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Honey Cakes & Ginger Cakes | Sleepy Hollow

“There was the doughty doughnut, the tender oly koek, and the crisp and crumbling cruller; sweet cakes and short cakes, ginger cakes and honey cakes, and the whole family of cakes. “

-The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving

What are dutch honey cakes?

Honey cakes, called Honingkoeks in Dutch, are a popular breakfast due to their combined cake-bread consistency.

Origins

Cakes or Cookies?

Quick history of self-raising flour & Cakes

In American Cookery, published in 1796, we start to see the use of pearlash. Pearlash is potassium carbonate, an alkaline from wood ash. Today we use bicarbonate soda, baking powder or self-raising flour, but the use of pearlash allowed for a more cake-like consistency, rather than a cookie. It’s possible the change in density drove the name change between cakes and cookies.

At some point in history, cakes (whether tea cakes or sweet cakes) began being called cookies or biscuits, depending on the country. At the time of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, it’s possible there was a transition happening. The first American cookbook American Cookery by Amelia Simmons (published in 1796) gave cookies (or cookey in some cases) their own category in a cookbook. However, it’s possible that using the word ‘cakes’ took a while to transition to the word cookie.

Print

honeycakes

Honey-cakes-ginger-cakes-Washington-Irving-Sleepy-Hollow-party

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  • Author: Bryton Taylor; Food in Literature
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups sself-raisingflour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together until combined.
  3. Pour into a greased bread pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Notes

Loaf pan used: 23 x 12 x 7 cm
source: the dutch table.com


Print

Ginger cakes

Honey-cakes-ginger-cakes-Washington-Irving-Sleepy-Hollow-party

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  • Author: Bryton Taylor; Food in Literature
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup molasses or golden syrup
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C.
  2. Cream the sugar and butter together, then add the molasses and water.
  3. Mix together before adding in the eggs.
  4. Finally, mix in the flour and spices.
  5. Stir well and pour into a greased bread pan and bake for 30 -40 minutes.

Notes

Loaf pan used: 23 x 12 x 7 cm
source: the dutch table.com

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