A few months again I seriously considered going on a food tour of Morocco. You know the ones where a guide takes you from place to place sampling the cuisine, a cooking class is throw into the mix and, for the really fancy tours, you are treated to a “traditional” home cooked meal. The classic route for the lazy tourist who wants to fool themselves into thinking they aren’t being touristy. I so badly wanted to go and be one of those delusional tourists, but my aversion to heat kept me away (thank you parents for pale skin that burns after five minutes in the sun). Until 200 SPF sunscreen is developed, I will have to make due with binging on Netflix documentaries highlighting the brightly colored market places and stunning landscapes.
When my step-father suggested a Moroccan honey cake I jumped at the chance to make something from a country that calls to me so strongly. The recipe seemed simple and the only unusual ingredient was an exotic honey. Luckily I had some orange blossom honey left over from Griwech week. Needing no more convincing, I blindly jumped in.
Everything started off so well with this bake. The steps were simple and the resulting mixture was very tasty. Yes, I taste all of my bakes even if there is raw egg because life is too short to worry about salmonella and pass on the deliciousness of batter.
After pouring the mixture into the springform pan I did have the fleeting thought – “hmm, this pan is really full, there is a lot of mix here, that seems strange” – but like any novice baker I completely ignored my instincts and thew the whole thing in the oven anyway. That did not go well.
As with my previous attempt at making a sponge cake, things feel apart very quickly. Or, more accurately, rose too quickly. The difference between now and then, there was way more mixture in the pan. The result:
The Moment of Truth
What a complete failure. Never again sponges.
(Yes, I did take a slice out of the middle and throw some honey and almonds on it for the feature picture of this post. I used this same trick for the Victoria Sponge. A little deception on a baking blog never hurt anyone.)
I followed a recipe courtesy of the Wall Street Journal. I am not going to reproduce the recipe here as I have nothing insightful to add and, frankly, I am trying to tell myself at least 5% of the failure can be attributed to WSJ. If I reproduce the recipe another baker will read this, say they followed it exactly, and send me a picture of a perfect cake that brings said baker respect and praise. Meanwhile, I’ll still be here scraping burnt cake batter off the bottom of my oven.
Morocco was the first nation to recognize the USA’s independence.