Honey Orange Cake with Honey Cream Mascarpone Frosting with Orange Essence

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Honey is a magical, sweet and healthy food made by bees using the nectar of flowers.   Humans have been collecting honey for at least 8,000 years, as depicted in ancient cave drawings in Valencia, Spain.  The ancient Egyptians, Eurasians, Indians, Chinese, Romans and Mayans all cooked with honey.  The Hindus believed it to be one of the five elixirs of immortality.  For Jews, it symbolizes the new year.  It is mentioned multiple times in the Old and the New Testaments.  It plays a role in Buddhism.  The Qur’an has an entire chapter called the Bee, wherein the prophet Mohammed recommended honey for healing purposes.

2-DSC_0747Most importantly, it is delicious.  Really, truly delicious.

I developed this cake recipe because I had a large jar of raw honey that had begun to crystallize and I wanted to use it it.  I recommend that you purchase and use local, raw honey in your home.

This cake is very sweet with a lot of orange flavor and a subtle hint of spice from the cinnamon.  I topped it with a mascarpone cream icing that is infused with orange essence and more honey (of course) that I put together on the fly.  There is a rough approximation of the frosting that I used at the end of the cake recipe.  It may need a tiny bit of tweaking because I did not really measure…

If you are not familiar with mascarpone, it is a delicious and mild Italian soft cheese, somewhat akin to American cream cheese.  It acts like Viagra for whipped cream in that it will help it to maintain stiffness when time or other conditions will cause ordinary whipped cream to deflate.  If you haven’t got mascarpone, you can use cream cheese in a pinch. However, the flavor is not identical.  Cream cheese has more tang and lacks the subtle, nuanced sweetness of mascarpone.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 cup raw, locally produced honey
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 4 organic eggs
  • The grated zest of two oranges
  • 1 cup of fresh squeezed, organic orange juice
  • 2 and 1/2 cups organic flour
  • 3 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour a 9 x 13 baking pan, or spray it liberally with coconut oil cooking spray.

Sift the flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon together.

In a large bowl, mix sugar, honey, oil, eggs and orange zest.  Add the flour mixture alternating with the orange juice until just mixed.  Don’t beat it to death.  Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes.

Honey Cream Mascarpone Frosting with Orange Essence

In a KitchenAid mixer, beat together 2 cups organic heavy whipping cream, 8 oz mascarpone, 1/2 cup honey and 1/2 teaspoon pure orange extract until stiff peaks form.  Frost the cake generously and then refrigerate.

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