Monday, December 23, 2013

It's going to be a Polish Christmas at the In-laws

I am in charge of a dessert and bread. My hubby is always talking about the Honey Babka he had as a child. So that is what I made.
This is what it looked like going into the oven.


                                  This is what it looks like after baking


Topping
7 tablespoons Unsalted butter
1/2 cup buckwheat honey; (or a flavorful dark wildflower honey)
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1/2 cup almonds; slivered or sliced
Cake
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour; plus extra for preparing pan
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter; (1 stick), at room temperature, plus extra for preparing pan
5 tablespoons cane sugar
1/4 cup buckwheat honey; (or a flavorful dark wildflower honey)
2 large Eggs; at room temperature
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk; at room temperature


Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter bottom and side of an 8-inch square cake pan, line bottom with buttered parchment paper. Dust lightly with flour and set aside.
Topping:
Melt 7 tablespoons butter in a saucepan. Add 1/2 cup honey and salt, stir until blended, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and almonds. Then set aside to cool.
Cake:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Drizzle in the honey, still beating, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture and the milk while mixing and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
Turn the batter into the prepared pan, distributing evenly, and smooth the top. Pour and spread the topping mixture evenly over the cake. Place the pan on a cookie sheet and bake in the center of the preheated oven for about 35 minutes, or until a  toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cake should spring back when gently touched in the center. When the cake is done, let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes, then turn out onto the wire rack to finish cooling completely. Cut into wedges. Excellent as is, or dust with powdered sugar, or serve with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.
Makes one 9-inch cake, or about 8 to 10 servings.

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