I have a summer cold. Yes, I was legitimately walking around sniffling in 70-something degree weather. And instead of popsicles, I’m sucking on cough drops. And I am that nose-blower in the library. I dislike summer colds. To make matters worse, the guy next to me is listening to Ke$ha’s “Blow” so loudly I can hear it through his earphones and through the music blasting from my earphones. Blo-o-o-o-o-o-o-ow. Yeah, dude, not everyone here needs to hear that. For one, Lupe Fiasco needs his space in my head.
So I basically don’t know any of Lupe’s songs besides this one (stop judging me, I am putting in honest effort to broaden my musical horizons, okay?), but his song “The Show Goes On” is sort of my personal anthem right now. This is “that song”. The song I listen to every night before falling asleep, the song I wake up to, and the song that I listen to when I walk to work. It’s an inspiring song that everyone should listen to.
I am way too hooked on this song (I’ve already lost track of how many times I’ve pressed the replay button). Time to go on shuffle, iPod!
Fast forward a few hours. I am now sitting on my front lawn watching the unimpressive sunset through the gray clouds that Seattle always seems to have an excess of (by the time I publish this, it’ll probably be nighttime already). What am I hearing? Wind, bees, and Muse. “Resistance” has some sort of eerie quality that seems to bring me to tears every single time I hear it. Oh and the guys from the cul-de-sac who like to zoom through the neighborhood in their Range Rover. Vroom.
And bees again. Being the un-botanist I am, I am unable to identify that shrub with proliferating bright pink flowers that is attracting bees from every hive within a one-mile radius (or so it seems). But the bees are kindly people who go along their own ways, collecting pollen and such, and don’t bother stinging a Big Friendly Giant like myself. Thanks, bees! Much appreciated.
Ah..wind chimes. But where are the lawn mowers that I wake up to? And the noisy children running around drawing chalk hopscotch on my driveway? Switching songs. Time for “Dreams” by Cranberries. Remember that song from “You’ve Got Mail”? And if you are going to sit there and tell me you have not watched “You’ve Got Mail”, I will force feed it to you and consequently infiltrate your mind with that song on replay. And then you will envy Meg Ryan with me and drool over her adorable smile and those twinkly blue eyes.
Wow I am the queen of digression. Summer colds to Lupe Fiasco to Meg Ryan’s eyes. I can’t believe my readers (aka you) put up with this. Now the good part…the recipe.
Majestic and Moist Honey Cake
From Smitten Kitchen
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup honey
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup warm coffee or strong tea
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup rye or whiskey
1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds (optional)
Fits in three loaf pans, two 9-inch square or round cake pans, one 9 or 10 inch tube or bundt cake pan, or one 9 by 13 inch sheet cake. I made mine in two full-size loaf pans plus two miniature ones.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease pan(s) with non-stick cooking spray. For tube or angel food pans, line the bottom with lightly greased parchment paper, cut to fit.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Make a well in the center, and add oil, honey, white sugar, brown sugars, eggs, vanilla, coffee or tea, orange juice and rye or whiskey, if using. (If you measure your oil before the honey, it will be easier to get all of the honey out.)
Using a strong wire whisk or in an electric mixer on slow speed, stir together well to make a thick, well-blended batter, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom.
Spoon batter into prepared pan(s). Sprinkle top of cake(s) evenly with almonds, if using. Place cake pan(s) on two baking sheets, stacked together (this will ensure the cakes bake properly with the bottom baking faster than the cake interior and top).
Bake until cake tests done, that is, it springs back when you gently touch the cake center. For angel and tube cake pans, this will take 60 to 75 minutes, loaf cakes, about 45 to 55 minutes. For sheet style cakes, baking time is 40 to 45 minutes.
Let cake stand fifteen minutes before removing from pan.