Chamomile honey cake
SERVES 12 PREP AND COOK TIME 1 HOUR 15 MINUTES (+ COOLING TIME) 1⅓ cups (465g) honey 2 teaspoons finely grated orange rind 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind 2 chamomile tea bags 3 cups (450g) plain flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground cloves ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ⅔ cup (150g) caster sugar ½ cup (110g) firmly packed brown sugar ¾ cup (180ml) sunflower oil 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 teaspoon orange blossom water 4 eggs, beaten lightly ⅔ cup (100g) coarsely chopped natural almonds, optional edible flowers, to serve 2 tablespoons honey, extra
CRÈME FRAÎCHE FROSTING
1⅔ cups (400g) crème fraîche ½ cup (80g) icing sugar 1 Place honey, orange rind and half the lemon rind in a small saucepan; bring to the boil. The second it comes to the boil, remove from heat and stir in the tea bags until combined; cool. Discard tea bags. 2 Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fanforced). Grease two deep 23cm round cake pans; line bases with baking paper. 3 Sift flour, baking powder, soda, salt and spices into a large bowl. Add sugars; stir to combine. Make a well in the centre. 4 Add the cooled honey mixture to the dry ingredients with oil, extract, orange blossom water, egg and almonds. Whisk with a balloon whisk until smooth. Pour mixture evenly into pans. 5 Bake cakes for 40 minutes or until the middle of the cake springs back when pressed lightly with your finger. (The skewer test will not work here as the cake is so moist it will not leave the skewer clean even when fully cooked.) Leave cakes in the pans for 10 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto wire racks to cool. Trim tops of cakes to level, if necessary. Split each cake in half. 6 CRÈME FRAÎCHE FROSTING Combine crème fraîche, sifted icing sugar and the remaining lemon rind in a medium bowl. Beat with a balloon whisk or electric mixer until soft peaks form. 7 Spread one cake layer with a quarter of the frosting, using a palette knife or spoon to cover top evenly. Top with remaining cake layers and frosting. Decorate with flowers. Drizzle with extra honey.
Un-iced cake suitable to freeze. Not suitable to microwave.