Honey Cake of Madeira: traditionally linked to Christmas

The Honey Cake is one of Madeira’s most traditional food dishes and is traditionally linked to Christmas. It is customary to prepare it on December 8th, the day of Our Lady of the Conception, in order to acquire, during that period, the characteristics which make it unique.

The Honey Cake of Madeira, which can be preserved for a whole year, is prepared with treacle, its origins dating back to the heyday of sugar production in the archipelago.
Madeira Honey Cake recipe: 
Ingredients for the leavening:
-500 g unleavened flour
-30 g leavening (baker's yeast)
-about 3 dl water
Knead the flour with the yeast, make a ball, cover with plastic and let rise for 2 to 3 hours.

Remaining ingredients:
-1000 g unleavened flour
-350 g sugar
-300 g butter
-150 g lard
-clove (about 1.5 g)
-fennel (about 1.5g)
-15 g cinnamon
-50 g nuts
-50 g chopped almonds
-lemon zest
-400 g mixed crystallized fruit
-150 g sultanas
-15 g baking soda
-juice of 1 orange
-8 dl Madeira molasses
-2 dl Madeira wine

Baking instructions:
Mix the butter with the sugar until creamy, add spices and juice of an orange and a little lemon zest. Melt the molasses and lard together and add to mixture. Add the flour and baking soda and mix for about five minutes. Add to this dough the leaven previously kneaded and continue to mix for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Lastly, add the crystallized fruit and mix for an additional five minutes. Let rise for 24 hours. Place the dough in greased and wax paper-lined pans (only the bottom of the pan) and decorate the cakes with almonds and nuts on top. Bake them in a 190o degree oven, for 25 minutes. Honey cake is broken by hand.

Note: Use pans with removable bottoms, with a diameter of 15 cm and a height of 4 cm and place dough
Source: Turismo da Madeira

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