Honey & Walnut Cake {recipe} *inspired by Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton

When I attended food blogger connect a couple years ago one of the speakers talked to us about why we blogged. We were all food bloggers of a sort so besides the obvious of our shared love for food we all had different reasons.

One of my reasons I had said at the time was because I felt like it gave me a place to say what I wanted to say. However, it's never been a place where I shared anything but my love for baking and cookbooks and books. I don't talk about my personal life very much. 

My blog life slowed down as my actual life sped up. 

Blogging and baking were my escape and my way to stay creative in the hum drum of daily life. Then life threw me a few curve balls and even though things have quietened down I have struggled getting back into my blogging/baking life. 

It feels like it was a part of me that I've grown out of or that was left behind. I have tried to get back into it on different occasions, but it hasn't seemed to work very well. On top of that so much has changed. It's not just about being a blogger, it's about being a social media guru. 

Even my baking seems to be resisting me. I have attempted another bundt cake after my last disastrous attempt and once again it didn't want to come out of the pan properly. 

I can take pictures show only the good parts. But that isn't life. I used to have proper tantrums and moods about baked goods that didn't turn out how I intended. Now I think "it tastes good and who am I trying to impress?"

Me and my little family were able to enjoy a slice of cake as an afternoon treat this past weekend and that is why I bake. The cake was soft and springy and had the perfect blend of spices that goes well with a cup of coffee. 

Blogging may be on the way out as YouTube and Instagram take over the internet, but I am going to keep my little corner of the internet up because who knows what the future holds. 

Honey & Walnut Cake

125g unsalted butter, softened
140g demerara sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
90g honey (different varieties will give a different flavor)
45g walnuts, chopped
220g self rising flour, sifted
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp all spice
125ml milk

If using a bundt pan make sure you grease and flour it properly, you can use a tray bake pan or I would use a regular 8 inch square pan just be aware that baking times will be different for different pans, if using a square tins line it with baking paper and lightly grease the baking paper before starting.

Heat the oven to 180C. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Add the eggs a little at a time and beat until just combined in-between each addition. Mix in the vanilla and honey. Fold in the walnuts before folding in a third of the flour. (I weigh out my flour and then sift it directly into the mixing bowl.) Then mix in half of the milk. Then another half of whats left of the flour, then the rest of the milk and the last of the flour. Stir until just combined. Pour into your prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Again this will vary depending on your baking pan and oven. So, after 30 minutes I would check it using the skewer test and if it's starting to brown to quickly I always place a piece of tin foil/aluminium foil over the top to stop it from browning too much.

Leave to cool in the tin for a minimum of 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely. If it's in a bundt it's pretty enough without frosting or icing, but if using a square tin I would dust icing sugar over it or use a simple icing of 500g icing sugar and a couple tablespoons of water/milk and honey.

Serve with caramel sauce, raspberry sauce, or ice cream!

It seems like there is only room for hobby at time and at the beginning of the year I set myself a reading challenge on goodreads and have already passed it and had to reset it. So, books have taken over my free time and sometimes they mention food, more specific cake! I keep note and if I get a baking bug and depending on what's in my cupboards I used that inspiration. This cake was inspired by mention of a honey cake with a caramel or raspberry sauce in Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton that was featured in July's Fairyloot box.

Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton synopsis - In the ancient river kingdom, where touch is a battlefield and bodies the instruments of war, Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood. The same women who killed her mother without a single scratch.But when Mia's father announces an alliance with the royal family, she is forced to trade in her knives and trousers for a sumptuous silk gown. Determined to forge her own path forward, Mia plots a daring escape, but could never predict the greatest betrayal of all: her own body. Mia possesses the very magic she has sworn to destroy.Now, as she untangles the secrets of her past, Mia must learn to trust her heart…even if it kills her.

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