I don’t often get to bake Chris a birthday cake anymore but he was home this year. His traditional cake is Nigella Lawson’s bee cake. I didn’t manage the bees but it was delicious anyway.
Chocolate Honey Cake
for the cake:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/3 cups dark brown sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup honey
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 scant cup boiling water
for the glaze:
1/4 cup honey
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 9-inch removable-bottom cake pan.
Melt 4 ounces of chocolate in a double boiler and set aside to cool. Cream together brown sugar, honey and butter about 5 minutes or until fluffy and the color lightens. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking soda. Beat the egg into the sugar mixture and then add the chocolate with the mixer running. Slowly beat in the flour mixture and then mix in the boiling water with the mixer on low, pausing if needed to let the water incorporate. Transfer the batter to the baking pan and bake up to 1 1/2 hours. If cake is too dark at 45 minutes cover with a sheet of foil. Beginning at 1 hour, check for doneness every 15 minutes and remove to a rack to cool once a toothpick comes out clean.
Melt remaining chocolate in a double boiler and remove from heat. Stir 1/4-cup honey into the rest of the chocolate to form the glaze. Transfer the cake to a serving platter. If your cake is uneven trim the top off with a long serrated knife and invert onto the serving platter. Waxed paper under the edges will keep the platter clean while you work and can be removed after the chocolate sets. Pour the glaze onto the top of the cake and spread it around with a spatula, letting a bit drip over the sides. Tap serving platter gently on the counter to even out the glaze.