Lekach (Honey-Spice Cake)

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A couple of weeks ago, a coworker brought in honey cake (store bought) for Yom Kippur. I should now say that at my job, every Friday we have something called “Friday Social”. Someone has to sign up to bring in something sweet. It doesn’t matter if it’s homemade or not, just edible. Anyway, the honey cake was met with mixed reviews. Since many of us have never tried it, we weren’t sure how it was supposed to taste. This cake tasted like honey. Actually, it tasted something like buckwheat with honey, and it had a very strange mouth-feel. I of course was very interested in making one just to compare and the folks at work were on board with it. I basically followed the recipe, only omitting the zest and the glaze, since I didn’t have any oranges or Grand Marnier in the house.

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It was very easy to put together, and baked wonderfully. The taste was pretty good too. This was almost on the verge of being like a gingerbread cake, only with a lot of honey. I took it to work the next day and we all sampled. Everyone thought it was pretty good, even better than the store bought cake, but overall, still just ok. I don’t need to save this recipe, but I was very happy to have the taste comparison.

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Lekach (Honey-Spice Cake)

Ingredients

  • Butter, for greasing pan
  • 2¾ cups flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup honey
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp. orange zest
  • 2 tbsp. Grand Marnier
  • 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar

Method

Heat oven to 325°. Grease and flour a 4-qt. Bundt pan; set aside. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, baking powder and soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside. Beat ¾ cup sugar and egg yolks in a bowl on medium-high speed of a mixer until tripled in volume, about 4 minutes. Stir in oil, honey, 2 tbsp. juice, zest, and Grand Marnier. Add dry ingredients; stir until just combined.

Beat egg whites in a bowl on high speed of a mixer until soft peaks form. Add remaining sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Fold whites into batter. Pour into prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of cake comes out clean, about 60 minutes. Let cool and invert onto a serving plate. Whisk remaining juice with confectioners’ sugar; drizzle over cake.  

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