I don't think I've mentioned this here before, but if there's one thing that makes me completely crazy, it's people who refuse to share recipes. First of all, you did not make up cooking out of the blue. Everyone learns from somewhere, whether that's through experience or from a book. Half the time, those "secret" family recipes were clipped from a newspaper or magazine years ago anyway. I also just can't understand why, if, say, my family loves a particular recipe, I should withhold it from you just because I can. Does it make me enjoy the food any more knowing that I've denied it to someone else? Well, if it did, I'd have larger problems than just this particular annoyance. Look, I'm a judgmental person. And if you tell me that a recipe is a guarded family secret, I'm judging you. Sorry.
But it's not like all, or even most people are like this. Lots of us love sharing recipes, obviously. But today, when I was searching for a recipe for a Dutch Honey Cake like the one I'd had in France, I found a blog in which its owner has made a project of honoring his grandmother's memory by transcribing all of the recipes from her massive collection. It looks like he got through them all, because the blog hasn't been updated in quite a while. Rather than jealously guard his family's recipes, he has posted them for everyone to use and enjoy. How about that? So for all of you recipe sharers out there, here's a Dutch Honey Cake meant to be circulated.
Dutch Honey Cake
Only slightly adopted from Grandma Gerte's Recipes
3 cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup brown sugar (the recipe didn't say to pack it, but this is assumed I think)
3/4 cups honey (I had to use mostly honey but a little agave nectar because we're moving and I'm trying to use things up)
3/4 cup undiluted evaporated milk
3/4 cups milk (the recipe said 1/2 cup, but I had to add a little more for all of the dry ingredients to get mixed in)
Sift the first five ingredients together (yes, I sifted the flour twice, once to measure and one to combine with the spices). Stir in the brown sugar and set aside. Stir the honey together with the two milks, then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Pour into a greased loaf pan, and bake at 300 F for about 1:15 hours. I had to tent the bread with foil for the last 10 minutes or so in order to keep the crust from getting too brown. It should pass the toothpick test and the sides should pull away from the pan. Cool before serving (yea right).
You can see that my loaf deflated a little in the middle. This was a result of my taking it completely out of the oven to prod it with toothpicks before it was done. This is how lack of patience is rewarded.