16 February 2006

Steel Grey Skies and Honey Spice Cakes~~



Today is one of those days: freezing rain outside, steel grey skies, warm and cosy inside with my yellow orchids, my cook books and my day dreams. I just may not go out until spring rolls around or our trip to Sicily, which ever comes first...

I've decided to lounge about a bit in my night clothes, after my coffee and milk, if only to prolong the experience of finally getting a full night sleep.

Things to think about: having a cold cellar or root cellar or pantry lined with one's own preserved fruits and vegetables and running ones' hands over the rows of jars, living in the country and waking up to a full view of the day's sky, one's own apricot trees, one's own goats and thus, one's own ricotta.... sigh

I'll probably push myself to take a walk later, for the want of fresh air, but may compensate by trying out Rosa's Torta with cocoa and a ricotta filling--I'll post photos if it turns out.

Here then is the afore- promised recipe for a lovely and comforting cake for a rainy day, a winter day, a fall day, a less than perfect day, especially since it perfumes the house:

Honey Spice Cake

- 6-8 inch cake pan (oiled)

-1/4 cup sugar

-1/4 cup vegetable oil

-3/4 cups honey

-2 eggs

-1 1/2 cups flour

-1/4 tsp each of baking powder, baking soda and salt

-GROUND SPICES: 1/2 tsp ginger, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp allspice, 1/8 tsp cloves

-1/2 cooled espresso (or strong coffee)

-1 tbsp coffee flavoured liqueur (optional)

1) With oven preheated to 350 degrees, cream the oil and sugar together in a large bowl, then add the honey and eggs and mix well

2) In another bowl sift together the dry ingredients and the spices, then add them to the wet mixture, along with the coffee and liqueur and mix well

3) Pour into the prepared pan and bake until tester emerges clean (depending on pan size, 35-55 minutes) loosely covering cake with foil if it browns too quickly

4) Cool cake in pan on rack for 15 minutes, place on serving plate and dust with icing sugar if desired

Note: This recipe is easily doubled (actually I reduced it to serve our 2- person household) and made in a 10- inch tube/ bundt pan, but use 3 eggs not 4 (could take up to 60 minutes to bake)

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