Honey Cake

advocate-tested recipe

Honey Cake

Makes a 9-inch loaf cake. Recipe is from “Middle Eastern Cooking,” from 1969 Time Life series “Foods of the World.” Honey cake is traditionally served at Rosh Hashana. (If candied orange peel is unavailable, double the raisins.)

1 tsp. plus 1/4 cup vegetable oil

21/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup seedless raisins

1/4 cup chopped candied orange peel (available online)

3 eggs, separated

3/4 cup honey

1⁄3 cup sugar

2 tsps. finely grated lemon peel

41/2 tsps. instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbl. boiling water

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground allspice

Pinch of ground cloves

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup sliced blanched almonds

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. With a pastry brush, coat bottom and sides of 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with 1 teaspoon oil. Flour oiled pan with 2 tablespoons flour, removing the excess flour.

2. Combine raisins and orange peel in a bowl. Dredge with 2 tablespoons flour. Set aside.

3. In a deep bowl, beat egg yolks with whisk or electric beater until frothy. Beat in remaining 1/4 cup of oil, honey, sugar, lemon peel and dissolved coffee.

4. Combine remaining 2 cups of flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and salt and sift into egg-yolk batter, 1/4 cup or so at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in raisins and orange peel.

5. Wash and dry whisk or beater and, in a separate bowl, beat egg whites until they form unwavering peeks when the beater is lifted from the bowl. With a rubber spatula, gently but thoroughly fold the egg whites into the batter.

6. Pour batter into loaf pan and spread out evenly. Sprinkle almonds over top of batter. Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 4 or 5 minutes, then run a sharp knife around the edges and turn cake out on a rack. Cool completely.