. Stir in sultanas. Divide dough into two logs and wrap tightly in cling film. Chill at least 12 hours or as long as 3 days.

Glaze Recipe:
Boil together 1 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water whisking until dissolved. Using a thermometer, heat until it reaches 225 degrees F,. Quickly whisk in 1/4 cup icing sugar. If it thickens between batches of cookies, add a few drops of water and re-warm. The glaze is very forgiving-a little thicker or thinner coating won't matter. If you like a clear glaze, just add more water.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment (the cookies are very sticky, and clean-up is easier with parchment).

The dough is soft and sticky so only use a bit at a time keeping the rest chilled. On a floured surface, roll dough 1/4 inch thick. Cut into rounds and place on baking sheet. Decorate with half a candied cherry in the middle and then 4 halved sultanas in the corners like spokes on a wheel. Traditionally this would be almonds instead of sultanas, but I'm allergic to almonds. You can use whatever you like, really. Chill each tray as you finish them. When you place the trays in the oven, immediately start the glaze-it only takes a few minutes but it should be ready to brush the cookies when they are out of the oven.

Bake 5 minutes, then rotate the pans back-to-front and then switch shelves. Bake another 5-10n minutes or until they spring back when touched lightly. Remove from oven and generously brush with glaze. Cool on racks. When completely dry, store in tightly closed cookie tins. The cookies need about 2 weeks to "ripen" If after 2 weeks they're still hard (the cookies should be pliable, but still a bit chewy) add a slice of apple to the tin and change it out daily until softened. These cookies last months if properly stored (you don't want to forget and discover a moldy apple slice in the tin). They're pretty Christmas tree decorations wrapped tightly in a treat bag. There's something great about inviting visitors to help themselves to a cookie off the tree.

Makes about 3 dozen.  

I hope you find something here to enjoy.


Bibi Maizoon said...

Thank you!
I would imagine that honey cake would work well in a bundt mold too? I'm glad to see the cake is baked at 325F as that is what my oven is stuck at.
I wonder if those Nurnburger cookies need to be ripened here in the Tropics? Most all cookies go soft in a day or 2 here due to the humidity.
Congrats again to Danny on a job nicely done! (Beautifully thorough & well written recipes too.)

Radostin said...

Wow! I don't ever, ever bake(I have never in my life made a cake or biscuits or crackers) but I'd love to eat any of these... especially ginger nuts, yum! My favourite! ... hmmm, perhaps one day I shall make ginger nuts?

Vix said...

I'm going to print off Danny's honey cake recipe and pass it to my beekeeping friends. Liz'll love it.
Thanks for sharing, Danny! xxx

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing these recipes! That beehive cake is amazing and I am sure Danny was as proud as can be to have it turn out so well.
Everything looks marvelous! JanF

Polyester Princess said...

I'm still utterly impressed with that beehive cake, which looks like a work of art. I hardly ever bake, as I don't really have the time for it, and if I do, it's something really simple and - especially - foolproof, so that cake would be completely beyond my capabilitie. I am going to share Danny's recipes with a friend who loves baking, though. xxx

Veronica Cooke said...

The Beehive cake is amazing!

The recipes all sound delicious...

Mim said...

Those look fab.

We tend to prefer crunchy biscuits/cookies over here, so perhaps I could get away with eating them earlier...

Miss Magpie said...

Oooh I love the look of the honey cake sadly Himself will most definitly not be keen as it has both honey and tea in it *sigh*

Goody said...

The cookies are more elastic than hard-sort of like eating fruit leather. Softening them turns them more cake-like. You could eat them as is (the boys always do as waiting for cookies is a drag) but they're nicer softened. Humidity should in theory help soften them, but that hasn't worked in humid Nebraska summer-I can't speak for a monsoon in Nepal.

Some of those ready-to-bake doughs in the plastic tubes aren't bad. You get the impression of a freshly baked treat without the work. You can also microwave store-bought if you like your biscuits warm.

Danny will be happy to hear his recipe is getting passed around.

Thank you.

The cake is a bit of work, but not nearly as bad as something like making pastry. If he ever decides to try that, I'm moving out of the house.

Thank you. Danny was just saying we need to invest in some more novelty cake tins-I wonder what he'll do next?

If you dunk the biscuits, they'll be fine without aging, but otherwise they're sort of soft and tough rather than crisp (if that makes any sense?).

@Miss Magpie
My husband will not touch tea as he insists, "Tea makes you throw up." When pressed to explain, it becomes clear he tried drinking tea with a bad hangover as a teenager, but he still won't drink it to this day.