Orange Blossom Honey Cake with Fresh Blueberries
The strangest thing happened on my way to ordering new chefs jackets; I discovered the most amazing honey I've ever eaten. You see, Jeff and I have been doing a lot of TV appearances recently to promote our book. I decided that my old worn out chocolate covered chefs jackets just weren't going to cut it on HDTV and so I decided to splurge on some new ones. I consulted a few friends and found they were unanimous on where to go shopping; Crooked Brook. As I placed my order, the owner of the company asked me if I'd like to try some of their honey. This isn't just any honey, it is artisan honey. Made by bees that are so carefully watched that the producers know what flowers are in every jar. They even pack up these bees to vacation in Florida so they can create honey from orange blossoms. It is pure, organic and raw, so all of the nutrients of the honey is preserved. This is the stuff I get very excited about. This cake recipe was inspired by these bees and their fabulous honey. I got the recipe from Emily Luchetti's Four-Star Desserts: 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1 cup orange blossom honey or any you happen to have on hand. Just remember that it is the star of this dessert so pick one that really shines. 4 large eggs, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 teaspoon lemon zest 3 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon ground mace (I used nutmeg instead, forgot to replenish my mace. It was still wonderful!) 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 cups blueberries (Try to use the tiny wild blueberries if you can find them, which I could not.) Preheat your oven to 350° and prepare a Bundt Pan with butter and flour. Set the bundt pan aside. Cream together the butter, sugar and honey on medium high speed until light in color and texture. Slowly add the eggs, lemon juice and zest. Mix until smooth. The mixture will be very wet at this point. Add the flour, baking powder, mace and salt with the machine on low. Mix until it is all well combined, but no more. Remove from machine and fold the blueberries into the batter with a spatula. Spread the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Smooth out the top. Bake for about 55 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool the cake on a rack for 15 minutes and then unmold. My bundt pan was a gift from my brother's girlfriend Katherine. It belonged to her grandmother and is a real treasure. It is copper and has a ring on the side that I believe was meant for hanging it on the wall, but it is perfect for lifting the pan off of the cake as well. Finally I brushed the entire cake with the lavender simple syrup I had left over from my lime-lavender granita. Emily has you melting 1/2 cup of honey and 1 tablespoon of lemon to brush over the cake, but I thought the addition of lavender would be wonderful. Serve at room temperature. If you refrigerate the cake make sure you bring it back to room temperature before serving. Wearing one of my new chefs jackets from Crooked Brook on WFLA with the host Lindsay.