Saturday 11 June 2011

Sunday Baking: Chocolate Hazelnut Honey Cake

On the ski trip two years ago, Louzle and I visited a fancy deli run by a man who spoke no English. This led to lots of amusing pointing and gesticulating, including him making a sign of a big chest and repeating "Forte!" over and over again, regarding a balsamic vinegar. We still giggle at that one.

Anyway, whilst there I was tempted by a jar of chocolate hazelnut honey. I don't know why; I don't really like honey, but it looked interesting. Unfortunately, when I got it home I opened it up and had a taste and found it to be uninteresting, so it sat in the cupboard until my clear out last month and got it out to throw it away.

It received a reprieve though, since it seemed a bit wasteful to bin it. I decided to try and bake with it. I tried searching for recipes using chocolate honey, but drew a blank, so in the end I just decided to adapt a regular honey cake recipe.

250g butter
100g Muscovado sugar
240g jar chocolate hazelnut honey
3 eggs
1/4 cup strong filter coffee (I thought this would take the edge off the sweetness)
300g self-raising flour
Pinch of bicarbonate of soda

Melt the butter, sugar and honey in a saucepan. Once metled, boil for one minute and then take off the heat. Leave to cool for 15 minutes or so, so that the eggs don't cook when you add them (I put my saucepan in a couple of inches of cold water in the sink).

Whisk the eggs with the coffee and pour them in a steady stream over the honey mixture. Sift the flour and bicarb into a bowl and pour the egg mixture into it, beating until smooth. The batter is quite runny.

Bake at 140 degrees C for 50 mins to an hour until firm.

Chocolate glaze:
100g dark chocolate (I used 85% because I didn't want it to be too sweet)
50g butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Put everything except the vanilla in a bowl and microwave for about a minute until the chocolate is melted. Stir until smooth. Add the vanilla. Pour over the cake while still hot so it sinks in a little bit. I then sprinkled over some toasted hazelnuts.

The hazelnut is the most prominent flavour, then the honey. This isn't a usual pairing which is why it tastes unexpected, but it is very nice. I was going to add walnuts - honey and walnuts seems more natural to me - but I think it would clash with the hazelnut flavour.

All-in-all, a win - though not one I can repeat unless I can find the honey again!

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