Friday, July 15, 2005
SHF #10 - Oh Honey You Shouldn't Have!
What's not to like about Honey? You tell me...
It's sweet, it's sticky, it has a rich golden brown colour that appeals to your senses in more ways than one. Honey must be one of the best gifts ever given to us by nature. Let's all thank the bees for doing the job so well.
This month's SHF theme is honey, and this time, it's hosted by the lovely Nic from BakingSheet. I do think this is a wonderful theme because more often than not, we tend to overlook honey simply because it's so simple and basic. I believe most of us use sugar more often than honey. But I guess if Pooh can live on a jar of honey a day (or more), it's gotta be good for us too! =p
Before you read on, let me warn you of how sticky this post is gonna get. There's a lot of honey involved - simply because I decided to make two contributions for this saccharine sweet honey theme this month. Don't blame me, it's my sweet tooth working up ya know.
Anyways, let me present you the first of my two honey endeavours:
yes, it's a honey cake. Or rather, it's 'A Honey Of A Honey Cake', so says Bob Blumer, The Surreal Gourmet.
I got this recipe off Food Network while searching for honey related recipes and decided on this honey cake because I've never actually tried using honey when baking cakes. So this was a virgin attempt. And thank God, it turned out well! It's also a very simple cake. All you have to do is mix the basic ingredients:
and once you get a pale brown batter, you just pour it into your baking dish and pop it into the oven:
It's that simple! Fuss-free and yummy too. The great thing about this cake is, although there's honey in it, it doesn't come through in an overpowering way.
The honey is subtle and the cinnamon comes off nicely. i like how it's rather spongy and light. It doesn't feel too heavy. This is a perfect cake to have with tea or coffee. I love it.
Since the honey cake didn't satisfy my sugar craving, I had to make something that was authentically 'honey' enough. And so I made torrone:
I have to admit that the recipe seemed very easy, but upon actually doing it - I discovered that it was a delicate process especially since I didn't have a candy thermometer. I think the sugar granules didn't dissolve totally - next time I make it, I'm going to use some water to dissolve all the sugar first - make a sugar syrup instead. But other than that, this torrone tasted like it should and i used one of my favourite Vit E packed almonds:
In case you were wondering what exactly is torrone, well it's also known as nougat, and listen to this: it's actually about 80% sugar!
I was initially rather put off by the amount of sugar used. What say you of 3 cups granulated sugar, 1 cup honey and 1/2 cup icing sugar? Yes I do have a sweet tooth, but this was over the top. Thank God I'm not diabetic. I can imagine what a treat the ants would have if I left a drop of pure torrone on the kitchen top.
Yea, you've heard my complaints about the amount of sugar used so why did I continue making it? Well, I guess my tastebuds wanted it more than my mind. Besides, I do love nougat; I like sticky soft sweets in general. And since I've never made my own nougat, I thought this would be a chance to venture into newer sticker pastures. Don't you just love the creamy white of the soft nougat/torrone? That picture there, is after I've mixed the egg whites, honey mixture and almonds.
The white just gets better:
Now ain't that a HUGE mound of sinfully sweet nougat/torrone. The ants crawling on your computer screens yet?
Anyway, it was quite an experience making this nougat/torrone. I'm glad I decided to get out of my latest muffin/cupcake routine and try making sweets for once. See, that's why I always look forward to Sugar High Fridays! It gives me the perfect reason for trying out recipes I've never laid eyes on. And I do think the honey theme chosen by Nic for this tenth edition of SHF is brilliant. A natural sugar, the nectar of the bees and God's beautiful energy food.. ahh.. it couldn't get any better. My favourite honey combi is still the simple Honey and Lime juice drink. Never fails to give me a new surge of energy!
Now that this SHF is over, I await the next one with bated breath.... Oooo the excitement of virtual food events. It's been three months since I've made my grand entrance to the world of food blogging and dare i say, I'm enjoying every minute of it! Thanks you guys, my readers and my fellow food bloggers... you guys rock and I hope to continue enticing you with more yummy eats and what not... it's all about the food, ain't it? =) Cheers...
*** The round-up is up at Baking Sheet ***