Friday, December 14, 2012
Honey Spice Loaf
This loaf cake is different but somewhat in the same vein, although it has the texture of cake rather than bread. The focus is really on the interplay between the raisins and the anise seeds, which I think are well matched. There's a touch of whole wheat flour to keep the taste fairly rustic. It's plain in nature and would pair well with a smear of soft cream cheese.
In this season of strong flavors and textures, I like the subtle flavor and the soft crumb of this cake. So while it's a fairly simple and understated composition, I think it's still worthy of a holiday brunch table or afternoon tea or coffee affair when you feel a momentary urge to stray away from the usual seasonal loaf cakes and breads.
- Plump the raisins by pouring hot simmering water over them and letting them stand for 1/2 hour. Then place in a strainer and drain for 5 minutes.
- As with most spice cakes and cookies, this tastes better the next day. The cake will keep for a few days wrapped and placed in an airtight container.
Honey Spice Loaf
Makes 1 loaf
1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1 t ginger
1/2 t anise seeds, crushed
1/8 t allspice
1/8 t cloves
1/2 C canola oil
2 eggs @ room temperature
1/3 C honey
1/2 C dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 C granulated sugar
2 t vanilla
zest of 1/2 orange
1/2 C buttermilk @ room temperature
1/2 C raisins, plumped and drained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/12" loaf pan and line with a piece of parchment paper large enough to form an overhang on both sides along the length of the pan.
Sift together the flours, baking soda, salt and all the spices.
In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, eggs, honey and sugars until smooth. Add the vanilla and orange zest. Alternately add a third of the flour mixture and half the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix just until the batter is blended and has no streaks of flour. Stir in plumped and drained raisins. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake until the cake springs back when lightly touched and a tester comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Remove from pan and peel off the parchment.