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Acacia Honey Cake

Honey cakes are among the earliest to be found throughout the world. They were usually prepared for festivals and celebrations.

ingredients

320 ml (11 1/2 fl oz) acacia honey
3 whole eggs, lightly beaten
300 g (11 oz) rye flour
100 g (4 oz) unblanched almonds or hazelnuts, ground coarse
5 g (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
large pinch crushed cloves
30 ml (2 tbsp) dark rum
2.5 g (1/2 tsp) bicarbonate of soda
15 ml (1 tbsp) milk
blanched almond halves to decorate

method

1. Warm the honey in the jar set in a pan of hot water, then pour it into a large mixing bowl and whisk until it is frothy, thick and white.

2. Beat in the eggs and add the flour a spoonful at a time.

3. Mix together the spices and nuts and stir in the rum, and combine with the honey and egg mixture.

4. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda with the milk and beat it into the mixture. Leave to mature in a covered bowl overnight as this helps to lighten the mixture.

5. Press the paste into a greased and floured deep rectangular baking tin 36 x 24 cm (12 1/2 x 8 1/2 in).

6. Stud with almond halves and bake at 180°C (350°F) Gas 4 for 30 - 35 minutes.

7. Avoid letting it brown too much as this gives a bitter taste.

8. When the cake has cooled in the tin, cut it into rectangular pieces and store for at least a week in an airtight tin before serving.

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