Seven years ago, when I was doing my university exchange in Germany, I made a short trip to Prague, in the Czech Republic.
I remember meeting up with a couple of other friends from my university who were studying in Prague, and us crossing Charles bridge and doing a bunch of other touristy things like standing in front of the big astronomical clock in the main plaza while it chimed.
And while Prague is a beautiful city that justifies postcard pictures, what I remembered most about the Czech capital is this – a honey cake that I tried in an underground café – one that never left my memory.
This is typical of my travels though, that when I leave a place after visiting, what remains is really the tastes and food of the culture – whether it be teriyaki eel and rice in Japan, spicy steamboat in China, or dim sum in Hong Kong – the food that I’ve tried there is what remains in my memory, long after the pretty views have been forgotten.
For years, I’d been thinking about the honey cake – it was made with honey, cream and nuts, if my memory serves me right.
It was a lovely combination of all things gastronomically delicious, and this delectable delight is something I’ve been trying to re-create, but to no avail.
Sometime last year, I stumbled onto a recipe for a honey cake – one that originates in the Greek island of Sifnos actually, and upon seeing the recipe, all my memories of Prague came flooding right back. While this was a cake that was made of mostly honey and ricotta, unlike the one in Prague, the fact that it was a honey cake was enough to make me bookmark the recipe.
It’s weird that I’d never gotten around to trying the recipe until only this year.
And last weekend, when the urge to eat honey cake struck me again, I pulled out the recipe, determined to make give my taste buds a sweet treat.
You guys, I have to tell you that this is really one of the best cakes I’ve made, ever. I promise.
I love that it’s oozing with the taste of natural honey, and that it has so much texture because of the ricotta cheese. Sprinkle a bit of ground cinnamon over, and then eat it with some walnuts at the side.
So incredibly good. So ridiculously tasty.
While it wasn’t exactly the same as the honey cake that I had in Prague (because it uses ricotta instead of cream), it was just so satisfying.
If you’re like me, and have a weakness for the taste of honey, I have a huge suspicion that you’ll love it pretty much.
Why don’t you do me a favor and try it for yourself? Then let me know what you think!
GRAIN-FREE HONEY RICOTTA CAKE
Barely adapted from: Culinary Flavors
1) 1kg of ricotta cheese
2) 1 cup of honey
3) 3/4 cup of sugar
4) 6 eggs
5) 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
6) 3 tablespoons of tapioca flour/arrowroot flour
7) 1/3 teaspoon of baking powder
8) Ground cinnamon and walnuts, for garnish
1) Pre-heat oven to 350 deg Fahrenheit (175 deg Cel)
2) Grease a square or rectangle oven-proof pan very well
3) In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, honey, and sugar, and whisk well until well-combined
4) Add in the cinnamon and eggs one by one, whisking well after the addition of each egg
5) Add in the tapioca flour and baking powder, and mix well until you get a well-combined batter (the more you mix, the better so the batter becomes as smooth as possible)
6) Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake for 1 hour or until the middle of the cake becomes firm (test by pressing the middle of the cake gentlly with the back of a ladle).
7) Once cooked, let the cake cool for at least an hour, then chill it in the fridge for at least one hour before slicing
8) To serve, sift ground cinnamon over a slice of honey ricotta cake, and garnish with walnuts