Jan 14, 2009

Honey Cake, The Euphemism


















Photo: This photo ganked from Smitten Kitchen; my cakes didn't fall in the oven, but her photos turned out better. Hrmf.

David Beckham* demands, almost on a daily basis, that I bake him delicious treats; he would also like to find the bottom of a whiskey barrel, but that isn't good for his eye-blisteringly hot body. So today, I found the perfect medium: whiskey cake!

Yes, whiskey cake: two items that would please your old Southern grandpappy, a stable of bums, and all the Jews on your mother's side. It's a traditional honey cake--eaten on the Jewish New Year--by God's Supposedly Chosen People. I lifted the recipe from Smitten Kitchen, which can be found here. If you're like me, you can't get enough of those tasty kosher desserts, and I hope you're thinking to yourself, WOW--maybe I can bake stuff without rhyme or reason, too!

I've had honey cake before, and it's a wonderful tease for a foodie; it looks hearty, moist, sticky, flavorful, and sweet. What it usually isn't: hearty, moist, sticky, flavorful, or sweet. It usually tastes like the inside of a vacuum bag that's been dunked in sweet mothballs, or like a spicy cloth bandage still clinging to a dusty scab. I kid, but not really. The potential of honey cake--even the name, honey cake! sounds like sunshine-y sweetness and the promise of a new spring day!--never lives up to the hype, much like me and college, me and weight loss, me and my crappy English. So I was happy when Smitten Kitchen adapted a recipe that would ultimately confound and delight me, while also living up to its sugary namesake.

I was happy until I saw the recipe; I'm not Jewish--although I'm a HUGE fan, HUGE--so the word 'kosher' doesn't really register. Whenever I see KOSHER on a package that isn't Hebrew National Hot Dogs (my fave!), my eyes glaze over like I'm in Sunday school Hebrew school school. I never understood the whole kashrut (kosher) thing but, in a nutshell, it's a religious rule over the types of food the Jews can or cannot consume. Like they can eat animals, but not ones that are defective, and they have to be happy animals, or get slaughtered in some beautifully-specific way... something weird. I love me some Jews, but thanks for making an already sketchy and barely-understandable subject like religion way more complicated than it needs to be (Mormons should also be sarcastically thanked for this, too, although I'm more concerned about their religious doctrine, and less about their lack of foods--more chocolate for me). This recipe included everything under the sun, except butter. I had a small, butter-manufacturing cow when I saw that--okay yeah, you Jews are laughing at me, BUT I LAUGH AT YOU AND YOUR DAIRY-FREE DESSERTS; YOU'RE THE ONE WITHOUT ANY FUN IN YOUR FOOD. Maybe I like my cows angry, and my cakes moist and bad for me. No butter?! What's the point of making dessert if it's not going to induce heart attacks, or at the very least, dangerously-high cholesterol? I looked at the recipe again, and saw that vegetable oil was in the mix, as was honey, orange juice, warm coffee, vanilla, and that time-honored Kentucky tradition: whiskey. All this crap, each ingredient a strain on the stomach lining, and yet no heffer-loving goodness? What kind of immoral, inhumane eating habits are you teaching your poor starving children? NO FUCKING BUTTER?!?!

Yeah, I freaked out. I felt like I was creating a one-armed person; like, sure you can live without an arm and it's not that gross when compared to something like a flesh-eating virus (or frostbite), but still--I'd feel weird every now and then. Like a starfish reject or something.

Anyways, what was I talking about? Oh, right: whiskey cake. It was good: spicy, sweet, tangy, rich, light, moist, made with love and a quarter-cup of whiskey. It was even good without butter, which was generously slathered on a few slices later--by all of us--in a Gentile act of food defiance.

*David Beckham can be seen in the post before this one.


17 comments:

Manthony said...

So glad you added butter. Its never too late.

Furtive Flatulence said...

"A spicy cloth bandage still clinging to a dusty scab" makes this goyims mouth water.

Snotty McSnotterson said...

Manthony, I added it for you; it's the baking version of pouring one out for your homie. Even when they're still living.

Snotty McSnotterson said...

I figured you would like the dusty scab.

Tobias! said...

You're a honeycake.

Snotty McSnotterson said...

You're a towel.

Anonymous said...

That's hilarious--I'm related to the Jews, and have never had a good honey cake. I will definitely try this and weigh in with my opinion! :) Oh, my mother would be offended a good five times by this post--which I consider a success!

-JAP

Snotty McSnotterson said...

Yo, JAP--you're by far my favorite acronym. :)

theNotteJoo said...

As a Jew, I'm mildly offended, but as Jew-hater (hi mom!), I'm tickled pink.

Snotty McSnotterson said...

LOL NotteJoo, I love your screen name.

Princess Consuela Bananahammock said...

I want the recipe. Not the scabby one, though. Funny thing about scabs... they aren't quite that appetizing. I know, major shock.

Snotty McSnotterson said...

Will send you the recipe, and you can make it for you non-kosher family!

Joanna said...

Damn it, Sn0tty. You're killing me here. All of this talk about cake....scabby or not.......ahhhhhh!!! My stomach is growling :)

Snotty McSnotterson said...

Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake!

Joanna said...

You know, my birthday IS coming up....and I do love dessert ;) *hint hint hint*

Snotty McSnotterson said...

I shall be making you a life-sized portrait cake of YOU. :) Maybe not, but *something* is brewing for your beeday. <3

Marko said...

We have the BEST Carrot cake at PCC that you will ever taste in your life, its like a slice of heaven, no doubt, yum!