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Danube Almond Cream Cake

June 26, 2011

After the unexpected interruption (all is well, thank you all! 🙂 ), here, finally, is the recipe I promised you, showcasing Tasmanian honey.

I came across this recipe while I was searching for something that would approximate the superb Frankfurt crown cake that my sister-in-law sometimes makes. It’s not quite up to the same standard as that magnificent confection of cake, honey, cream and nuts (I’ll get the recipe one day, I swear), but it’s still pretty special.

Having the word Danube in its name just goes to show that nobody does cake quite like the Germans.

There’s a few steps involved in this recipe, but it’s not what I’d call really difficult. Just “a bit fiddly”.

Luckily, I tend to always have one or two packets of those instant puddings in the pantry because they’re a wonderful treat when we’re spending a few days hiking in the Tasmanian wilderness (and those instant cheesecakes! There’s nothing like huddling around a coal fire in a hut in Tasmania’s Central Plateau, wolfing down cheesecake!), but if you don’t have one, or you balk at using a packet mix, you can replace it with a thick custard.

Oh, and excuse the unforgivably crappy image. It appears I forgot to take a pic at the time, and this is the best I could dredge up from the ‘net.

What do I need?

Cake:

  • 1/2 Cup slivered or flaked (my preference) almonds
  • 2 tbsp coconut
  • 1/4 Cup Tasmanian Leatherwood honey
  • 2 tbsp Melted butter
  • 1/8 tsp Almond essence
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/3 Cup of warm milk
  • 2/3 Cup of caster sugar
  • 1/3 Cup of butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 1 Cup of plain flour
  • 3/4 tsp Baking powder

Filling:

  • 1 Cup of milk
  • 1/2 Cup of thickened cream
  • 1 tbsp of Tasmanian Leatherwood honey
  • 1/8 tsp of almond extract
  • 100 g packet of instant vanilla pudding
    or:
  • 1 1/2 Cups of thick custard
  • 1 tbsp of Tasmanian Leatherwood honey
  • 1/8 tsp of almond extract

What do I do?

The Cake:

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

In a small bowl, combine the almonds, coconut, honey, 2 tbsp of melted butter and almond essence. Spread this mixture in the bottom of a greased 20-25cm cake tin. Yep, that’s right – on the bottom of the tin. This is a variety of ‘upside-down cake’, so this sweet, sticky mix will wind up on top of the cake.

Warm the milk. – make sure you don’t have it too hot because you’ll be activating the yeast in it. Slightly more than lukewarm is fine. Stir the yeast into the warmed milk. Sift the flour and baking powder into another bowl.

Cream the 1/3 cup of butter and caster sugar. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, ‘cream’ just means to mix or beat the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon or a mixer (easier and better) until the mix is soft and creamy and the sugar crystals are fully dissolved (so there’s no “gritty” feel to it any more). Add the eggs and vanilla essence and mix them well into the creamy butter.

Add the sifted flour and milk and yeast mixture alternately to the creamed butter until it’s mixed into a smooth batter. You should start and finish with the flour; whether this makes any difference, I don’t know, but that’s what I was told to do, so I’ll go with it.

Pour the batter over the almond-honey mixture in the cake tin and bake it in the over for 25 to 30 minutes. To tell if a cake is ready, stick a skewer into its centre, and if it comes out clean, with no cake stuck to it, the cake is done. If you’re cooking a light, fluffy cake like a sponge, a better way is to press gently on top of it. If it feels firm and does not give under the pressure, and springs back into shape when you take your hand of it, then the cake is done. Just make sure you do it fairly quickly, because you don’t want to burn your hand on the hot cake.

Once the cake is done, take the tin out of the oven and leave it to cool for a couple of minutes. Once it’s cooled a little, run a knife around the edge to make sure it’s loose and turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely (remember, this cake is baked upside-down, so turn it out so that the almonds are on top).

The Filling:

Combine the milk, cream, honey, almond essence and vanilla pudding mixture in a bowl, and beat with a mixture or whisk for 2 minutes until it’s smooth. Let it stand and set for 5 minutes. If you’re using your own custard, make up 1 1/2 cups of thick custard and add the honey and almond essence.

Slice the cooled cake into 2 layers. Spread the filling over the bottom layer, replace the top layer, and chill for about an hour at least before you serve it.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 26, 2011 3:19 pm

    That looks wonderful. You’re so right about the Germans and desserts. Our best actual meal there was Italian food. I mean I like the traditional food, but it got old. And their potatoes are so waxy. I digress. This honey sounds amazing.

  2. June 27, 2011 6:41 am

    Good to hear your little one is okay.
    Now, it I could just get my hands on one of those bottles of Tasmanian Leatherwood honey. 😉 The cake sounds fabulous.
    🙂 Mandy

  3. June 27, 2011 7:11 am

    The Honey Farm delivers internationally:
    http://thehoneyfarm.com.au/acatalog/pure-honey.html

    As do Cradle Mountain honey: http://www.cradlemountainhoney.com.au/

    Stephens have some international suppliers, too: http://www.leatherwoodhoney.com.au/

    You might find a supplier in South Africa – possibly the larger supermarkets will stock it?

  4. June 27, 2011 1:06 pm

    Almond cake caught my attention! I adore anything almond and creamy. I’m interested in checking out this honey. I believe the special sought out ingredients really do make a difference. The vanilla essense is also intriguing. Great recipe.

    • June 28, 2011 1:02 am

      There is one supplier for leatherwood honey in the US that I know of:

      Liberty Richer World Finer Foods,
      300 Broadacres Drive, Bloomfield, NJ 07003. USA Tel: 0011-1-973-338-0300, Customer Service Fax: 0011-1-201-368-9150

      info@worldfiner.com

      For small orders in the USA call “My Brands” on 888-281-6400

      I hope that helps

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