Sugar sugar: Ukrainian honey cake

First of all, exciting news: Good Food on Bad Plates is now on Instagram! At the moment we’re in the process of uploading photos from all of our international cooking adventures so far, but we’re also updating it with other experiments and extra content. You can find us at @goodfoodonbadplates

Now, moving on to today’s Ukrainian feature. We can’t be the only people to have a file of ‘to cook’ dishes: recipes that have been cut out of magazines or printed from food blogs, that looked amazing at the time but have since been relegated to the depths of the file and forgotten about. Our file is pretty sizeable and exists in a pretty kikki.k ring binder bought for us by Miranda’s sister. Some sections are full to bursting and we frequently comment that we really should have a go at some of the recipes inside, but then get distracted by a new cookbook or a new country to investigate and the ring binder goes back on the shelf, unloved.

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Well, that all changed when we hit Ukraine on our route around the world, because Miranda remembered that, some years ago, she’d saved a recipe for Ukrainian honey cake from Lincolnshire’s Good Taste magazine. The recipe had actually been reprinted from a book called Cakes From Around the World by Julie Duff, a Lincolnshire author. We were tempted to buy the book to inform our project, but the Amazon reviews are less than complimentary, and given that we found the cooking time in the recipe quite unreliable, we’ll probably leave it and just try to cook through our recipe file instead! The recipe we used – with our cooking times – is below.

Ukrainian honey cake
NB For no obvious reason, this recipe makes two loaf cakes. We therefore halved it to make one, but the recipe below is the original, for two.

Ingredients
3 large eggs
150g sugar
225g honey
125ml sunflower oil
Juice and zest of half an orange
2 tbsp plain yoghurt
450g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 160C and line two 900g loaf tins with greaseproof paper.
2. Break the eggs into a mixing bowl and add the sugar, honey, oil, orange juice and zest, and yoghurt. Beat on a low speed until smooth.
3. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger. Beat slowly until a creamy batter forms.
4. Pour the batter equally into the tins and bake for 40 minutes. If your cake is not firm to the touch at this stage (ours wasn’t), turn down the temperature to 140C and cook for a further 10-15 minutes.
5. Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack to cool.

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Please note that we have not been sponsored by Sainsbury’s and/or Tesco.

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We enjoyed this cake but probably wouldn’t rush to make it again. It smelt amazing in the oven but was a little dry on the palate, and didn’t have any wow factor. After a few days of eating it plain, we tried toasting it and spreading with a little butter, which was nice, but not nice enough to create said wow factor. It was a pleasant cake to have with a cuppa, but wouldn’t win any challenges on Bake Off! For this reason, and for the fact that we have better cakes in our repertoire, we probably won’t rush to make this one again, but wouldn’t discourage it either.

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