Saturday, 28 May 2011

Honey and Treacle Cake

Three of the four of us looked at this Dan Lepard recipe for a loaf cake full of spices and glacé peel, in last week's Guardian Weekend magazine, and said, without prompting from others, that it looked a really good cake. So what could I do, except bake it as soon as possible?

I followed the recipe quite closely, using large pieces of glacé peel which I chopped myself - there was more lemon and citron peel than orange - and making only one minor change. I reduced the amount of ground cloves to 1/4 teaspoon, as I find it quite overwhelming in large amounts.

There is one small point to note - Dan says to use a 'small' loaf tin, but the uncooked cake batter more than half filled my 2lb loaf tin (which was 17cm long, as stipulated); I would call a 2lb tin a large one! You can see from these photos that although the cake doesn't rise a huge amount, using a smaller tin could possibly have been a mistake.

The finished cake was a sturdy but moist loaf, with subtle flavours. None of the wide range of flavours - honey, treacle, spices, orange, glacé peel - were predominant, but blended together to give a very unusual, but delicious, spicy flavour to the cake. Although Dan suggests varying the spices to suit your preferences, I'd say definitely leave in the black pepper, as this gave a suggestion of heat which you wouldn't get from the other spices.

Even the glacé peel, which some people find a difficult ingredient to like, didn't stand out as a particularly strong flavour, adding more to the texture than the taste. The sweetness of the peel and honey was balanced by the bitter edge to the treacle and muscovado sugar. The orange flavoured glacé icing added a burst of fresh flavour, but wasn't really necessary, especially if you wanted to use the cake in a lunchbox, or other situation where the icing might spoiled while travelling.


All in all, this is a really delicious cake, whose flavour is difficult to describe - you'll have to try it for yourself!

8 comments:

Choclette said...

Sounds gorgeous, would love to try it. Where on earth, other than Italy, do you find glaced citron though?

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

looking really lovely regardless of all the caveats!... I didn't fancy this myself as I thought it looked too dense and darkly fruity but you may have convinced me otherwise... x

C said...

Ooooh, looks fabulous! I love ginger cakes and had wondered about this one, but was slightly put off by the amount of mixed peel - I do quite like it, but there is a lot! I'm intruiged by the flavour profile too - guess I'll just have to make it and find out!

Suelle said...

Choclette - I bought my tub of candied peel from Julian Graves, and it contained slices of citron as well as lemon and orange peel.

C - The cake is very dense with peel - you could cut it down a bit if you're not sure. 100g would still give the flavour, I think.

Katie said...

It was intreguied by the recipe too but all the flavours put me off a bit. Looks like a fabulous cake though, so I'll ahve to try it

celia said...

Yes, I think I really will have to try this one for myself! Thanks for the headsup Suelle, it looks very good indeed...

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

I like the sound of this texture: sturdy but moist. It looks like a great homemade cake!

MissCakeBaker said...

I missed his column that week. This looks delicious - I love dense moist loaf cakes.