Springtime Honey Cake And Baby Honey Bee!

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This photo and recipe are reprinted courtesy of my favorite Domestic Goddess Martha Stewart!

The cake recipe is Italian in origin, perfectly sweet and tender, just like my brand new Italiano Grandson Benjamin (“Umberto!”) Michael Aquilino, born Sunday March 30, 2014!

Benjamin Bunny

Baby Honey Bee Benjamin!

In honor of Baby Ben I’ll be posting honey cake recipes this week. Here is Martha’s — it’s delicioso!!

 

INGREDIENTS

(Serves 10)

FIRST GLAZE

  • 1 large lemon, zested into strips
  • 3 sprigs sage
  • 3/4 cup honey

CAKE

  • Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pan
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed finely chopped fresh sage
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

FINAL GLAZE

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Sugared Sage, for serving (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. STEP 1

    First glaze: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat.

  2. STEP 2

    Cake: Butter and flour an 8-inch hexagonal (or round or square) cake pan. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and sage. Beat eggs and brown sugar on medium-high until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in honey, milk, oil, and zest. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in 2 batches; beat until just combined.

  3. STEP 3

    Spread batter in pan. Bake until golden and a toothpick comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven; poke holes with toothpick all over cake. Remove zest strips and sage from first glaze; brush over top. Let cool completely in pan.

  4. STEP 4

    Final glaze: Whisk together honey, confectioners’ sugar, and lemon juice. Remove cake from pan and brush final glaze over top; continue until all is used. Garnish with sugared sage. Cut into wedges with a serrated knife, wiping knife between cuts; serve.

 

Cooking With Honey – Honey Granola Bars

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Since last summer I’ve been trying to come up with a really good granola bar recipe. I think I’ve found it! 

Yield:  12 to 16 bars

Ingredients

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal

1 cup sliced almonds

1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed

1/2 cup toasted wheat germ

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup honey

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup chopped raisins

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional!)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.

Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Place the butter, honey,vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the raisins, apricots, and cranberries (and chocolate chips if using) and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

Thanksgiving 2013 – Sweet Potato Souffle With Honey And Egg Nog

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I’ve been looking for the perfect Thanksgiving sweet potato souffle recipe for years. I think this is it!

This recipe substitutes eggnog for condensed milk and honey for the brown sugar, maple syrup and tiny marshmallows. It’s just as sweet and tasty, but a bit more sophisticated. (Not that I have anything against tiny marshmallows!!)

This souffle is something your guests will actually LIKE to eat!!

Yield:  4 large or 8-10 small servings

Ingredients:

2 Large or 3 Medium Sweet Potatoes

Granulated Sugar for dusting the souffle dish

Powdered Sugar for dusting the top

3/4 cup Eggnog

3 Large Eggs, separated and room temperature

1 cup Honey

2 tablespoons Butter plus more for greasing the souffle dish

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Allspice

1 ounce Brandy (optional)

1/2 Lemon (juiced)

1/2 teaspoon Salt

Directions:

Place sweet potatoes in a stock pot and cover with water by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes or until very tender. Drain and allow to cool before handling. Peel and discard skins.

Place the sweet potatoes in a large bowl and break up and mash using a spoon.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 1 1/2-quart souffle dish; dust with sugar.

In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium. Add flour, and cook, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in eggnog; simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; mix in sweet potatoes and egg yolks. Stir in honey, vanilla, brandy  (if using), lemon juice, salt, and spices and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Whisk 1/4 of whites into sweet potato mixture; using a rubber spatula, gently fold in remaining whites. Pour mixture into prepared dish; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until puffed, 35 to 45 minutes. Serve dusted with powdered sugar.

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Cooking With Honey – Honey Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

How about some homemade treats for your little Goblin visitors?  These are tasty AND healthy!

Yield:  60 cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups honey

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

2 cups (12-ounce bag) milk chocolate chips, not semisweet

Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper

Directions:

Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in honey, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.

Cooking With Honey – Pumpkin Creme Brulee

pump creme brulee

It’s pumpkin season! It makes me happy to see them on sale everywhere.

It also inspires me to develop new honey recipes. This one is especially tasty!

Ingredients:

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup honey

4 teaspoons granulated sugar

8 large egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 cup canned pumpkin

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Arrange 8 (1/2-cup) ramekins or custard cups in a large metal baking pan.

In a medium saucepan, combine the cream and honey . Bring to a bare simmer over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the honey. Remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until frothy and lemon-colored. Slowly add 3/4 cup of the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly. Add the egg mixture to the remaining hot cream, and whisk. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin, and whisk until smooth. Divide among the prepared custard cups.

Add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake until the custards are just set in the center but not stiff, 45 minutes to 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight.

Sprinkle each custard with 1/2 teaspoon of the granulated sugar. Using a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar. (Alternately, preheat the broiler, and broil until the sugar melts and caramelizes, watching closely to avoid burning and rotating the cups, about 1 to 2 minutes.)  Garnish with cinnamon and whipped cream.  Enjoy!

Cooking With Honey – Iced Honey “Pumpkin” Cookies

pumpkin cookie

This is my version of our local bakery’s popular iced pumpkin cookies. No pumpkins were harmed in their making – they’re almond honey cookies!

These are the favorite of my daughter who lives in Chicago. I bring them with me whenever I visit. The decorations change with the seasons!!

Ingredients:

Cookies

1 cup room temperature salted butter

3/4  to 7/8 cup honey

1 egg

1 tsp almond extract

3 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

Icing

4 cups powdered sugar

2 TBL room temp. butter

1-1/2 tsp. almond extract

food coloring

1/2 cup boiling water

1/4 cup condensed milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

Cream together 1 cup butter, honey, egg and 1 tsp. almond extract. Mix together flour and baking powder.

Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well.

Roll out on lightly floured surface, 1/4-1/2 inch thick.  Cut out circles.

Bake until edges just start to turn light golden (about 7 min)

Remove cookies to wire rack. Cool just slightly.

Drop orange frosting  (see below)  on warm cookies and spread out slightly until it runs over the edge.

Let cool completely. Paint faces with black food coloring (see below)  Store in air tight container.

Orange Icing:

While cookies are in the oven in a bowl add powdered sugar, 2TBL butter, 1-1/2 tsp. almond extract ,orange food coloring (1 drop red and two drops yellow) and enough of the hot water to make a consistency that just barely runs off of spoon.

Black Food Coloring “Paint”

Mix three drops each of red, blue and yellow food coloring. Add to 1/4 cup of condensed milk.  Paint or stencil faces on cooled cookies.

Cooking With Honey – Southern Coca Cola And Honey Bundt Cake

Coca cola bottle

coca cola bundt cake

You know you’re from the North if you’ve never heard of using soft drinks to make cakes moist, light and absolutely delicious! There are 7-Up cakes, Mountain Dew Cakes, and  Root Beer Cakes, but the most famous of all are the Coca Cola cakes. This cake was one of my beloved Mother’s specialties!

Most people are surprised that this cake doesn’t taste like Coke. The soft drink is there to enhance the chocolate flavor and make the cake texture so divine. Make this cake the night before serving to let the flavors intensify.

Yield:   One 10-inch Bundt cake

Ingredients:

For the cake:

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 cups flour, plus more for dusting pan

2 cups Coca Cola (not diet!!)

1 cup dark cocoa powder

1¼ cups honey

1¼ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

For the frosting:

2 ounces 60% chocolate, melted and slightly cooled

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon salt

¼ cup Coca Cola

2/3 cup dark cocoa powder

2½ cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat butter, Coca Cola and cocoa powder until butter is completely melted. Add honey and whisk until dissolved. Remove mixture from heat and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk eggs until just beaten, then whisk into cooled cocoa mixture until combined. Gently fold flour mixture into chocolate mixture. Do not overbeat. Mixture will be slightly lumpy.

Pour mixture into Bundt pan and bake, rotating pan halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean, 35-45 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cake cool in pan. Once completely cool, use a knife to gently loosen sides of cake from pan and invert onto a cooling rack.

Make frosting: Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse in short bursts until frosting is shiny and smooth. If necessary, thin with 1-2 tablespoons whole milk, pulsing to combine.

Use a spatula to spread frosting in a thick layer over top of cake. Let frosting set before serving.

Enjoy dessert Southern Style !!