Monday, August 30, 2010
Amazingly, not everyone loves honey cake as much as we do, or perhaps they've never tried Mom's Honey Cake, which we gave you the recipe for last week. But for those who need dessert to be a full dose of chocolate goodness, we figured we'd provide a pareve, chocolatey Yom Tov treat that really satisfies. We're sure that this delicious cake will go the same distance as honey cake in providing a sweet new year to all who taste it. Shanah tova to all!
2 cups sugar
1 and 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened high-quality cocoa
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup water
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup of boiling water or hot decaf or regular coffee
Mocha Fudge Buttercream frosting:
1 cup (two sticks) margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp instant coffee granules
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, dissolved in 4 tbsp liquid (can be milk, water, coffee liquor or any other flavored liquor)
Mix dry ingredients together and set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, then add the sugar, milk/water, oil, vanilla and the dry ingredients, until just mixed. Add the cup of boiling water or hot coffee as the last step and mix only until incorporated and smooth.
Mixing a light, relatively low fat batter like this too much will toughen the batter and lead to a rubbery cake, so make sure to mix only until incorporated.
Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan or loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35 minutes. When a fork or toothpick comes away clean, the cake is done.
To make the frosting: In mixer, cream the margarine until fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Add the vanilla extract, coffee granules and cocoa mixture and continue beating until the frosting is smooth and light. Frost the cake only after it has cooled.
Posted by kosherliz at 8:41 AM
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
At this time of the year, ovens the world over are being fired up, and home pastry chefs are baking batch after batch of delectable, moist honey cake, the traditional dessert of Rosh Hashanah,the Jewish New Year. (To skip ahead to Mom's Classic Honey Cake recipe, scroll down to the bottom of the page.)
Most bakers have a love/hate relationship with honey cake. They either have an amazing recipe that works out fantastically well every time, or they slave for hours and come up only with a tough, dry mess. My job today is to give you that ideal recipe—coupled with an understanding of the science that backs it up—that will turn out that "perfect" honey cake every time you make it.
The main problem people experience with honey cake is toughness, but luckily, it's a very easy problem to solve. What makes honey cake tough is overbeating and over mixing. Honey cake is not made by the “creaming method”; the method by which most cakes with shortening or butter/margarine are made. Instead, honey cake is meant to be made with the “combining method,” which is very simple and straightforward. The key to this technique is to incorporate the flour only enough so that there aren't any lumps. Otherwise, you run the risk of developing the gluten.
Bakers know that gluten is a protein. It is the rubbery, strand like substance that gives chewiness to bread. It is a natural by-product of the combination of wheat flour and water. Gluten, above most things, is what gives texture, volume and depth to baked goods. If you want the gluten to develop, which you would certainly want if you were baking challah, bread or especially chewy bagels, it is important above all to mix and knead the dough extensively. For bread recipes, you can also purchase high-gluten flour, which has more protein and therefore more gluten-forming potential. Only extreme over mixing of these kinds of flours would break down the gluten structure. But for honey cake, all-purpose flour is best, though cake or pastry flour would work just as well.
For honey cake, your goal is simply to combine the ingredients until you have a uniform mixture, but no more. You now know what happens when the gluten is developed, so now you understand that the less developed the gluten, the lighter and more delectable your honey cake will be.
The order in which you add your ingredients is also vital with honey cake. You want to first beat the eggs well, because any moist cake is built, first and foremost, upon well-beaten eggs. After the eggs, add the sugar, oil and finally, your honey, because the measured oil helps coat the cup so that the honey will slip out easily. Since the honey is the most expensive, and arguably the most important part of the recipe, it's important to use just the right amount.
And most importantly, mix your dry ingredients separately before adding them to your wet ingredients. This will ensure even mixing, and remember only to mix until the flour is incorporated.
Recipe: Mom's Classic Honey Cake
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon canola oil
3/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 cup strong brewed decaf or regular coffee
1/2 cup golden raisins, coated first in flour (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift dry ingredients and set aside. Beat eggs in mixing bowl. Combine slowly with sugar, oil and then honey. Add coffee alternating with your dry ingredients, taking care to mix only until the dry ingredients are combined. Sprinkle in the flour covered raisins at the end, by hand. Mixture can be poured into one 9 by 12 cake pan, or two loaf pans, or in mini-loaf or cupcake pans. Fill the pans halfway or a little more. The baking time can be anywhere from 15 to 35 or 40 minutes, depending on the depth of your pan. Test for doneness by piercing with a toothpick; If the toothpick comes away clean, the cake is done. The recipe doubles well and freezes well.
Posted by kosherliz at 2:46 PM
CKCA's fall evening course in classic Baking and Pastry is set to begin October 6th, immediately following the chagim.
This is the only kosher program of its kind in the US.
Classes are open to men and women ages 16 and above and appropriate for anyone who is passionate about baking and committed to expanding his or her knowledge and skill set in an intensive, professional environment.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS PROGRAM IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH KINGSBOROUGH COMMUNITY COLLEGE
The dates for the Fall program are as follows;
October 6 - February 17th
Wednesday and Thursday Evenings
Please contact Jesse Blonder at the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts for more information and an application at 718-758-1339, or visit
http://www.kosherculinaryarts.com. The application is also available for download at this link.
Posted by kosherliz at 2:17 PM
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
This Rosh Hashanah, the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts (CKCA) is happy to join with charity City Harvest in a food drive for kosher food items, which will be collected and distributed to one or more of 35 kosher food programs that are part of City Harvest's network of community food programs.
Since the 1980s, City Harvest has distributed more than 200 million pounds of food to a network of nearly 600 community food programs throughout New York City. The organization now delivers an average of nearly 77,000 pounds of food daily and 28 million pounds this year.
City Harvest's common-sense, cost-effective approach involves picking up and delivering food the same day to keep costs down and allows them to often focus on fresh foods that are often in short supply at soup kitchens and food pantries. Currently, their cost to deliver a pound of food is just 23 cents, making City Harvest a smart, simple solution to ending hunger in New York City.
For our participation in this to be successful, we need your help!
Please bring kosher non-perishable items to donate to CKCA at 1407 Coney Island Avenue (second floor), in Flatbush, Brooklyn. For more information, call us at 718-758-1339. Food will be collected until October 8th.
The most needed items are as follows:
Canned fish or other proteins
peanut butter (in sealed plastic jars)
hot and cold cereal (family sized and sealed)
mac and cheese items (in sealed boxes)
Again, please call us at 718-758-1339 with any questions.
Posted by kosherliz at 10:09 AM