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Honningkage Med Smørcreme

Honningkage Med Smørcreme

Honningkager are thought to be from Christiansfeld in the southern of Denmark and started gaining popularity around 1783. For many, they are associated with Christmas but I would be perfectly happy eating them year round. A Honningkage is firm in texture, yet airy and filled with Christmas spices. I have made different versions of honey cakes here on my blog before, like Honninghjerter which was quite an adventure and the short-cut Honningkage which was very flavorful but more like a regular soft cake. For this particular Honey Cake with Buttercream I decided to add a thin layer of Apricot jam which is not traditional but I think it pairs really well with the spices in the cake. I know it is a little early but since it’s December 1st I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. 🎄

Trim edges off cake if hard, cut cake horizontally into two, spread buttercream and apricot and fold layers together, top with melted chocolate

Trim edges off cake if hard, cut cake horizontally into two, spread buttercream and apricot and fold layers together, top with melted chocolate

Honey Cake with Buttercream and Apricot (makes 15 servings)

Ingredients

For the cake:

500 gram honey (17.5 oz)

125 gram sugar (4.5 0z)

3 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 organic orange, zested

1 dl heavy whipping creme (3.4 fl oz)

2 tablespoon plain greek yogurt

2 teaspoon Ammonium Bicarbonate (called Hjortetaksalt in Danish)

500 gram all-purpose flour (17.5 oz)

For the Buttercream:

130 gram butter, room temperature

130 gram confectioners sugar

Additional:

145 g Apricot jam (5 oz)

120 gram semi-sweet chocolate (4.2 oz)

Directions:

To make cake:

Lightly grease a 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 centimeter) baking pan and line with parchment paper so the paper is overhanging the sides. Preheat oven to 320 degrees F (160 degrees C).

Combine honey and sugar in a small saucepan and heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool until “finger warm”.

Beat eggs, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, orange zest, whipping cream and yogurt until combined. Add cooled honey mixture and beat until combined. Sift together flour and Ammonium Bicarbonate, then add flour to egg mixture and stir until fully incorporated and smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 60 minutes or until done, careful not to over bake. Check for doneness by using a toothpick, it should come out clean when cake is done. Allow cake to cool completely before assembling.

To make buttercream:

Make sure butter is at room temperature. Cream butter and confectioners sugar together until smooth and creamy.

Assembly:

If cake edges feel hard, trim them off using a serrated knife. Cut cake horizontally into two layers and place them both cut-side-up, side-by-side. Stir apricot jam to loosen it up and spread jam out over bottom cake layer evenly. Spread buttercream out over top cake layer, flip it over and place top cake layer on top of bottom cake layer so buttercream and apricot are now together in the middle.

Chop chocolate coarsely and place in a microwave safe bowl. Melt chocolate in microwave, stopping every 10 seconds to stir and check to see if chocolate is melted completely. Spread melted chocolate out over top of cake and allow to set before cutting cake. If desired, trim edges off cake using a serrated knife. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Alletiders Kogebog

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Honninghjerte

Honninghjerte

Honninghjerter has a special place in my heart. I remember as a child always starring at the hearts in the store and it was a special occation when I was allowed to get one. The hearts are sold only at Christmas time and they are decorated with a glansbillede which were very popular in Denmark when I was growing up. All the girls in my class would collect glansbilleder and we would trade them with each other, so making these Honey Hearts brought back a lot of wonderful memories.

Making Pre-dough, melt honey and mix with flour, store dough for 1 month.
To break up Pre-dough, carefully chip dough into small pieces using the tip of your knife.

Honninghjerter is typically not a Christmas cookie or cake that you bake at home for Christmas, perhaps because it is a rather lengthy process to make them. It is only in the past few years that they have become popular to make and I have seen them on different Danish food blogs. What I found was a lack of description and direction on the details on how to make them. For example, what is the best way to break up the very hard Pre-dough and there were no descriptions anywhere of how big the hearts should be, when cut out. So this has really been a trail and error ordeal, but the hearts turned out wonderful and they tasted just like I remember them, like Christmas 😀

Mixing dough can be a rough ride, chop Pre-dough into small pieces to make mixing easier. Image #2 is dough after 3 minutes of mixing, image #3 is dough after 6 minutes of mixing. Dough will be very sticky.

Mixing dough can be a rough ride, chop Pre-dough into small pieces to make mixing easier. Image #2 is dough after 3 minutes of mixing, image #3 is dough after 6 minutes of mixing. Dough will be very sticky.

Making Honninghjerter is a very long process. If you want them ready for Christmas, you should make the Pre-dough around mid November. The Pre-dough should rest for 1 month but you can probably get away with less, if you get a late start. The Pre-dough will get very hard after a month of resting, and this is normal. I found the best way to break up the hard dough is by carefully inserting the tip of a sharp knife and twist the knife to break loose the dough. The smaller the pieces, the easier it will be to mix everything up later, so feel free to give the dough a quick chop after it’s broken up.

Dough will be very sticky, use plenty of flour for rolling.

Using a cookie cutter will save you time. My pre-baked hearts were 11 cm wide (4.3 inches) which were a little too big. Note: dough will spread out quite a bit during baking. When rolling the dough it will be very sticky, use plenty of flour for rolling.

As for the size of the hearts I didn’t know what size cookie cutter to buy, so I simply just cut a template out of paper and cut them out with a knife (which turned out to be very time consuming). My pre-baked hearts measured 11 cm wide (4.3 inch) but grew quite a bit during baking to 15 cm wide (5.9 inch). The hearts are suppose to be big but I thinks mine turned out jumbo 🙂 so I would recommend scaling them down a bit.

After baking the heart will be a little hard. They now need to rest with a moist towel in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. This is how I did it without the towel resting directly on the hearts.

After baking, the heart will be a little hard. They now need to rest with a moist towel in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. This is how I did it without the towel resting directly on the hearts.

Honninghjerter – Honey Hearts (makes 13 large)

Ingredients:

Pre-dough: (made 1 month ahead)

500 gram honey

500 gram all-purpose flour

Directions for Pre-dough:

Pour honey in a small cooking pot and heat to 40-50 degrees Celsius (104-122 degrees Fahrenheit). Combine warm honey and flour until a smooth mass, place into a container and seal with lid. Store container in a cool, dry place for a minimum of 1 month. The honey pre-dough will get very hard, which is alright. It will soften up again later in the recipe.

Honninghjerter dough:

2 egg yolks

10 gram hjortetaksalt

10 gram potaske

1 tablespoon water

Pre-dough, chopped into small pieces

5 gram ground cinnamon (approx 1 small tablespoon)

5 gram ground ginger (approx 1 small tablespoon)

5 gram ground cloves (approx 1 small tablespoon)

200 gram dark chocolate (for decorating)

Directions for Honninghjerter:

The Pre-dough will now be very hard. Take a sharp knife and carefully start chipping away at the hard dough. Put tip of knife into dough and give a twist to break up the dough little by little. Smaller pieces of honey dough will make your work easier later on, so if you have big chunks, chop them smaller.

Mix egg yolks with hjortetaksalt, set aside. Stir potaske into water until completely dissolved, set aside. Place pre-dough pieces into the bowl of a stand-mixer (the mixing can also be done by hand but will require a lot of muscle). Add egg mixture and potaske mixture to dough. Add cinnamon, ginger and ground cloves. Start mixer on low for 3 minutes, it will be a rough ride. Increase speed to high and mix for another 3 minutes, dough will now become smooth and very sticky.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit). Line baking sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle paper lightly with flour, set aside.

Sprinkle a very generous layer of flour onto your work surface and scrap dough out onto floured surface (using a wooden spoon works really well for scraping out the sticky dough). Sprinkle more flour on top of dough and give a quick knead. Roll dough out to 4 mm thickness (0.15 inch), sprinkle more flour as needed. Press or cut out heart shapes, using a spatula, place hearts onto baking sheets leaving 5 cm  (2 inches) distance between hearts. Repeat rolling of scrap dough and cutting out hearts until dough is used up. Bake hearts for 8-10 minutes. Test for doneness by gently pressing a finger into center of heart, when done it should spring back and not leave a finger imprint.

Storing hearts: Allow hearts to cool completely. Using a pastry brush, remove excess flour from bottom of each heart. At this point the hearts will be quite hard and they now need to soften up for a couple of days in the refrigerator. Place hearts in a container with a moist clean towel. I did this by lining a box with plastic, place hearts inside box, then one of my cooling racks and then the moist towel. The rack just prevents the moist towel from resting directly on the hearts. Seal container and store in refrigerator for 3-4 days. After the four days, continue to store hearts in refrigerator in a regular contain, but without the moist towel. Hearts can last for over a month in refrigerator. Note: remove only the hearts that you need, brush with melted chocolate and enjoy the same day. Glædelig Jul and Merry Christmas.

Honninghjerte

Honninghjerte

Source: Claus Meyer

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Honningkage

Honningkage

I bought a package of Dr. Oetker Honningkage spice mix which I have been wanting to try out for quite some time now. The cake turned out very delicious and it was super easy to make. It brought back childhood memories of a wonderful Honningkage that my mother used to make, I’ll have to ask her if she still has that recipe. The spice package is a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice and baking soda so it is a really nice combination of spices. I topped the cake with a little glaze of confectioners sugar and water, which gave it a nice sweet contrast. So if you come across a package of Dr. Oetker Honningkage spice mix, give it a try, it’s really very easy to make and delicious. (Wow, that almost sounded like a commercial, it not though, just a personal recommedation 🙂 )

Honningkage – Honey Cake (makes 2 small or 1 large loaf)

Ingredients:

100 grams butter (or 3.5 oz)

1 1/2 deciliter sugar (or 145 grams or 5.1 oz)

1 deciliter honey (150 grams or 5.3 oz)

1 egg

1 deciliter buttermilk (4 liquid oz or 1/2 liquid cup)

4 deciliter all-purpose flour (235 grams or 8.2 oz)

1 package (15 grams) Dr. Oetker Honningkage spice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 150 degrees C (300 degrees F). Spray your baking pan of choice with baking spray and set aside. I used 2 small 7 x 2.5 x 1.8 inch pans (approx 17.5 x 6 x 4.5 cm). Melt butter, sugar and honey in a small saucepan, remove from heat and let it cool down a little. Beat egg and buttermilk together. Mix honningkage spice package in with the flour. Add honey mixture and flour to the buttermilk in alternating increments. Beat until incorporated, do not over-mix. Pour into baking pan and bake in center of oven for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. If desired you can serve cake with glasur (mix confectioners sugar with a small amount of cold water). Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Dr. Oetker Honningkage spice package

Honningkage Spice Package

Honningkage Spice Package

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