When I told my grandmother that I was using my great-aunt's recipe for honey cake, she immediately countered with a recipe for honey cookies. That's just the way they are, the two of them. And while, most of my traditional recipes come from my grandmother, this is one time I'm going to go with my great-aunt's. Every time I make this cake, (and by every time I mean Rosh Hashana) I think, why don't I make this more often? Why does it have to be a once-a-year sort of cake? It is not an overly complicated recipe, and it's one of my favorite cakes. It manages to be both light and incredibly moist all at once. It's not too sweet and gains character from the addition of coffee and orange zest. So why I only make it once a year? Who knows? Maybe this year is the year to change that. Just don't tell my grandmother. —Hungry Souls
1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. In a large bowl mix together 6 egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, honey and coffee. Put the baking soda in a little bowl. Pour the vinegar over it. Let it bubble and foam. Add to egg yolk mixture. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and orange zest. Starting and ending with the flour mixture, alternately add the flour and the orange juice to the egg-honey mixture. Set aside.
2. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. With the beaters running, slowly add 1 cup sugar. Beat until thick and marshmallow-like. Carefully fold the egg-whites into the rest of the batter
3. Evenly divide the batter into 2 un-greased 9 inch round pans. Rap the pans sharply on the counter-top to eliminate air bubbles. Bake for about an hour. The cakes are done when they spring-back lightly to the touch.
4. Remove the cakes from the oven. Turn the cakes upside down, and prop them up on evenly spaced cans to cool.* When cool, turn right-side up. The cakes will stay, well wrapped, for a good-while.
* An important note: if your cake pans have even the slightest bit of non-stick coating, DO NOT turn the cakes upside down. They will promptly fall out of their pans. Cool them right-side up on a wire wrack.