We welcomed the Jewish New Year in a few days ago. This was a special year for us since we could share it with our children for the first time in many years.
At the holiday table you will find many sweet dishes symbolizing our wish for a sweet year ahead.
Among the most traditional of desserts at this time is the honey cake. This year I made a different version than my other favorite ones which are already posted on the blog.
This year I made a Honey Chiffon Cake. The October issue of Food & Wine magazine featured this recipe from a new cookbook called The Feast Goes On.
This book is the work of The Monday Morning Cooking Club, a group of six women from Sydney, Australia who have a calling: to save traditional Jewish cooking, one recipe at a time.
For founding member Lisa Goldberg, the catalyst was the death of her Auntie Myrna, a platinum blonde from Poland who made phenomenal cabbage rolls.
Ms. Goldberg states, “Our mission is to find all the Auntie Myrna’s in the world and save their recipes before it’s too late.”
For The Feast Goes On, they asked Jewish home cooks from all over Australia to send in their family heirloom recipes. They tested and tasted hundreds of recipes, and only unanimous favorites went into the book.
Honey Chiffon Cake (makes one 10-inch cake)
This recipe is an especially light and moist take on the honey cake that Eastern European Jews traditionally eat for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
The cake must be cooled upside down to maintain its distinctive fluffy texture.
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup strong black tea, warm
1 and 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup light olive oil
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together the honey and tea; let cool. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and baking soda. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer at medium-high speed, beat half of the granulated sugar with the egg yolks until thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, beating until thickened, then beat in the honey-tea mixture and the dry ingredients in alternating batches.
2. In another medium bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. While beating, gradually add the remaining granulated sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter until no streaks of white remain. Pour the batter into an ungreased 10-inch angel food cake pan. Smooth the top and bake for 45-50 minutes, until the top is dark golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Immediately invert the cake pan onto a wire rack and let the cake cool completely.
3. Meanwhile, stir the confectioners’ sugar with the lemon juice, adding 1 teaspoon at a time, to form a thick glaze. Once the cake has cooled, run a thin knife around the edge to release it from the pan. Lift out the cake by the central tube. run a knife between the bottom of the cake and the pan, then transfer the cake to a serving plate. Drizzle with the lemon glaze.
Make Ahead The cake can be wrapped and stored at room temperature for 1 day before glazing and serving.
Note: I used a local honey which I purchase at one of the many farmer’s markets here. It is called Native Wild Sage Honey, (raw and unfiltered) and is amazing!