This month's What's Baking theme was Quickbreads. Of course, as soon as I saw this I thought to myself "what the heck is a quickbread???" but then I found out it's just any type of bread (or cake or muffin, etc) that uses something other than yeast to make it rise (ie baking powder, baking soda, etc). It just so happened that when this assignment went out, I had begun thinking of what to bake for Rosh Hashanah to bring to my grandparents'. As soon as I saw what a quickbread was, I immediately told my grandma that I'd be bringing a honey cake. Hey, if you can kill two birds with one stone....
I looked in my cookbooks and online until I found one that sounded just a bit unusual but not too tricky. And came upon this one from Epicurious. It has a chocolate glaze for the cake in the original recipe, but since my cousin was already making a chocolate challah (YUM!) I didn't want to overload my family with chocolate. In the end, it was sweet enough that it didn't need the glaze.
I did run into a few snafus while making this. Things I found out while making this: 1) even if you find online that you can use vegetable shorting instead of vegetable oil, the consistency is totally screwy so it's better to just run to the store for more oil. 2) you should read the ingredient list thoroughly first so you don't realize you need brewed coffee after you've started mixing everything. 3) while the coffee may not have been as strong, steeping coffee grinds into hot water using a tea ball then pouring the "coffee" through a filter to get rid of the stray grounds seems to do the trick. 4) when you don't have a bundt pan, you can use a tube pan and it'll still come out nice. 5) I have an amazing husband who will run to the store a 11:30 at night as I have a meltdown that I don't have enough oil and just used up all the honey in the botched mixture that I tried to use shortening as the oil substitute (ok, I knew he was amazing before, but this was a nice reminder).
As it turned out, the cake was so big that we barely finished half at my grandparents', so I brought the other have to my in-laws' the next night. But it received good reviews at both dinners! I think this recipe is a keeper!
Honey Cake (from Epicurious)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 cup pure honey
3/4 cup lukewarm coffee (brewed, or instant dissolved in water)
1 1/2 teaspoons packed grated orange zest
- Heat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.