Honey “Pooh” Cake with Lemon Glaze and Rosemary Blossoms

“That buzzing-noise means something. If there’s a buzzing noise, somebody’s making a buzzing-noise, and the only reason for making a buzzing-noise that I know of is because you’re a bee…. And the only reason for being a bee that I know of is making honey….And the only reason for making honey is so as I can eat it.” So he began to climb the tree.

- Winnie the Pooh

Super Bowl Sunday was a good time. We had a few friends over for slow-roasted pork shoulder (recipe soon) and creamed spinach. For drinks, we had a few Margaritas, as you would expect, and some Gordon Biersch Blonde Bock on tap. Yum.

As the game was a bit of a snoozer, the big hit of the night was dessert. Carolyn made a honey cake with lemon glaze and decorated it using blossoms from our rosemary bushes. (Alas, we were out of our honey from 2011, but our bees are getting going and summer will bring a new batch). The honey provides a denser crumb and sweeter flavor than a standard cake. Honey also supports new flavors, like a touch of rosemary. The kids enjoy the cake, and for the adults it is something just a little “different” but very, very tasty.

A few of our bee boxes, we are just getting started this year

Carolyn adapted this recipe from Apples for Jam, primarily with the lemon glaze vs. frosting. We both found the frosting overwhelmed the honey and rosemary.  Carolyn’s version really accentuates the honey aspect of the cake and is a more elegant presentation (IMHO).

One of many rosemary bushes here at Putney Farm

We love this cake. And as a history buff, I like to think this is the kind of cake that would have been enjoyed hundreds and perhaps thousands of years ago. The Honey Cake makes me think of dessert at an ancient Athenian banquet or bacchanalia. Ironically, Carolyn (and Apples for Jam) calls it “Pooh” Cake, as in Winnie the Pooh.

I guess food really does mean different things to different people. As Pooh might say, “oh bother”.  Either way, the cake is beautiful and tastes great…

Honey Cake with Lemon Glaze

(adapted from Apples for Jam)

Notes Before Your Start:

-       If you are serving kids, reading a Winnie the Pooh story is a good prelude.

What you get: A sweet, dense cake with a nice mix of honey and lemon flavors. Rosemary provides a new twist.

What you need: No special equipment required. Rosemary blossoms a nice decorative touch. Other mild, edible blossoms may also be used for decoration.

How Long? About 2 hours. Much of the time is cooking and cooling the cake, but this is still a weekend dish.

Ingredients:

Cake:

-       ¼ pound plus 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter

-       ½ cup of dark brown sugar

-       ½ cup honey

-       1 and ½ tablespoons water

-       1 and 2/3 cups of all purpose flour

-       1 and ½ teaspoons of baking powder

-       ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

-       1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, finely chopped

-       2 large eggs, beaten

Lemon Glaze:

-       2/3 cup sifted confectioners sugar

-       2 tablespoons lemon juice

-       1 teaspoon lemon zest

-       Rosemary blossoms (optional)

Assemble:

Cake:

  1. Grease and line the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine butter, brown sugar, honey and water in a small saucepan.
  3. Place saucepan on stove over low heat. Heat gently, stirring lightly, until butter melts and sugar is dissolved. Allow mixture to cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Into the bowl of mixer, sift flour, cinnamon and baking powder. Add the rosemary.
  6. Add the honey mixture and eggs to the dry ingredients. Mix with paddle attachment until smooth.
  7. Pour mixture into pan, place into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into cake comes out clean.
  8. When done, remove cake pan from oven, place on cooling rack and cool completely.
  9. When cool, remove from pan and place on serving platter.

Glaze:

  1. Sift sugar into a small bowl, whisk in lemon zest.
  2. Add lemon juice and whisk to combine.
  3. Brush glaze on cake.
  4. Sprinke or arrange rosemary blossoms, if using.  Let glaze harden.
  5. Serve.
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