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International desserts for the Winter Olympics: Ukraine honey cake

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As the eyes of the world turn to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and we witness some of the finest athletes in the world compete in their chosen sport, there is no need to be watching on an empty stomach! As the world gathers in Sochi, Russia, we bring the world together in the kitchen and celebrate international diversity with some classic world famous desserts.

Take everything you think you know about the hated Christmas fruitcake and toss it from your mind. Personally, I don't blame anyone for detesting those things and all the jokes about them are true. Now for a taste of reality. This, my friends, is a fruitcake which contains real fruit, real spices and lots of honey!

Touring Europe for One World - One Table, I tasted this incredible dish in the Ukrain. From first glance I loved the look of it -- dark and rich. When I took my first bite, the spices enveloped my tongue and warmed my spirit. This is perfection! The perfect amount of real fruit, perfect combination of winter spices, perfect touch of sweetness and a perfect texture.

Ingredients needed to make Ukraine Honey Cake (makes 1 cake):

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup corn oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 ½ Tbs. strong black coffee
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 Tbs. grated orange zest
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup chopped dried apricots
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts

Steps:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Line the bottom of a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale. Whisk in the oil, honey and coffee.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices. Stir in the egg mixture until smooth.
  4. In a medium bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter (this is called lightening the batter).
  5. Fold the remaining egg whites into the batter along with the orange zest, raisins, dried apricots and walnuts.
  6. Spoon into the prepared pan and even out.
  7. Place in oven and bake 75 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from the pan and cool on a rack.

The internationally bestselling cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals," is now in it's third printing and available worldwide in both hard cover and e-book versions. The paperback version will be released March 4, 2014.

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