Dessert

Honey Date Cake

We had a delicious honey date cake for dessert during Rosh Hashanah.  I usually don’t like honey cakes, but I actually made a big mistake while making the cake and added twice the honey than I was supposed to.  I made other adjustments to the recipe to counteract the extra honey and the cake was honestly the best honey cake I have ever had.  And it was definitely honey-forward!

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I did not expect this to be very good, so I did not take photos.  But this was good enough that I want to share it with you anyway.  At least we have a picture of the finished product.

Honey Date Cake

Slightly adapted from Date Honey Nut Cake by Tori Avey

 

3/4 cup (6 oz) whole pitted dates

1 1/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

Pinch of nutmeg

3/4 cup canola oil 

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup honey

2 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Nonstick cooking spray

Directions

 

Preheat oven to 325F. Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray.

Place the dates in a bowl and cover them with very hot water. Let the dates soak while you prepare the cake batter.

 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, brown sugar, honey, eggs, and vanilla.

 

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir till a thick batter forms.

 

Drain the water from the dates and chop them into small chunks. Fold the walnuts and date chunks into the batter. Pour the batter into loaf pan.

 

Bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and set on a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!

Makes 1 loaf-sized cake, serves 8.

 

 

Categories: Dessert, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Recipe, Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur | 1 Comment

Sugared Pecans

North Carolina is pecan country. So, in honor of our vacation on the Outer Banks, I made some sugared pecans.

I find pecans to be a bit bland. But they are perfect for coating with yummy goodness, especially coating that also add more crunch, such as pralines or this sweet cinnamon-sugar coating.

I only had about a cup of pecans, so I scaled the recipe down – it scales fairly easily. I just used 1 egg white instead of 3 and divided everything else by 4. But I have to say, I wish I had more pecans!

Sugared Pecans

Trisha Yearwood Jerry’s Sugared Pecans

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
3 large egg whites (from Farmer Kim)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups pecan halves

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a large baking sheet with sides with aluminum foil. Pour the butter onto the lined sheet.

In a large bowl, mix the egg whites, sugar and cinnamon.

Add the pecan halves and toss until they are fully coated.

Spread the pecans onto the baking sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes, stirring the pecans every 10 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Makes 4 cups

Categories: Dessert, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Strawberries in Minted Honey Syrup

Today I was able to visit a farm stand for Magee Farms.  But it was not just any farm stand, I had helped the Magees obtain the permission to start a u-pick operation on this historic farmland.  So, I was especially pleased to be able to buy strawberries at “my” farm stand.

So, of course, I bought more strawberries than we can possibly eat. Time for another type of strawberry treat – strawberries in minted honey syrup.

I used mint that I have grown on my windowsill, and honey from the next town over, so this is a totally local treat!!

Serving suggestion – add to plan greek yogurt – yum!

Strawberries in Minted Honey Syrup

Jennifer McGruther in Edible Feast

1 cup water

1 cup honey (local)

2 pints strawberries (from Magee Farms)

1 small bunch fresh mint (from my windowsill)

Directions

Bring the water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour in the honey and whisk it into the water until it dissolves fully. Continue simmering over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and let the syrup cool to room temperature.

Hull the strawberries, cut them in half, and place them in a bowl.  Pluck the leaves off the stems of mint, tear them and add them to the bowl with the strawberries.

Pour the cooled honey syrup over the strawberries and mint, then cover the bowl and place it in the fridge.  Allow the berries to marinate for a day, then serve them with their syrup. Enjoy!!

Serves 4.

Categories: Dessert, Kosher, Recipe, Strawberries, Vegetarian | 3 Comments

Braided Lemon Bread

I had not intended to write a post about making this bread.  But once I made the filling, I realized how good this was going to be. So there are only a few pictures…but much enjoyment!

With lemon cream cheese and lemon curd fillings, this is basically a cross between a bread and a danish.  Perfect for breakfast or dessert. And a good choice for Shavuot. So I froze one loaf that I will defrost for our enjoyment next month.

Braided Lemon Bread

very slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour

SPONGE

3/4 cup warm water

2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon instant yeast

1/2 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

DOUGH

all of the sponge

3/4 cup plain greek yogurt

1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs, beaten (from Farmer Kim)

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

5 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

egg wash for brushing braid

sparkling white sugar for sprinkling on braid

CREAM CHEESE FILLING

2/3 cup cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup plain greek yogurt

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup prepared lemon curd

Directions

In a small bowl, combine the sponge ingredients. Stir well to combine, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to proof for 10 to 15 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the sponge, yogurt, butter, eggs, sugar, salt, and flavoring. Add 4 1/2 cups of flour and mix with the paddle attachment until the dough is a rough, shaggy mass. Switch to the dough hook and knead on speed 2 until a soft, smooth dough forms, about 5 to 6 minutes, adding more flour if needed to achieve the correct consistency.

Place the kneaded dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until quite puffy and nearly doubled.

While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Combine all the filling ingredients (except the lemon curd) in a small bowl, mixing until smooth. Reserve the filling and lemon curd until ready to fill the braids.

Gently deflate the dough and divide it in half. Cover half with plastic wrap and set it aside as you roll out the first piece into a 10″ x 15″ rectangle. Rolling on parchment paper makes moving the bread to the baking sheet much, much easier. Lightly press two lines down the dough lengthwise, to divide it into 3 equal sections. Spread half the cream cheese filling down the center section, and top with half the lemon curd, leaving 1″ free on all sides of the filling.

To form the mock braid, cut 1″ crosswise strips down the length of the outside sections, making sure you have the same number of strips down each side. Beginning on the left, lift the top dough strip and gently bring it across the filling diagonally. Repeat on the other side with the top dough strip, so that the two strips crisscross each other. Continue down the entire braid, alternating strips to form the loaf.

Repeat the rolling, filling, and braiding steps for the second piece of dough, using the remaining cream cheese filling and lemon curd. Set both loaves aside, lightly covered, to rise for 45 to 50 minutes, or until quite puffy.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush the loaves with egg wash (one lightly beaten egg, 2 teaspoons water and a pinch of salt), and sprinkle with coarse sparkling sugar, if desired. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Yield: 2 loaves.

Categories: Bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Recipe | 8 Comments

Pistachio “Persian” Rugelach

I love when I am able to merge my husband’s Persian culture with my Jewish one. This was a perfect to do so with both Norooz (Persian New Year) and Purim just days apart. I decided to merge the two holidays in one treat – pistachio, cardamom, chocolate chip rugelach.

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Rugelach is a traditional Jewish rolled cookie, most often filled with raisins or chocolate and walnuts, as in my Aunt Gussie’s Rugelach.

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Many Persian desserts and pastries have pistachios and/or cardamom in them.

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So, I coated pistachios with cinnamon-sugar mixtures and cardamom-sugar mixtures to see what we preferred; both were good.  But when I added the chocolate chips, the pistachios, chocolate and cardamom just blended perfectly together.  So we ended up with our “Persian” Rugelach. Which happens to also be even extra fitting since the story of Purim took place in ancient Persia.

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Pistachio Rugelach (“Persian Rugelach”)

3 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup canola oil

1/4 cup orange juice

2 Tbsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

3 tsp baking powder

3 1/2 cups flour

1/3 cup mixture of cardamom & sugar

1/2 cup pistachio, chopped

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, oil, orange juice and vanilla.

Mix in the salt, baking powder and 3 cups of flour. Knead in an additional 1/2 cup flour until the dough is dry enough to roll.

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Roll the dough out to 1/8″ thickness.

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Sprinkle heavily with cinnamon sugar. Sprinkle with nuts & chips. Cut it into triangles or diamonds (today I did triangles).

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Roll into crescents, pressing in the end point, and place on cookie sheets. Bake in batches for 12-15 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

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Enjoy!

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Makes 30 – 40 rugelach, depending upon the size you make them.

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Categories: Dessert, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Persian, Purim, Recipe, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Ina Garten’s Cranberry and Apple Cake

I feel very lucky, not only to get local eggs, but also to personally know the chickens that lay my eggs. Thank you Farmer Kim for this great picture.

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They are Wyandottes, a heritage breed from the 1800’s.  My dog was so intrigued by them on our last visit, he tried to go into their coop, but discovered the electric fence.  He won’t be trying to chase them again.

I brought this cake to a friend’s holiday party.

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It was a hit, basically it tasted as if you turned a really good, moist cranberry bread into a cake.
Cranberry and Apple Cake

from Ina Garten

12 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over for stems

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced

1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

1 tablespoon grated orange zest (2 oranges)

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 1/8 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided

2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup sour cream

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine the cranberries, apple, brown sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.

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In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. With the mixer on medium, add 1 cup of the granulated sugar, the butter, vanilla, and sour cream and beat just until combined. On low speed, slowly add the flour and salt.

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Pour the fruit mixture evenly into a 10-inch glass pie plate.

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Pour the batter over the fruit, covering it completely. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon and sprinkle it over the batter.

IMG_2426Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean and the fruit is bubbling around the edges. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

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Categories: Apples, Dessert, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Dark Chocolate Buckwheat Brownies with Nutella Ganache

These are so delicious, the first thing I need to do is acknowledge Rachael at La Fuji Mama (lafujimama.com) for the recipe.  It was so good and made so many brownies that the first thing I did was give half of them away! To keep myself from eating them, of course.

Then I fed some to my very happy son and his friend.  They were a big hit! So, I sent his friend home with a plate-full (I have a feeling he might not have shared them with the rest of his family)

I just chanced upon this recipe.  I had bought buckwheat flour for pancakes and was searching for other uses for it.  All I had to see was “Nutella ganache” and these were a must-make.

They are extremely rich and satisfying.  Perfect with a cold glass of milk.

And I have to say that not only were these delicious, they were so easy to make. Thank you Rachael!

Dark Chocolate Buckwheat Brownies with Nutella Ganache

from lafujimama.com

For the Brownies:
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao or darker), chopped
2 1/2 cups turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 large eggs (locally raised)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Nutella Ganache:
1/2 cup Nutella
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (locally produced)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil and lightly grease the foil.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a medium-size saucepan over low heat, stirring often.

Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl and whisk in the sugar and vanilla. Then whisk in the eggs, 2 at a time.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

Add 1/2 of the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture, and stir well. Add the other half, and stir until just mixed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool.

While the brownies are cooling, make the ganache. Combine the ingredients in a double boiler or in a microwave safe bowl.Melt together and combine. Pour the ganache over the top of the brownies and spread gently. Place in the refrigerator until the ganache is set. Cut into 30 servings and Enjoy!

Makes 30 Brownies.

Categories: Dessert, Recipe | 1 Comment

Honey Cookies

I love Rosh Hashanah. And I love eating honey: honey and apples, honey in the challah, honey on the challah, honey apple cake, honey on my chicken… honey, honey, honey!

Of course that also means local honey. Luckily we have a lot of local honey to choose from. These are just a few that happen to be in my cupboard.

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So, when I found this recipe for Honey Biscuits (what we would call cookies) on the Monday Morning Cooking Club website, I was very excited.  But I did not end up being the one to make the cookies, my daughter did.  Then Cam helped her with cutting out the cookie shapes. (Truth be told, this was last year, when Arielle was still home for the holidays, this year she had to return to Israel too early).

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I love them!  Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.

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Ruth’s Honey Biscuits

2.12 oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

3/4 cup caster sugar

1/2 cup honey 

1 egg 

14.82 oz Plain (All purpose) Flour (3 scant cups)

teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch Ground Cloves

1 egg white lightly whisked for glazing

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking trays.
In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Warm the honey gently in a saucepan or in the microwave until lukewarm, then add to the butter mixture. Add the egg and mix well.
Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and cloves. Beat into the butter mixture on a low speed until a soft dough forms. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap. Rest in the freezer for one hour, or the fridge for 2 to 3 hours.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured counter to about 5 mm thick, then cut out shapes with a biscuit cutter and
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place on the prepared trays, well spaced to allow for spreading.
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Brush with the egg white and bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown.
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Cool on the baking trays. Store in an airtight container for up to one month.
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 Makes about 30 biscuits/cookies.

 

 

Categories: Dessert, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur | Leave a comment

Blueberry Galette

We were invited to a friend’s house for a 4th of July celebration. What to bring?  I had picked up a lot of blueberries, since they are now in season. so it was going to be a blueberry something.  I decided on a galette, they are easy to make, easy to transport, and they can be delicious.  And this one was…fabulous!

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No need to say much more, other than that this is now a go-to recipe for me.  I especially love the crust, it was flaky and buttery and quite frankly, the best I have made.  I may try cutting down on the butter a little, 14 Tbsp is a bit indulgent. But…it was good!

Blueberry Galette

from Miriam Szokoski on Chabad.org

Pastry Ingredients

2 cups flour

1–2 tsp. kosher salt

Zest of 1 lemon

14 tbsp. cold butter or margarine

6 tbsp. ice water

Filling Ingredients

2 cups blueberries (locally grown)

6 tbsp. sugar

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp. flour

Pinch of salt

For the glaze

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tbsp. sugar

Directions

Put the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse once or twice to combine.

Cut the cold butter into pieces and sprinkle on top the flour. Pulse in the food processor until the mixture forms large coarse crumbs.

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Pour the ice water over the mixture and pulse until the dough begins to come together.

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Remove dough from the food processor, wrap in parchment paper or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.IMG_0555

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Toss the filling ingredients together in a bowl.

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Remove the dough from the fridge and place in the center of a piece of parchment paper. Quickly roll the dough into large circle. It doesn’t need to be perfect. The key here is to work quickly and not to overwork the dough.

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Place the blueberry mixture into the center of the dough and fold up the edges. It will look rustic and imperfect—that’s fine. Carefully pick up the parchment paper and transfer the galette to a baking sheet.IMG_0557

Mix the egg and vanilla in a small bowl. Brush the edges of the galette with the egg mixture and sprinkle sugar on top.IMG_0558

Bake at 400° F for 40–50 minutes, until the crust is golden. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

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8–12 slices

 

 

 

 

Categories: Blueberries, Dessert, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | 3 Comments

Chocolate Krantz Cake

Ever since I first opened my copy of Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cookbook I have been mesmerized by the chocolate Krantz cake. It looked so beautiful, and so complicated.

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But I finally worked up the nerve to make it. And, surprisingly, it was really quite simple and….oh so delicious!

Chocolate Krantz Cakes

From Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem Cookbook (I only made on change – using hazelnuts instead of pecans)

4 cups / 530 g all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

1/2 cup / 100 g superfine sugar

2 teaspoons fast-rising active dry yeast

grated zest of 1 small lemon

3 extra-large free-range eggs

1/2 cup / 120 ml water

rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3cup / 150 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 3/4-inch / 2cm cubes

sunflower oil, for greasing

scant 1/2 cup / 50 g confectioners’ sugar

1/3 cup / 30 g best-quality cocoa powder

4 oz / 130 g good-quality dark chocolate, melted

1/2 cup / 120 g unsalted butter, melted

1 cup / 100 g pecans (i used hazelnuts), coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons superfine sugar

2/3 cup / 160 ml water

1 1/4 cups / 260 g superfine sugar

Directions

For the dough, place the flour, sugar, yeast, and lemon zest in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Add the eggs and water and mix on low speed for a few seconds, then increase the speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes, until the dough comes together. Add the salt and then start adding the butter, a few cubes at a time, mixing until it is incorporated into the dough. Continue mixing for about 10 minutes on medium speed, until the dough is completely smooth, elastic, and shiny. During the mixing, you will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times and throw a small amount of flour onto the sides so that all of the dough leaves them. (I have to note that it was amazing to watch the dough hook work its magic on this dough through all the steps)

Place the dough in a large bowl brushed with sunflower oil, cover with plastic wrap, and leave in the fridge for at least half a day, preferably overnight.

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Grease two 2 1⁄4-lb / 1kg loaf pans (9 by 4 inches / 23 by 10 cm) with some sunflower oil and line the bottom of each pan with a piece of waxed paper. Divide the dough in half and keep one-half covered in the fridge.

Make the filling by mixing together the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate, and butter. You will get a spreadable paste. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle measuring 15 by 11 inches (38 by 28 cm). Trim the sides to make them even, then position the dough so that a long side is closest to you. Use an offset spatula to spread half the chocolate mixture over the rectangle, leaving a 3⁄4-inch / 2cm border all around. Sprinkle half the pecans on top of the chocolate, then sprinkle over half the superfine sugar.

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Brush a little bit of water along the long end farthest away from you. Use both hands to roll up the rectangle like a roulade, starting from the long side that is closest to you and ending at the other long end. Press to seal the dampened end onto the roulade and then use both hands to even out the roll into a perfect thick cigar. Rest the cigar on its seam.

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Trim about 3⁄4 inch / 2 cm off both ends of the roulade with a serrated knife. Now use the knife to gently cut the roll into half lengthwise, starting at the top and finishing at the seam. You are essentially dividing the log into two long even halves, with the layers of dough and filling visible along the length of both halves.

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With the cut sides facing up, gently press together one end of each half, and then lift the right half over the left half. Repeat this process, but this time lift the left half over the right, to create a simple, two-pronged plait. Gently squeeze together the other ends so that you are left with the two halves, intertwined, showing the filling on top.

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Carefully lift the cake into a loaf pan. Cover the pan with a wet tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 to 11⁄2 hours. The cake will rise by 10 to 20 percent.

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Repeat the whole process to make the second cake.

Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C, making sure you allow plenty of time for it to heat fully before the cakes have finished rising. Remove the tea towels, place the cakes on the middle rack of the oven, and bake for about 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

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While the cakes are in the oven, make the syrup. Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan, place over medium heat, and bring to a boil. As soon as the sugar dissolves, remove from the heat and leave to cool down. As soon as the cakes come out of the oven, brush all of the syrup over them. It is important to use up all the syrup. Leave the cakes until they are just warm, then remove them from the pans and let cool completely before serving.

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Makes 2 cakes.

Categories: Dessert, Kosher, Recipe | 1 Comment

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