Monday, 22 July 2013

Honey to the Bee

In my mind, if it's a loved ones birthday: cake is compulsory. And this also means, a cake made by moi is a certainty. Back in February I decided to make my good friend Emily this cake...then there was Vicky's birthday in June...and now for my wonderful Daddy, this...

The Honey Bee Chocolate Cake - Chocolate and Honey Sponge, Chocolate Icing and Marzipan Honey Bees. I LOVE honey...and chocolate...and cake. But just recently, our bees have been dying out and what most people don't realise is, they are vital to our diets. I am a proud supporter of Help Save The Bees; have a read, it's serious stuff and those little fellas need our help.

Back to the cake...

[Recipe slightly adapted from Nigella]

All you need for the cake is:

110g chocolate - I used dairy milk 
275g muscovado sugar, light brown
225g butter, unsalted and softened
100ml runny honey
2 eggs, large
1 tsp bicarb of soda
1 tbsp cocoa powder (or two tbsp drinking chocolate)
200g plain flour
200ml boiling water

All you need for the cake glaze is:

180g chocolate - again, I used dairy milk
50ml runny honey
90g icing sugar
50ml water

All you need for the buzzzzy bees is:

30g yellow marzipan
12 flaked almonds
The scrapings from the bowl of glaze - to make the stripes and eyes

First things first, preheat your oven to 180 (fan assisted) and line a 23cm/9inch springform cake tin.

Everything for this recipe that lives in the fridge needs to be taken out so things aren't too cold. When you've done this, melt the chocolate (from the cake ingredients). When it's melted, set aside.

In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until it's light and fluffy then add the honey. Beat in the eggs with one tablespoon of flour, one at a time (the eggs). When both eggs are in, mix in the rest of the flour and the bicarbonate of soda.

Give every a big old stir here, making sure everything is mixed together well.

Now add the cocoa powder, making sure there are no lumps.

Stir in the boiling water.

When the mix is thoroughly combined, pour the mix into your springform cake tin and cook for an hour and a half. NOTE: Check after 45 minutes; if the top is starting to catch a little, you can cover the cake with foil. DON'T check before 45 minutes or the middle will sink.

To check the cake is done - use a metal baking skewer/prong and pop it through the centre of the cake - if it comes out clean, it's done. If not, leave it a little longer but make sure you check it.

When the cake has cooled down completely - mix together the glaze. To do this; bring the water and honey to boil in a little saucepan. Add the chocolate (chop it first) and allow to melt. When the mix has combined, leave it a few minutes, then sieve in the icing sugar. Whisk well until smooth.

Pop your cake on the serving plate or cake stand you are using and smother than glaze on. Obviously it will run a little, so smother it on in stages rather than tipping the whole bowl over the top all in one go. NOTE: Because of the honey the glaze will stay a little tacky for a while. Allow at least an hour to two for the topping to harden. 

You can prepare your bees to be popped on the top at any time. Cut the marzipan into six, roll into little bee-shaped balls and use a thin skewer to dot on the eyes and stripes using the remaining glaze, you know, the bit you'd usually lick out from the bowl. Stick an almond flake in each side for the wings and Bob's your uncle!

I then sprinkled over a little honeycomb and make a little pile in the middle to pop the biggest bee on. The honeycomb adds a little extra something!

Prepare to 'WOW!' your family and friends with this. It not only looks impressive but it's absolutely delicious. It's so moist and the honey really isn't too much; I was a little worried it would be far too sweet (hence the reduction in the amount of honey from the original recipe) but my measurements were spot on!

My Dad had a lovely birthday, was rather enthusiastic about the cake and he's very excitement from his unexpected birthday gift from me...Segwaying! I thought some Father Daughter bonding time was needed before I go travelling.

Oh, and the title..if you grew up in the 90''ll know...
Okay, so my honey bee is much better BUT this makes me nostalgic for my childhood.

N xo

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