Thursday, April 8, 2010

Walnut honey cakes

Last October we went to the Mediterranean museum for lunch, because we were curious, starving and happened to pass by it. We ate a giant sandwich with feta and some eggplant and salad greens, and saw some beautiful works of art, but the star of the show were the honey-soaked baby cakes glittering in the display case. They were some Egyptian pastry made with semolina and had crushed pistachios on top. And when I tasted them, I knew I had to make them.

There were a few confusing recipes around which I couldn't follow for one reason or another, so I just made up my own. Sometimes I just crave baklava but I don't always have phyllo dough in my freezer. I wanted something light and moist but also spicy and nutty, and this fits the bill perfectly. So even though it's not the cake I tried at the Mediterranean museum, it is reminiscent of it and also caters to my taste buds.

The added bonus is that my recipe has the tiniest amount of butter, hardly any flour, and buttermilk, so it's quite guilt-free! Especially because it takes 5 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to bake. So there are no excuses to make this for tea time, or fika hour (coffee with something sweet in Sweden).

Wanut Honey Cakes
Yields 6

1/3 cup (1 dl) semolina
1/4 cup (1/2 dl) all purpose flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt
2 tbs (25g) salted butter
1 tbs sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 dl) milk + 1 tsp vinegar
1/4 cup (1/2dl) water
2 tbs walnuts, chopped finely (optional)

2 tbs sugar
3 tbs water
2 tbs honey
a pinch of cinnamon
1/2 tsp rose water, if you're feeling for it

1. Preheat oven to 350F or 180C.

2. Grease and flour 6 brioche or muffin pans.

3. Mix semolina, all purpose flour, baking powder and soda, and salt.

4. In another bowl, melt butter, then add sugar, mix, then buttermilk, water and then the dry ingredients.
Pour into molds and scatter walnuts on top of each.

5. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

6. While the cakes bake, boil the sugar and water in the microwave for 1 - 2 minutes until slightly thickened. Stir in honey, cinnamon and rose water.

7. When the cakes come out of the oven, pour the syrup evenly onto the cakes. Let them absorb the syrup for 5 - 10 minutes before devouring them.

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