I’m so excited to share the recipe for this Milk and honey cake with you today. It’s about a very special birthday (four years of blogging!), a layered sponge cake filled with plum mousse and The Bibby’s Kitchen Cookbook. So much to celebrate! Yes, there’s a cookbook in the pipeline and it’s going to be filled with beautiful food that’ll make cooking and eating, an absolute joy. You know the feeling when you’ve been sitting on a secret so huge but you’re sworn to silence? That’s been me the past year, processing the enormity of it and frantically cooking my way through hundreds of recipes, making sure that only the best ones make it onto the pages.
I started this blog 4 years ago, not quite sure in which direction it’ll go or the commitment required to build a successful food blog. It’s taken me on many turns, some not so good and others, beautiful, rewarding and surprising, but all necessary for defining goals and positive growth. Which brings me to the book deal….
There’s so much more to writing a book than one could ever imagine. Most days, the cooking starts at 4am and by 11pm I’m still in the same get up, my pj’s. I’m thinking of calling the book, Cooking in Pyjamas! Jokes aside. I’d love to hear what kind of recipes you’d be excited to see in the book and some suggestions for a catchy book title. Let me know in the comments section below.
Now for the cake. My very first blog post was this Raspberry cake, so I thought we’d celebrate the blog’s 4th birthday with another cake, a sort of naked milk and honey cake. It’s based on a hot milk sponge recipe and couldn’t be easier. If you’re looking for a cake that bakes in under 30 minutes, this is it. I’ve flavoured the sponge with honey and it’s just lovely paired with the plum mousse filling. I usually make double the quantity mousse and serve it as dessert, with hot roasted plums. Very summery. If all the fillings, frosting and drizzles are too much of a bother, layer the cake with freshly whipped cream and top with summer berries.
Milk and honey cake
4 eggs, at room temperature
180g castor sugar
60ml (1/4 cup) honey
5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
300g (2 cups) cake wheat flour (all-purpose)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
250ml (1 cup) milk
125g (1/2 cup ) butter
Plum mousse Filling
125ml (1/2 cup) fresh cream
45ml (3 tablespoons) castor sugar
5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
1 gelatine sheet, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes
125 g (1/2 cup) creme fraiche
90g (1/3 cup) plum jam
60g butter, (1/4 cup) softened
120g (2/3 cup) icing sugar, sifted
80g white chocolate, chopped
30ml (2 tablespoons) full cream milk
a drop of pink food colouring
Preheat the oven to 180º C. Grease and line 3 x 20cm round cake tins.
Place the eggs, castor sugar, honey and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until pale and thick. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and beat to incorporate.
Heat the milk and butter in a saucepan. Once the butter has melted and tiny bubbles break the surface, remove from the heat. With the mixer running, slowly add the hot milk to the batter and beat on a low speed just until the milk is incorporated.
Divide the batter between the tins and bake for 18-20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before icing.
For the filling, soak heat the gelatine sheet in cold water for 5 minutes. In a small saucepan, heat the cream and castor sugar. Once the milk is hot and the sugar dissolved, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and add to the cream. Whisk until dissolved. Set the cream aside to cool.
In a mixing bowl, combine the creme fraiche and 3/4 of the plum jam. Add the cooled cream and stir to combine. Cover and chill until firm, about 3 hours.
Spread half the plum filling over the first cake layer. Lay the 2nd cake layer on top, spread with the remaining plum jam and filling. Place the 3rd cake layer on top.
For the frosting, beat the butter and icing sugar together until light and pale, about 5 minutes. Cover the top and sides of the cake, sparingly, scraping most of the sides off to show the cake beneath.
To make the drizzle, place the chocolate, milk and food colouring in small bowl. Heat for about 30-40 seconds in the microwave. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with fresh flowers.