This cake contains no caster sugar, no brown sugar, no icing sugar, no sugar that you can think of. OK, it does contain a whole jar of honey but let’s accentuate the positive – no sugar! Using honey instead of sugar made the batter silky and smooth – so much that it shone. It also gave the baked cake a firmer texture, but at the same time crumbly. I know that sounds impossible but you’ll see what I mean when you make it.
A friend of mine (Engelbert’s mum) brought me back a jar of honey from a day trip to Ickworth House. She has what I believe would be termed a “high concept” blog (i.e. if I didn’t like her I would call it ‘mad’) based around her little crocodile called Engelbert.
To repay her kindness, Mr CC and I decided to try and make Engelbert cake decorations out of sugar paste. It was our first foray into such an art form but we were pleased with our creations (Mr CC’s is on the left, mine on the right):
The Suffolk honey was mild in flavour – not dissimilar to golden syrup. I often find honey too strong so loved this one.
Mr CC declared this one of the best cakes I’d ever made...high praise indeed! It’s a very simple recipe – the sort that it’s easy to pass by in a book without it registering, but was so delicious that it really should be tried.
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g runny honey
300g self raising flour
Dash of milk
Preheat the oven to 170˚C/fan oven 150˚C/325˚F/Gas mark 3.
Line a 20cm round springform tin with baking paper.
Beat together the butter and honey until you have a whipped, silky smooth blend. It will be much lighter than a traditional butter/sugar creaming.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, alternating with a third of the flour.
Add a dash of milk if the batter is too firm – you’re aiming for a dropping consistency i.e. if you take a spoonful of batter and lightly tap the spoon, the mixture drops off.
Stir in the sultanas.
Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface.
Bake for anywhere between 1 hour and 1 ½ hours. Check after an hour and if the edges are cooking too fast, lower the heat. Mine took 1 hour 15 minutes and I didn’t find any problem with the edges browning too quickly.
When a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out cleanly, remove the cake from the oven and place the tin on a wire rack to cool.
Take the tin out of the cake when it is cool enough to handle, and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
Store in an airtight container.
Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.