Thursday, September 9, 2010

L'shanah Tovah: Chocolate Honey Cake

L'shanah tovah! Year 5771 on the Jewish calendar began last night at sundown with the Holy Day of Rosh Hashanah, and the new year is traditionally brought in with a day of rest, and a day of traditional dishes. One of these traditional dishes is a honey cake, which is meant to symbolize the sweet new year. Honey cakes are delicious, and what better way to make one even more delicious than with chocolate? Nick Malgieri had a recipe in his Chocolate cookbook, and I adjusted it a bit to make a yummy honey cake to welcome 5771.


1 ¾ cups flour

¼ cup alkalized cocoa powder (Green and Black’s)

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

8 tablespoons softened butter

1 cup honey

1 egg

½ cup buttermilk

6 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (El Rey Apamate 73.5% cocoa)

Pre-heat the oven to 350° F and prepare a loaf pan by lightly dusting it with cocoa powder. Now get to the good stuff: orange blossom honey.

Sugar without fat is just sugar (how profound), so get the butter and egg, too.

Beat the butter and honey on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, then beat in the egg until it is even fluffier.

Look at how airy and sweet that looks. It was hard to keep going with this recipe, because it was tempting to get a loaf of bread and eat that mixture with the bread. But knowing how good this would be, I pulled out all the dry ingredients.

Now you’ll notice that I have baking powder in that photo, but the recipe doesn’t call for it. You see, I thought the Green and Black’s cocoa powder was natural process, and that I would have to adjust the recipe by adding baking powder. But, upon closer inspection, it turned out it was alkalized, and no adjustments were necessary. Simplicity achieved.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, and pull out the buttermilk.

Alternate incorporating the dry ingredients and buttermilk at medium speed, starting and ending with the dry ingredients and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Then get your finely chopped chocolate ready.

Stir that in until it is evenly mixed in the batter, pour the batter in the prepared loaf pan, and bake for 35-40 minutes.

My loaf seemed to sink a little bit, but the end result was still a delicious, sweet, crumbly cake to start 5771 with.

Finally, you'll notice that the Fenty sign is hanging out in a lot of these pictures. It's a subtle reminder to vote on 9/14 if you live in the District.


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