Welcome to the Free Recipe of the Month!
The Free Recipe of the Month page is where you'll find the free recipe offered in each newsletter. Just remember the free-recipe-of-the month is free just for the month that it's featured in. After that it's retired into the BetterBaking.com Recipe Archives which are always available if you are a paid subscriber of Betterbaking.com (you also get two months free access with any BB cookbook you purchase).
This month's special free recipe is Moist and Majestic Honey Cake (secret bonus recipe for Apple Shofar Tart is below!
Moist and Majestic New Year’s Honey Cake
I like a New Year's honey cake to be extra moist and sweet and as good on the day of baking as it is days later – in fact, even better as it ages. This one is queen of the realm - rich with honey, perfectly, vibrantly spiced. In a word, it’s majestic - in taste and stature. I went through many variations and tasting sessions until I was satisfied with this definitive cake and each version was made with The Spice House spices! I also suggest you re-stock your baking spices every six months and September is one of the times I restock. This recipe is one of my most popular recipes from my cookbook Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking. One tester gave the ultimate compliment saying "This one is worth the price of the book". One last thing – the very best pan for this cake is a angel food cake pan from Fat Daddios
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 cup oil
1 cup mild (not dark) honey
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup warm coffee or strong tea
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup coca cola
1/4 cup rye or whisky *
1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds, optional
If cake seems done but still seems a bit wobbly in center, lower the oven temperature and give it 10-20 more minutes. This is very important – give the cake the amount of baking it needs.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line the bottom and sides of a 10 inch angel food cake pan lightly greased parchment paper, cut to fit. Stack two baking sheets together and line the top one with parchment paper. Place cake pan on that (this prevents the bottom from browning too quickly)
In a large bowl or large food processor, blend together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Make a well in the centre, and add oil, honey, white sugar, brown sugars, eggs, vanilla, coffee, orange juice, coca cola and rye or whisky. Blend well, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom. This is a thin batter.
Spoon batter into prepared pan and sprinkle top of cake (s) evenly with almonds. Place cake pan on baking sheet.
Bake until cake tests done, that is, it springs back when you gently touch the cake centre, 55-65 minutes.
Let cake stand fifteen minutes before removing from pan.
* If you prefer not to use the whisky, replace it with orange juice or coffee.
Shofar Apple Tart
This beautiful classic apple crostata heralds in the New Year in a majestic way. I use combinations of apples - often Cortland and Yellow Delicious but try your own local apples. This is French pastry shop gorgeous but easy!
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces unsalted butter, shortening * or unsalted margarine, in small chunks
3-6 tablespoons cold water
5-7 large apples (such as McIntosh or Golden Delicious), peeled, cored, and diced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, in small pieces, optional
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg with 2 tablespoons water
¼ cup honey
* If using shortening, use half butter flavored and half neutral
For the dough, in a food processor, mix flour, sugar and salt. Add butter (or shortening or margarine) in chunks and pulse to produce a coarse, crumbly mixture. Add the water and pulse to make a mass or shaggy dough about 30-60 seconds, drizzling in a bit more water if required to make dough hold together. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead a few seconds. Form into a disk, wrap well and chill for 30-45 minutes.
Prepare apples, place them in a large bowl and toss them with the sugar and butter.
Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 10 – 12 inch circle. Transfer to baking sheet by folding in quarters and unfolding on baking sheet. Fill with apples to within 2 inches of the dough’s edge. Fold this border inwards and press gently onto fruit. Brush the border with egg wash and sprinkle on granulated sugar. Alternatively, use a 12-inch tart or quiche pan and place dough in the pan and proceed as above for a more refined, less rustic crostata.
Place on baking sheet and bake until apples are oozing juices and coloured and exposed pastry is medium brown, 35-50 minutes. Take the crostata out of the oven and drizzle in the ¼ cup honey into the apples.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Can be made a day ahead.