Honey Roll Cake

by mutteringhousewife

Back in the Seventies, when I was a nipper, baked goods either came from adding water to the contents of a packet, or from the bakery. In my case, Bertoldo’s Bakery. Our favourite ever cake from there was the inaccurately named Honey Roll. The Women’s Weekly cookbook Sweet Old-fashioned Favourites has a terrific recipe for it, and I made it today for the cake stall at the Great Fair at the Muffet’s school tomorrow.

Except I can’t do a roll. I’ve tried. I’ve failed numerous times, it always breaks. I need someone to actually demonstrate, and don’t direct me to YouTube, I don’t like watching video on the computer, it’s just a thing. So I make this one as a filled cake.

Cream together 60 grams of butter and three quarters of a cup of golden syrup. Mix in one and a quarter cups of plain flour and a teaspoon of baking powder. Also mix in teaspoons of ginger, one teaspoon of cinnamon, three quarters of a teaspoon of ground nutmeg and a quarter of a teaspoon of ground cloves. I keep the cloves and nutmeg whole and grind them as needed. I grate the nutmeg with a Microplane and the cloves in really small quantities in the trusty old coffee grinder. I don’t use cloves much. Stir in two eggs. Mix one teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda with a quarter of a cup of boiling water and stir it into the cake batter.

I’ve tried making one large cake and slicing in half and making two thin cakes, and I prefer the latter, especially as I do have twin round cake tins. It will be much neater if you grease the two tins, but I wasn’t in the mood, so lined them rather carelessly with baking paper. It doesn’t really matter if you don’t get it exactly even. Bake them until they’re really quite dark, about twenty minutes at 180 degrees, but do test them with a skewer.

Meanwhile you do the challenging bit. I don’t know if you’ve had a honey roll, but it’s filled with a delicious confection that isn’t cream. You could whip some cream until it’s very stiff with some icing sugar and sandwich the cake with that, but it wouldn’t be right. You should really make Washed Mock Cream.

Beat together 125 grams of sweet butter, 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence, a tablespoon of honey and half a cup of caster sugar. Beat it good. I have done this with hand held beater, but I am enjoying it more with the KitchenAid. Don’t try it with a fork, seriously. When it’s light and fluffy, cover the mix with cold water.

Shake it for a minute, then drain the water off. Beat again. Rinse and repeat until you’ve done it six times and the mix is nearly white. In the middle of the process is will look like cottage cheese.

You need to beat it fairly severely towards the end to get it to coalesce again, it will be about the texture of cream cheese, still spreadable. Squash it onto the bottom cake, it will be a thick layer.

Snuggle the top cake onto the cream. Dust the top liberally with desiccated coconut, press it down with your hand, it should stick a little.

It has been boxed and delivered and I’m experiencing that hollow feeling of having sent a cake to a cake stall and never knowing what’s going to happen to it. What will they charge for it? Will it sell quickly? Will its new owner enjoy it? I should have written on the box that it keeps well and like most spice cakes is even better after a couple of days. I’m over thinking it, aren’t I.