Posts Tagged ‘cinnamon’

Well so much for the week of Passover recipes I planned! Big blog intentions, little follow through. But this post will wrap up Passover belatedly and then onto new and exciting non holiday related recipes. Though I also wanted to make hot cross buns for Easter. I’ve never had one and the recipes I saw floating around last week looked delicious. So there may be one more belated holiday recipe coming!

This is a great kugel! You can hardly taste the matzo – it tastes more like a bread pudding. Really really good bread pudding. I think it would work really well for a brunch. The dish is sweet, but overly so. I cut down the sugar because there are 12 pages of comments about this recipe and nearly all of them suggested cutting the sugar. This recipe is why I love the internet – 12 pages of comments are awesome and really helped to fine tune this recipe.

A few notes. One comment suggested 1 cup of nuts on top. I forgot to add them, but I think walnuts would go wonderfully with this recipe. Another comment suggested adding some lemon juice and zest to the apples, which was another great idea I forgot to incorporate. If your apples (or any fruit) taste less than ideal, lemon juice and zest always perk things up. This recipe reheats very well, which is good since it would feed a small army. The recipe does call for a scary amount of eggs, but keep in mind that it serves 12. Finally, be sure to use a large bowl to mix everything together. As you can see from the photo, I did not and things came dangerously close to a kitchen disaster.



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Banana Bread

When I was a kid, I named my imaginary children Apple-ish, Orange-ish and Gum-ish. This leads to many questions. Yes, I really liked the suffix -ish. Yes, I had an imaginary husband; his name was He-Man. No, my brother wasn’t born until I was 9, so I was an only child for a long time. And no, there was no Banana-ish. Why? Because I don’t love bananas, so they didn’t make it into my imaginary family. Usually I think bananas are boring. I’ve read there is a reason for this, the banana variety we eat is considered bland but was very fungus resistant at a crucial time.

But then we had some bananas sitting on the kitchen table, rapidly turning spotty and mushy (obviously I wasn’t eating them) and I thought, banana bread! Banana bread is a vast improvement on bananas – nothing like mashing something up and baking it up with some butter, sugar and nuts to make it taste better (note: this works well for fruit, less so for spinach).

I picked this recipe out of the many across the internet because I really like the website where it was posted (Joy of Baking) and it turned out to be an excellent choice. It is not a flashy bread (other recipes I checked out included bourbon, which seemed intriguing, but also too much), but I don’t think banana bread isn’t supposed to be flashy. The brown butter Bananas Foster tart I want to make is where bananas go to be flashy. This is solidly delicious, not overly banana-ish (which leads to the dreaded mushiness) and the aroma when baking is unbeatable. Seriously, this is the best smelling thing I have baked in awhile.

And finally the answer to the usual last question, yes, I was a weird kid. My parents didn’t have cable. I blame them.


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King Cake

There is all kinds of Mardi Gras awesomeness going on in New Orleans right now and I really miss it! And I really really really miss King Cake! Mmmm…king cake. If you haven’t had King Cake, then you need to make this recipe immediately. King Cake a sweet bread cake, with (usually) a sweet cream cheese filling, topped off with icing and plenty of sparkling sugar in green yellow and purple (green for faith, yellow for power and purple for justice). Inside the cake is a plastic baby and whoever get the slice with the baby has to purchase the next cake. It is delicious and completely addicting.

I’ve always wanted to make a King Cake, but the recipes always looked a tad complicated (injecting the filling?!) and really, who needs to make a King Cake when you live in New Orleans surrounded by bakeries competing to be known as having best King Cake (winner: Randazzos). But then I moved up north, had a snow day with lots of free time and the King Arthur Blog posted King Cupcakes, and while those sounded tasty, I wanted King Cake. As an aside, I love that Saints mania has permeated Norwich, Vermont!

So I made the King Arthur King Cake. And it is very close to being awesome. I think it needs a few tweaks and I definitely would like to try it with a cake mold to achieve a more aesthetically appealing cake. A few suggestions/comments:

  • Go light with or possibly eliminate the egg white wash. The cake shouldn’t be brown and the wash encourages browning.
  • Tent well to eliminate further browning.
  • Use a stand mixer if you have one, as the dough is very sticky and would be hard to knead otherwise.
  • I took the word “stretch” very literally in the recipe and ended up with a dough that had some holes because I overstretched. A rolling pin can be helpful here.
  • The rolling pin will also distribute the dough better – I ended up with one end more dough-y than the other and consequently the cake was a little uneven looking.
  • If you like a lot of filling, consider increasing the filling proportions by half (I think doubling would push it too far), some of the filling absorbed into the bread.
  • My icing ended up being more buttercream frosting and less pourable icing. So I just spread it on like I would for a cupcake and it was still delicious, if not pourable
  • Sadly, I did not import any plastic babies from NOLA when I moved up here, so I used a pecan instead of a baby

But don’t let that list deter you – this is a surprisingly easy recipe and the smell was heavenly. Perfect King Cake smell – cinnamon sweet. Happy Mardi Gras! Laissez les-bons temps roulez!


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