Shana Tova Honey Cake

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy (and sweet) Jewish New Year. I’d definitely recommend trying out this honey cake recipe that I found on SmittenKitchen. WOW, this cake looked pretty impressive if I do say so myself.

Some tips of my own:

  1. Be sure to update the recipe to use 1 tsp of baking powder instead of the original 1 tbsp.
  2. I used a 9″ Kugelhopf Pan to make my cake with lots of baking spray but no parchment paper.
  3. I didn’t quite use all the batter from the recipe. Left behind about 1/2 – 1 cup of batter.
  4. If you’re in two minds about whether or not to use the whiskey I say DON’T use it. I did use it and I regretted it. I just don’t like that alcohol flavor in the cake.

Have a great new year and don’t forget to dip some apple in honey and go blow a shofar!

How to make Honeycomb

Honeycomb is a well known candy in Australia and in the UK. For many people it’s synonymous with a Crunchie or Violet Crumble chocolate bar. It’s not that popular here in the United States and most people don’t really know what it is or what it tastes like. It has a distinct almost burnt caramel flavor with a dry crunchy texture. Why do I like it? It’s an essential ingredient in the creation of Bills Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb Butter. “Those hotcakes sound amazing.”, I hear you saying. Don’t worry, a blog post about those delicious hotcakes and said butter will arrive shortly. When I do get the urge for these hotcakes the inevitable question is “Where will I get the honeycomb from?” There are two options, each with  pros and cons.

Option 1 – Buy a bunch of crunchie bars from the nearby supermarket or specialty grocery store and “extract” the honeycomb by shaving off the chocolate with a knife. Side note: Just wanted to give a shout out to my local deli/cafe/food store called Depanneur  who stock crunchies. I’ve seen crunchies in lots of corner stores and supermarkets in New York these days. If you’re in NYC I’m confident that you can find it. Here are some photos of my handywork with Crunchie bars in the past.

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  • PROS – Low risk and can be a time saver.
  • CONS – Waste of money plus these are chocolate bars so there’s a bit of effort involved in scraping off the outer chocolate layer to get what you’re after. Hmm, what would you do with all that delicious “unnecessary” chocolate I wonder? Now Bills recipe (for example) says that for a decadent treat why not use the crunchie bars as is but honestly it’s just too rich. Also, I want to re-create Bills dish. I don’t want chocolate honeycomb butter, I want honeycomb cutter.

Option 2 – Make it from scratch which is what this post is all about.

  • PROS – You have the satisfaction of knowing that you created all components of your dish from scratch and you have lots of spare honeycomb candy lying around.
  • CONS – High risk and multiple attempts may be necessary. Also, be careful when making your honeycomb. The sugar will get incredibly hot and will burn if not handled properly. Oh and your dentist is gonna hate you.

Ok. Let’s get cracking and make us some honeycomb.

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Strawberry Ice Cream Time

Yes it’s summer and yes I’m obsessed with my new ice cream maker. I took a two week (involuntary!) break from ice cream prep. You can’t have ice cream every weekend, or can you? Anyhow, I was very excited to get back to it and try out this No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream recipe that I found on SouthernLiving/MyRecipes.

This is really a follow up from my earlier ice cream post and also a kind of experiment of no cook (philadelphia style) ice cream vs the classic french style ice cream. While the earlier post focused on the french custard style of ice cream that required a kind of cooking process, this ice cream recipe was super quick and much simpler to prepare. Combine a few things together, chill, cut up strawberries and voila. Ice cream! It was still a two day process for me but seemed like a lot less work. There was also less stressing over questions like “Have I cooked the eggs correctly? is this the right temperature? Is this a complete flop?”

Why strawberry? Well I tried chocolate and mint choc chip so I thought that something with fruit was a nice way to mix things up. Plus, it’s rare that I cook anything that comes out pink so I thought that might be fun too!

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Ice Cream Weekend

Last weekend I experimented with my new KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment and here are the results! Who knew making custard style ice cream was such an involved, and in one case nail biting process!

Inspiration

Living in a more recently gentrified area of Williamsburg Brooklyn there’s all sorts of shops and stores cropping up around me including OddFellows Ice Cream. These guys have been threatening to open up for some time and I was very excited to see them have their grand opening  just last week! I finally got around to heading over there yesterday and tasted their new Oatmeal Cookie Dough flavor and….WOW! I will definitely be going back for more. But I digress! Back to inspiration. Of course seeing all the ice cream around me was one factor. I’d also say that considering how hot its been these days in NYC no wonder i’ve been tempted to get my ice cream on. Lastly, I’d say that I tried it because I like a good challenge. People describe making a custard style ice cream as a bit of a process and not always easy to get right. That sounded right up my alley. Oh and delicious ice cream at the end is always nice too!

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