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Monday, January 11, 2016

#Trending in 2016

Happy Monday everyone! I've been doing a lot of research lately, trying to see what the pros are doing in 2016. While the lists are abundant, it always begs the question; since it's only the beginning of January, how can we actually know what's trending for the year ahead? I suppose much like with fashion, trends are set by those in the know, and the rest of us follow suit based on what they tell us. So does that make us minions? Lemmings? Does anyone care? New desserts are on the horizon and it's always fun to see what's cooking (pardon the pun)! Unfortunately...everyone has different takes on the matter (no surprise to anyone really). One thing I have noticed everyone agrees upon is that flavors will be complex. That means no vanilla bean ice cream, instead you'll get vanilla bean chili cocoa puff. Instead of chocolate cake you'll get margarita chocolate cream cheese frosting in a tower of whoopie pies stacked like a cake. You can see where I'm going with this. So to commemorate the complexity of flavor, I give you a few recipes that embody a whole lot of - stuff.

Poppy Seed-Topped Semolina Cake with Coconut (Shwekyi Senyinmakin)
Elizabeth Unger

  • 1⁄2 cup canola oil, plus more for greasing
  • 2 1⁄4 cups semolina
  • 2 1⁄2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 1⁄2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1⁄2 cup raisins
  • 2 tbsp. white poppy seeds
  1. Heat oven to 400°. Grease a 9” wide and 3” deep round cake pan; set aside. 
  2. Heat semolina in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium until lightly toasted, 10-12 minutes. Add oil, coconut milk, sugar, salt, eggs, and 2 1⁄2 cups water; cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes away from the side of the pan, 10-12 minutes. 
  3. Add raisins and cook 2 minutes more. Spread evenly into prepared cake pan; sprinkle with poppy seeds and bake 45 minutes. 
  4. Cool, then slice into squares to serve.

Donna Bell's Bakeshop's Hummingbird Bread Pudding
Donna Bell's Bakeshop

Bread Pudding: 
  • Butter or nonstick cooking spray, for greasing
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 bananas, 1 mashed, 1 cut into small bites
  • 1 1/4 pounds crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 loaf French bread, cubed or torn into small pieces
Cream Cheese Pecan Sauce:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus extra if needed
  • 4 tablespoons milk, plus extra if needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup toasted crushed pecans, for sprinkling on top
  1. For the bread pudding: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a casserole pan with butter or cooking spray. Whisk together the eggs.Add the sugar and cinnamon. Mix in the smashed banana. Fold in the banana pieces, pineapple, coconut and pecans. Mix in the bread and let the mixture sit for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring after 5 to 10 minutes. Pour mixture into the pan and bake for about 45 minutes.
  2. For the cream cheese pecan sauce: Meanwhile, whip the cream cheese with a spoon, then slowly add in the sugar until smooth. Mix in the milk and vanilla.
  3. Let the bread pudding cool slightly, and then drizzle the cream cheese sauce over the warm cake. Top with the toasted pecans.

Gulab Jamun (Cardamom Syrup-Soaked Donuts)
Saveur March 2013

  • 8 cups whole milk
  • 2 1⁄2 cups sugar
  • 1⁄8 tsp. saffron
  • 1 tsp. rosewater
  • 8 pods cardamom, cracked
  • 1⁄4 cup (1 1⁄4 oz.) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1⁄4 cup semolina flour
  • 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 tbsp. ghee or clarified butter, plus more for frying
  • 1 tbsp. plain yogurt
  • 1 egg
  1. Bring milk to a boil in a 4-qt. nonstick pan. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring, until very thick, about 5 hours. You should have 1½ cups of thickened milk; let cool to room temperature.
  2. Bring sugar, saffron, rosewater, cardamom, and 1¾ cups water to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, 8–10 minutes; let cool.
  3. Combine thickened milk, the flours, and baking powder in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment; mix. Add ghee, yogurt, and egg; continue to beat until dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 10 minutes.
  4. Heat 2" ghee in a 6-qt. pan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 275°. Using wet hands, divide dough into 16 pieces; roll into balls. Working in batches, fry, stirring to keep donuts submerged until cooked through, 12–15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain briefly; transfer hot donuts to syrup and let soak for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Happy baking!

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