Ok world of mummies, I need some feedback. It appears my child is either a) broken or b) has been swapped out (by the good witch) with a child that sleeps well. You see for the last three years since his birth, my son has never been a good sleeper. He has always taken a decade to fall asleep and I have collapsed at the end of every bed time with major frustration and exhaustion. But for the last nine days in a row, this ‘fairy’ child has been asleep within 15 minutes of getting into his jammies. It is 7.30 pm on a monday night, after a long day in work and I am sitting here writing a blog post. This is unheard of!!!! It is a whole new world for me.
Now while it could be a total random phase (please god let it not be just a phase), and I will ride it for as long as I can or for some unknown reason something has shifted and I now have something that resembles me time and after doing the routine end of day tidy up, I still have some time to actually, you know, do something. I am not used to this. Has anyone else experienced this? Any words of wisdom???
Last week my dad (known as Umpy to Alexander) came to visit. I got a whole load of Greek loot which I am delighted with. Lemons from our garden, saffron, Greek olive oil and 6 (not 1 or 2 or 4 but 6) litre jars of Corfiot honey. I tell you this stuff is liquid gold! This honey comes from Old Perithia, a little abandoned ghost village in the mountains of Corfu. And the Honey is made by Tomas, a man who’s restaurant in Old Peritihia is a family favourite. Umpy’s only request with this special honey was that we make Greek honey cake and I blog about it. Who am I to deny this wish. I mean, me, baking, cake and blogging about it, perfect match!
While traditional Greek honey cake is almost swimming in a pool of honey sauce, this recipe, is a little more in line with what works for us here. More cake, less sauce but still a great flavour. It is very simple, but that is the point. You are meant to taste the sweetness of the amazing honey and the underlying flavour of walnut and gentle spice. One of the people I work with, Ian, my friend if he doesn’t mind me calling him so, said it was one of my best bakes yet. This meant a lot to me. So thank you Ian!
But I cannot take credit for it. Umpy and Alexander did the making of the cake. I instructed and they made it. It seems they are natural born bakers.
GREEK HONEY CAKE
This cake is sweet, light, fluffy and nutty and just yum! And forget the cream, serve this with a dollop of thick Greek yogurt on the side.
- 115 g butter, softened
- 135 g golden caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 60 ml full fat milk
- 60 ml thick greek yogurt, the Tesco’s own brand is far better than any other available in Ireland
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 190 g self raising flour
- 50 g walnut halves, chopped
- 120 ml good quality honey
- 120 ml water
- zest of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
Heat the oven to 180 C or 350 F.
Line the bottom of an 8 inch loose bottomed cake tin with baking paper and spray the sides with non stick spray. I use a deep cake tin for this as it helps prevent the crown from overcooking.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Fold in half the nuts and set aside.
Now mix together the milk and greek yogurt and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, until it has become paler and fluffy.
Add one egg at a time and continue to beat in between each addition.
Add one half of the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar and fold together with a spatula.
Add half of the milk/yogurt and fold in again until just incorporated.
Add in the remaining dry ingredients and fold in again. And lastly add the remaining milk/yogurt mix and mix gently with the spatula.
Pour the mix into your prepared tin. Scatter with the remaining chopped walnuts, pop into the oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
Take out of the oven and cool in the tin.
For the honey glaze, melt the honey, water, lemon juice and lemon zest in a small saucepan.
Take a large piece of clingfilm and place the cake tin on it. Wrap the clingfilm around the sides of the cake tin. This prevents any of the honey liquid seeping out.
Prick the top of the cake (yes while still in the tin) with a fork and pour the glaze over very slowly. I actually use a soup spoon to slowly ladle it over the cake. Use all the glaze. Allow to sit in the tin to soak up all that beautiful juice for at least an hour (and if you can wait, even 2 hours).
Remove from the cake tin. Slice and serve!