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Sunday, September 21, 2014

New Year; New Recipes for Rosh Hashanah!

Honey cake!!
Happy Monday everyone! This weekend started the challah-day holiday countdown. After making 4 challahs for my family (I will be making the round loaves for my table this week!), I checked honey cake off my list. After finally finding the honey cake recipe of my dreams (!!!), I can't give it up. And we all know honey cake gets better as the flavors meld throughout the week, right? Can't wait!

However, I do know as much as we love the flavors of the holidays, the same recipes year after year can sometimes get a little...blah. So if honey cake makes you sigh, here are a few updated holiday recipes that'll might make your heart go "ba bam"!

If you want to update your apples...
Rustic Apple Tart
Kim Kushner

  • 2 sheets puff pastry (one 17-ounce package), slightly thawed
  • 3 granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Vanilla Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, cut into tiny pieces
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup apricot or peach jam, melted
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. On a piece of parchment paper, roll out one of the pastry sheets until it is about 14 x 9 inches. Transfer to a baking sheet. From the second sheet of pastry, cut enough 1½-inch-wide strips to form a border around the rolled-out pastry sheet. Brush the rim of the large rectangle lightly with water. Arrange the strips around the rim of the pastry sheet to form a border. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. Using a sharp knife, make a series of slits in the apple quarters along the peeled sides, taking care not to slice all the way through. Place the apples in a microwave-safe bowl, add 2 tablespoons water, and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 3 minutes; drain. Combine the sugars and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle half of the mixture over the center of the pastry shell. Place the apples over the sugar, slit sides up. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over apples and scatter the butter pieces all over. Brush the rim of the tart with the beaten egg.
  3. Bake the tart until nicely browned, about 25 minutes. If the rim browns before the apples are cooked through, cover it with foil. Brush the jam over the apples and rim and serve warm.

A twist on traditional...
Halvah Mille-Feuilles
Uri Scheft, Breads Bakery

For the phyllo:
  • 8 sheets phyllo dough, defrosted if necessary
  • Canola or olive oil, for brushing
  • Granulated sugar, for sprinkling
For the halvah cream:
  • 1/3 cup honey or silan (date syrup, available at Middle Eastern markets or online)
  • 1/3 cup pure tahini paste
  • 2 cups non-dairy whipped topping (defrosted if necessary) or 1 cup heavy cream
For assembly:
  • 1/2 cup crumbled halvah
  • Honey or silan (date syrup), for serving
  • Fresh raspberries, for serving
Bake the phyllo:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Stack the 8 sheets of phyllo and cut in half crosswise. Brush 1 half sheet of phyllo with oil and sprinkle with sugar. Layer another half sheet on top of the first and repeat with oil and sugar to form a stack of 4 half sheets, finishing the top layer with oil and sugar. Repeat with remaining half sheets to form 3 more stacks. Cut each of the stacks into 4 equal pieces to make 16 stacks. Transfer stacks to baking sheets and bake until golden brown, 8 to 12 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
Make the halvah cream:
  1. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the honey or date syrup with the tahini. If using nondairy whipped topping, place in a large bowl and gently fold in the honey-tahini mixture. If using cream, beat until soft peaks form. Gently incorporate the honey-tahini mixture and whip to stiff peaks. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Assemble the dessert:
  1. Place one phyllo stack on a dessert plate. Spread with a scant 1/4 cup halvah cream. Repeat with 3 more phyllo stacks and 2 more layers halvah cream. Repeat this process to form 3 more servings. Drizzle each stack with honey or date syrup, sprinkle with halvah crumbles, and garnish with raspberries.

Change the flavors...
Almond and Orange Cake with Poached Plum Compote
Andrew Zimmern

For the cake:
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1  1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups blanched sliced almonds
For the plum compote:
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 cup dark rum
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 12 black plums (about 3 pounds), halved and pitted
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • Lightly sweetened crème fraîche or whipped cream, for serving
The Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 10-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter and flour the paper and pan. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the eggs at medium-high speed for 5 minutes, until fluffy. Add the zest and 1 cup of the sugar and beat at high speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy and leaves a ribbon trail when the paddle is lifted, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the flour and salt with 2/3 cup of the almonds and process until the nuts are very finely ground. Scrape into a medium bowl. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and 1  1/3 cups of almonds to the processor and process until the mixture is very finely ground and beginning to clump. Add to the flour mixture and whisk to combine, breaking up any large clumps.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture in 3 batches until fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and gently smooth the surface. Bake the cake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
The Compote:
  1. Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, combine the wine, rum, water, sugars, citrus zests, vanilla bean and seeds, cinnamon, cloves and star anise. Add the plums, cut sides down, and bring to a simmer over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, turning the plums every 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the plums to a baking sheet to cool. Continue to simmer the liquid until reduced to about 1 cup, about 3 minutes. Strain the syrup through a sieve into a heatproof bowl, pressing on the solids.
  2. Using your fingers or a paring knife, pull off the skins from the plums. Slice the plums into wedges and transfer to a serving bowl. Pour the syrup over the plums and toss to coat. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. Run a knife along the side of the cake; remove the ring. Invert the cake onto a platter and peel off the parchment. Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar and cut into wedges. Serve with the plum compote and sweetened crème fraîche.
MAKE AHEAD: The cake can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 2 days. The plum compote can be refrigerated overnight; serve at room temperature.

Happy baking!

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