(Israeli Jewish honey cake)
This spiced honey cake is a traditional dessert during Rosh Hashanah when sweet dishes symbolize a sweet New Year on the Jewish calendar.
Lekach is a Yiddish word of unclear etymology. It may be derived from the ancient Aramaic lekhakh for "to mix well." Or it could come from חֵלֶק, the Hebrew word for "portion."
4 to 6 servings
- Flour -- 3 1/2 cups
- Baking powder -- 1 1/2 teaspoons
- Baking soda -- 1/2 teaspoon
- Cinnamon -- 1 teaspoon
- Allspice -- 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- Honey -- 1 cup
- Strong coffee, cooled -- 1/2 cup
- Vegetable oil -- 2 tablespoons
- Eggs -- 4
- Brown sugar -- 1 cup
- Chopped walnuts or almonds -- 3/4 cup
- Raisins, soaked in warm water and drained -- 3/4 cup
- Brandy or rum (optional) -- 3 tablespoons
- Preheat oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the honey, coffee and oil. Set both aside.
- Add the eggs and brown sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until light and foamy, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add about 1/3 of the flour mixer, allowing it to incorporate fully. Next add half of the honey-mixture, once again allowing it to be fully incorporated. Continue with another 1/3 of the flour mixture, the remaining honey mixture and finish with the remaining flour.
- Remove the mixer bowl and gently fold in the walnuts, soaked raisins and brandy with a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Pour the batter into a greased and floured loaf pan or a 9-inch round, square or Bundt-style cake pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cake to a counter and cool completely before removing from the pan. Cut into slices and serve with hot coffee.
- Instead of raisins, use currants or chopped, candied fruit.
- Soak the raisins in the brandy instead of water and just add the raisins to the batter without draining them.
- Substitute apple juice for the coffee.
- Add the zest of one orange for extra flavor.