Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Honey cake, relating to characters and "Philomena"

Honey cake / Bolo de mel

I believe it’s part of movie/TV show watching to relate or not to characters, to analyze if we would act like them or not in certain situations – for instance, I would never spend time in a cabin in the middle of the woods and I would certainly never enter a dark attic (or basement) all by myself holding nothing but a lit candle. :D

Speaking of a more serious subject, I watched Philomena yesterday and by the end of the movie I thought it could have been called “Pollyanna”.

Judi Dench is spectacular in the movie – just for a change – and there are several funny moments developed by her character (which reminded me of my paternal grandmother – she’ll say anything that comes to her mind). However, it bothered me much how Philomena deals with the situations she faces, I couldn’t understand it therefore I could not relate – I actually saw myself as the journalist, I would have behaved pretty much like Martin Sixsmith did or worse, I believe. SPOILERS I would have trashed that convent from top to bottom and would have slapped that nun like there was no tomorrow – there would be no forgiving of something so cruel and monstrous. END OF SPOILERS

There is a scene in the movie in which Steve Coogan’s character is having some tea and goes completely bonkers for the cake he’s eating – I felt the same way about this honey cake: it’s extremely simple – no frosting, no filling, nothing – and yet its flavor and texture are absolutely divine. A perfect match for a cup of tea or coffee.

Honey cake
slightly adapted from the delicious and beautiful National Trust Simply Baking

115g mild honey
115g unsalted butter, softened
115g granulated sugar
2 medium eggs*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
225g all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
about 100ml full-fat milk, room temperature, as necessary
icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to fan 180°C/350°F. Butter a 20cm (8in) square pan, line the base with baking paper and butter the paper as well.
If your honey is thick, gently warm over a low heat, then set aside until tepid but still runny.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the honey, followed by the eggs, a little at a time. Beat in the vanilla. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg over the mixture and fold in, using a rubber spatula. If necessary, add a little milk: the mixture should drop from the spoon in soft blobs (I used only 60ml of the 100ml called for in the recipe). Spoon into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden, risen and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 30 minutes, then carefully unmold, remove the paper and turn the cake back onto the rack. Cool completely. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

* I always buy large eggs, so I chose the smallest 2 in the package to use in this recipe

Makes 16


Unknown said...

Sometimes you need something simple like this.

Charlotte said...

Oh I want to see this movie so badly and I just KNEW you would review it sooner or later. Now I will have to make this cake and pencil some time to watch it.
As always-love the post.

Marise said...

I agree with you about the character of Judy Dench. I can't stand people that always forgives and justifies whatever happens. As for the eggs, I have bantam chickens and they lay small eggs. I buy the biggest I can find to bake my cakes, but learned to use 3 or 4 small eggs instead of two large. It always works!

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

Beautiful cake, I love the simplicity. This would be perfect with my Italian honey!

dina said...

the honey cake looks lovely. i want to see the movie too.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Jennifurla, true, dear.

Charlotte, thank you for your kind words! I'm glad you liked the post.

Marise, you are so lucky to have chickens at home! I love that idea. Too bad I live in an apartment.

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