What do you do with the letter I for goodness sake? This is the letter we are all to use for Alpha Bakes this month. Well there is icing of course, but that seems a bit of a cheat. Luckily Delia came to my rescue.
I’m doing a mammoth bake today (and yesterday) for a friend’s 60th birthday party. I was looking for a range of bakes with different colours and textures that could be picked up with one hand and eaten with minimum fuss and mess.
Leafing through my newest cookbook, Delia’s Cakes, for inspiration, I came across her Iced Honey & Spice Cake. Perfect: a spicy dark cake would make an excellent addition to the birthday feast and it was an official “I” for iced because Delia said so.
I upped the quantities, changed the method and added cocoa. I also added chilli for additional interest and because that is the choice for One Ingredient this month. I was recently sent some honey to try from the New Zealand Honey Co. and this seemed like just the right bake to showcase its distinctive oaky flavour.
I did cut a tiny sliver off to try which I shared with CT. It tasted like a good spice cake should do with a little hint of chilli to liven things up. We both thought the honey gave it a distinctive and unexpected flavour which lingered on the palate; CT likened it to whisky and was all in favour.
Cornish Organic Eggs
This is how I made:
Iced Honey and Chocolate Spice Cake
- Melted 100g of NZ Beech Forest Honeydew honey in a pan with 140g unsalted butter.
- Sieved 275g of flour (half wholemeal spelt, half white) into a bowl along with 25g cocoa.
- Added 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 rounded tsp ground ginger, 1 rounded tsp ground cinnamon and 1/4 tsp ground cloves.
- Stirred in 100g caster sugar.
- Grated in the zest of a small lemon and a small orange.
- Chopped up some of the chunkier strands of my lemon marmalade (about 40g) and stirred into the flour to coat.
- Mixed a rounded tsp bicarbonate of soda with 4 tbsp water.
- Made a well in the centre of the flour and added 2 medium sized organic eggs.
- Mixed from the centre outwards, adding the honey and butter as I went along and finally the water.
- Spooned into a 22 cm sq (9″) cake mould and baked at 175C for 35 minutes.
- Allowed to cool, then turned out onto a board.
- Sifted 150g icing sugar into a bowl and added just enough lemon juice to make a slightly runny icing – about 1 tbsp.
- Spread this over the top of the cake.
- Placed a few pieces of crystallised ginger over the top then left to set.
- Cut into 16 squares.
I am a big fan of chilli and as Laura chose this as the theme for One Ingredient this month, I just had to enter. I was hoping to do a specific chilli bake; chilli and chocolate are just such a great pairing. But time is against me, so I’m hoping the addition of chilli to this cake will suffice. I am certain sure, it’s an improvement. This monthly challenge is hosted alternately by Laura of How to Cook Good Food and Nazima of Franglais Kitchen.