I can't say it enough. I love honey and I am obviously addicted to the stuff. Liquid gold people! Liquid gold! This is truly what honey is. I mean come on! It comes from an insect. An insect that flies and stings and can go all crazy on you in a minute.
Trust me. This I do know. Many of you know that I am a bona fide beekeeper. However I have a confession. I have been a bad beekeeper. I say this with a truly sad face. No emoticons needed here. You see, I keep what is known as Russian bees. Not usually a docile group (as say the Italian bees) however, they have been decent with me and I have had no worries.
This past Summer has been crazy with them. They decided they didn't like their queen (BOTH hives at the same time!) and kicked her out. This happens. However, what usually doesn't happen with other breeds is that when Russians raise their own queen, if it is a third generation queen or higher, it can make the hive really nasty. Truly nasty as in walk by and I'll sting your butt nasty. As in you can't get into your car after an inspection for over 15 minutes because they won't leave you alone nasty. Yeah... I've had a dilemmaon my hands to say the least.
Only thing I can do is re-queen. However, since their population is so high, I will have to wait until the Spring because I can't find that queen to save my life! So, needless to say, I haven't gone in as much as I normally would this past Summer. Bad. Bad bee keeper. Things will get better I tell myself. However, as lame as it sounds, I feel like a part of me is failing them. I know they are fine, but I just can't keep feeling as if I am being a bad mama.
Yet, let's be honest here. That hasn't stopped me from enjoying the fruit's of their labor one bit! I have been enjoying using the honey in all sorts of concoctions (with more recipes to come!) and don't forget about the give away that is still going on here at Gastronome Tart. Once we reach 100 followers over on Facebook a winner will be picked at random for a jar of my artisanal honey that can be enjoyed at your home! Pass on the word and trust me, my honey is the bomb diggitty. This I can assure you. Enjoy!
This makes for a very dense cake. Almost like a poundcake. It can be made several days in advance and covered at room temperature. Frost the cake just before serving. The stronger the honey the more honey taste will come through. My honey was perfect for that! :)
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living Cookbook The Originals
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
2 cups sifted all -purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees with a rack in the center. Butter an 8x8x2 inch baking pan. Line with parchment paper; butter and flour the paper, taping out the excess flour. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and nutmeg, and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla and set aside.
2. In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium high until fluffy and light, scraping down the sides as needed, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and honey; beat the mixture until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the egg mixture a few tablespoons at a time, beating well for 2-3 minutes after each addition. Raise the speed to high, and beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until very thick and light in color about 4-5 minutes.
4. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, beating just to combine after each addition. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
5. Bake until the cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40-50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack for 5 minutes to cool and then turn the cake out of the pan, and place on the wire rack, top-side up, to cool completely. Remove the parchment paper.
6. Transfer to a serving platter. Using an offset spatula, spread the frosting evenly over the top of the cake and serve.
Honey Cream-Cheese Frosting
1 8-oz package cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium until light and fluffy about 2 minutes. Add the honey; beat until smooth about 1 minute. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered until needed.