Desserts & Baking

Honey lekach

10 - 12
45 minutes
1 hour

This is traditionally baked for Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) as honey symbolises the wish for a sweet New Year. It's served at the end of the meal with a fresh fruit salad and glasses of lemon tea

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  • 270 g cake flour
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground allspice
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • ground cloves, a pinch
  • 25 g chopped mixed peel
  • 40 g seedless raisins
  • 20 g chopped almonds
  • 4 extra-large free-range eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 50 g Muscovado sugar
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 2 T strong coffee
  • 1 lemon, zested

1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices. Mix the peel, raisins and almonds with a spoonful of the flour mixture.
2. Beat the egg yolks until frothy, then add the honey, sugar and oil and beat until thick.
3. Add the coffee, the rind and gradually mix in the sifted flour mixture, then the fruit and nuts.
4. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Stir a quarter of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the remaining egg whites. Spoon into a greased and lined 20cm X 10cm X 5.5cm loaf tin. Bake for an hour or until a tester comes out clean.
5. Allow to cool in the tin for 5–10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack. Cool completely, then wrap in foil and store in an airtight container for a day or two before cutting, as it improves on keeping. Serve thinly sliced.

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Photography: Jan Ras
Production: Abigail Donnelly
Food assistant: Bianca Strydom

Phillippa Cheifitz

Recipe by: Phillippa Cheifitz

Regular TASTE contributor Phillippa is a well-known South African author and food writer, and has won many awards, both for her magazine features and her cookbooks.

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