A week or so ago, my father was on television. About a few years ago, my father’s company, Qubits, was featured on ABC’s Shark Tank and it’s first re-run was shown on CNBC. We were so excited for a re-run that we invited friends and neighbors over to watch the show with us. I obviously needed to make something, and I decided to make a cake out of some new 8 inch wilton pans I bought at Michael’s.
When I was in culinary school, I applied for a culinary internship at Walt Disney World. On my twentieth birthday, as I was working in the school’s restaurant, my parents surprised me with my acceptance letter. I was working the grill station, which meant cooking the steaks and the fish. We were a small restaurant, with local roots and a small selection of delicious dishes. We were very affordable (It was run completely by students, and the tips went directly to scholarships.) and usually packed a full house. It was my last semester at the school, with my graduation just over the horizon in May.
My parents tapped on the glass window of the open kitchen, and I was surprised to see them. That’s when they handed me an envelope and asked me to open it. I screamed with joy, and all of the guests in the restaurant looked up from their meals.
When I got home that evening, my birthday gifts were all disney related, and one of my favorites was a Disney Dessert Cookbook. “Delicious Disney Desserts” by Pam Brandon.
I decided to try out the recipe from The California Grill located in the Contemporary Resort. This fun restaurant boasts the best firework viewing dinner options, with a view over the lagoon. I worked in the resort for a short time at Chef Mickey’s , but I never got the chance to eat at the California Grill.
This cake is easy to prepare ahead of time, especially the honey crunch topping. It took me two tries because I wasn’t watching the caramel close enough. Make sure your candy thermometer reader reaches the candy, otherwise you will burn the topping.
I made the cake in advance, sliced the layers, and froze the cake in plastic wrap until I frosted them. I made the whipped cream frosting just before serving.
Honey Crunch Cake
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons each: water and corn syrup
2 1/4 teaspoons sifted baking soda
Honey Simple Syrup
1/2 cup each: water and sugar
2 teaspoons honey
Honey Whipped Cream
3 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
5 tablespoons honey
1. For cake, heat oven to 375 F. Combine milk and butter in pan on low heat, stirring, until butter melts. Remove from heat. Mix flour and baking powder. In bowl, whip eggs to break up. Whip in salt. Gradually add sugar, whipping until mixture lightens. Add extracts. Gently whip in milk and butter mixture. Fold in flour mixture in 4 additions, mixing until smooth after each addition. Pour into buttered and flour-dusted 9-inch pan. (Line with buttered parchment paper, if desired.) Bake 15-20 minutes.
2. For crunch, combine water, sugar and corn syrup in pan. When temperature reaches 310 F, whisk in sifted baking soda. Turn off heat.
Let mixture rise up without stirring. Pour onto a Silpat mat. Cool completely. Break into pieces; store in airtight container.
3. For syrup, bring water and sugar to boil. While still warm, whisk in honey. Refrigerate.
4. For cream, whip cream and sugar on medium 2 minutes. Add honey.
Increase speed. Whip to medium soft peaks.
5. Cut cake in half. Drizzle bottom layer with syrup. Spread whipped cream on bottom layer. Arrange honey crunch on whipped cream and press into cream. Spread with a little more whipped cream. Set on top layer.
Drizzle syrup on top layer. Frost top and sides with remaining whipped cream. Keep cake in refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve with remaining honey crunch.
Recipe inspired by “Delicious Disney Desserts”
It’s kind of fun to do the impossible – Walt Disney