Happy Birthday, World! And Honey Cake.

Monday, September 21, 2009

This past weekend was Rosh Hashanah - I put up the banner from last year, some wooden numbers that were spraypainted silver, and a couple of pomegranates on little stands:

I also piped 5770 for the new year on a little birthday cake (R/H is the Jewish New Year. It has a lot of religious observance behind it, but since the boys are so little we're keeping the idea simple that the world is having a birthday).

One traditional food for the holiday is honey cake, and that's because honey symbolizes something sweet - a sweet new year. This recipe (like all my recipes) is my own, but I want to give credit where credit is due. My recipe is based loosely on a recipe in this cookbook:
"What's Cooking With The Millstein's" (excuse the misplaced apostrophe, I know.) and it was published in 1960 with recipes from the Millstein family and other Jewish families - and non-Jewish families - in Natchez, Mississippi. Anyway, I based my recipe very loosely on the one in this cookbook that's on page 23, called "Tante's Honey Cake" ("Tante" is Yiddish for "Aunt").

Okay! Where do we start...
Seriously. Start with a bottle of whiskey because you're going to need a 1/2 cup of it for the cake.

2 cups honey plus a bit more for serving each piece, if you like
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
5 cups flour
1/2 cup whiskey (totally optional)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup pineapple juice
3 cups pecan halves (they will break up in the Kitchenaid so don't bother with chopping them further)
1 tbsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350*.
Prepare a 9x13 pan or two 8x8 pans by lining with parchment paper.

Combine the honey and sugar in the Kitchenaid. Add the eggs one at a time, then the pineapple juice:

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then add to the Kitchenaid. Add oil. If you are adding the whiskey, do that now. Add pecans. Check the batter consistency. If it needs a bit more flour, add that. If it needs to be less thick, add a bit more pineapple juice.

Pour it into pan(s), place in the oven. Start peeking at about 35 minutes - mine took right at 45.

All done:

You can drizzle a tiny bit of honey over the slice if you like, too.
Happy New Year!

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