I have always found middle eastern cooking mysterious, intriguing and exciting. There are more spices than I could ever imagine, an extensive array of unexplored ingredients and a lot of history and meaning behind all the dishes.
My curiosity for middle eastern cuisine started early on at my University in a class called ‘gastronomic culture of Europe’ in which we all had to make an investigation about the cuisine and culture of a European country; I got Turkey which of course seemed strange to me because although part of it is located in Europe it’s culture, cuisine, religion and traditions are more middle eastern that they are European.
I had never really thought about turkish cuisine up until that point so I started reading an infinite amount of articles online, buying more cookbooks than I will ever need (although I don’t think there is such thing as ‘too many cookbooks’) and cooking too many turkish recipes which was of course the best part. I made falafel which is one of my favorite dishes nowadays, dolma, hummus and a treat of honeyed perfection: Baklava.
This is when my love for middle eastern cuisine started…
Since the weather is chilling up a little in Mexico City I wanted to make a cake worthy to have on a rainy-chilly afternoon accompanied by a large cup of hot tea and a really good book so I remembered my first semester at culinary school and all the flavors I had tried and discovered.
This cake brings me back to that moment…
As in most my baking recipes I reduced the amount of sugar in the cake because I like my food to be as simple as possible. I loved how the honey cake turned out, it’s moist, fluffy and very aromatic. I topped it off with some mascarpone whipped cream with cardamom and I finished it with some fresh ripe figs and toasted pistachios.
My culinary exploration has just started and it’s not going away soon…
- For the honey cake:
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp cardamom
- 1 cup honey
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup coffee
- 3 eggs
- For the mascarpone cream:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 cup fresh figs
- ½ cup toasted salted pistachos, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C
- In a stand mixer bowl combine dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cardamom and whisk with paddle attachment.
- In another bowl combine dry ingredients: Honey, oil, sugar, eggs and coffee.
- With the mixer running on low combine wet into dry ingredientes slowly until they are fully incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into baking pan (previously buttered and floured) and bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when insterted into the middle of the cake.
- For the mascarpone cream:
- In a stand mixer whip cream until soft peaks (start with cold cream and chill the bowl of mixer previously for better results). Add mascarpone and mix until fully incorporated. Add cardamom and powdered sugar slowly until fully combined. Set aside.
- Top the cake with some mascarpone cream and finish it with some pistachios and figs.