The unique flavour of rich, artisan honey comes through beautifully here and is really worthy of the expense. Together with the Christmassy spicing, it makes a perfect foil for chunks of toffee-sweet medjool dates and buttery macadamia nuts.
This makes a really large loaf, and you will therefore need to use a big tin. If you are not sure about the size of your loaf tin, just make sure you only fill it to three-quarters full.
This recipe bakes nicely in two smaller tins, too, but please read the note about adjusting baking times at the end of the directions.
Makes 1 large 2kg loaf or 2 smaller ones
For the cake
full-fat milk 150ml
honey 110g (use a high-quality, raw honey for best results)
salted butter 50g
self-raising flour 280g
orange zest of 1
clementine skin of 1, finely chopped
ground cinnamon 1 tsp
ground nutmeg 1 tsp
medjool dates 200g, pitted and roughly cut
macadamia nuts 130g
For the topping
macadamia nuts 50g
demerara sugar 2 tbsp
Heat your oven to 160C fan/gas mark 4. Line your loaf tin(s) with a sheet of baking paper.
Place the milk, honey and butter in a small pan and heat gently until the butter has melted. In the meantime, mix the rest of the ingredients apart from the eggs, in a large bowl.
Pour in the melted butter mixture and use a large spoon to stir until just combined. Add the eggs and stir again until fully combined.
Transfer to the baking tin, top with the 50g of macadamia nuts and sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes.
Open the oven and rotate the cake for an even bake, then leave for a further 20-25 minutes. It should feel lovely and bouncy when you press it.
If you are using two smaller tins, they will bake in a shorter time – I would rotate them after 20 minutes and then leave for another 20 minutes to bake fully.
From Honey & Co At Home by Sarit Packer & Itamar Srulovich (HarperCollins, £26)