1 ¾ cups honey
2/3 cups shortening
2 ½ cups flour (gluten free or gluten filled)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ¼ cup ice water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch rectangular pan.
In the bowl of a standing mixer (or with a handheld mixer) cream together the honey and shortening. Add eggs and mix well to fully combine.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl place unsweetened cocoa and the ¼ cup of water. Whisk to combine. Add to the honey-shortening-egg mixture and mix to fully combine. Add flour alternating with ice water to the honey mixture until fully combined. (Note: I felt the batter seemed more liquid than traditional cake batter though it baked perfectly to a light cake.) Pour into prepared cake pan and bake 35-40 minutes until toothpick comes out clean (Note: original recipe specified 45 minutes but my cake was done between 35-40 minutes).
SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, without stirring. If necessary, use a wet pastry brush to wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble. Stir in the unsalted butter, and salt. Transfer the caramel to a dish and cool.
*Cook's Note: The salted caramel sauce will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Reheat before serving.
To assemble: Drizzle a bit of Salted Caramel Sauce over a slice of the Dark Honey Cake and top with a dollop of whipped cream. For a lighter cake, skip the sauce and enjoy the cake solo with a bit of whipped cream.