Sunday, February 22, 2015

Imploding Honey Custard Cake

Cooled Honey Cake
One of the most impressive cakes I ever made was for a dear friend back in the day.  It was gluten-free by default.

It was Julia Child’s apricot dacquoise, a complex affair of meringue layers with apricot puree, buttercream and sliced almonds.

It was the most labor-intensive thing I had ever attempted, and
it was a hit.

(Do you recall it, Norm Bouchard? I think it may have been your b-day.)

I remember it because it was one of the best things I ever ate - but I made it only that once.

It was a miracle that it turned out at all - and trying to turn those ingredients it into “tiny steps” like a French macaron was well beyond my skillset.

Also, I had no idea what a macaron was, or a macaroon, for that matter.

My newest best cake recipe is far simpler, but no less spectacular.

It was so easy that I made it twice just to be sure it wasn’t having a lucky baking break.

What is it?
The center is "lava" custard!
Imploding Honey Custard Cake.

I loved the extremely short ingredient list and the short time it took from start to finish.

It also uses five eggs.  This time of year the chickens are laying like crazy under lights. I’m taking up the challenge to use them all.

My version features Caledonia Spirits honey - a gift with gin purchase from the vendor at last year’s Burlington farmer’s market.

When baking, it fills the house with the heady fragrances of summer.

Cooled cake, deflated

 Imploding Honey Custard Cake
Adapted from Lady and Pups (online)
Makes one 6-inch cake

3 Large Egg Yolks, at room temperature
2 Large Eggs, at room temperature
¼ Cup Honey
4 ½ TB Pillsbury’s Gluten-Free Flour (or regular cake flour)

Butter and flour a six-inch cake pan

Preheat oven to 355f

Heat honey in the microwave for one minute.

Whisk eggs together in a large bowl of a stand mixer.

With the mixer on medium, add honey to eggs very slowly, one tablespoon at a time, slowly drizzling it down the side of the bowl. 

Keep whisking until the mixture becomes pale yellow and nearly doubled in size, with distinct “ribbons” of batter.

Sift in flour on low speed until incorporated.

Pour batter into pan.  Bake 13 - 14 minutes for a custardy center, 15 minutes for a firmer cake.  The center should be jiggly!

Cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes.  The cake will deflate, and can be enjoyed warm or cold.