Have you ever sort of forgotten a cookbook that was one time a favorite? Well, that is what happened to me - before the Barefoot Contessa, there was Marcia Adams. I ADORED her. This intelligent, articulate, down to earth woman collected heirloom recipes across the country. She wrote several cookbooks and had her own program on public television. Not only did I hang on her every word, but I recieved her cookbook Marcia Adams' Heirloom Recipes for Christmas 1996. Every recipe I tried was a winner, and I so loved her interesting narratives. Here is her blog.
But gradually as I added more cookbooks to my collection, discovered the Food Network, and an overwhelming amount of food ideas online, Marcia got just a bit forgotten. Not very nice of me, I know. I got thinking about her for some reason yesterday and did an internet search, only to learn that she had passed away at age 75 this past Febuary. And I felt awful.
So with Brooke coming to dinner tonight to celebrate her birthday, I knew I had to break out the old cookbook and remind myself why Marcia was so special. Dinner was Jonathan chicken - chicken, apples, tarragon, flaming brandy (almost burned down the kitchen), and cream. Scrumptious. And for dessert, honey stack cake.
1 stick butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup honey
1 tbsp. butter
Freshly whipped cream
Chopped walnuts (my family doesn't go for nuts so I omitted them)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of an 8 inch pan with parchment paper and grease both the paper and sides of pan. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar for 3 minutes. Add the egg yolks one at a time and beat 1 minute. Wisk dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Combine milk and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients to butter and sugar alternately with the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes or until the top is golden. Cool the cake for 10 minutes then turn onto cooling rack. Cool completely.
For the syrup: Combine the honey with the butter in a small deep saucepan and simmer over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.
After the cake has cooled, split into two layers. Spread the bottom layer with the whipped cream and place the second layer on top. Drizzle with half the honey syrup, top with walnuts, and drizzle with other half of syrup. Cover and refridgerate.
I did mine a bit differently. I drizzed the bottom half with some syrup and then the whipped cream and repeated the process with the top.
This cake is unbelievably delicious, but kind of underwhelming in appearance. I felt the need to bling it up a little.
Mu ha ha! Sugar, water, and corn syrup boiled until amber in color and then swirled onto the cake and in crazy designs on parchment paper.
Gently placed into the whipped cream, the sugar gives this short cake some height and drama. Tastes like the topping to creme brulee. Need I say more? My kids claimed this cake to be the best tasting EVER. Dense, rich, but not overly sweet. Run to your kitchens and try this cake!
So here is my homage to the wonderful Marcia Adams. And this is one incredible cake.
I am linking with these fun parties:
Feathered Nest Friday
Chic on a Shoestring
My Romantic Home
House of Hepworths
Between Naps on the Porch