HONEY LOAF WITH SWEET DUKKAH
“A crunchy, scented crust protects a soft, honey-soaked sponge in this beautiful loaf. Dukkah is a nutty Egyptian spice mix usually consisting of a variety of herbs, nuts and seeds. The sweeter version used here is a heady blend of fennel, pistachio, rose and coconut that gets smothered on top of the warm honey cake. Using a floral blossom honey ties it all together without overpowering, making this a great option for an afternoon treat.”
Reprinted with permission fromThe New Way to Cake by Benjamina Ebuehi, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Holly Wulff Petersen
For the loaf
21/2 cups (300 g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup (160 ml) vegetable oil
1 cup (240 ml) blossom honey
1/2 cup (100 g) superfine/caster sugar
1/2 cup (100 g) brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Scant 1 cup (200 ml) strong-brewed English Breakfast tea
For the syrup
3 tbsp (45 ml) honey
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
For the dukkah
1 tsp white sesame seeds
1 tsp black sesame seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
4 tbsp (30 g) shelled pistachios
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
2 tbsp (15 g) shredded coconut
1/2 tsp dried rose petals
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 5 x 13–inch (13 x 32–cm) loaf pan and line it with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on each side to help you pull the cake out once done.
- To make the loaf, whisk together in a large bowl the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- Make a well in the center and pour in the oil, honey, superfine sugar, brown sugar and eggs and whisk slowly by hand until there are no lumps in the batter. Pour in the vanilla and tea. Continue to stir until the tea is incorporated and the batter is smooth—it will be fairly runny. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the cake is springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- To make the syrup, gently heat the honey and water in a small saucepan. Stir until the honey dissolves. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- To make the dukkah, place the sesame seeds, fennel seeds, pistachios, cardamom, coconut and rose petals into a spice grinder or food processor and pulse briefly until you have a rough mixture.
- Pour the dukkah into the saucepan with the honey syrup and mix to get it all evenly coated. Spread the dukkah evenly on top of the warm cake and leave to cool completely before slicing.
Tip: Play around with the dukkah ingredients to come up with something that is unique to you. It works well with almonds, macadamia nuts and even spices such as coriander and black pepper.