Rosh Hashanah often coincides with some dates of Durga Puja, somewhere or the other making me think of the festivities back home.
I can always tell, by the recipe searches on the blog that there are others thinking of Bengali food as well. Today, to keep with the general holiday spirit, I made an apple honey cake, my version of it anyway. I have always been intrigued by the idea of a honey cake it is however a cake with a reputation – people have warned me about how sweet and dry it can be. The general idea of meshing honey and spices appealed to me, and pair in apples and fall, how can one go wrong?
Rosh Hashanah is the anniversary of the day when God created Adam and Eve and is celebrated as the Jewish New Year. Apples and Honey are a part of the food traditions as they are supposed to bring sweetness in the New Year, hence the honey cake. I wanted to try meshing the apples with the honey cake, and once I saw this recipe I was well – Smitten.
I kept the idea of the Sunken apples, I did not peel the apples hoping they would retain some color and they in fact did, just not as bright as their original appearance. The cake batter I used was more along the traditional lines, except I made a spiced tea brew, and added some more ginger and orange zest and juice and the result was a moist, delicate cake that is good for all days of the year and certainly worth trying if you want a honey cake that does not live up to its ahem, reputation.
For good measure, I finished this cake with a salted honey, spice tea glaze and it added a love balance to the entire cake. And, here is hoping that the upcoming year or season is balance with salty sweetness. If you really want a practical take on food of Rosh Hashanah, you might want to check out this fun and informative video.
I had wanted to finish this last night tonight, but I had also promised myself an early night. And for a change, I shall actually kept my word to myself. BTW, I have lately been feeling very indulgent to myself, so that is reflected in some of recipes on this site.
A beautiful moist and flavorful honey cake that will put all the flavors of fall into your kitchen while it cooks.
- 2 spice tea bags (Such as Celestial Seasonings)
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- Round 10 inch cake pan
- 4 small apples
- 1.5 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest (about 1 orange)
- 1/3 cup orange or clementine juice
- 1/2 cup spice tea liquid
- 1/2 cup honey more if you like it sweeter
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1/2 cup spice tea liquid
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- To make the spice tea steeping liquid, in a sauce pan add 2 cups of water, the tea bags and the ginger and boil for about 5 to 7 minutes and strain the liquid. You will have about 1 and 1/2 cup of water which is enough for this recipe.
- Pre-heat the oven and grease the cake pan and set aside.
- Cut the apples into half, core the apples and cut them into thin slices, keeping the shape intact. You basically want to pop these into the batter into half moons, so if you can try to not completely slice through.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda into a mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl add the orange zest, orange juice, spice tea liquid, honey, vegetable oil and the eggs and mix well.
- Pour this on the cake pan and carefully arrange the apple halves over the batter and place to bake.
- The cake bakes for about 35 to 40 minutes, remaining a little softer in the center.
- While the cake is baking, place the remaining tea liquid, honey and salt in a pan and cook for about 8 minutes until thick and smooth.
- Let the cake cook in the oven for about 5 to 7 minutes, invert the cake and invert back again. Pour over the honey glaze and serve the cake warm or cool.