You may or may not know that I want to be a pastry chef. Why does this have anything to do with today’s post, Aine? You ask. Did you just want all of us to know?
Well, it’s because of one book. One of my favorite books, actually. You may have heard me gushing about The Scorpio Races before, maybe you’ve even read it. Well, tell me if you remember this passage:
Finn finds my left hand, opens my fingers, and puts a November cake in my palm. It oozes honey and butter, rivulets of the creamy frosting joining the honey in the pit of my hand. It begs to be licked.
This is the moment when we all decided that we wanted to try a November Cake. This passage oozes deliciousness and makes your mouth water. So today (despite it being August and not November) I decided to make them!
Why is the picture so fuzzy? It wasn’t fuzzy when I was editing it or when I took the picture. But basically, these are all the ingredients required (except the heavy cream. I forgot to get that out). The little jar up front is fulled with honey, in case you were wondering.
This is a mixture of butter and oil and milk and water that I warmed up in the microwave and is supposed to wake the yeast up. But my lovely little yeasties that make the bread all puffy can be killed when they’re both too cold OR too hot and I warmed this up way to hot and this was my way of cooling it down. The spoon I stuck in the freezer so the metal was cold and would help cool it down.
So I added the now warm and not scalding hot milk and butter and water and oil mixture to the dry ingredients and some mixing and kneading happened and I scooped the sticky, lovely, fantastically light and stretchy dough into a floured and greased pan and put it in the oven to rise.
Even though the oven was only preheated to 100 degrees and I turned it off before I put the bowl in I was still paranoid that the towel would catch fire and burn the kitchen down. Most stressful hour of my life. But it all turned out fine because when the bowl came out of the oven the dough was somewhat less sticky and even more fluffy and light and stretchy and wonderful.
This dough was quite wonderful. Maggie Stiefvater knew what she was doing. I rolled it out and smeared a mixture of butter and orange extract on it and rolled it up like a cinnamon roll and cut the long log-o’-dough into twelve pieces and stuck them into muffin tins.
That was a long sentence, wasn’t it?
If you look closely you can see the butter mixture. By this point, the kitchen smelled quite nice, like oranges and butter and yeast. One of the loveliest scents in the world. I popped ’em in the oven after they rose a bit longer, and while I waited I made both the glaze and the icing.
The glaze tastes a bit like butterscotch and a bit like honey and a bit like caramel and it’s so delicious that I could eat it with a spoon. I actually did try, but it was too sweet to do it like that and I nearly threw up.
Sorry I said “threw up” while talking about food.
But the warm cakes were out of the oven so I spooned glaze and icing over them and ta da! Here they are.
These are like very delicious, honey-and-caramel-tasting no-cinnamon cinnamon rolls. They are lovely and fluffy and buttery and I think I could eat the entire batch if I had not three minutes before these came out of the oven cleared the fridge of its celery and bell peppers.
My meals are very odd in the summer.
But anyways, these are pretty dang easy to make and both the dough and the icing is foolproof. Next time I think I would use orange zest and juice instead of orange extract in the filling and letting the glaze cook a bit less. Everything I used was room temp expect when the recipe specifically said to heat it up, which stops the glorious little yeasties from dying.
I got the recipe from the back of my Scorpio Races book, but if you don’t have accuse to that, you can find the recipe on Maggie Stiefvater’s website. Go here.
So! Do you want November Cakes now? Have you ever made November Cakes before? If you have, how have they turned out?