Since he retired a few years ago my Dad has taken up a few very handy hobbies – including keeping bees. He went through a rough patch where the queens kept escaping taking their tens of thousands of minions with them, but his last few years he seems to have turned on the charms and had no such problems with his ladies. His crop of honey last year was a little more solid and cloudy than before (he reckons it’s down to the rape seed crops in the area) but tasty beyond belief. The kids – particularly his number 1 fan Yoda, are addicted to Granda’s honey so it’s smeared on bagels, porridge, toast and stirred into tea and has become a favourite treat in our house.
Tonight’s knitting group will get their own taste of Granda’s honey in this really tasty Honey and Pecan loaf. It’s a simple recipe and has a lovely autumnal taste to it for the month that’s in it.
Honey and Pecan Cake
Make one loaf using a 1lb standard loaf tin
190g unsalted butter, soft
190g plain flour
190g caster sugar
3 eggs, large
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
25g natural yoghurt (I used plain Greek yoghurt)
1 tsp vanilla paste or essence
2 tbsp honey
50g pecan nuts, roughly chopped (alternatively you can use walnuts)
1. Preheat oven to 170°C / 160°C fan / gas mark 3. Line and lightly grease the loaf tin.
2. Put the butter and caster sugar in a mixing bowl and beat together using a paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking each well before adding the next.
4. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the wet mix at a low speed and beat until mixed.
5. Add the yoghurt, honey and vanilla. Mix gently.
6. Add the pecans and mix by hand with a spatula.
7. Pour the batter into the lined loaf tin. Bake in the oven for roughly 60 minutes until a skewer comes out clean and the sponge is firm.
(I baked two cakes at the same time and one took a full ten minutes longer than the other so don’t worry, it won’t overcook once you check regularly).
8. In the last few minutes of cooking make a light honey syrup by boiling the remaining tablespoon of honey in a small, heavy bottomed saucepan with 50ml of water. Boil until the syrup reduces by about half. When you take the cake from the oven drizzle the syrup over the top making little channels with a skewer if necessary.
9. Cool on a wire rack. Slice. Eat. Eat some more.