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
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.