Honey gives this cake a pleasing texture, so that not much oil is needed, and also helps it to keep well. Cocoa contributes a rich taste and a deep brown color. Bake this cake at least a day or two before the holiday so its flavor matures. If you wrap it tightly, the cake keeps up to two weeks at room temperature.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1/3 to 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease an 8-inch-by-4-inch loaf pan, line base and sides with parchment paper or foil and grease paper or foil. Sift flour with cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger.
Beat eggs lightly in mixer. Add sugar and honey and beat until mixture is very smooth and lightened in color. Gradually add oil and beat until blended. Stir in flour mixture alternately with water, each in two batches. Stir in walnuts.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake about 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan for about 15 minutes. Turn out onto rack and carefully peel off paper. Wrap tightly in foil when completely cool. Serve in thin slices.
Makes 10 servings.
Per serving: 272 calories; 10 g fat (1 g saturated fat; 33 percent calories from fat); 44 g carbohydrates; 42 mg cholesterol; 117 mg sodium; 4 g protein; 1 g fiber.